The Gold Watch Strategy.
1. Blame the historians.
This from Axios, dateline 24 March 2021:
President Biden recently held an undisclosed East Room session with historians that included discussion of how big is too big — and how fast is too fast — to jam through once-in-a-lifetime historic changes to America.
Why it matters ... The historians’ views were very much in sync with his own: It is time to go even bigger and faster than anyone expected. If that means chucking the filibuster and bipartisanship, so be it.
Four things are pushing Biden to jam through what could amount to a $5 trillion-plus overhaul of America, and vast changes to voting, immigration and inequality.
He has full party control of Congress, and a short window to go big.
He has party activists egging him on.
He has strong gathering economic winds at his back.
And he’s popular in polls.
Presidential historian Michael Beschloss told Axios FDR and LBJ may turn out to be the past century's closest analogues for the Biden era, "in terms of transforming the country in important ways in a short time."
Beschloss said the parallels include the New Deal economic relief that Franklin Roosevelt brought in 1933, which saved the country from the Depression and chaos.
And Biden is on track to leave the country in a different place, as Lyndon Johnson did with his Great Society programs.
People close to Biden tell us he’s feeling bullish on what he can accomplish, and is fully prepared to support the dashing of the Senate’s filibuster rule to allow Democrats to pass voting rights and other trophy legislation for his party.
“It’s time to go bigger and faster than anyone expected.”
That has to be the most fantastic mis-reading of an election result in….decades, at least. At the outset of the Biden presidency, I would guess that two-thirds of the American electorate had zero interest in any plan to “go bigger and father than anyone expected.” The whole idea of Biden was that he would not go bigger or farther than we expected. The idea was that he would calm things down, give the nation a break from the maelstrom of the Trump years. No one voted for revolution or reinvention or reincarnation, for that matter.
And yet………eminent historians gathered at the White House and told Biden that the time had come to “go big or go home.”
I suppose you can’t entirely blame the historians, since the point of a White House political operation, first and foremost, is to protect the franchise from making big mistakes. Any sentient political operation would have seen, immediately, that “go big” was doomed from the start.
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