WITH JOE BIDEN’S PRESIDENCY WELL UNDERWAY …
IT’S TIME TO CHECK OUT HIS PREVIOUS RECORD
IN THE WHITE HOUSE
The Obama–Biden Administration:
Reneged on its promise to end oil and gas extraction in the Arctic, instead opening the northern coast of Alaska to exploratory drilling in March 2010.
Promised to do away with nuclear arms once and for all, but instead committed $1 trillion to building the nuclear stockpile and modernizing nuclear production facilities.
Failed to prosecute key actors in the 2008 financial crisis or to implement the simplest of reforms, and, indeed, actively quashed a 2010 attempt by Senator Al Franken to erect a firewall between bond and rating issuers.
Reneged on promises to “close the revolving door,” giving dozens of lobbyists policymaking jobs, and overseeing scores of senior White House staff moving into lobbying jobs.
Carried out ten times as many drone strikes as the Bush administration, killing nearly 4,000 people.
Promised to increase transparency, but ultimately refused, with unprecedented frequency, to turn over files requested under the FOIA, and spent record sums battling in courts to keep records secret.
Used the Espionage Act a record number of times to prosecute whistleblowers.
Spoke out against torture, but authorized the CIA to continue renditions, secret abductions, and transfers of prisoners to countries that cooperated with the United States, despite allegations that prisoners were tortured.
Deported 3 million people from the U.S., in excess of all other presidents of the 20th century combined.
Served for a period that saw a 40% increase in drug overdose deaths and a nearly 18% rise in suicides.
The Center Did Not Hold
A Biden/Obama Balance Sheet
With Joe Biden stepping back into the national scene, the time is ripe for a close assessment of the administration in which he served as vice-president.
The Center Did Not Hold weighs the progressive—and not so progressive—contributions of the Obama-Biden White House across more than a hundred issues involving international relations, domestic cultural and economic matters, and social justice.
While Obama and Biden campaigned in the early 2000s on a host of progressive promises, Eisenberg’s meticulous accounting shows that, over eight years, they failed to achieve any substantial, lasting change to that end, instead perpetuating a tradition of cautious centrism.
Among the disappointments, the former president and vice-president reneged on environmental promises, pandered to lobbyists, prosecuted a record number of whistle-blowers, and failed to implement the simplest of financial reforms in response to the 2008 crisis. Under Biden’s trademark “counterterrorism plus” strategy, they oversaw tens of thousands of civilian deaths in Afghanistan, and escalated violence in the Middle East.
200 pages • Paperback ISBN 978-1-68219-307-5 • E-book ISBN 978-1-68219-253-5