Not too long ago, supporters imagined Joe Biden might be the next LBJ, and perhaps they were right—just not how they thought.
Biden bears no resemblance to the Lyndon B. Johnson who entered office after the assassination of John F. Kennedy in 1963 with a 75 percent approval rating and over the next couple of years passed a raft of historic legislation. No, if there’s any comparison it is to the LBJ who by 1967 had seen his approval rating dip underwater in a deeply riven country.
After a lot of happy talk over the past half-year, the real Biden presidency has emerged. It is not a colossus bestriding the political universe, rather a middling administration, at best, that will have trouble imposing its will even on its own party in Congress.
Biden was always fundamentally a default president, elected in opposition to Donald Trump and initially buoyed by the contrast to his outlandish predecessor, who ended his time