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Thursday, April 29, 2021

OPINION:

Joe Biden promised unity, but he has brought division. His approval ratings for the first 100 days reflect that deep division in American society. 

Ronald Reagan’s approval rating during his first 100 days in office, for example, was 21 points higher than the current occupant of the Oval Office. John F. Kennedy scored 31 points higher than President Biden. Other than his predecessor (who was under constant attack from the media from the day he took office), Mr. Biden’s approval rating is the lowest for any president since Gerald Ford, who pardoned Richard Nixon during that time.


Today, sadly, instead of unity, we see division. When the Republican governors of Texas and Mississippi announced plans to end mask mandates in their states, Mr. Biden attacked them and their “Neanderthal thinking.” Weeks later, Texas Gov. Greg Abbott announced that the seven-day COVID-19 positivity rate dropped to a record low and hospitalizations dropped to a six-month low. 

When new laws were enacted in Georgia adding requirements for photo identification to vote, Mr. Biden tried to stoke racial disharmony and called the new laws “Jim Crow in the 21st Century.” Never mind the fact that polls show overwhelming support for photo ID laws — including 69% of Black voters. 

Joe Biden promised competence, but his first 100 days have been filled with crises. The tragedy at the southern border is a prime example.  

Upon taking office, Mr. Biden stopped the construction of the border wall, reinstated catch-and-release and ended the “Remain in Mexico” policy. In 2020, illegal immigration into the United States was at the lowest level in 45 years. Now, America has the highest rate of illegal immigration in 20 years. 

Texas Sen. Ted Cruz recently spoke of touring the Donna Processing facility. He said the tent city was designed to hold no more than 1,000 under normal conditions and 250 under COVID-19 restrictions. When he visited, it was overflowing with approximately 4,200 people — more than 16 times the current capacity. Talk about a crisis.  

Mr. Biden promised bipartisanship, but he has operated almost exclusively in a partisan manner. In particular, he claimed he would secure bipartisan support for a COVID-19 relief bill. He failed to get a single Republican vote. 

From the start, the Biden administration pushed a measure that was filled with items to please the radicals in his own party. According to House Republican leader Kevin McCarthy, only 9% of the bill went to COVID-19 health related-assistance. Mr. Biden could have achieved his goal of a bipartisan vote if he had only been willing to work with the other party. 

The very first piece of legislation officially introduced in the Democrat-dominated Congress is a bill that would take the power to run elections away from local and state governments and put it in the hands of the federal government. Moves like this suggest that Mr. Biden and his Democratic allies want to change the political landscape for generations to come. So much for bipartisanship.  

Instead of moderation, Mr. Biden has brought forth a radical agenda. Early in 2020, Mr. Biden was behind in the delegate count at the start of the caucus and primary season. Going into the South Carolina primary and Super Tuesday, his campaign made a concerted effort to appeal to more mainstream Democratic voters. That was short-lived once he secured the nomination. 

Last summer, I warned that the selection of then U.S.-Sen. Kamala Harris signaled an outsourcing of his agenda to the radical left. According to Newsweek, Ms. Harris had the most liberal voting record in the Senate during the prior year. That put her even to the left of the socialist Sen. Bernie Sanders. 

Not surprisingly, Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez recently mentioned that progressives are pleasantly surprised by how radical Joe Biden has acted during his first days in office. They know what we warned: Mr. Biden will do whatever it takes to be the president. 

The current administration is countering President Reagan’s declaration during his first inaugural address that “government is not the solution to our problem, government is the problem.” Fifteen years later, President Clinton declared during his State of the Union address that “the era of big government is over.” 

In contrast to Reagan and Mr. Clinton, Mr. Biden seems to believe that the federal government is the multi-trillion dollar solution to our problems. His so-called COVID-19 relief bill cost nearly double what the entire national debt was the first year of the Reagan presidency. Only a small fraction of the bill was actually funding for COVID-related health issues. Similarly, only a fraction of the funding in his infrastructure bill goes for roads and bridges. 

Mr. Biden has brought division, crises and partisanship to new levels — all while pushing a radical agenda. For the sake of America, let’s hope the next 100 days are better than the first.  

• Scott Walker was the 45th governor of Wisconsin. You can contact him at swalker@washingtontimes.com or follow him @ScottWalker.


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