Inside the corporate media bubble, President Joe Biden is a champ on a winning streak. From an economy that is in not quite so dire straits as it was last summer to a midterm election result that was not as disastrous as expected and the passage of massive spending bills to fund the Democrats’ pet causes on the environment and the war in Ukraine, left-wing outlets are all in agreement that everything’s coming up roses for Joe.
Every opportunity they get to reinforce this theme, including a lackluster State of the Union speech, is treated as more evidence of Biden winning. When some Republicans in the House chamber refused to sit quietly while the president smeared them as heartless politicians who want to take Social Security and Medicare away from seniors, they treated this raucous exchange not as a good opportunity for a fact-check of that collection of half-truths, fibs, and flat-out lies, but instead cited it as proof that Biden had exposed his political foes as louts and extremists.
But this Biden victory narrative is not just missing a more sober perspective that would point out that most of his alleged victories are, in fact, not so much wins as they are examples of avoiding complete disaster or outright defeats. What those touting his winning streak are really cheering is the way his administration has faithfully done the bidding of his party’s left-wing base. With his abandonment of the country’s southern border, the hijacking of legislation that was supposed to address inflation and collapsing infrastructure but instead poured funding into the Democrats’ climate change projects, and the takeover of the government by exponents of the DEI — diversity, equity, and inclusion — racialist catechism, what Biden has given Americans is more or less what they feared would be the result of a Bernie Sanders presidency.
Press Covering for the President
Though radical leftists are far from entirely satisfied with what they’ve gotten from Biden in his first 25 months, he has given them deeply consequential achievements that have, in fact, far outpaced what the left received from President Barack Obama during a similar time span at the start of his presidency.
The notion of Biden’s success is largely the result of favorable coverage. Biden’s press cheerleaders have acted as faithful bodyguards since his party rallied around him as the only plausible alternative to Donald Trump in 2020, when it seemed as if Sanders was on his way to the nomination. Despite some fleeting hiccups of journalistic integrity in which they have noticed his hypocrisy and incompetence (i.e., classified documents stored in his garage or the disgraceful rout in Afghanistan), they’ve stayed true to him. Nor have they called him out when he engaged in divisive rhetoric demonizing Republicans rather than acting on the unifying agenda he ran on.
Corporate media coverage has been a studied disinterest in dwelling on Biden’s impressive list of failures, or attempts to interpret them in ways that made them seem less bad.
Record inflation, which has been a catastrophe for middle-income and working-class Americans, was consistently dismissed as insignificant by major media outlets until it was time to start saying it was going down, an outcome that was, again, treated as a Biden win rather than a natural result of a disaster bottoming out.
Corporate Media and Democrats Unite in Gaslighting
The same networks and publications have dutifully followed administration talking points about his two great legislative victories. The 2021 “Build Back Better” and the 2022 “Inflation Reduction Act” were wins that demonstrated some remarkable discipline on the part of a Democratic Party with slim margins in both the House and the Senate. The more conservative and moderate factions of the Republican Party wage near-continuous civil war on each other. Democrats may snipe at each other, but they understand that when it comes to passing the kind of game-changing massive spending bills that can help transform America into a place that more closely resembles their nightmare leftist vision, disunity is not an option.
In both cases, Democrats understood that the labels on the legislation were a successful attempt to gaslight the public. What they passed were bills that put the full weight of the federal budget behind a radical environmental agenda that might have fallen short of New York Democrat Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez’s “Green New Deal” plan but gets the country closer to it than most people understand.
The same applies to the back-and-forth on the left about the disaster at the border. Leftists can be counted on to vocally oppose even the slightest evidence of the administration enforcing immigration laws. They know that what Biden has done is essentially create the open border that the hard left has wanted for decades. This has resulted in the country being flooded by millions of illegal immigrants, resulting in a massive humanitarian disaster as well as a boost for the Mexican drug cartels that have been the engine of the opioid epidemic afflicting working-class America.
Perhaps even more significant but also far below the radar screen even for many conservatives is the opening that Biden gave his party’s intersectional left-wing base to take over the government bureaucracy. On Biden’s first day in office, he signed an executive order mandating that every government department and agency create action plans to implement the woke DEI agenda that is the embodiment of critical race theory ideas about making an obsession with race the centerpiece of American society. He followed this up with further executive orders culminating in one issued last week that mandated implementation of these plans, which are blueprints for racial quotas.
The entire idea of “equity” is a rejection of the idea of a society based on equality and inculcates a mindset that sees the goal of a color-blind society as not merely unattainable but undesirable, freezing in place race as the primary way to define individuals. This will have the sort of far-reaching effect on government allocations, hiring, and administrative actions that is nothing less than making official policy from the worst of the toxic CRT ideas promoted by racial hucksters like Ibram X. Kendi and “White Fragility” author Robin DiAngelo. Far from acting as a restraining force on the Black Lives Matter movement and the far left, Biden has been essentially recruited into its ranks.
Biden’s decisions and actions demonstrate the way the Democratic Party establishment has undergone a fundamental shift since the 1980s and ’90s. He was expected to despise his party’s radicals and their ideological obsessions. But as president, he and his inner circle wound up leaving little daylight between the White House and the rhetoric of the congressional “squad” and other hard-core leftists.
Rather than being the expression of the moderation of the Democratic Party that had governed successfully during the Clinton presidency, Biden’s White House has signaled the death of that wing of their party. Instead of cooling down political rhetoric, Biden’s claims about Republicans being “semi-fascists” and opponents of democracy fueled the continuing decline of public discourse into bitter vituperation. What the media have called a White House winning streak is just evidence that the forces that Biden was elected to resist are the ones who are winning.