Monday, March 8, 2021

How Long Will Biden's Rope-A-Dope Culture War Strategy Work?

EJ Dionne says, in an interesting column in the Post:
"One of President Biden’s early achievements does not get enough attention: He is rolling back the politics of culture wars."
But is he really rolling back the culture war or just managing to put it on pause for awhile? I think the latter is more likely. Consider:
So far Biden has adopted a consistent strategy on GOP culture war attacks. Don't respond. Don't criticize. Don't defend. If the Republicans want to bang on about cancelled Dr. Seuss books while Democrats get through a $1.9 trillion expansion of government's role in the economy, let them. And they can continue while Democrats tee up a large-scale infrastructure/recovery bill and other priorities like HR1.
This is smart in terms of current Democratic goals and certainly fits with Biden's clear personal preferences on culture war stuff--nod to your activist base but mostly try to avoid engaging with these issues. And I believe it will continue to work for a time.
But not forever. The electoral necessity for Democrats to move to the right on cultural issues remains and that necessity will have to be confronted at some point if Democratic candidates are going to be successful where they need to be in 2022. Biden can get away with his zipped lip strategy for now, but it's not sustainable. One hopes his team is thinking ahead on this one.

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