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Biden’s Grand Opening

With an economic rescue plan that is both ambitious and well targeted, US President Joe Biden and his team have demonstrated a clear understanding of the scale and range of action that the current situation requires. A broader reconstruction plan can and must come later; but crisis management remains the order of the day.

AUSTIN – In the space of less than three months, events have conspired to transform the American political scene. First, the COVID-19 pandemic defeated Donald Trump – not because public sentiment in this deeply polarized country changed, but rather because the virus forced open the gates of ballot access. Owing to a vast upsurge of early voting and mail-in ballots, the 2020 election’s turnout surpassed that of 2016 by 20 million votes, and featured a greater share of the electorate than any US presidential election since 1900.

Second, thanks to ten years of local organizing by voting-rights activists led by Stacey Abrams, Georgia replaced both of its Republican senators with Democrats in the January 5 runoff elections, thus handing narrow control of the US Senate to President Joe Biden’s Democratic Party.

Finally, Trump and some of his fellow Republicans incited a rabble to ransack the US Capitol. That catastrophic political miscalculation resulted in the death of five people (including a police officer), Trump’s second impeachment, and the lasting disgrace of the defeated president’s most aggressive would-be successors, Senators Josh Hawley of Missouri and Ted Cruz of Texas.