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“The temptation is there, at the end of a first year in the White House, to bury Joe Biden.  Already ?  »

Chronic. It is « finished », the mandate is played. Republicans are on the rise. Democrats are divided. 2024 could bring Donald Trump back to business. We will have understood: according to certain fortune-tellers on the banks of the Potomac, Joe Biden would have failed. Already ? The temptation is there, at the end of a first year in the White House, to bury Biden, « the old Joe », and, in the light of history, to register the 46and President of the United States under “failure” – a courteous, dignified, dignified failure, but a failure.

Some would say he fulfilled his term on January 20, 2021, when he moved to 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue. His mission, accomplished in the November 2020 ballot, was simple: oust Trump from the White House; prevent the Republican from exercising his narcissistic imperium at the head of the country for four more years. But Biden would have been wrong about the interpretation of his victory. He believed he could open a new chapter in the history of the welfare state in the United States.

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He imagined that the time had come for a « Rooseveltian moment » – from the name of President Franklin Roosevelt, the father of the New Deal –, to use an expression of journalist Evan Osnos. Only, in the service of this ambition, the new president lacks an essential ingredient: a sufficient political majority in Congress. Biden lacks the parliamentary backing of his presidential ambitions. However, the political system of the United States is a hybrid of presidentialism and parliamentarianism.

Others will note that the judgment passed on a president at the end of his first twelve months is rarely significant. There is a curse of the early years. Barack Obama (2008-2016) suffered a notable failure on his environmental policy. Bill Clinton (1992-2000) failed miserably on his Medicare reform – one of his big promises – and made a fool of himself in Somalia. Ronald Reagan (1980-1988) was hardly more brilliant in his attempt to reduce the federal deficit. The first two, Democrats, and the third, a Republican, were quietly re-elected for a second term.

No doubt it is for Biden as it was for Obama. Both have taken on the role of saviors after an era of disasters. One ended four years of Trumpist chaos, the other closed the parenthesis of the dramas of 2001 and 2008. The good days were about to return. We were going to shave again for free. But the immensity of the hopes thus aroused has always been in the realm of fantasy. This way of lending to “politics” a power that it does not have is voodoo or, at the very least, can only fuel disappointment and disillusionment.

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