For someone who ran for office as the anti-Trump, President Biden has lately taken on something of an orangish hue. When the Covid variant known as Omicron popped up, Mr. Biden rushed through a travel ban for South Africa and seven other sub-equatorial states. Yet candidate Biden had called it a “disgrace” when, in February 2020, Mr. Trump imposed a similar “African ban.” Mr. Biden reckoned it was “designed to make it harder for black and brown people” to come here.
It seems to make sense to Mr. Biden now. Then again, too, when Mr. Biden took office he ended the Trump administration’s successful “Remain in Mexico” immigration program. He stoked the controversy by calling it inhumane. Since then, the border situation has become so dire that it is again emerging as a political issue. Now the administration, under court pressure, has agreed to revive Mr. Trump’s policy, with — in typical Biden fashion — “humanitarian improvements.”
Mr. Biden campaigned on returning America to the articles of appeasement with Iran. He harshly criticized the Trump administration for pulling out. In the White House, though, Mr. Biden somehow discovered that Iran is resistant to American diplomacy, and is determined to pursue its nuclear program regardless. Nor will the ayatollahs permit negotiations on ballistic missiles, drones, human rights and support for terrorism — all issues Mr. Trump pushed. Now the Vienna talks are collapsing.
On the hustings, Mr. Biden pledged to “repair” American relations with Communist China. He vowed especially to end the “trade war” over tariffs levied by President Trump. Yet the tariffs have remained in place. Mr. Biden is also continuing the effort begun under the Trump administration to crack down on Communist Chinese espionage in the United States, to oppose Beijing’s intrusive and destabilizing Belt and Road Initiative, and to remain firm in relations with Taiwan.
After first putting a moratorium on leasing oil and gas drilling sites in the Gulf of Mexico, Donald J. Biden went ahead with an auction that would let drilling commence. Mr. Trump’s headlong and successful pursuit of American energy independence would never have put such resources off-limits in the first place. The Biden team was forced to allow the auction under a court order, but with gas prices up, the administration got with the Trump program.
Despite outsized outrage of the Squad and its flank of the Democratic party over Mr. Trump’s recognition of Jerusalem as Israel’s capital and the relocation of the American Embassy from Tel Aviv, Mr. Biden has made no steps to reverse that decision. There has been talk of reopening the old American Consulate in Jerusalem to handle business affecting Palestinians, but this notion has come under bipartisan fire and will be slow in coming, if at all.
Mr. Biden’s orange tint is breathtaking. There is always a shift when election rhetoric collides with reality. Yet this goes further, retreating from the notion that every Trump policy was to be met with maximum umbrage. In power, Mr. Biden is discovering that many of Mr. Trump’s policies are sitting well with voters. If only the White House would adopt more of Mr. Trump’s economic and regulatory policies, Mr. Biden might make America great again.
Image: Presidents Biden and Trump, from Wikipedia Commons.