How Joe Biden tamed the left — at least for now

MoveOn’s executive director Rahna Epting summed up the experience so far with the Biden White House by saying: “There’s a lot of promise, and we’re on, like, our second or third date.”

The administration’s warm relationship with the left is one of the most surprising aspects of the Biden presidency, particularly after a bitterly fought primary campaign where many liberals saw Biden as too close to Republicans and too timid to enact bold change…

But the honeymoon could also be short-lived. Biden is entering a period of complicated negotiations on Capitol Hill over his jobs and infrastructure plan, which is almost certain to result in setbacks for the left. Many of the liberal wing’s biggest priorities — including a major voting rights bill and gun control legislation — lack support from some moderate Democrats, potentially dooming them in the Senate.

And an overly close relationship poses risks for both sides. Liberal leaders could lose credibility with supporters, particularly if Biden does not make progress on items such as increasing the minimum wage or defies them on other key issues. Likewise, if Biden appears too cozy with the left wing of the party, it could help Republicans paint him as a radical or a socialist — a narrative that the GOP failed to carry off during the 2020 campaign.