What Biden’s First 100 Days Might Look Like

The Biden-Harris administration will confront “a pandemic, an economic crisis, calls for racial justice and climate change. The team being assembled will meet these challenges on Day One.”

So declares the transition team of Joe Biden, to echo what he’s defined as the lead items on his presidential agenda. And if this is his agenda, then how our presumed 46th president will proceed suggests itself.

The COVID-19 pandemic is now close to its apex, with a million new cases and a death toll in excess of 10,000 each week. We appear to be near the crest of the “second wave.”

Biden’s emphasis, as he has signaled, will be on slowing down the spread of the virus by universal masking and locking up and shutting down sectors of the American economy.

Yet, even as the worst of the pandemic appears directly ahead in December and January, the last six weeks of Donald Trump’s presidency, the light at the end of the tunnel may be sighted within Biden’s first 100 days.

The Pfizer and Moderna vaccines, which have proven 90-95% effective against the virus, begin to come on line this month. By the end of Biden’s first 100 days, May 1, the beneficial effect of scores of millions of vaccinations should be visible to all, and the pandemic should be seen as irretrievably receding.

At least, that is the hope and expectation. And the media would naturally attribute the new dawn not to the triumph of Trump's Operation Warp Speed but to the new president.

Biden's response to the economic crisis caused by the COVID-19 pandemic will almost surely be along the lines of what Congress is now debating, contingent upon whether Mitch McConnell is prepared to accept what comes over from the House.

A trillion-dollar package seems baked in the cake, as the country would not long tolerate congressional inaction if the pandemic were still raging through the population as it is today.

As for racial inequality, the pandemic has exposed, deepened and widened it. The surge in shootings and killings in major cities during the pandemic is hitting the Black communities hardest.

The decline in test scores at schools where kids have been kept away from formal classes since March is most pronounced among minorities. Black and Hispanic workers in service industries are a disproportionate share of the victims of the pandemic.

If half a century of social progress after the civil rights revolution of the '60s and eight years of the first Black president have failed to reduce racial disparities in income, wealth, employment and incarcerations, does anyone believe Joe Biden has the solution?

As for climate change, John Kerry, the new climate czar, will begin his tenure after a year of the deepest reductions in carbon emissions in recorded history.

By Dec. 31, U.S. carbon emissions will have fallen 9% from the end of 2019. Emissions from cars and aircraft fell 4% in 2020, from power 2.8%, and from industry .6%. On the flip side, forest fires reduced the 9% cut in carbon emissions by fully one-third.

Yet, it is in foreign policy where the traps appear.

The drawdown in U.S. troops in Afghanistan, to 2,500 by Jan. 15, will leave us with the smallest contingent since the U.S. plunged into that country to remake it more in our image in 2001.

And the troop drawdown comes at a time when the Taliban control the largest swath of Afghan territory since being overthrow 19 years ago. The possibility of a collapse in Kabul, chaos ensuing and the country disintegrating early in a Biden presidency cannot be ruled out.

Would Biden be willing to preside over an American defeat similar to that in Vietnam in 1975?

But the truly formidable challenge for a President Biden will be China, which is not the China of 2016 that Vice President Biden recalls.

While the U.S. refuses to recognize China's claims to disputed islets in the East and the South China Seas and has committed itself to defend the Japanese and Philippine claims, Beijing has not backed away from its claims and, indeed, has grown increasingly bellicose in making them.

The U.S. has also been thickening ties to Taiwan.

Yet, what many Americans see as a democratic island of 25 million whose defense is a moral obligation and strategic necessity, China sees as a breakaway province, and signals in every way that it would fight a war rather than let Taiwan go.

These issues are likely to be decided in this decade. And it is hard to see how the U.S., 7,000 miles away, with a slowly shrinking share of the world's economic and military power, would prevail indefinitely over a China that has the advantages of proximity and population, and whose power is steadily rising in relative terms to that of the United States.

Patrick J. Buchanan is the author of "Nixon's White House Wars: The Battles That Made and Broke a President and Divided America Forever." 

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5 thoughts on “What Biden’s First 100 Days Might Look Like”

  1. Well Biden attempting to say he will accomplish lots house does not have enough to pass alot of his issues.
    Biden as he has already stated he cannot mandate universal mask wearing the due to unconstitutional and rights of all of us. Government takes oath to follow the constitution no government can mandate anything dealing with what we put on or in our bodies. Only rights of the facility is allowed to put sign up and request mask be worn in their facility. Many of the issues he states going to do will not get passed in House, and hopefully if Senate goes Republican will not be able to get it passed there as well. So he will not get lots passed , great give them same treatment they gave Trump, impeach him, and other issues. He is dementia and unable to really be able to know what state or country he is in, or say the wrong things in lots of his talks. But since he will not be alot of our president or Harris vice president and protesting due to the stealing of votes, making NO DEMOCRACY in our country especially the vote system and more you will see no support by many of us in the country.

  2. There won’t be a “first 100 days”. He will be dead and hopefully, Kamala, too! We all are going to have to physically fight for our lives and for America very soon. Getting rid of these two evil animals is a great start!

  3. Without confidence in our voting system, which many Americans don’t have right now. We have no United States. We are the ununited states right now. Let the vote to be counted correctly, with both parties verifying them and maybe there would be a chance of unity. Right now all you’re going to get from half the country is hate and resentment.

  4. Yeah, Joe will solve the problems of the world if the press can propagandize his success as they belittle Don and what he did. It will still be lies and we will foot the bill for trillions in bailouts of bankrupt coastal cities and perks for the elitist rich . We will fall far behind the Chinese while NBC , CNN, and CBS will declare victory over prejudice, climate change, our Russian enemies. and any ficticious villains they concoct — Watch the right hand and don’t look at what the left is doing. The Chinese an do no wrong and its Covid 19 not WuHan Corona virus. Look for attacks against the first and second amendments and tripling the M2 to make our hard earned money worthless. The Great Society the moldy Green new Deal all come to pass while our boys die in foreign wars for their political interests like the futile war of LBJ in Southeast Asia.

  5. It will be nothing more than a GIANT CLUSTER F, the dumb leading the stupid, and everyone looking to make points. With LUCK, they will trip over each other and shoot them selve in the foot.

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