fb-pixel Skip to main content

The running joke during the Trump Administration was that seemingly each upcoming week would be infrastructure week, when Trump would make a big push to fix the nation’s crumbling infrastructure. Infrastructure week, famously, never really happened, or was overshadowed by Trump’s insistence on attacking his political opponents.

The same also was true for Trump’s repeated promise that he would unveil a health care plan in two weeks. After four years, a plan was never released.

So to President Biden’s credit, he has had an “infrastructure six months” where his administration not only announced a bipartisan plan at the White House, but actively lobbied Congress for months to pass it. Last week, Biden signed it into law and went out on the road to take a victory lap.


As for health care, the so-called Build Back Better reconciliation bill passed the House last week and inside of that version included ways to shore up the Affordable Care Act.

But where Trump administration’s continued promotion of infrastructure week became a joke, it is increasingly a rhetorical reflex for the Biden administration to dismiss anything that is going badly as temporary. They just cannot tell you when the problem will end.

Biden said the migrant surge would only last a few months. Eight months later, records are still being set on the Southern border.

In the first weeks of Biden’s presidency, Fox News and Republican critics were echoing the idea that the new president’s first crisis was at the border. During his first press conference, Biden was dismissive that border crossings were a growing new problem unique to his presidency.

“The truth of the matter is, nothing has changed,” the president said. “It happens every single solitary year. There is a significant increase in the number of people coming to the border in the winter months of January, February, March — it happens every year.”


Well as it turned out, the significant increase didn’t really stop. In fact, attempts at illegal border crossings in the last year were at the highest levels since 1960. And they came from around the globe.

To be sure, the number of apprehensions is down, but still at high levels.

Inflation is a temporary issue that will subside, sometime.

First, the debate was about whether inflation was happening. Now, the debate is over whether inflation is related to COVID or something else. While economists are generally agreeing with the Biden administration on the root causes of the problem and that it will be temporary, no one is sure about how long “temporary” will last.

Since August, the administration has been trying to say that inflation will go away by sometime next year. Officials said supply chain issues also would subside by then. Why exactly next year was the expected timeframe never really got explained.

But that argument apparently hasn’t given much comfort to the American public. Reports are that the White House will now make a concerted effort to blame big business for rising prices.

Bad poll numbers are also going to get better, the White House claims.

Biden is now facing bad poll numbers. His approval rating is now worse than any other president in polling history other than Donald Trump, who, it should be noted, did not win reelection.


They are so bad that the midterm elections could be historically big for Republicans even with so few swing seats in Congress. A recent ABC News/Washington Post poll found a generic Republican would beat a generic Democrat by 10 points if the election were held now. That is the highest gap the poll has ever recorded.

And what did the Biden administration members tell the Washington Post?

“Privately, many administration officials and allies contend that the state of affairs cannot get worse, thinking that Biden and the Democrats have hit their floor in negative approval ratings, according to people familiar with their thinking, who spoke on the condition of anonymity to share private conversations. By next year’s elections, top Democrats say, the national environment will look dramatically different.”

James Pindell can be reached at james.pindell@globe.com. Follow him on Twitter @jamespindell.