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Not My Party: Boring But Radical

The fact that Republicans have been calling Biden radical and senile tells us more about them than him.
March 18, 2021
Not My Party Episode 205: Boring But Radical

Slightly modified video transcript. Watch the original and subscribe to “Not My Party” on Snapchat.

So it’s the middle of March now, and there is a pretty important person out there who has barely been mentioned on this political show. Maybe you’ve heard of him. President Joe Biden.

A big reason for that is Ol’ Sleepy Joe hasn’t had much to say about the scandals and dramz that dominate your Snapchat Discover feed.

Who knows what he thinks about:

  • Meghan and Harry.
  • Non-binary potatox.
  • Or Tucker Carlson trying to cancel women soldiers

Hell, he hasn’t even said anything about he-who-shall-not-be-named—who was last seen in Cuckingham Palace trying to plot his return to power.


All Joe Biden has done since getting into office just 2 months ago is sign a massive COVID relief bill, a bunch of executive orders, and go to church with his grandkids.

This normcore lifestyle has left Republicans grasping at how to attack someone who isn’t playing into their culture war hand.

Here’s Ted Cruz taking his best stab by branding Biden “boring but radical.”

Everyone can agree Biden is pretty boring. There aren’t any Biden “Hope” posters, or Biden flag carriers storming the Capitol (thank god), or Biden stans on TikTok (also, thank god).

So is he “radical”?

Maybe if you’re still living in the ’90s. But according to polling analysis of his executive orders, pretty much all of them have majority support . . . except shutting down drilling in parts of Alaska and the keystone pipeline.  (Or as my friend Michael Steele would say: “Drill Baby Drill and Drill Now!”)

And the latest COVID bill, the American Rescue Plan, has overwhelming support, including from 4 in 10 Republican voters.

But not a single Republican in congress voted for it, so is that missing bipartisanship what makes Biden extreme and radical?

Ehhh. . .

Biden has defined bipartisan unity as: “trying to reflect what the majority of the American people—Democrat, Republican, Independent, think what needs to be done to make their lives better.”

It’s early but so far he’s succeeding at being in touch with what most American people actually want and avoiding the divisive culture wars.

And when the bronzer boogeyman beckoned about the “merciless campaign to wipe out our history” or how ”suburbia will be no longer as we know it” or that ”they especially want to take away your guns.” Well that’s just not happening. Biden’s just not that guy.

If Biden caves and starts to veer into less popular political territory with things like Defund the Police then “boring but radical” might land, but in the meantime Cancun Ted will have to go back to the drawing board.

Which brings us to just about the only other message the conservatives have when it comes to attacking Biden.

Here’s Ben Shapiro: “Biden can’t remember where he is or what he’s doing but his White House is doing in an awful lot.”

Really? Instead of boring but radical. The best Ben’s got is… dementia and Radical?

Ben Shapiro is supposed to be a master debater. But this is just desperation in the face of a president with a popular agenda.

The Grandpa Joe is losing a step argument isn’t based in facts, it’s just Ben trying to make sure his fans feelings aren’t hurt since they are on a losing streak.

It’s also not persuasive. Some in the Bernie Sanders camp tried this message around this time last year, and Biden responded with a massive landslide comeback in the Democratic primaries. Biden’s general election opponent also tried this message until he got whooped by him in the first debate.

So if the right wing media wants to convince themselves that the guy who beat them in November and is beating COVID with vaccines for everyone by May is doing so as a corpse . . . then go for it.

But until they come up with something better, Zombie Biden is gonna keep eating them for lunch.



Tim Miller

Tim Miller is The Bulwark’s writer-at-large and the author of the best-selling book Why We Did It: A Travelogue from the Republican Road to Hell. He was previously political director for Republican Voters Against Trump and communications director for Jeb Bush 2016.