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Budowsky: Biden succeeds as a JFK Democrat

Budowsky: Biden succeeds as a JFK Democrat
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To understand the political state of the union in December 2020, and the underestimated political and historic potential of the Biden presidency, consider the following.

On Election Day 2020 America was a 50-50 nation with our governing institutions divided and gridlocked, with the defeated President TrumpDonald TrumpChinese apps could face subpoenas, bans under Biden executive order: report Kim says North Korea needs to be 'prepared' for 'confrontation' with US Ex-Colorado GOP chair accused of stealing more than 0K from pro-Trump PAC MORE being the most bitterly divisive leader in our history, and the victorious challenger Joe Biden calling for national unity and promising to govern for all of our people — not only those who voted for him.

Since then, two polls dramatize the opportunity for President-elect Joe BidenJoe BidenChinese apps could face subpoenas, bans under Biden executive order: report OVERNIGHT ENERGY:  EPA announces new clean air advisors after firing Trump appointees |  Senate confirms Biden pick for No. 2 role at Interior | Watchdog: Bureau of Land Management saw messaging failures, understaffing during pandemic Poll: Majority back blanket student loan forgiveness MORE to lead and lift the nation and define the post-Trump years.

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A Morning Consult poll last week showed Trump’s favorable numbers remaining in the swampland of low approval, while Biden enjoyed ratings of 57 percent favorable and only 41 percent unfavorable. A Gallup poll this week showed Trump remaining highly unpopular while Biden enjoys ratings of 55 percent approval and 41 percent disapproval.

Future polling will confirm or not the post-election surge of favorability for Biden, but it makes perfect sense for one critically important reason. From Election Day 2020 until Inauguration Day 2021 the American people will have been focused, day after day, from morning until night, on a split-screen image of President Trump on one side of the screen and President-elect Biden on the other side.

On the Trump side of the screen, Americans witness the litany of lies from Trump claiming he won the 2020 election, his failed and pathetic legal attempts to overturn the popular vote and Electoral College count, whether he will pardon himself, who he fires from his government and which Republican governors and state officials he attacks because they honor the verdict of our voters against him.

On the Biden side of the split screen, Americans witness the president-elect talking about bringing the nation together, naming highly respected members of his administration, receiving congratulations from democratic leaders around the world making him already the de-facto leader of the free world, calling for new initiatives to destroy the deadly  coronavirus, and championing substantial economic relief to citizens and small businesses — whether they voted for Biden or Trump — hurting from the extreme pain caused by COVID-19.

This split screen between the defeated president who refuses to accept his decisive defeat and the victorious president-elect who prepares to govern the whole nation and seeks to heal our wounds, speaks loudly and decisively about the difference between the Trump years and the Biden years.

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President Kennedy’s favorable rating never fell below 50 percent. President Trump’s favorable rating never held above it. President-elect Biden’s favorable rating so far towers above Trump and Republicans in Congress.

Americans can imagine an America where they do not wake up every morning to witness who our leader slanders and insults on Twitter, but to witness how our leader seeks to unify our people, lift our economy, lead the free world, respect women, promote justice, destroy the virus, heal the sick, feed the hungry, save small businesses, lift rural America, and provide emergency financial relief to hurting Americans — including those who voted for Trump.

Biden governs like a JFK Democrat, a practical and patriotic progressive seeking unity among Democrats and unity for the nation.

Early in his presidency, Biden will almost certainly employ executive action to forgive some student loans, realize the dreams of the Dreamers, support far stronger economic relief than anything on the table in Congress today, and bring America back into the Paris accords on climate change, which will bring applause from business and religious leaders as well as liberals — for which he will probably be nominated for the Nobel Peace Prize.

There will come a time, when Republican obstruction will become extreme, when Biden will address the nation, as Kennedy did, and call for action that he, like a majority of Americans, believes is urgently needed. Republicans will oppose him at their peril.

Budowsky was an aide to former Sen. Lloyd Bentsen (D-Texas) and former Rep. Bill Alexander (D-Ark.), who was chief deputy majority whip of the House of Representatives. He holds an LLM in international financial law from the London School of Economics.