Sciascia: What's the Worst Biden Could Do in 4 Years? A Lot, Actually


The inauguration of President Joe Biden is in the books, putting a defined punctuation mark at the end of the Trump era as Democratic tides roll in.

Tapping into the tone of his 2020 presidential campaign once again Wednesday, the incoming president played several overtures to the period of American political unity supposedly on the horizon while delivering his inaugural address at the U.S. Capitol.

“Now, on this hallowed ground where just days ago violence sought to shake this Capitol’s very foundation, we come together as one nation, under God, indivisible, to carry out the peaceful transfer of power as we have for more than two centuries,” Biden said. “We look ahead in our uniquely American way — restless, bold, optimistic — and set our sights on the nation we know we can be and we must be.”

“This is a great nation and we are a good people. Over the centuries through storm and strife, in peace and in war, we have come so far,” he added.

“We will press forward with speed and urgency, for we have much to do in this winter of peril and possibility. Much to repair, much to restore, much to heal, much to build and much to gain.”

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With bitterly partisan blame games already threatening to undermine any honest efforts at unity and healing in Washington, however, here’s a broad look forward to the Biden era that is taking shape.

A Return to Normalcy

If the 46th president’s first days in office are any indicator, it would certainly seem as though “calm” will rest high on the list of words used to describe that first week under a new administration.

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Executive orders were signed, immaculately prepared words were spoken and prim pictures were taken. Upon his swearing-in, Biden undoubtedly delivered on one major campaign promise. Normalcy has been restored in Washington, D.C.

Gone are the days of off-the-cuff tirades, manic staff shakeups and fast-food feasts. Heck, Biden apparently removed the short-order Diet Coke button from the Oval Office in short order, according to Times Radio commentator Tom Newton Dunn.

And while it may be hard to part ways with President Donald Trump‘s down-to-earth taste, it will be no trouble at all to part ways with his erratic, self-sabotaging outbursts.

The deal might not be particularly lucrative, with the electorate trading uncouth and unhinged for unsteady and uninteresting — but it certainly reintroduces poised, presidential and predictable to the equation.

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Unfortunately, that demeanor also comes packaged with four years of politics as usual.

More Globalist Garbage

For Biden and an oddly bipartisan establishment, this will, of course, mean unchecked foreign funding expansions and a free pass of international bodies to take advantage of the United States in every way imaginable.

Despite his flaws, Donald Trump was often the only check on such things throughout his own four-year tenure, fighting back against pork-rolled coronavirus relief legislation and pulling support for entities, alliances and war efforts in which the remaining participants were delinquent or outright antagonistic to American interests.

Like his Republican predecessor, I have little doubt that Biden will avoid bogging the nation down in another endless military quagmire. In fact, if his last Democratic predecessor, Barack Obama, is a fair barometer, Biden will be one of the weakest presidents on the world stage since Jimmy Carter in 1979. Obama had a habit of drawing vague lines in the sand, only to walk them back when foreign adversaries tested the collective American patience, resolve and moral compass.

This should serve as little cause for celebration, however, as weakness tends to be pervasive, and establishment politicians like Biden have a long track record when it comes to holding allies accountable as well.

Where Trump was bold and unique in his willingness to challenge foreign delinquency in NATO and foolish international accords such as the Paris Climate Agreement, Obama and former President George W. Bush were more than happy to pimp out the American economy.

Biden’s decision to re-enter the recently jilted Paris agreement on Day One with a swipe of the executive pen shows him to be no different from the rest. It mattered not that signatories had failed to meet the agreement’s demands in recent years, while America led the world in emissions reduction. It mattered not that America will have to martyr its own economy to meet the astronomical demands of the deal either.

All that mattered to the newly inaugurated president was appeasing the political class.

Another Establishment Media Love Affair

Now, none of the drawbacks to “political normalcy” will ever occur to the average, politically uninformed American. The nation will never be allowed to believe there are any. At least, not if the establishment media has anything to say about it — and you can bet the exasperating talking heads will have something to say about it.

Before the ink was even dry on the drawn-out certification of the 2020 presidential election results, they were already having something to say about it.

With a wink and a nod, the age of adversarial journalism came to an end. It might not have been in the headlines. It might never have been announced at all. But it was written in bold, between the lines on the front page of every mainstream newspaper in America.

The felling blow had been dealt to Donald Trump, and there was no longer a need for slick slogans like The Washington Post’s “Democracy Dies in Darkness” — no longer a need for the media to serve as a Fourth Estate, speaking truth to power.

The next four years would not be rife with anonymous sources reporting egregious and unconfirmed behavior from within the Oval Office. There was no time for press conspiracy.

It was a time for stories about “Doctor” Jill Biden and her husband’s latest ice cream fix, the first family’s dog and the vice president’s stylish Converse All Stars.

It was time for another slobbering media love affair. Former CNN White House correspondent and first-rate Trump antagonist Jim Acosta basically said so himself.

“I don’t think the press should be trying to whip up the Biden presidency and turn it into must-see TV in a contrived way,” he told The Atlantic last month.

“If being at the White House is not an experience that might merit hazard pay, then perhaps it is going to be approached differently.”

And that new approach will undoubtedly involve ensuring the American people adore ol’ Joe, no matter what ballistic policy he manages to push through with a Democratic Congress and a powerful executive pen.

Demonization of the Conservative Base

Of course, the round-the-clock anti-conservative media will still need a bad guy for the headlines. Without an enemy in Trump, so-called CNN fact-checkers such as Daniel Dale will need a new beat going forward. “It will not be a 24-hour, seven-day-a-week job to fact-check Biden,” after all.

That would be where the American people come in. Who better to demonize than the heartland Americans unwilling to get on the same page as our progressive leaders in Washington?

So, Dale and the mainstream media deplorables will get to work taking the “intensity and rigor” they applied to Trump and foisting it on efforts to battle “online disinformation” and the conservative opposition.

This will be all the easier given the optics of the Capitol Hill riots, which saw a small group of angry right-wing agitators give the American left all the ammunition it needs to keep conservatives pinned down in the coming years.

With that one hours-long riot, we became the terrorists and Joe Biden became the sane savior.

How much damage can Biden do in four years with that dichotomy drawn? A lot, actually.

At least, enough to put conservatives back on their hind legs once again.

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