Who tamed whom?

The headline of this Washington Post article is “How Joe Biden tamed the left — at least for now.” The authors show, in essence, that Biden tamed the left by giving leftists what they want. One might say the left tamed Biden.

The authors claim to find it “surprising” that Biden and the left are getting on so well. If the authors are surprised, they’re awfully naive. The better view of Biden was always that, to a considerable extent, he would be a tool of his party’s left wing.

To be fair, that view hasn’t been fully tested yet (as the title of the Post’s article suggests). Right now, there is a confluence between the interests of the hard left and Biden’s political interests.

The left, for ideological reasons, wants massive spending programs that, under the guise of pandemic relief and building infrastructure, will funnel money to favored interest groups and industries, transforming the nature of our economy in the process.

Biden may want this too or he may be indifferent. What he really wants, though, are programs that he can credit with producing an economic recovery — one that was almost certain to occur with or without his programs thanks to the end of the pandemic.

At some point, the left’s interests and Biden’s political interests are likely to diverge, at least to some degree. But even then, it’s not clear that Biden and his top advisers will have enough control over the administration to prevent left-wing sub-cabinet officials from enabling the left’s interests to prevail in some cases.

The honeymoon will end, but the marriage is likely to endure.

Responses