Biden 2021: The Year In Review

Patrick Goggins
10 min readJan 15, 2022

Twitter commentator Alyson Metzger is fond of saying “Never underestimate the delusional incompetence of aristocrats and courtiers.” Joe Biden’s first year in office has been marked by delusion and incompetence on an epic scale. From a candidate who ran on empathy and having a “plan” to fix the things that Donald Trump broke, we got an incompetent administration, cold and heartless. It turns out their “plan” was to feign powerlessness, and when it inevitably failed to yield results, the Biden administration’s “plan” was to uniformly place blame on others, mostly voters and Republicans. And the parliamentarian.

What follows is a snapshot journey of Joe Biden’s first year in office. Notably, in that short year, Democrats rehabilitated both George W. Bush, and Dick Cheney. Reading through Biden’s year one, one can only shudder at what is in store for years two, three, and four. G-d help us all.

January 11, 2021

Joe Biden calls on Congress to immediately cancel $10,000 in student loan debt. As president, Biden already has the authority to cancel student debt, by executive order. He chooses not to. Instead, in February, Biden asked the Secretary of Education for an opinion letter on the president’s statutory authority.

January 13, 2021

Mitch McConnell refuses to call an emergency session for yet another impeachment trial of Donald Trump. Democrats’ second performative effort to impeach Donald Trump dies a quiet death.

January 20, 2021

Joe Biden is inaugurated 46th president of the United States.

January 26, 2021

Democrats introduce legislation to raise the minimum wage to $15 … by 2025.

February 1, 2021

New York Governor Andrew Cuomo announces indoor dining will re-open in the state. He describes calls to give restaurant workers high priority to receive COVID vaccines “a cheap, insincere discussion.”

February 25, 2021

The Senate Parliamentarian issued an opinion that the $15 minimum wage cannot be included in the coronavirus relief bill. Joe Biden accepts it as a binding ruling.

March 5, 2021

Eight Democrats vote against an amendment intended to raise the minimum wage. A policy supported by Joe Biden. The $15 minimum wage is effectively dead.

March 11, 2021

Democrats negotiate down the size of the Build Back Better Act, with Democrats. The smaller price tag gains no Republican support.

April 25, 2021

The Biden administration continues family separation and child immigrant incarceration policies instituted by the Trump administration.

May 21, 2021

Biden drops student loan forgiveness from budget proposal. Asked about the Biden administration’s lack of progress enacting its agenda, press secretary Jen Psaki says “the ball is in the Republicans’ court.”

May 27, 2021

Breaking a campaign promise, Joe Biden backs an Alaska oil drilling project approved by Trump.

June 4, 2021

Breaking a campaign promise, Joe Biden offers to keep Trump’s 2017 tax cuts intact.

June 14, 2021

Democrats in Congress drop plans to tax the rich from Biden’s infrastructure bill.

July 21, 2021

Joe Biden opposes eliminating the filibuster rule, making passage of his agenda nearly impossible.

July 24, 2021

Joe Biden’s approval ratings drop below 50%.

August 3, 2021

In a move that benefitted a $1 million donor to the DCCC, Democrats allow an eviction ban to expire.

September 8, 2021

Breaking a compromise with congressional progressives, House Democratic Whip James Clyburn says that the $3.5 trillion figure connected with Biden’s Build Back Better Act is a “ceiling” not a “floor.”

September 11, 2021

George W. Bush compares 1/6 to 9/11. Democrats swoon.

September 20, 2021

Joe Biden opens up 78 million acres in the Gulf of Mexico to oil exploration. The Biden administration said that it was legally required to hold those auctions, and that climate change “does not present sufficient cause” to put the brakes on it.

The Senate Parliamentarian issues an opinion against immigration reform. Joe Biden accepts it as a binding ruling.

September 21, 2021

Biden’s Build Back Better Act is imperiled by right-wing Democratic Senators Joe Manchin and Krysten Sinema.

September 23, 2021

Joe Biden ramps up Title 42 expulsions of asylum seekers, a policy initiated by Donald Trump.

September 24, 2021

A video is released of Haitian asylum seekers expelled under Title 42, claiming they were “chained like animals” on the airplane. Photographs emerge of horse-mounted Border Patrol police whipping Haitian asylum seekers crossing the Rio Grande.

October 8, 2021

Rep. Ilhan Omar’s request that Biden release the opinion letter from the Department of Education, on the president’s authority to cancel student debt, is met with silence from the Biden administration.

October 16, 2021

Breaking a campaign promise, Joe Biden re-implements Donald Trumps “Remain in Mexico” policy. In 2020, candidate Biden called this policy “dangerous, inhumane, and goes against everything we stand for as a nation of immigrants.”

October 25, 2021

Congressional Democrats water down a popular Biden proposal to allow the government to negotiate prescription drug prices.

