President Joe Biden’s feints toward the center may have progressives howling, but don’t be fooled: Joe’s a master trimmer, and whatever “centrist” moves he makes are mere window dressing for a continued progressive agenda.
Take his border disaster. Inflows of migrants have begun not only to overwhelm border towns but to put major stress on cities — like New York — nowhere near the southern border.
Biden’s tough-talking response was to slightly up the number of expulsions for migrants from Venezuela, Cuba, Haiti and Nicaragua while moving to effectively legalize many future migrants from those countries.
And his marquee policy on the issues, which he calls “comprehensive immigration reform,” would more or less end illegal immigration by making it all legal.
Oh, and now the administration’s hinting that it might start detaining some illegal border-crossers, even whole families — after ending the practice as soon as it took over.
That would infuriate the left — but the plan would still let detainees loose after three weeks: not much of a deterrent.
On crime, the prez rightly prompted the Democratic Senate to pass the Republican House bill blocking Washington, DC’s insane rollback of penalties for violent felonies.
But that’s a one-off.
Tellingly, Biden’s proposed budget would spend billions on “upstream violence prevention and reduction programs” (i.e. various forms of liberal hokum that do nothing to stop crime) and aim to “bolster diversionary juvenile justice strategies.”
Read that last as “try to take New York’s disastrous Raise the Age law national.”
On energy, he miffed the left by OK’ing a drilling site in Alaska — one.
But he immediately turned around and indefinitely blocked 16 million acres of federal land in the region from energy exploration.
His larger agenda, from insane federal agitation to wholesale blocking of new carbon-fuel projects, remains intact.
No matter that his monstrous energy policy has been a prime driver of the price pain average Americans have been feeling for more than a year.
As for the nation’s finances, the picture is the same.
Biden loves to talk about how he’s reducing the deficit.
Except that his budget proposal doesn’t actually trim any fat, and indeed boosts the deficit for the first two years — the ones that really count, since his future budgets would surely add new spending.
Even then, he wants new spending to eat up most of his proposed $5.5 trillion in tax hikes, which analysts call the largest (in dollar terms) in US history.
And those hikes include insanities like taxing unrealized capital gains (which would require granting the IRS vast new powers).
And on and on it goes.
Biden’s willing to annoy the loudest, most malign elements in his party, but he’s still leaving them in the driver’s seat.