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US politics

Trump and Biden aren’t so different

Jim Watson/Saul Loeb/AFP/Getty Images

Joe Biden and Donald Trump aren’t all that different, says Dana Milbank in The Washington Post. During his first nine months in office, the president has pursued “a surprisingly Trumpy agenda”. He has completed the rapid withdrawal from Afghanistan that Trump negotiated with the Taliban; maintained punitive tariffs on Chinese goods, despite corporate pressure; and continued coddling Russia by approving Nord Stream 2, a gas pipeline to Germany that circumvents Ukraine. Even on immigration, Biden looks a lot like his predecessor. He’s halted construction on the infamous Mexican border wall, but continued Trump’s use of a health code, Title 42, “so that, under the guise of preventing the spread of Covid-19, US officials can rapidly remove migrants without allowing them to seek asylum”.

Despite these similarities, a whopping 94% of Trump voters disapprove of Biden, according to a new poll from CBS News. “The likely reason for this is obvious, and depressing.” Trump fans never cared about his policies. They liked his style – “his attacks on institutions, government-by-tweet, the violent talk and, yes, the white nationalism”. If Trump voters cared at all about substance, “they would be swooning for Joe Biden right now”.