Joe Biden's Useless Victory

I am writing this on the evening after election day. Most of the votes have been counted, and only four states remain uncalled: Georgia, North Carolina, and Pennsylvania, which lean Trump, and Nevada, which leans Biden. But unless Trump wins all four of those states, which at this point is very unlikely, then Biden is going to be the next President – right now I will be so bold as to call it a 95 percent certainty.

Contra all the pundits and pollsters who foresaw a Democratic blowout, this election has ended up as a squeaker, just like the last one. At the beginning of the year, I predicted that Joe Biden would win the primaries and then lose to Trump in the general election. Once Trump started bungling this year’s spate of crisis events, I admitted there was a chance he could lose, a la Carter in 1980 – the only other President of the last 120 years to lose re-election when his party had only been in the White House for four years.

But there is a big caveat for the Democrats: by winning the White House while leaving the Republicans with a 52 or 53 seat majority in the Senate, Joe Biden may well have achieved the most useless presidential victory in modern politics.

This victory comes at the end of a long, long struggle. Back in the 1960s, when Biden was still cheating his way through law school, he decided that he wanted to become a Senator when he was 30 (the minimum age) and then become President as soon after that as he could. True to his aspirations, Biden won Delaware’s 1972 Senate election at the age of 29 (he turned 30 before inauguration day). But his first two bids for the Presidency – in 1988 and 2008 – didn’t even make it into the primary season, though the latter at least netted him eight years of the vice-presidency as a consolation prize.

Biden didn’t give up, and now, at age 78, he is set to become America’s oldest president on the day he takes the oath of office. To get an idea of how long he has had to bide his time, just think about the fact that when former presidents Clinton, Bush Jr., Obama, and Trump attend his inauguration, they will all be younger than the man being sworn in.
Well, the guy has certainly got persistence.

But that raises an unpleasant question: Now that Biden has (sort of) achieved his personal goal – becoming President at as young of an age as possible – what is in it for his party?

The answer is: surprisingly little.

Had the Democrats picked Bernie Sanders or, really, anyone other than the most dull and uninspiring candidate to run in the primaries, they might have gotten themselves a leader with actual energy and charisma, arriving in Washington with a handful of new Senators and Representatives on his coat-tails.

Instead, they got an old, senile President who can barely stay awake, and only 47 or 48 Senate seats. Which leaves them in a very weak position.

Over the last few months, Democrats have filled the airwaves and the internet with talk about Medicare for All and student loan forgiveness and climate legislation and free college and repealing the Hyde Amendment and (as of 18 September) adding seats to the Supreme Court. Without a Senate majority, none of that is going to happen.

If Trump had won, the Democrats would have been shut out of power for the time being, but they would also have picked up a bevy of House and Senate seats in the 2022 elections (as a general rule, the incumbent President’s party gets clobbered in the sixth-year midterms). But with Biden nominally in charge and no bright orange hate object to inspire Democratic turnout, you can expect the Democrats to gain little or nothing in the upcoming midterms. From the standpoint of legislative potential, the Biden win was a Pyrrhic victory if there ever was such a thing.

Luckily for the Democrats, it has been nearly a century since America’s elected legislature played a leading role in making policy – in the modern system, that is usually a job for the civil service and the courts.

Biden can’t do much with the courts. All of his judicial appointments will have to go through a Republican Senate; for all we know, he might not even be able to provide a younger replacement for Stephen Breyer, the Supreme Court’s oldest liberal, in the event that Breyer wants to retire. Expect the current balance of three conservatives, three centrists, and three liberals to remain unchanged.

That leaves the civil service. Biden and Harris will certainly do their best to put leftists in all the key positions in the executive branch, within limits (i.e. as long as the GOP controls the Senate, nobody who’s spent the last four years talking about “whiteness” will get to head up a cabinet agency). Nevertheless, under Biden-Harris, we can expect  there to be more illegal immigration and more public celebrations of  deviant sexuality and more discrimination lawsuits filed against religious schools and businesses.

Well, slightly more. Even under Trump, most of the people who worked for the government were leftists (they’re called the “permanent civil service,” they don’t get replaced when the party in power changes, and they outnumber political appointees by more than one hundred to one). This is why so many government agencies, even under Trump, have spent the last year promoting wokeness, equity, antiracism, etc. And they will keep doing it under Biden-Harris.

Expect to see more local governments sponsoring events along the lines of Drag Queen Story Hour. Expect to see more people getting fired from their jobs for holding the wrong political opinions, especially if they work in academia, medicine, or white-collar corporate management. These firings will be blamed on Biden, but they would have happened anyway under Trump; I know this because they are already happening under Trump. Ditto with parents losing custody of their children for not affirming gender transitions.

The Supreme Court with its new Trump justices will do a good job of quashing overt censorship, but very little of what the left is doing, or is planning to do, consists of overt censorship.

Getting banned by Youtube without an explanation or a chance to appeal? It’s well within Youtube’s legal rights. Getting fired from your job at a woke corporation because something you said several years ago has resurfaced on the internet and has been deemed racist or homophobic by the leftist mob? As before, it is within the corporation’s rights....

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Biden Wins A Medal by Unknown Photographer is licensed under Wikimedia Commons Public Domain