From the Left



On Biden’s Agenda, Democrats Have a Warning From History

John Micek on

Progressives -- and I’m one of them -- are justifiably incandescent that paid family leave was gutted from the compromise bill, along with free community college. Both are nearly unpardonable failures of political will. But it’s also important to remember what’s still in it.

The blueprint that Biden presented to Democrats includes a universal pre-K program for 3-and-4 year-olds, limits child care costs so that families do not pay more than 7% of their income, and extends funding for both for six years. Those two programs are estimated to cost $400 billion, Capital-Star Washington Reporter Ariana Figueroa wrote Thursday.

It would also extend for a year the expanded child tax credit, improve long-term care for seniors and people with disabilities, extend expanded tax credits for the Affordable Care Act, and provide the tax credits to 4 million uninsured people in states where Medicaid has not been expanded.

That’s not too shabby.

In a meeting with Congressional Democrats on Thursday, Biden outlined the stakes of inaction -- making a passionate pitch to lawmakers that cast the fight in historic terms, putting the potential accomplishments on a level with the New Deal and Great Society.

“I don’t think it’s hyperbole to say that the House and Senate majorities and my presidency will be determined by what happens in the next week,” Biden said, according to the Washington Post, which cited participants in the meeting.

“We badly need a vote on both of these measures,” Biden continued. “I need you to help me. I need your votes.”


History remembers Hannibal as one of the greatest military leaders of all time. But he’s also remembered for his spectacular error of judgment, passing on an opportunity that could have changed the course of western civilization.

This is the Democrats’ Cannae moment: They can choose to go ahead and win the war, or they squander this historic opportunity to improve the lives of millions of Americans, and along with it, lose their majorities in Congress.

And as was the case for Hannibal, there are no do-overs.


Copyright 2021 John L. Micek, distributed exclusively by Cagle Cartoons newspaper syndicate.

An award-winning political journalist, John L. Micek is Editor-in-Chief of The Pennsylvania Capital-Star in Harrisburg, Pa. Email him at and follow him on Twitter @ByJohnLMicek.

Copyright 2021 John Micek, All Rights Reserved. Credit:


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