The economic agenda is augmented by new progressive causes that were just beginning to get a foothold back in the Clinton and Obama years. Biden’s obsession with fighting climate change speaks of an overwhelming hostility to fossil fuels as such that is something new.
He has proposed a sweeping enforcement-never amnesty for more than 10 million illegal immigrants that makes the previous failed “comprehensive immigration bills” look modest by comparison. And his culture-war executive orders extend not just to abortion, where other Democratic presidents have signed executive orders quickly, as well, but to transgender causes.
There will also be a continual focus on what Biden’s chief-of-staff calls “a racial-equity crisis,” which will be a warrant for a new, more aggressive identity politics.
The lesson is that the most important thing that any movement can do is influence the direction of a major political party. If the center of gravity of a party moves, the entire establishment moves with it. So it is that Biden, who has never been woke or surrounded himself with radicals, is attempting to deliver victories to the left-wing of his party almost unimaginable eight or 12 years ago — and do it quickly.