Ilhan Omar, Clinton, Fifty Books discussed on The Argument

The Argument


I'm talking to to progressive about by these first one hundred days one. Who's impressed right by them. So far and has high hopes and one who s a president's first one hundred days considered a major milestone. it's wintertime that matters a first impression. It's also a chance to get stuff done before. The honeymoon has worn off. Fdr rolled out transformative legislation. That became part of his new deal. Lbj launched a war on poverty biden gotta nearly two trillion relief. Bill passed on day fifty. But the jury's out on whether he's done enough whether he's done the right thing and whether what he's done in a sign of what's to come. My guess disagree with each other on all of the above cedar one Writer for the new republic. An almond gear dr dos rights to inc's newsletter and is the author of winner-take-all. Thank you so much for joining me today. Thank you so much for having me. Thanks for having me. Both of you. Wrote pieces analyzing biden's first one hundred days. Both pieces have very different. Takes and i think the headlines say a lot yours was joe. Biden isn't close to being historic president. And that's in the new republic and you quote welcome to the new progressive era and the atlantic. So on and i'll start with you. What do you lay out in the piece. I would say i agree with both of those headlines very much agree with sita's also and so here's how i would square it. I didn't say. Welcome to the progressive administration. I didn't say welcome to the progressive transformational president as a welcomed the new progressive era. What i fundamentally think has happened. Is that over a period of years. A bunch of the chronic issues in this country around wealth and income inequality around the death of the american dream for growing numbers of people the failure to solve our biggest shared problems the crashing and burning of the neoliberal order and the belief in it has rung a death knell for the intellectual consensus political consensus of the last forty years. The reagan consensus and joe biden irony of ironies someone who has a centrist democrat someone who embodied in his career that consensus as a democrat happened to win in a moment in which those ideas were falling out of favor. And so i think there's this funny and strange coming together of a man movement and a moment a man who doesn't quite fit that movement and a moment that has perhaps given him no choice but to accommodate himself to at. And i think the one thing you can give him tremendous credit for is unlike a lot of us who struggled to change our mind when we're wrong or when we're left behind by history. He has adapted himself to this. And i think made peace with it and has begun to operate outside that market fundamentalists consensus begun to make a muscular case for the usefulness of government in a lot of prior democrats have just been too scared to do and i think we also see now build back better stuff you know focus on systemic racism in the infrastructure thing. Not just let's build a bunch of roads that are kind of lens for systemic racism lens on climate in this infrastructure stuff and talked to some of the more radical climate activists out there. They don't think he's where they are. They think he's more persuadable more respectful of their views. More amenable to going where they wanna go than anyone they've ever dealt with. I think bernie sanders. You talked before on bernie sanders. I don't think bernie in his late seventies ever felt as listened to by any administration in his lifetime as he felt by this one. It's certainly not everything and it's definitely not enough. I wouldn't even say it's a lot but it is something now. Are you willing to give biden as much credit. In this moment you know. I think that biden certainly has accomplishments. You can stick his name on that. He should be proud of as president already. I think the rescue plan a serious piece of legislation. That really did in ways the non said break away from some of the priors. Some of the old habits of mind about how government should intervene the economy. When you had our generous cash payments you had really pathbreaking expansion of the child tax credits. You expanding obamacare subsidies and there was a lot of good stuff in that package. We have now. another package. put forward with pre k. and universal community college and pay leave. And you know he's putting forward. I think legislation that is important that is meaningful that is gonna change lives when i wrote that piece and there was a response to sink pieces all over the place. Not gonna single anybody out. Where all these comparisons were being made to franklin roosevelt and the new deal and the transformation of the economy that we saw response to the great depression and it just struck me. It's less than one hundred days and we had not seen evidence that joe biden was franklin roosevelt. That didn't really seem to be a rational understanding of what had gone through congress the situation in the senate it did not seem to be more to any particular reality right but biden was being praised for opposing infrastructure. Bill is not passed yet and we don't know final form. it's going to take just. It's not a realistic comparison. And so i tried to work through in that piece. Why it was that people felt compelled to sort of draw historical illusion. I think we can recognize certain shifts but this country is facing a lot of deep seated challenges challenges that are gonna come to the fore once the coronavirus pandemic sort of abates. And it's still not really very clear to me. How deeply joe biden understands them and how deeply he's gonna be able to address them given the constraints that he's facing in washington. I think that there are reasons for if not pessimism. Then a kind of restraints in praise as meaningful as the expansion of the welfare state are. We're already seeing places where the administration is dialing back in the american families plan things like the child tax credit which really was a pathbreaking provisions within rescue plan by administration said that it hoped to make that tax relief permanence. It's not being a permanent is being extended until twenty twenty five so the most pathbreaking part of the rescue plan doesn't seem like it's going to last night just think that people should have an understanding of where we actually are. That isn't rooted in the kind of emotional. Need to think that yards. Come to save us. I don't think that's actually where we're at part of this is that we don't have an example of what a progressive activists president really looks like that successful people look back to lbj but obviously lbj's presidency ended with the other failings of the vietnam war. But i wanted to ask you. You spoke to a lot of progressive activists who seemed willing to give biden the credit here. What were they saying. About what dealing with this administration was like there were several things that struck me and one theme was consultation. I spoke to congresswoman ilhan omar. Who felt that. There was a reciptivity to some of the ideas. She in the congressional progressive causes out during the transition period that they saw reflected in the rescue that surprised her as richard. Trumka head of the afl cio. Who's very strikingly. I'll tell you the difference between this administration and past administrations in a passive ministrations. Used to call you to tell you what the policy is. This one calls you to consult what it should be in. There was also i think a feeling that for good or ill. The joe biden interested different kind of leader. Who's less of a singular figure who frankly has not read the way you think of a bill. Clinton obama having read fifty books for every decision that they made he. That's not him. He's a fundamentally coalition l- politician of what that means in practice has a lot of people said to me is. He's very happy policy. Be the some of.

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