The horizon is not so far as we can see, but as far as we can imagine

How Will Biden Rule Now That Democrats Control Congress?

So, Democrats have bare majorities in both the House and Senate, and they have the White House. They don’t have the Supreme Court.

Because the margin is so low, the people who will rule are those willing to cross the aisle to work with Republicans. Pelosi is fairly good at enforcing discipline, but Schumer is not, so we’re back into an era where right-wing Democrats will have a veto on a lot of legislation, as will the Supreme Court.

Because Biden is conservative in the psychological sense, he is unlikely to pack the Supreme Court unless they cross him in a big way, but because of the time-lag between when legislation is passed and when the Supreme Court strikes down the parts it doesn’t like, it’s unlikely he’ll have the emotional impetus to tackle the Supreme Court before the 2022 elections.

There is good news. $2,000 checks have become Democratic consensus, and they’re likely to pass. I do expect Biden to be more competent administratively, since while lazy, he will hire people who are at least capable of getting out of bureaucrats’ way and letting them do their jobs. (We’re not talking actual competence in most cases, remember how the Obama administration couldn’t handle the Obamacare roll-out. But at least they shouldn’t be throwing mail sorting machines into the garbage and so on. Little deliberate sabotage.)

The Biden environmental team is the one group that activists seem actually happy about. I’m still leery on this, given the Obama/Biden record on fracking and Biden’s statements about the issue, but I think if there’s one area that is likely to be better than one would expect given Biden’s record it’s environmental issues.

This is buttressed by the fact that the House rules waive Pay-Go for two areas:  Covid and the environment. AOC and the Squad have claimed credit, but I think the real credit goes to Biden; these are the two areas he seems serious about and Pelosi does usually cooperate with Democratic Presidential agendas.

I would think this won’t mean anything too radical, but we can expect that parks and reserves will be protected and expanded, pollution rules likewise, and endangered species lists taken seriously. Serious subsidies for renewable energy seem likely. It is possible we may get a green rollout across the federal civil service, which is a bigger deal than it seems, as it covers a lot of buildings and vehicles and it helps set up a domestic market for green firms if handled properly.

Biden’s other priority seems to be Covid. I don’t know how serious or competent he will be, but the current rollout of vaccines has been pathetic. A proper mobilization, if necessary using the military and the National Guard, would make a big difference. It’s clear that the US isn’t going to get past Covid without mass vaccination, as US states won’t do proper lockdown, track and trace, or provide proper support to people who stay home.

The issue here is whether Biden and Pelosi will provide enough economic stimulus and support to create a good economy so that Democrats keep the Senate and House in 2022. If they run as much as possible through the Covid and environmental pay-go exception, then the answer may be yes, but the insane opposition from centrist economists and wonks to the $2,000 check shows that means-testing and economic throttling is still Democratic party orthodoxy. They just don’t believe in giving everyone money, bullying the Fed into keeping interest rates low, and letting the economy roar.
If they give into the neoliberal tendencies of these apparatchniks, Biden will lose the House and probably the Senate in 2022, get impeached, and be a lame duck from 2023 on.

There’s reason to believe this is what they’ll do, simply because they still insisted on putting in the pay-go restrictions. Why have them at all, unless you really believe in them and want to use them to throttle spending on anything you don’t want (like Medicare for all)? By attaching that rule, Democrats have indicated that they’re not really interesting large programs which will have a huge economic effect and ensure they retain control of the House and Senate.

I hope Biden is a good President, and better than I expect. Realistically, he’ll be awful in a lot of ways, especially in foreign affairs and civil liberties. We can hope that he’s good on the environment, handles Covid better than Trump, and runs an economy that doesn’t suck.

But I suspect he won’t have the guts to do what is necessary. He won’t forgive 50K in student debt, for example. He’s not a radical, he’s been one of the key implementers of neoliberalism over the last 50 years, and he’s unlikely to go hard against its orthodoxy. He’s willing to act on environmental issues because neoliberalism is finally coming around to realizing they should do something about that. That “something” is won’t be enough, and they plan on making the peons pay for it instead of rich people, but it’s “something.”

Otherwise, Biden is still a means-testing neoliberal who thinks that if someone is poor they deserve to be poor, and that the rich are rich because they deserve to be rich.

So he’s likely to not do enough, and become a lame duck in 2023.

