The A, B, C’s of the Biden Administration: a Year into the Presidency

Bella Nieto, Managing Editor

On Nov. 7, 2020, I, and I assume many other folks, breathed a huge sigh of relief when several national media outlets projected Joe Biden won the presidency and “The Donald” was officially out of a position he was hardly qualified for. Despite the ongoing and disproven accusations that the 2020 election was stolen, Joe Biden is more than a year into his presidency and is, in short, not doing that well, but trying. 

Coincidentally, Joe Biden’s struggle in the presidency can be easily organized by going alphabetically and expanding on where seemingly good ideas went wrong. 

Starting with A, for Afghanistan. In August of 2021, Biden pulled troops from Afghanistan, a move the previous two presidents had promised but never completed. Despite the same promises from Trump and Obama, Biden’s decision to end the “forever war” was met with extreme scrutiny, especially when the Taliban took control as American troops withdrew. Not only that, there was criticism at his refusal to acknowledge the pullout had not gone as expected and the lack of humanitarian aid to Afghan refugees, especially those that had assisted U.S troops during their stay in Afghanistan. According to the Pew Research Center, 54% of adults thought the decision to remove troops was the right one, but 42% of the population thought Biden did a poor job in his efforts. The conflicting statistics reveal the difficulty of such a decision, but perhaps there is a reason that there was never a “correct” decision that would have prevented the hostile takeover of Afghanistan and the dissatisfaction at home. 

Following the chaotic removal of troops from Afghanistan, Biden shifted his attention to B, for Build Back Better. The lack of support from Republicans in the Senate meant Democrats complied with several ideas and tried to pass the package in one bill. Negotiations were stalled several times and it seemed the narrative heard from the media was the cost rather than the benefits it included for senior citizens, or universal preschool programs. Understandably, the blame for the failure of the bill goes misplaced. Biden cannot force the remaining opposers in the Senate to support his bill and he takes a majority of the blame for a decision that is relatively out of his control. Despite the fickle nature of the current Senate, Build Back Better appears to the public as a failed campaign promise. 

Next on the president’s shoulders is C, for COVID-19. There is no doubt that in this area Joe Biden is doing his best. When he took office, Biden began a quick vaccine rollout and several months after announced the distribution of at-home testing kits starting in January of 2022. Unfortunately, Joe Biden was in a tough place — how can you satisfy the part of the nation that wants a return to normalcy while also pleasing the part of the country that is still concerned for their safety? As variants began driving up case numbers and hospitalizations, Biden was criticized for his handling of the virus even though the course of the virus could have been significantly altered by the Trump administration, had its emergence been taken seriously. Nevertheless, Biden appears to be taking the blame for seemingly out-of-control issues exacerbated by his predecessor. 

Part of Biden’s response to COVID-19 was to the economy which leads to I, for inflation. In his stimulus package, Biden promised direct payments of up to $1,400 which has led several to believe the huge domestic spacing package has driven prices through the roof. Currently, Biden has been sharply criticized, and it’s hard to know if Biden did the “right” thing. At the time, some Americans were in desperate need of cash in their pockets and I suppose the package temporarily offered relief, but presently battling inflation has put Biden on the receiving end of bad poll numbers especially since, historically, approval ratings have been influenced by the state of the economy. 

All in all, some of the issues plaguing the Biden administration are out of their hands, but reflecting on his time so far there are definitely shortcomings, which is expected of all presidents. However, I think Joe Biden is doing alright given the circumstances, but as always, there are aggressive approaches that can be taken; but, anything is better than “The Donald.”