This article originally featured on uncooked.medium.com
Joe Biden is being hailed as a unifier. We are a few days into the Biden presidency and it’s clear that the media have created a brand for their client. Where Trump sowed discord, Biden will bring union, where there is error, Biden will bring truth. But this fails to square with the reality of the first few days of Biden’s presidency. So far, he has signed over 30 executive orders, more than Obama, Trump, and Bush signed in the equivalent period, combined. This rulership by decree is doing more to harm than to heal, and more to divide than to unite. This isn’t just a case of to the winner go the spoils — of course Biden has a mandate to implement his policies — But these orders and the agenda they are setting are extreme. The President is breathing oxygen into the dying embers of the Trump presidency, doing nothing to bring Republicans over, and alienating his own moderate support.
One of his first acts of unity was to cancel with a stroke of the pen the Keystone pipeline. 1000 union workers are going to be made redundant virtually overnight as a consequence. The 11,000 jobs that the project promised to create will never be. The 60,000 jobs that would been created in supporting industries shall never materialise. In a single order, the President has robbed 70,000 people of high paying jobs, at the behest of radical elements in his own party, and in the midst of a pandemic no loss. Three left wing labour unions, all of which endorsed Biden’s bid for the presidency, have condemned the decision.
The United Association of Union Plumbers said that ‘the Biden Administration has chosen to listen to the voices of fringe activists instead of union members and the American consumer on Day 1’ and that ‘the Biden Administration has now put thousands of union workers out of work. For the average American family, it means energy costs will go up and communities will no longer see the local investments that come with pipeline construction’.
North America’s Building Trades Union released a statement saying ‘Environmental ideologues have now prevailed, and over a thousand union men and women have been terminated from employment on the project. We must all stand in their shoes and acknowledge the uncertainty and anxiety this government action has caused.’
The Laborers’ International Union of North America concurred ‘The Biden Administration’s decision to cancel the Keystone XL pipeline permit on day one of his presidency is both insulting and disappointing to the thousands of hard-working LIUNA members who will lose good-paying, middle class family-supporting jobs. By blocking this 100 percent union project, and pandering to environmental extremists, a thousand union jobs will immediately vanish and 10,000 additional jobs will be foregone.’
In addition to slighting organised labour, turfing workers out of jobs, and jeopardising US energy independence, Biden also managed to upset and alienate the king of liberalism, Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau, who expressed his disappointment with the decision in a phone call with the new American President. As the BBC reports:
‘Canadian PM Justin Trudeau expressed “disappointment” at Joe Biden’s decision to cancel the Keystone XL oil pipeline during the new US president’s first call to a foreign leader.’
Biden is using a swathe of executive orders to execute an extreme overhaul of the US immigration system, of the kind that has been advocated by the most radical left-wing elements of his party. He has halted all construction on the southern border wall, and proposed a mass amnesty which comes with no additional measures to secure the border. He has, by executive order, undone Trump’s expansion of immigration enforcement, and again by executive order, put illegal migrants on the US census. The net effect of this latter point is that illegal migrants will now be apportioned congressional representatives, this consolidating Democratic power in the legislature by way of gerrymander.
Chuck Grassley, a Republican on the Senate Judicary Committee said of the amnesty plans that ‘A mass amnesty with no safeguards and no strings attached is a nonstarter’ and Marco Rubio of Florida commented that ‘There are many issues I think we can work cooperatively with President-elect Biden, but a blanket amnesty for people who are here unlawfully isn’t going to be one of them’. If your immigration proposals alienate Marco Rubio, then they are not bi-partisan, they are extreme. Biden’s plans would give 11 million illegal migrants citizenship. If you think this isn’t radical, ask yourself how could it be any more radical?
Additionally, there are executive orders which liberalise and make more easy abortions, which is coupled with a commitment to codify the Roe v Wade supreme court ruling. Trump’s 1776 programme, designed to ensure education is patriotic has been scrapped. Critical race theory is returning to the White House and sports scholarships must now offer those born in a male body the opportunity to participate and vie for women’s sporting scholarships, and compete in their competitions, no questions asked. And he had to banish Churchill’s bust from the Oval Office for good measure, very conciliatory, very internationalist. Yet the media will go on at length about how Biden the moderate is bringing the country together — because they want you to think this extreme agenda is moderate — but it’s anything but. As Andrew Sulivan said of Biden’s LGBTQ+ executive order: ‘He [Biden] takes the view that the law should go further and insist that trans women are absolutely indistinguishable from biological women — which erases any means of enforcing laws that defend biological women as a class. If your sex is merely what you say it is, without any reference to biological reality, then it is no longer sex at all. It’s gender, period. It’s socially constructed all the way down.’. This is not moderate — it’s extreme. The new President has proved in a few days he is willing and able to play the part of the divider in chief, and if the Republicans get their act together by the midterms, he will lose the House and the Senate as a consequence. If the Republican party ceases its perennial self-harm by insisting on privileging the interests of corporations over workers, as it did on the question of stimulus cheques, and embraces a pro-worker populism, the Biden administration will be devoid of power by 2022