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Georgia State Elections


Trump Election Protestors Storm Capital to “Save Democracy”


  1. Brian A Graham

    His first move after learning he doesn’t have to kow-tow to Mitch McConnell was to nominate Merrick Garland who was picked by Obama to appease McConnell. Good to see Biden’s political instincts haven’t changed. To me it will be interesting to see how the angrier parts of Biden’s voting base handle the inevitable betrayals as they learn that Biden is no FDR.

    Although Biden was ahead of the curve regarding environmentalism early on after 1988, he began to trim his sails and moderate his positions to position himself for his later Presidential run in 2008.

  2. Eric Anderson

    Bears repeating:

    Well, looks like we will have at least two years of being governed by the centrist senescence of the #RetirementHomeTriumvirate. I anticipate a revolutionary policy implementation of universal basic prune juice and depends for all.

    In other words, just imagine what all the PMC liberal boomers/silent generation want. Insert those policies.

    Everyone else can kick rocks

  3. Hugh

    The counting of electoral votes started. It didn’t get out of the “A”‘s before an objection was made over Arizona’s electors. It is downright heart-warming to see so many willing to grandstand for their Führer and their Reich.

    I was going to say that Biden is better on the environment because like Pelosi he can remember the climate disruptions at the Jurassic-Triassic boundary. He will support the Paris Accords even though that agreement is too little too late.

    He will be better on Covid than Trump because it would be impossible for him to be worse. The vaccine roll-out was a screw-up. We did a better job at this in the 1960s before computers were everywhere. I almost think it would have run better if computers had been banned and officials had been forced to talk to each other in publicly monitored telephone calls and face to face meetings. Almost anyone here could have organized and run a better roll-out than what we saw.

    I agree that while Biden is not the lifelong FU that Trump is, he is incapable of doing any of the things that would make Americans feel their lives had really improved under his leadership.

    The Establishment sees the Biden victory as its victory. They don’t get and even after Trump don’t get that most Americans see them as a very big part of the problem, not the solution to the nation’s problems.

  4. Eric Anderson

    As to the environment, I’m extremely leery, Ian. Every single implementation will be challenged and we have a packed supreme court. Anything that comes before them they’ll gut.

  5. Z

    The Trumpians are crashing the gates of Capitol Hill. Good for them.

    Burn it down. Burn it all down …


  6. Jason

    This is buttressed by the fact that the House rules waive Pay-Go for two areas: Covid and the environment. AOC and the Squad have claimed credit, but I think the real credit goes to Biden: these are the two areas he seems serious about and Pelosi does usually cooperate with Democratic Presidential agendas.

    Hmm, funny that. The agendas in play surrounding Covid and the environment are necessary for the Great Reset. Any sort of serious economic reforms hamper this scheme.

    Things continue to go according to plan.

  7. Ché Pasa

    It appears the Storming of the Winter Palace has begun. The barricades around the Capitol have been breached, and the mob has broken into the building. Pence has been hustled into the bunkers.

    An emergency has been declared.


  8. Hugh

    BTW after years and a career where Mitch McConnell ignored the will of the American people on a daily basis, he gave a speech saying that elections should be respected. Kind of made me wonder if he was afraid of the country really beginning to process that the Republicans are a minority party who can only hold on to power by cheating and subverting democracy and the country wherever they can. Ted Cruz followed up asking how anyone could object to a serious inquiry into real election doubts, UFO’s, and the monsters hiding under his bed. I may have added those last two but they get to the not so much alternate reality but anti-reality nature of the Republican party.

  9. different clue

    I hope the Joemala Administration will restore some of the degraded functionality back into the Departments, Agencies and Bureaus. Maybe try to strip out all the Trumpie embeds and left-behinds and re-replace them with civil servants supportive of the Administrative State functions and missions of their respective areas.

    I hope the Joemala Administration will be able and willing to cancel all of Trump’s anti-safety, anti-ecology, anti-environmental, anti-science new rules and new regs

    Biden has hated Social Security for decades. I expect him to conspire with McConnell to cut or cancel Social Security and Medicare and privatise all the money if they can get it passed. He will begin by recalling-to-service President Obowelmovement’s Catfood Commission Against Social Security . . . the Social Security I have been pre-paying double for ever since the Great Reagan Rescue of 1983 or whenever.

