With confidence and elan, President Joe Biden rallied allies abroad last week around the viability of 21st century democracy. Proving it here at home will be harder.
Members of the transatlantic coalition — at meetings of the Group of Seven, the North Atlantic Treaty Organization and the European Union — expressed exuberant relief during the new president’s first overseas trip. Biden’s predecessor, Donald Trump, had undermined their shared objectives while showing subservience to the Russian autocrat Biden confronted on his last stop.
But Biden has staked his case on the domestic success of his own presidency. And that poses an excruciating challenge in two overlapping ways.The first is achieving his legislative agenda. To follow his top initial priority of Covid relief, Biden has elevated a massive proposal for spending on physical infrastructure and providing help for struggling families to climb the economic ladder.
He chose it for the popularity of its elements and the effects he envisions in expanding opportunity and changing the trajectory of America’s economy. Its enactment represents the quintessential test of his vow to show that democracies can “deliver for their people.”