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Bidenism will wash over Connecticut

A reader suggested recently that I haven't written about the Joe Biden presidency because I'm embarrassed by it.

Of course that's not true. Indeed, I couldn't be more pleased with our new president, as he bursts through the 100-day ribbon marking his first months in office.

I will admit I really didn't have high expectations for a Biden presidency, but he has soared above all of them. We seem to be on the cusp of generational change addressing child poverty, gross income inequality and neglect of the power of government to do good.

Like others in the majority of Americans who voted for Biden over Donald Trump, my vote was mostly against Trump. Biden, I thought, was, most important, someone to save us from the horrors of Trumpism.

I expected a more moderate Democrat than the progressive Biden is turning out to be.

Indeed, as The Day reader suggested, I have been quiet about Biden. But the reason is that, unlike the last president, he's just been doing the job, head down, and doing it well.

Gone is the egoistic grandstanding and incompetence.

I still wince at so much of the Trump era we endured, coddling of autocrats and dictators, tolerance of white supremacists, insulting our longtime allies overseas and dismantling the fundamental pride of our country, our democracy.

Remember when Trump, television cameras running, called on members of his Cabinet to fawn and, one by one, sing his praises as he called on each? Remember when he sided with Vladimir Putin over U.S. intelligence services over conclusions about Russian interference in our elections?

Remember when our president suggested we might be able to inject bleach to cure COVID-19?

So no, I am not embarrassed by President Biden.

I am curious, in fact, to see how Bidenism will play out in Connecticut as Republicans in the state grapple with a huge fault line that has emerged in their party across the country.

Many Connecticut Republicans still believe Trump's big lie that the election was stolen. And many Republican leaders in the state refuse to set them straight, even though they know better.

Given this disconnect, where does the party go from here?

To make matters worse for Connecticut Republicans, many elements of Bidenism, addressing child poverty, improving health care and more higher education opportunities for the underprivileged, poll very well and are extremely popular.

Soon all that Biden COVID money is going to be washing over Connecticut politics, followed by infrastructure spending, also very popular.

It would be awfully hard to beat submarine-procuring Joe Courtney in normal times, but imagine the uphill battle when a struggling city like New London is figuring out how to spend $20 million in COVID money the incumbent 2nd District congressman helped provide.

The numbers and the effect are even greater for the next gubernatorial race.

Gov. Ned Lamont is already talking about the transformational power the hundreds of millions of dollars soon coming the state's way will have.

As those races unfold, Connecticut Republicans will still be struggling with Trump's big lie and the members of their party who still believe it, while the rest of the state moves happily on.

I don't think government completely dominated by a single party is good for Connecticut, but it seems to me the state is moving ever closer to that reality until Republicans figure out what to do with lingering Trumpism.

Bidenism is here, and I'm not at all embarrassed by that.

The federal spigots are open, and if Connecticut Republicans don't want the state to take money from raising taxes on corporations and rich people making more than $400,000 a year, good luck to them with that.

This is the opinion of David Collins.

d.collins@theday.com

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