    Biden will be a semi-lame duck regardless. Anyone too stupid to have known that Biden is not an FDR Democrat is too dumm stupid clueproof to be able to learn it by watching what Biden does. A lot of RPOCs ( Racist Pigs Of Color) voted for Biden in order to get Kamalabama.
    So they can vote for a Woman Of Color in 2024 and maybe break that Tiffany Glass Ceiling.
    VP Kamalabama will use her influence in the meantime to keep the Kamalanuchin Tax Cuts essentially preserved . . . to maintain the Wall Street good will she earned by immunising and impunifying Steve Mnuchin for all his possible financial and mass foreclosure fraud crimes.

  10. Z

    It’s healthy for a democracy to have its political representatives rub elbows with their constituents from time to time.

    It’s good to see that’s becoming fashionable once again …


  11. different clue

    Oh, and . . . . a Joemala Administration will also try to restore the Foreign Policy Establishment’s priorities back into active application. That means re-increasing the numbers of American soldiers in Afghanistan. It also means finding a way to try resuming American support for the GAJ ( Global Axis of Jihad) and in particular, standing up another CLEJ ( Cannibal Liver Eating Jihadi) movement in Syria to try overthrowing Assad in order to turn Syria into another Jihadistan.

    It also means increasing support, including as many heavy offensive weapons as possible, to the Hotsie-Totsie Banderazi Nazi regime in West Ukraine.

    It also means reviving and trying to get ratified the TTP and the TTIP and other International Free Trade Conspiracy agreements that the IFTC ( International Free Trade Conspiracy) may want.

    Trump and the Trumpies will give Biden the title ” Fake President Biden”. Trump and the Trumpies will call Trump ” President-In-Exile Trump”. Trump will try to behead and abort any Republican movement to nominate someone other-than-Trump in 2024. He will try his best to enforce his view that the Republican Party is his Party now, and anyone who doesn’t like it can either love it or leave it.

  12. Hugh

    It’s the ein Volk, ein Reich crowd just having its Reichstag moment. Tear gas being used inside the Capitol.

  13. Ché Pasa

    Once again I will ask: how many think Biden will take office on the 20th?

    How close are we to civil war?

  14. Z

    I don’t care who is bum rushing Capitol Hill. I like it. These DC political “representatives” have dictated to us as if we don’t even exist so it’s good to see them get reacquainted with the people they’ve been selling out to their sponsors.


  15. Richard Nixon

    “They should’ve lined up buses as a blockade Henry. That would’ve kept those Trumpians at bay for a while.”

    “It will all be forgotten soon enough anyway Dick. Now, I ask you again: Isn’t power a wonderful aphrodisiac?”

  16. S Brennan

    I wish DC wouldn’t come here to spread utopian fantasies of the unattainable goodness just ahead.

    Wake up DC; the future does not hold anything as sweet as those fairy-tales you describe above…

    NeoD supporters here are hopeful that they will purge government all those who do not subscribe to the Gilded-Age-[sans mercantilism]-neoliberalism/neocolonialism that Al From (born 1943) brought to the Democratic party some 40 years ago. And so, if one likes the direction of the neoD Party for the last 40, you’re in luck because, baring some unforeseeable external existential event, the federal government will be remade irretrievably into serving the wants and needs of Pelosi/Schumer/Clinton/Biden’s donors class…exactly what Al From wanted, a country bereft of any trace of FDR’s existence, a return to Woodrow Wilson’s Gilded-Age. Lovely

    Years from now, neoDs cheering section on this blog will claim that they sat this one out..or some such pathetic non-admission of guilt; they’ll sound like the Germans after WWII, “what…me a Nazi sympathizer[?]..NICHT ICH [!], they will say. And like the US GI’s of 1945 did, listeners will crack a withering smile at the denials and say, “yeah sure pal”.

  17. Willy

    If Trumpian rebels and progressives can’t come up with common theme, a common enemy, don’t you think the corporate DC elites will use the ‘incoherency of the mob’ as a plausible excuse to reinforce their power? Do you think there will actually be an objective factfinding commission to figure out the causes of all the civil unrest?

    So why do we have two opposing sides which seem really pissed off about something, but very different somethings?

    My in-laws are all angsty about “Christianity is under attack!” and “socialism!”, while their own children are depressed about their bleak economic futures. It seems the astroturfing/Bernays elites have manipulated all “lesser” sides into confusion for the sake of their own power. How do we get citizens together to focus on the real enemy?

  18. Z

    Red Alert! Red Alert!

    Communist Antifa dissidents have successfully deployed a Trojan Horse tactic of donning U.S. flag face masks and MAGA hats and are currently inside the gates and ransacking Capitol Hill.

    Red Alert! Red Alert!


  19. different clue

    Economic historian John L. King once said . . . ” Him that is not surprised when the future comes, lives very close to the truth.

    I make some predictions, others make predictions, we will see who is more surprised and who is less surprised when the future comes.

    So I will restate MY predictions in simplest form.

    1. Joemala will try restoring some function to the Administrative State.

    2. Joemala “may” try reversing what New Trump Rules they can.

    3. Joemala will try supporting Islamist Jihad all over the world.

    4. Joemala will try re-sending American troops back into Afghanistan.

    5. Joemala will try increasing support to the Hotsie-Totsie Banderazi Nazi regime in West Ukraine.

    6. Joemala will try preserving as much of the Kamalanuchin Tax Cuts as they can get away with.

    7. Joemala will bring back the Obowelmovement Catfood Commission Against Social Security.

    8. Joemala will try conspiring with McConnell to cut or abolish Social Security and maybe Medicare too.

    Utopian? I don’t think so.

    Will it happen? We shall see.

  20. Z

    Fraud Alert! Fraud Alert!

    Beware hucksters who claim their economic politics are pro-FDR but only back democrats like Tulsi who aren’t politically viable, cry when Leftists pull down statues because of the “symbolism” of it, and then don’t say a damn word about MAGA enthusiasts ransacking Capitol Hill.

    Fraud Alert! Fraud Alert!


  21. Z

    This may have not been the best day for “Let Them Eat Shit” Mitch to finally unequivocally denounce Trump.


  22. S Brennan


    You do realize, I was being satirical? And I stress, not at your expense!

  23. Hugh

    A good day for SB with all his American Nazi friends running around the Capitol. Makes for great banana republic optics for us around the world. After promoting all this, Trump hiding out in the White House, like the leader he is. But it’s all OK as long as nazis are doing it.

  24. cripes

    It’s reassuring to know that the legitimacy issue has finally been resolved and establishes that the US gooberment has long been a fraudulent kabuki show, now with twitter tirades, facebook freakouts and not a sliver of light between the duopoly imposters.

    The playbook is launched, with cries of Russia! Mob rule! and soon to follow, Bidens national security state and total amnesia on the $2000 stimulus promised to gank enough votes to win another squeaker election.

    Can you imagine the carnage if 10,000 black “folks” had tried storming the capitol? We’d be counting the survivors, not the wounded.

    Oddly, the accelerated collapse of legitimacy on all sides fills me with hope.

    Not exactly in the next days or weeks, but closer than ever.

    Left, Organize!

  25. cripes

    maybe what scares me more than incoherent and misguided rebellion against the corrupt state is the decades of quiet submission to corruption, violence, warfare and oppression we have been blind to for too long

  26. Ten Bears

    All I’m asking for is they treat them as they treated me, in ’73.

    Open up the fire hoses and wash the thrash out to sea.

    (I am sorry about the horse, and the collateral damage)

  27. Z

    The stock market is actually making record highs today …


  28. Lefty

    A while back a judge’s son was killed in NJ, apparently as retribution for a ruling she made. There were immediate calls for the removal of all publicly available knowledge of judges’ places of residence and other information now available to the public. Legislation was drawn up at the Federal level and was voted on. Rand Paul objected at the time because he thought it should apply to politicians too. Most congress critters agreed with Paul in principle but said that particular bill shouldn’t be held up because judges need protection ASAP. They said it should be revisited later. Now it will be. And virtually everyone in Congress will be on board.

    When the dust settles, you won’t be able to get anywhere near any important buildings in Washington or elsewhere, you won’t know where the people deciding your fate even live, you won’t be allowed to congregate in any serious number both due to ongoing Covid and now widespread fear for VIP’s lives.

    Left, organize.

  29. Z

    Maybe someone ought to get on the Capitol Hill PA System and calm and assure the ransackers by telling them that Ossof has just been declared the winner in Georgia and the stock market is making record highs.


  30. Hugh

    Trump blathering on about stolen elections and as an afterthought, oh yeah, just go home now!

  31. Eric Anderson

    Think I’m going to take a little internet break and go clean my firearms for peace of mind in my little red state trump tinfoil hat wearing corner of the world.

    I wonder who the first lefty in my neck of the woods to be persecuted will be.

  32. Hugh

    Josh Hawley and Ted Cruz , and of course, Donald Trump should be so proud. Their egos and ambitions, and camera ops, are so much more important than the rest of use.

