Presidents have two jobs. The first, and most visible, is being the head of the executive branch, and the second is being the head of his political party. Successful presidents usually have working control over their political party. Joe Biden, however, has barely taken office and his presidency is already in jeopardy—from members of his own party.
Most people, when they view the presidency, focus on the more visible aspects of that job. Presidents have very high profiles, live in the White House, hold press conferences, meet with foreign officials, and sign legislation—among many, many other duties. So many duties, in fact, that many believe it’s a younger man’s job.
Recent history has featured energetic presidents. From Bill Clinton, to George W. Bush to Barack Obama, in recent memory, the White House has been occupied by much younger men. It’s true that Donald Trump is in his 70s but there is little question he had more energy than most anyone.
Many have questioned whether Biden, because of his age and condition, will be up to that job. How little he campaigned and how few times he spoke, and how little he now speaks to the press, has fed into those doubts. Meanwhile, his gaffes give rise to different concerns.
All in all, many suppose that there will be a someone or perhaps several behind the Biden throne. The possibilities include Biden’s wife Jill; Susan Rice, who is head of the White House Domestic Policy Council; Ron Klain, who is Biden’s chief of staff; or even John Podesta, who has been a Democratic power broker for years. Others believe it will be Vice President Kamala Harris, who some believe will be president within four years, and will be the last person in the room with Biden after meetings.
Speculation aside, the period in between the election and when a president takes office is known as the interregnum. Normally during that period, there’s a transition process and also, importantly, a process by which the incoming party comes together, gets on the same page, and plans for the first 100 days. Newly elected presidents often have the greatest say in that process.
By all accounts, Biden is already proving not to be up to the second aspect of his job—running his political party. Some of that is his fault and some of it is the nature of what I call The Divided Era—the period from the mid-1990s to now, which features ever-growing division.
The stakes in American politics are growing with every increase in government spending. The federal government spent nearly $2 trillion more in 2020 than it did in 2019—even more if you consider Federal Reserve policies. As Americans, we compete intensely to get those dollars, intensely to hand out those dollars (in the form of elections), and nearly as intensely not to be taxed for those dollars. That competition is, by its nature, divisive.
The more money spent, the greater our division.
Not satisfied with record spending, many Democrats in Congress, including House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, have huge spending plans. The most liberal wing of the party wants outright socialist policies and programs. Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez and Sen. Bernie Sanders want full speed ahead on those socialist plans; Biden likely wants a slower pace. With Sanders in charge of the Senate Budget Committee, who will win that battle is open to question.
More immediately, however, is the issue of the impeachment. Never in our history has such a divisive measure been pushed by the party of an incoming president.
For those who voted for Trump, the start of the Biden presidency, if it ultimately includes a Senate impeachment trial, couldn’t be starting more divisively. They will be lost to Biden forever. For independents who want to see Washington actually fix existing problems, it will be viewed as a partisan—and possibly quite ugly—diversion from the important business at hand.
Many Democrats in Congress deem impeachment essential either because they fear a return of Trump or because they hate him that much.
Altogether, impeachment spells more division and the likely derailing of any honeymoon period Biden could have. It will signal that unity won’t be on the agenda—something many Biden voters wanted.
Biden wants a honeymoon period, but he knows he can’t stop impeachment.
In other words, the Democratic Party didn’t come together after Election Day on a single agenda. That also means that Biden simply isn’t in control of his own party—and that means he’s already failing as president.
Thomas Del Beccaro is an acclaimed author, speaker, Fox News, Fox Business, and Epoch Times opinion writer, and former chairman of the California Republican Party. He is the author of the historical perspectives “The Divided Era” and “The New Conservative Paradigm.”
Views expressed in this article are the opinions of the author and do not necessarily reflect the views of The Epoch Times.