October 28, 2021

Joe Biden abandons his popular proposal to allow the government to negotiate prescription drug prices.

November 1, 2021

The fate of Joe Biden’s Build Back Better Act is in the hands of right-wing Democratic Senator Joe Manchin.

November 9, 2021

In the Buffalo mayor’s race, the New York Democratic Party supports an independent write-in candidate, running against the black woman who won the New York Democratic Party primary.

November 10, 2021

At COP26, Nancy Pelosi dismisses criticism that the Pentagon creates as much pollution as 140 countries combined, saying “The climate crisis is a national security matter.”

Hopeful Gen-Z political consultant says the reason young people are frustrated with the Biden administration is “messaging.” On-line neoliberals call Gen-Z’s “the most pampered and spoiled generation to ever walk the planet.”

November 13, 2021

There is growing public concern with Joe Biden’s failure to enact his agenda, and its consequences in the 2022 mid-term elections.

November 16, 2021

Democrats pass a record-high Pentagon spending bill. Biden signs it into law.

November 17, 2021

Breaking a campaign promise, on day 311 of his presidency, Joe Biden fails to ensure waiver of world-wide patent protections on COVID vaccines. In July 2020, candidate Biden emphatically promised to do so, when disabled activist Ady Barkan asked him “If the U.S. discovers a vaccine first, will you commit to sharing that technology with other countries? And will you ensure there are no patents to stand in the way of other countries mass-producing those life-saving vaccines?” Biden claims his public support of a waiver before the WTO fulfilled this promise, although no actual waiver resulted from this support.

December 3, 2021

Joe Biden further extends Donald Trump’s Title 42 expulsion program. Candidate Joe Biden called this program “a stain on our nation.”

December 7, 2021

Responding to a question about sending free COVID tests to Americans, in a response lacking in empathy, press secretary Jen Psaki asks “Should we just send one to every American? Then what happens if every American has one test? How much does that cost and what happens after that?”

December 13, 2021

Joe Biden’s explanation for auctioning off 78 million acres in the Gulf of Mexico for oil exploration, that he was legally required to do so, is proven false.

December 14, 2021

Breaking a campaign promise, Joe Biden re-starts federal student loan payments that were paused under Donald Trump.

December 15, 2021

Democratic Senator Chuck Schumer calls on Joe Biden to cancel student debt. Biden press secretary Jen Psaki calls on Congress to cancel student debt.

December 16, 2021

Breaking a campaign promise, Joe Biden refuses to compensate families separated at the Border by Donald Trump, instead goes to court to defend Trump officials.

December 19, 2021

Joe Biden’s signature legislation, the Build Back Better Act, appears to be dead, for failure of support by right-wing Democratic Senator Joe Manchin.

December 27, 2021

Joe Biden says “There is no federal solution” for the COVID pandemic.

December 30, 2021

Analysis shows that, in 2021, Biden under-delivered on social spending, and over-delivered on military spending.

January 4, 2022

Implementing Delta Airlines’ recommendation, the CDC lowers its COVID quarantine guidance from 10 days to 5, amid a spike in COVID deaths. In 2020, candidate Biden said that Donald Trump should “take responsibility” for 1,000 deaths/day. President Biden fails to take responsibility for over 1,600 deaths/day.

January 6, 2022

Democratic Virginia Governor Ralph Northam blames the I-95 snowstorm backup on drivers. “Why did you feel it was so important to drive through such a snowstorm?”

Dick Cheney is mildly critical of Donald Trump. Democrats swoon.

January 7, 2022

Joe Biden prepares Americans to see COVID as a part of life.

January 9, 2022

Democratic pundit Jennifer Rubin says she’s “not sure the president … can do a whole lot” about the economy and COVID. A year previously, she said that Donald Trump had blood on his hands for his COVID response.

January 10, 2022

Reports show that carbon emissions in the U.S. surged in 2021.

January 11, 2022

New York Times columnist Thomas Friedman touts a Biden/Cheney ticket in 2024. Wall Street Journal, CNN, and the New York Magazine tout a Hillary Clinton re-run in 2024. Democrats swoon.

January 12, 2022

Joe Biden’s approval ratings drop to 33%, lower than Donald Trump at any time in his presidency.

January 13, 2022

Right-wing Democratic Senator Krysten Sinema opposes exempting Joe Biden’s signature Freedom to Vote Act and the John Lewis Voting Rights Advancement Act from the filibuster rule, effectively killing the legislation. Of the bill, Joe Biden says “I don’t know whether we can get this done.” Sinema’s name is mentioned as a possible 2024 presidential candidate. Democrats swoon.

January 14, 2022

Joe Biden drops the requirement that hospitals report daily numbers of COVID deaths.



Patrick Goggins

Lawyer, writer, musician, bon vivant. Born in Flint, Michigan during the Cuban Missile Crisis.