Joe Biden’s first week in office is confirming what many people feared. Far from being a moderate, promoting national unity, he is implementing policies that cater to the most radical elements of his party.
On immigration, Biden has reversed all of Donald Trump’s prudent policies and implemented the progressive agenda. He has suspended the construction of the border wall and stopped many deportations. He has strengthened DACA and has ordered that illegal immigrants and other non-citizens are to be counted in the U.S. Census for purposes of representation and apportionment.
Biden has also launched a war on fossil fuels, seeking to reverse America’s energy independence. Recall that back during the 2020 campaign there was a concerted debate over whether Joe Biden said he wanted to ban fracking. Last October, Kamala Harris tweeted, “Joe Biden will not ban fracking. That is a fact.” But now we learn that the White House is moving expeditiously to suspend not only new fracking on federal lands but all new oil and gas leasing on federal lands, as well as offshore energy production on federal lands.
Officials in energy-dependent New Mexico who had backed Biden were surprised by the decision, which could severely impact the state’s economy. The Ute Indian tribe sent a letter to acting Secretary of the Interior Scott de la Vega calling suspension of energy leasing “a direct attack on our economy, sovereignty, and our right to self-determination.” But really, what did they expect?
Biden also took swift action against the Keystone XL pipeline, another progressive obsession. Keystone was intended to bring Canadian oil safely and economically to the United States for refining; without it, the same oil will either be transported on trucks or shipped to China, neither of which will be better for the environment.
The United Association of Union Plumbers and Pipefitters, which backed Biden in the name of “fair wages and good benefits,” said that revoking the Keystone XL permit means Biden has “chosen to listen to the voices of fringe activists instead of union members and the American consumer on Day 1.” Again, this surprises them?
In the health sector, we’ve seen some things we might have expected, like a Federal mask mandate on federal property, a return to the corrupt World Health Organization and a pledge to inoculate a million people a day, which the Trump administration had already achieved. Biden put on hold a Trump administration rule that had reduced insulin and epinephrine prices, which seems like a gift to Big Pharma.
Biden also suspended Executive Order 13920, in which President Trump declared “a national emergency with respect to the threat to the United States bulk-power system” and banned equipment sourced to foreign adversaries were purchasing such equipment “poses an undue risk of sabotage to or subversion of the design, integrity, manufacturing, production, distribution, installation, operation, or maintenance of the bulk-power system in the United States.”
Put plainly, this EO sought to keep Chinese-made equipment out of the U.S. energy grid because of legitimate fears that this could facilitate sabotage. Biden is signaling that China may reenter the market and continue to shape the U.S. power infrastructure. Whether the Biden administration also suspends the U.S. ban on Chinese 5G telecommunications technology remains to be seen.
And speaking of impeachment, Joe Biden has been mostly quiet on the impending Senate trial. It is strange that the White House has been preaching a theme of national unity but is ignoring what will be one of the most divisive political moves in American history. If Biden truly wants to heal the nation, he would tell the leadership of his party to end this impeachment farce and let the country move on.
Perhaps he shares their fear that Trump might successfully unseat Biden in 2024 and want to have him banned from elective office. This is not what anyone would call “unity,” it does track with the hard left tilt of the Biden White House so far. Maybe “working class Joe” will emerge in Biden’s second week, but for now it looks like the United States is headed for a case of buyer’s remorse.
Chris Farrell is director of investigations and research for Judicial Watch Inc, a nonpartisan government watchdog. He is a former military intelligence officer.