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Biden's White House hasn't healed nation's rift

Politically squeezed by both Republicans and progressive Democrats as he pursues an ambitious bipartisan agenda, he seems to have invoked the China bogeyman.

Published Thu, Jul 22, 2021 · 05:50 AM

LET'S face it: President Joe Biden was never in a position to play the role Franklin Delano Roosevelt did during the Great Depression and to launch New-Deal-type policies aimed at restructuring the American social-economic system.

With his relatively narrow margin of victory in the 2020 presidential election, with his political party losing seats in the House of Representatives and with power in the Senate split evenly between Democrats and Republicans, it soon became clear that the country did not give President Biden with an electoral mandate for radical change that would entail spending trillions of dollars on progressive social-economic programmes.

The Democrats, however, were under the impression that the two earth-shaking crises - the 2008 financial meltdown and ensuing Great Recession, coupled with the human and economic costs of a global pandemic - have created the conditions for a left-leaning transformation in the attitudes of the American public. The effects of these national traumas, they believed, would allow the new president to get Congress to approve a dramatic expansion of social and environmental programmes to be financed through higher taxes on corporations and the wealthy, and to extend the reach of the federal …

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