    How many think that they will man up and take responsibility for any of this? Yeah, me either. People could get killed because of their cowardice, but if they can walk away from responsibility for hundreds of thousands dead from covid, they will walk away from this as well.

  33. Yves Smith's Inner Voice

    I really should turn the comments back on, given everything that’s going on now. I wonder if they’ll behave…

  34. different clue

    @ S Brennan,

    No, I did not realize that. I have an irony defficiency which makes it hard for me to spot irony.
    Also, I don’t often recognize satire when I see it in an online comment. I have often thought that blog-comments are not a good place to attempt satire.

    Be that as it may , my mind is often linear. So I have decided to turn that linear literalness of mind into a strength, by making it plodding and ponderous. So if I think a comment or a point of view or something needs to be countered, and I think I can counter it, I will try to slowly stomp it flat under my ponderous plodding literalness of linear thought.

  35. S Brennan

    You guys crack me up, 9 months ago, hell, 9 weeks ago you were calling for violence on the street, violence to overthrow the government and this week? Oh..oh..when folks said violence back then, what you really meant [explained today] is cops should be shooting protesters neoDs disagree with.

    The public display of duplicity is no longer considered shameful, no, it’s to be exalted. Speaking of which…

    This is the month of the Roman god Janus and many commenters here clearly make worship of the two faced god a…how shall we say..a full time practice. Well, one thing you guys have right, the gates to the temple, shut for the past four years, will soon be open. God help us all but particularly those who must suffer America’s return to endless neocolonial wars of aggression.

  36. Hugh

    SB, limbering up your arm for those nazi salutes?

  37. Z

    You got to love Kamalala calling to “allow the work of democracy to go forward” when she won precisely zero delegates in the democratic party presidential primary and was slated to come in sixth place in her own home state but will inherit the presidency as soon as Creepy Joe’s dementia prevents him from effectively representing and carrying out the orders of our rulers, which ought to be by 2022.


  38. Joe Biden

    C’mon man. I’m just hoping to make it the 20th.

  39. S Brennan

    No Problem DC, no offense taken, should’a used the /

  40. S Brennan


    For Kamala to get 3 terms, with two unopposed primaries, Biden has to make it past mid-terms, then he can be bumped off or impeached.

    Kamala Harris is Hillary’s bitch…and speaking of Hillary notice how quiet she has been…the Clinton Foundation coffers, source of Clinton’s wealth, will soon be full again…I must say, Hillary has outdone herself…as long as her bitch doesn’t get uppity!

    The fall of Rome had nothing on this reality show.

  41. different clue


    That’s an irony so thick that even I can smell it. If we even have such a thing as “primaries” and “elections” by 2024, I hope Tulsi Gabbard primaries Kamalabama in every primary. Just to burn Kamalabama down to the ground if nothing else.

    As to how long Simple Joe Malarkey will serve, the Kamalabeast would like him to serve at least 2 years and a day before resigning or getting Article 25’d. That way, she could be President for 10 years, or at least so she thinks.

  42. S Brennan

    Next Chance for a genuinely decent candidate to run against the neoD machine will be 2036; you can see why Willey, 10-fluffy-feathers, Hugh et al are so excited; almost all who saw how well FDR policies worked [circa 1932-1978] particularly, in comparison to neoDism will be dead or, muttering to themselves on an ice flow headed out to sea.

    Hard to believe so many here were so vocal in their support of neoDs Gilded-Age-[sans mercantilism]-neoliberalism/neocolonialism but their side has won. I have to accept that “liberals”/”lefties”/”progressives” are really more interested in having the neoD party in total control than any of their professed principles. Ian keeps looking for a man on horseback, but the history of one, highly centralized, party state would seem to indicate that darkness will rise from within. See Stalin’s rise to power.

  43. Calvin Trillin

    Also, I don’t often recognize satire when I see it in an online comment. I have often thought that blog-comments are not a good place to attempt satire.

    I didn’t do well in math or science because I could never get my teachers to understand that my answers were meant to be ironic.

  44. different clue

    @Calvin Trillin,

    Couldn’t get your teachers to understand your irony? Well, it served you right.

    Math and science is no place for irony, and irony has no place in math and science.

  45. S Brennan

    Exactly DC…

  46. Trinity

    I am laughing my fool head off at all you wonderful fools. It’s good to laugh again, however brief the respite.

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