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Farewell Donald Trump, Enter Joe Biden

Farewell Donald Trump, Enter Joe Biden

President Joe Biden and first lady Jill Biden watch fireworks from the White House, Wednesday. (AP/Evan Vucci)

By Wednesday, 20 January 2021 12:10 PM Current | Bio | Archive

Now America inaugurates Joseph Robinette Biden Jr. president of the United States. Farewell to President Trump.

Politics is forward-looking. We voters aren't even ''What have you done for me lately?'' to our elected officials. We're ''What are you going to do for me next?'' As American philosopher-poet Steven Tyler, of Aerosmith, observes, ''The past is gone.''

Yet indulge me in a brief farewell to Donald Trump. Some of my friends exalt Trump, celebrating his boldness. Some abhor Trump, citing shocking crudeness.

As for me? I stand by my friends.

Relitigating Trump, political messiah or pariah, is bootless. The past is gone. Here comes Biden with a fragile, fraught, Democrat majority. Here comes the GOP on the brink of its own internecine warfare. So, what's next?

As I previously observed here at Newsmax, the first hundred days of an administration are crucial. FDR, Reagan and Clinton showed that if you capably launch an ambitious and relevant agenda, you can parlay the political capital of your election victory into momentum-generating legislative victories, more political capital, and ultimately — reelection.

Joe Biden's off to an impressive start. As no less than Christopher Ruddy, FOT (Friend of Trump), creator and CEO of Trump's favorite legitimate news source, Newsmax, wrote, ''The big story, lost in the mayhem of election-related news, is that Biden clearly wants a moderate Democratic administration.''

Ruddy inventories the Biden administration's team picks, noting that there isn't a single strand of lunatic fringe there. Biden designates a pragmatic, not dogmatic, team. Impressively, he does so without triggering a revolt by his party's left wing. I predicted Biden would succeed at taming his fractious progressives. So far, so good.

Notwithstanding (Morton) Blackwell's Law, ''Personnel is policy,'' Biden's team roster is but prelude. He now unveils his first hundred days agenda. Biden grasps the importance of the first hundred days as Trump did not.

I had friends in the Trump transition. The groundwork was trashed, binders into dumpsters, shortly after the election when Jared Kushner torpedoed Chris Christie in a power struggle. The plans for Trump's first hundred days were collateral damage. President Trump ended up winging it.

Word was that Trump's transition team had worked out an elegant, simple, and superior replacement for Obamacare. President Trump cavalierly discarded this, kicking the job of designing the Obamacare replacement over to Congress, and was caught flatfooted.

That played right into House Speaker Paul Ryan's hands, allowing him to seize the opportunity to produce some magical budget numbers on the basis of which he could try to achieve his personal holy grail, ''reforming'' Social Security and Medicare (which Trump had campaigned to protect). This led to a deformed Obamacare repeal bill that Trump couldn't get passed by a majority Republican Congress.

Trump thereby failed to deliver on his premier campaign promise and, instead of starting his first hundred days with a big win, replacing Obamacare with something better and more popular, following up with a popular tax cut, and building political capital. Instead, Team Trump squandered its political capital and Trump's legislative agenda got bogged down in a quagmire on Capitol Hill, never to fully recover.

Biden, conversely, has shown himself master of this game. Last week he telegraphed that he was immediately going to concentrate on delivering the two things that Americans most urgently desire: vaccinating 100 million in his first hundred days, more soon thereafter, and providing meaningful relief to sustain the economic casualties — waitresses, bartenders, hotel workers and so forth — from the economic carnage that fighting the pandemic wrought, and pushing relentlessly to provide other ''keep the lights on'' services.

This irks hard-shell libertarians, but Trump himself belatedly signaled support for more generous relief. Americans, mostly kind-hearted pragmatists, are receptive. Then Biden announced he would be prioritizing fighting against climate change and for racial equity, both intensely popular with his base and, done right, broadly popular with voters.

By thus setting his legislative table Joe Biden is investing his political capital shrewdly. My colleagues on the Committee to Unleash Prosperity may gag. But Adam Smith, the progenitor of capitalism, prescribes magnanimous pragmatism, not parsimonious dogmatism, capitalism. Biden could well use Adam Smith's "The Theory of Moral Sentiments" to out-capitalize (both economically and politically) some of us free market champions. We shall see.

Conservatives must remain vigilant, yet not act like vigilantes. For example, there is a right (fostering technological progress, as Uncle Sam did with the space program and internet) and a wrong (carbon taxes) way to address climate change. So, let's put away our rhetorical arquebuses and muskets, for now.

And President Trump? Consider Steven Tyler, again. He offers a coda to light the way forward. "You got to lose to know how to win." Join us in wishing President Joe Biden Godspeed on his path to building America's health and wealth back better.

Ralph Benko, co-author of "The Capitalist Manifesto" and chairman and co-founder of "The Capitalist League," is the founder of The Prosperity Caucus and is an original Kemp-era member of the Supply Side revolution that propelled the Dow from 814 to its current heights and world GDP from $11T to $88T. He served as a deputy general counsel in the Reagan White House, has worked closely with the Congress and two cabinet agencies, and has published over a million words on politics and policy in the mainstream media, as a distinguished professional blogger, and as the author of the internationally award-winning cult classic book "The Websters' Dictionary: How to Use the Web to Transform the World." He has served as senior adviser, economics, to APIA as an advocate of the gold standard, senior counselor to the Chamber of Digital Commerce and serves as co-founder of and senior counselor to Frax.finance, a stablecoin venture. Read Ralph Benko's reports — More Here.

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Now America inaugurates Joseph Robinette Biden Jr. president of the United States. Farewell to President Trump.Politics is forward-looking. We voters aren't even ''What have you done for me lately?'' to our elected officials. We're ''What are you going to do for me next?''...
donald trump, joe biden, libertarian
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2021-10-20
Wednesday, 20 January 2021 12:10 PM
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