3. The president should remember that he won as a moderate and a unifier.
Biden’s performance thus far is sometimes compared with Jimmy Carter’s. Maybe the better source of comparison is Bill Clinton, who ran as a centrist, tilted left in his first year, saw his signature legislation blow up in Congress, suffered military humiliation in Somalia — and then figured out how to recapture the center and save his presidency.
Liberals have urged a floor vote for Build Back Better, as if a political kamikaze mission is going to win them a place in some future progressive pantheon. Biden would do better to move on from defeat and draft legislation with bipartisan appeal. Regulation for Big Tech is one good area. A bill that trades greater border security for citizenship for Dreamers is another. It could also help blunt G.O.P. inroads with Hispanic voters.
Standing up to the left on an issue or two wouldn’t hurt the president, either. Should noncitizens be permitted to vote in municipal elections, which is what New York City now allows? Presumably not, unless the administration is eager to confirm every Tucker Carlson caricature of Democrats as the party of open borders.