Throughout his time in office, President Joe Biden has tried to walk a fine line between moderation and the far-left wing of the Democratic Party.
On foreign policy issues, Biden pushed back against the rhetoric of far-left members, such as Independent Vermont Sen. Bernie Sanders and Democratic New York Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez.
Biden’s support for Israel, in particular, rankled the more left-leaning parts of his coalition. During May rocket and gunfire exchanges between the long-standing U.S. ally and the terror group Hamas, Biden called then-Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu to express his “unwavering support for Israel’s security and for Israel’s legitimate right to defend itself and its people.” Following the announcement of a ceasefire, Biden again declared that the U.S. “fully supports Israel’s right to defend itself against indiscriminate rocket attacks from Hamas and other Gaza-based terrorist groups.”
In contrast, Democratic Minnesota Rep. Ilhan Omar slammed Israel’s response to Hamas attacks as “terrorism.” Fellow Democrats and “Squad” members Michigan Rep. Rashida Tlaib and Missouri Rep. Cori Bush called Israel an “apartheid state.” Ocasio-Cortez added that Biden’s support for Israel “dehumanize[d] Palestinians [and] impl[ied] the US will look the other way at human rights violations.”
Blanket statements like these w/ little context or acknowledgement of what precipitated this cycle of violence – namely, the expulsions of Palestinians and attacks on Al Aqsa – dehumanize Palestinians & imply the US will look the other way at human rights violations. It’s wrong. https://t.co/afCgoGdiMG
— Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (@AOC) May 12, 2021
As Cuban protesters flooded the streets of Havana demanding an end to the country’s communist dictatorship, the ‘Squad’ was silent. When Ocasio-Cortez and Sanders did speak up, they blamed the U.S. embargo for the island’s chronic shortages of goods, not the communist regime.
Biden administration officials initially blamed the shortages on COVID-19, with press secretary Jen Psaki at first declining to blame Cuba’s communist form of government for the protests. (RELATED: ‘You Will Not Come’: The US Will Not Accept Refugees Fleeing Cuba Or Haiti By Boat, Mayorkas Says)
A few days later, however, Biden condemned communism as “a universally failed system.”
“I don’t see socialism as a very useful substitute, but that’s another story,” he added, during a joint press conference with German Chancellor Angela Merkel.
Psaki later described communism as “a failed ideology.”
Biden has been more willing to echo the claims of the far-left voices in his party on domestic issues. In particular, Biden and his administration have supported in word and policy practices and ideas associated with CRT.
Although some on the right claimed victory over a blog post written by Education Secretary Miguel Cardona, which clarified a grant application rule, the Biden administration is still advocating that schools include “projects that incorporate racially, ethnically, culturally, and linguistically diverse perspectives” in classroom instruction.
Those projects may “take into account systemic marginalization, biases, inequities, and discriminatory policy and practice in American history; incorporate racially, ethnically, culturally, and linguistically diverse perspectives and perspectives on the experience of individuals with disabilities; [and] encourage students to critically analyze the diverse perspectives of historical and contemporary media and its impacts.”
Elsewhere, Psaki claimed that teaching “the youth and the future leaders of the country about systemic racism” is “actually responsible.”
An executive order signed June 25 will require all federal government agencies to engage in race-conscious hiring, with the goal of pursuing equity in the workforce. The order also requires race-conscious diversity training, despite the fact that many studies have shown that such trainings actually harm race relations.
Some left-wing House Democrats, including Bush, Ocasio-Cortez, Massachusetts Rep. Ayanna Pressley, and Washington Rep. Pramila Jayapal, complain that Biden is not going far enough on his infrastructure package, the American Jobs Plan. They argue that “climate-induced floods,” heat waves, and an oil spill underscore the need for their Green New Deal, and not “bipartisan compromise.”
Biden, however, has emphasized that provisions of the American Jobs Plan that do not make it into a bipartisan compromise will be passed via reconciliation, which requires a simple majority vote in the Senate.
“I’m not just signing the bipartisan bill and forgetting about the rest that I proposed,” he said on June 24. “I proposed a significant piece of legislation in three parts. And all three parts are equally important.”
Senate Majority Leader and New York Democrat Chuck Schumer announced on July 13 that Democrats would seek to pass a $3.5 trillion budget. It would include funding for free community college, free child care, and a Medicare expansion. Democrats have referred to all of those provisions as “human infrastructure,” but are non-starters for Republicans.
“With inflation raging at the highest level in 40 years,” the deal is “wildly out of proportion with the need right now,” Senate Minority Leader and Kentucky Republican Mitch McConnell responded.