“Stop me if you’ve heard this one before: A new Democratic president has inherited a nation in crisis. His first major policy initiative is a short-term relief bill intended to lead the way out of that crisis. He follows that bill with proposals to address longer-term problems and, if possible, to change American society for the better. His party holds majorities in the House and the Senate, but both of his initiatives face scorched-earth opposition from Republicans.
I could be describing the early months of either the Obama administration or the Biden administration. But there’s one huge difference between them: Even though Barack Obama began his presidency with high personal approval ratings, his policies never had strong public support. Public approval for Joe Biden’s policies, by contrast, is almost surreally high. Why?
To see what I’m talking about, compare polling on the Affordable Care Act — Obamacare — with polling on Biden’s American Jobs Plan.
The A.C.A., famously, had negative net approval throughout the Obama years. Its image didn’t improve until the Trump administration tried to kill it, and even then it faced overwhelming disapproval from Republican voters. . . . “