Will the public ever recognize instantly who the initials JRB stands for?
By Hal Brown
Look up FDR and you will find...
247,000,000 results on Google. The initials LBJ and JFK are readily associated with the two presidents.
Look up JRB on Google and while there are 8,820,000 results none, at least on the first page, refer to Joseph Robinette Biden.
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The text I used for the illustration on this blog is from this Salon article by historian Robert S. McElvaine's article ...
Of course some presidents no matter where history ever ranks them end up being referred to by three initials even when their middle names were fairly well known. Harry S. Truman never became HST, for example.
The reference to President Biden as JRB, who is usually referred to as Joe Biden rather than Joseph Biden, jumped out at me. I think using the three initials was an attempt by the author to equate him with FDR and LBJ.
I agree with the author's assessment.
I think that Biden's (JRB's if you prefer) accomplishments have been drowned out in the GOP noice machine. He's been like Pablo Casals or Jascha Heifetz playing a solo during a shit-throwing battle between screeching monkeys.
After describing the accomplishments that he uses to justify why FDR and LBJ were great presidents the author explains why he thinks Biden's two-year record stacks up well against "the very high bars set" by FDR and LBJ. Here are bullet points:
- The $1.9 trillion American Rescue Plan to stimulate the economy.
- The Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act to provide for repairs and extensions to the nation's roads, bridges, railroads, water systems and broadband.
- The PACT Act, expanding health care and benefits for those who were exposed to toxic substances during their military service.
- The CHIPS and Science Act, funding advanced scientific research and investing $53 billion to manufacture silicone microchips in the U.S.
- The Inflation Reduction Act, which does more than any previous legislation to mitigate climate change, allows Medicare to negotiate with Big Pharma to cut prescription drug prices, begins to crack down on tax evasion by corporations and the very rich and much more.
- The Respect for Marriage Act, protecting both same-sex and interracial marriage.
- A reform of the Electoral Count Act, making it more difficult to overturn an election, and reauthorization of the Violence Against Women Act.
- Biden has also excelled on the international stage far more than Roosevelt did in his first two years — and more than Johnson ever did. Biden rallied the forces of democracy to oppose Vladimir Putin's authoritarian aggression and aid Ukraine and revived NATO, which Trump had on the verge of collapse.
The future not only for JRB, for American democracy itself, depends on how well Democrats are able to, one, get enough voters to know about these accomplishments, and two and perhaps just as or more importantly, to care about how these benefit them personally.
Those who prefer to have a fascist authoritarian America where minority groups are marginalized (or worse) are a lost cause. In their MAGA slogan "again" is a yearning for a pre-Civil War Confederacy.
Those with even a rudimentary grasp of history wouldn't be bothered by the similarities between the rise of Hitler in the 1930's and what is happening in the United States today. To the contrary, they would applaud it.
Other articles by Robert S. McElvaine:
Coincidentally, as I was finishing up this story the Cincinnati mayor was being interviewed on "Morning Joe" about how Biden's infrastructure bill was helping his city from improving transportation to increasing funding to the police in order to enable them to hire community resource officers to deal with mental health calls.
Jennifer Rubin in a Washington Post Q&A answers this question: Will Republican lunacy ever cost them any significant number of voters?
There are multiple groups of voters who continue to support GOP candidates. The first is the hardcore cultists, who are beyond reason and persuasion. The second includes business interests, which go along for the tax cuts and anti-regulation policies. Those people are more reachable if they fear House Republcians are inviting economic chaos.
The final group includes habitual Republicans with an inordinate fear of Democrats. They can also be swayed. These are the voters who at some level understand that Biden is not a raving socialist; that our economy is recovering; that our international standing has improved; and that the side that is radical is the GOP. Biden's appeal to bipartisanship, good faith efforts to address the border and popular economic measures (e.g., infrastructure investments) are effective in persuading this group. Overall, the best thing going for Democrats is the unhinged, irresponsible conduct of the MAGA House.
I posted links to this on Facebook, Tribel, Mastodon, and Twitter. On the latter I included the most popular hashtags with Biden including the one with the highest number, BidenWorstPresdientInHistory. I'll add replies to this tweet here if I get any.