Politics Is Biden’s foreign policy really different from that of Bernie Sanders?
Overnight Health Care — Biden to redouble on pandemic efforts
Welcome to Wednesday's Overnight Health Care, where we're following the latest moves on policy and news affecting your health. Subscribe here: thehill.com/newsletter-signup.Watch out for the dazzle! Wednesday marked the second day residents of Prince George's County in Maryland were told to avoid a group - a dazzle- of three zebras on the run from a local breeding farm. Leading the news, President Biden will lay out a six-step plan to fight the pandemic tomorrow, redoubling efforts as the delta variant fuels a spike in cases and deaths, largely among the unvaccinated.For The Hill, we're Peter Sullivan (email@example.com), Nathaniel Weixel (nweixel@thehill.
After Joe Biden won the Democratic nomination for the presidency, he sought to reassure mainstream Americans concerned about his party’s leftward tilt. "I beat the socialist," Biden reassured, referring to runner-up Sen. Bernie Sanders. "Look at my career — my whole career. I am not a socialist."
On foreign policy especially, Biden sought to draw a line between himself and Sanders. Whereas the Democratic Party platform incorporated a host of liberals' policy goals, foreign policy remained untouched. Politicians’ promises are ephemeral and their reassurances fleeting. More than a year on since Biden made his at the Democratic Convention, just how different is his foreign policy in practice than that proposed by Sanders?
Mike Pence tears into Biden's COVID speech
Mike Pence on Friday tore into the tone of President Joe Biden's COVID speech, while blaming the current president and vice president for some Americans' vaccine hesitancy.'I have to tell you the president's speech yesterday was unlike anything I've ever heard from an American president,' Pence said on Fox & Friends. 'I mean to have the president of the United States say that he's been patient but his patience is wearing thin. That's not how the American people expect to be spoken to by our elected leader.
On Afghanistan, not much. Biden’s withdrawal, both in its substance and manner, was a sharp departure from past practice. His stubborn rejection of military advice or reality suggests Biden prioritizes ideology over reality. Nor is Afghanistan likely alone: Both Iraqi and Iraqi Kurdish authorities say Biden will announce a complete U.S. withdrawal from Iraq after their next elections. Syrian Kurds? Forget it.
There is also not much daylight between Biden and Sanders with regard to Iran. Both seek to unravel Trump’s "maximum pressure" campaign and rejoin the 2015 nuclear deal. Biden threw Saudi Arabia under the bus on day one as Sanders would have and effectively empowered Houthi terrorists.
Perhaps the biggest difference in the Middle East policy might be with regard to Israel. While national security adviser Jake Sullivan, his deputy Jon Finer, and Secretary of State Antony Blinken keep their cards close to their chest, Sanders's chief foreign policy adviser Matt Duss does not hide his antipathy toward the Jewish state and its basic security demands. Then again, the Biden team’s basic policy does not differ much as it seeks to restore cash to the Palestinian Authority despite itshistory. They're also considering a reversal of Trump’s move of the U.S. Embassy to Jerusalem. Perhaps the difference is simply the speed of implementing policy. Biden’s team is more polished if less honest than Duss.
Opinion | Can the Foreign Policy Elites Survive Biden’s Rejection?
The president’s Afghanistan withdrawal has pushed the nation-builders to the margins. But the ‘Blob’ always finds a way to adapt.“This decision about Afghanistan is not just about Afghanistan. It’s about ending an era of major military operations to remake other countries,” Biden said on Aug. 31. Shattered and scattered by Biden’s refusal to stay the Afghanistan course for another year, another five years, another 20, elements from the foreign policy establishment have denounced the president for ending that trillion-dollar program of nation-building and deep-dish military intervention. Council on Foreign Relations President Richard N.
Then there is Russia: President George W. Bush looked into Russian President Vladimir Putin’s eyes and saw his soul. President Barack Obama and Hillary Clinton sought a reset. For all the conspiracy theories surrounding Trump, he was tougher on Russia than Obama. What little pressure Russia felt, Biden relieved. Lifting sanctions on the Nord Stream 2 pipeline gave Russia a generation win, a concession that not even Sanders.
Every president invariably faces the foreign policy crisis he never saw coming. For Biden, this might have been Cuba. But, when Cubans took to the streets to demand freedom from more than six decades of communist tyranny, Biden was largely silent. What Cubans demanded was ideologically inconvenient. That said, Biden has kept sanctions in place, something Sanders would have reversed on day one.
There are good people working on Asia on Biden’s team, and some quietly seek to continue their immediate predecessors' efforts. Still, defense cuts undercut any substance behind the Pacific pivot. Sanders would be more forthcoming about his desire to slash the defense budget, but, as Congress might not be as radical as he, the end result would likely be the same.
Business groups are fighting Biden's $3.5T budget over taxes, drug negotiations
Major business groups oppose raising corporate taxes to pay for the bill while some industries have come out against specific parts of proposal.Advocacy groups are drawing battle lines in opposition to parts of the bill aiming to raise taxes on corporations and wealthy individuals, lower prices on prescription drugs and combat climate change. The fights that could trim or threaten to kill the legislation will play out in the coming days and weeks as committees rush to meet a Wednesday deadline for drafting legislation.
Similarly, as Sanders showed little interest in Africa, Biden follows suit.
Biden once assured independents and Republicans uneasy with Trump’s erratic behavior that he would be a steady hand on the wheel, uninterested in any sudden jerks to the left. Simply put, he lied. There may be some differences between a Biden foreign policy and that which Sanders would have embraced, but these are mostly of speed and style. Biden’s team all harbor career ambitions beyond their present positions and recognize that their agenda is more radical than that with which most Americans are comfortable. Unlike Sanders and Duss, they are loathe to stating openly where they stand or to where they want to steer, but the evidence today shows that Sanders won.
If not the presidency, then control over the Democrats' foreign policy agenda.
Michael Rubin () is a contributor to the Washington Examiner's Beltway Confidential. He is a senior fellow at the American Enterprise Institute.
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Bernie Sanders among lawmakers to meet with Biden at White House .
Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.) is among the lawmakers who are set to meet with President Biden on Wednesday at the White House as the administration works with Democrats in Congress to pass the president's sweeping spending pitch.Sanders, a leading voice from the party's progressive wing, has suggested the $3.5 trillion spending package is already a compromise and Democrats should go bigger.