The feckless Forrest Gump of American politics was there for the 1970s the first time around: Your grey-bearded correspondent had just been born, fresh-faced young Donald Trump was facing his first federal housing-discrimination case (represented in the proceedings by Roy Cohn, of course), Tony Orlando owned the radio airwaves — and Joe Biden, that carbuncular encrustation, that lifer, that plodding careerist, that dull wooden fixture of the Capitol scene, was already getting settled into the Senate, where he would spend some decades accomplishing precisely squat, his only achievement having grown old enough and remained white enough that he could be used as demographic ballast by Barack Obama’s 2008 presidential campaign.
(Obama — you know, the Netflix guy.)
The big domestic concerns of the 1970s were inflation and crime. Biden should probably worry about the same concerns in the same order today: The first could effectively end his presidency in a matter of months, while the second threatens to undermine the position of his party going forward — possibly for years.
Vice President Kamala Harris, whose political wit is indicated by the fact that she was the first to be knocked out of a primary that ultimately was won by the clod she works for, has helpfully underscored the inflation issue, noting in a recent speech that many American families are having a hard time with the rising prices of food, gasoline, housing, electricity, and other necessities. Republicans agreed (if this were the Washington Post, I’d have written “Republicans pounced”), and decried the “hidden tax” of inflation, which they blame on excessive spending and the specter of excessive spending to come.