The New York Times has not hesitated to use the coronavirus crisis to push its left-wing policy priorities. Reporter Alexander Burns devoted 2,000 words on the front page of Monday’s edition to “Biden Pursues Ideas to Match Scale of Crisis -- Left Sees an Opening for a Bolder Agenda.” The online headline was simplistic: “Seeking: Big Democratic Ideas That Make Everything Better.”
More than 36 million Americans are suddenly unemployed. Congress has allocated $2.2 trillion in aid, with more likely to be on the way as a fight looms over government debt. Millions more people are losing their health insurance and struggling to take care of their children and aging relatives. And nearly 90,000 are dead in a continuing public health catastrophe.
This was not the scenario Joseph R. Biden Jr. anticipated confronting when he competed for the Democratic nomination on a conventional left-of-center platform. Now, with Mr. Biden leading President Trump in the polls, the former vice president and other Democratic leaders are racing to assemble a new governing agenda that meets the extraordinary times -- and they agree it must be far bolder than anything the party establishment has embraced before.
“Far bolder” apparently translates to “democratic socialism.” There's no "extremism," no "hard left," "far left," or "radical left." Just "a bolder agenda."
But in several areas there are already strong signs of consensus within Mr. Biden’s party, as once-cautious electoral and legislative tacticians shed their opposition to huge price tags and disruptive change amid a crisis that has melted traditional obstacles to government action.
Democratic leaders say that if they hold power next January, they must be prepared to move to pump trillions more into the economy; enact infrastructure and climate legislation far larger than they previously envisioned; pass a raft of aggressive worker-protection laws; expand government-backed health insurance and create enormous new investments in public-health jobs, health care facilities and child care programs.
Discussions are also underway, some of them involving Republicans, about policies that would ban stock buybacks and compel big corporations to share more of their profits with workers.
The party’s moderates, Mr. Warner said, had begun to think “exponentially bigger” about a legislative vision for overhauling the economy.
....One Democratic group, Navigator Research, that has been conducting daily polling on the pandemic, found large majorities of voters concerned that the government would do too little to help people and eager for the government to do more, even if it cost a lot of money.
The lead story embrace of newly left-wing Biden constrasts starkly with the paper’s look at the Trump campaign on Saturday’s front page, which focused solely on Trump’s “darkest political tactics,” in a “political memo” co-written by Burns, “A Sitting President, Riling the Nation During a Crisis -- By smearing his opponents, championing conspiracy theories and pursuing vendettas, President Trump has reverted to his darkest political tactics in spite of a pandemic hurting millions of Americans.” It also worked as a sad defense of Hillary Clinton from mean Republican attacks. It led off:
Even by President Trump’s standards, it was a rampage....