From the Left



A Liberal Goes to Confession: Biden Versus Obama

Jamie Stiehm on

WASHINGTON -- Let me be the first liberal to confess. Avuncular President Joe Biden is the president we expected young, cool former President Barack Obama to be.

Huge steps forward are happening here. The Senate just passed a massive $1.2 trillion infrastructure bill for roads, bridges, rail and broadband. In a small miracle, it's bipartisan, with Republican Leader Mitch McConnell of Kentucky voting for a bill Biden will soon sign with fanfare.

As a senator who served 35 years with deep connections to Congress, Biden urged just such a bipartisan deal when he took office six or seven months ago. Many said "Joe" was dreaming of the old days.

Few remember when the Senate worked together for the common good, building out from 20 centrists. Lawmakers on the floor were bonded in a rare weekend session, crossing party lines. They looked more alive.

The tortoiselike Senate is coming out of its shell.

But wait, there's more sea change to come.


Next up: a record-smashing budget bill that addresses the climate crisis and child care, aka infrastructure for women. Wealthy Americans who make more than $400,000 yearly would pay higher taxes.

"Transformative," House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, a California Democrat, declared.

With the trifecta of the White House, the Senate and the House of Representatives, Biden has energized Democratic leaders to think big and stick together -- so far.

At 78, Biden lost a lot of ego along the way. He seems focused like a laser on what's best for the country, not whether he runs again.


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