Independent opinions make return
January 27, 2021
I almost got a lump in my throat (not really) to see things return to normal 24 hours after President Joseph Biden took the oath of office.
With COVID-19 preventing the parties and parades that usually occupy a new president’s first day, Biden instead marched resolutely to the Resolute Desk and signed 17 executive orders, the most significant of which undid many of former President Donald Trump’s most controversial directives.
He undid Trump’s ban on travel to the U.S. from some Muslim-majority nations and Trump’s release of many square miles of real estate from national monument status. He halted construction on Trump’s border wall and on the Keystone Pipeline, and reinstated the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program that Trump wanted to dismantle, among other things.
The irony of these immediate moves to undo Trump’s impact after pledging unity was not lost on even the New York Times in its story about Biden’s first acts.
And the blowback was immediate. The right-wing pundits called Biden’s directives divisive, job-killing, freedom-robbing and encouraging of unchecked swarms of immigrant criminals at the border.
Even Biden’s aggressive directives to combat COVID-19 got political. One of his advisers said the Trump administration left “a mess” in the vaccine program. That’s a common reaction when someone takes over a program from someone else.
One Democrat took that to mean Biden’s people had to start “from scratch,” but the nation’s favorite COVID-19 expert, Dr. Anthony Fauci, candid as always, said no, the program needs tweaking, not a do-over.
On Friday, Republican Senate leader Mitch McConnell said Biden is already making “serious mistakes.”
I smiled. We’re back to normal, both sides firing from both barrels based on shared convictions, values and belief systems.
I can oppose the views of McConnell, Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez and Bernie Sanders, again respecting all for championing their own beliefs. That was not true with Trump standing in the way of independent views on the right.
There are some things that Biden seems to want to do that I would oppose, to be sure. The Keystone Pipeline was well on its way to completion in 2023 and an immediate halt will cause job losses and unneeded oil market disruptions. Even Biden said alternative energy conversion is decades away.
I cautiously oppose his apparent desire to rejoin the multinational treaty with Iran. Iran may already have advanced its nuclear weapons program past the point of no return, using the U.S. pullout of the treaty under Trump as a lame excuse. We may have to continue sanctions.
I was relieved, however, to note that Biden’s administration branded as “cynical” China’s banning of Trump administration officials from Chinese soil, demonstrating that Biden will continue healthy disdain for the corrupt, totalitarian Chinese regime.
Fox News commentators on Thursday charged that the media tossed softball questions at Biden’s press secretary Jen Psaki at the administration’s first press conference. I heard challenging questions from the media professionally returned from a competent press secretary.
But that, too, is a matter of now-independent opinions, not just Trump vs. non-Trump.
Bring it on.
Steve Hansen writes for Clovis Media Inc. Contact him at: