Conservatives who held their noses and voted for Joe Biden to replace Donald Trump as US president did so, in large part, because they thought Biden would not prove to be a far-left president. They were wrong, and those among the far-left of the Democrat party are reaping the benefits of those conservatives' protest votes.
The "never Trump" conservatives, who hated the man's bluster, his pomp, his self-importance, put more value on removing the divisive figure from office than on what they were letting through the front door.
Leftist and progressive outlets were overjoyed to welcome these Trump-hating conservatives to the Biden-voting camp, happy to embrace them and their feelings about how icky the big bad orange man was.
These Republicans, those fiscally conservative, socially liberal types, who were less concerned with culture, more interested in tax policy, thought Biden would be something of a nothing. They thought Biden would have four years at the helm, wouldn't steer us in any particular direction, and would leave room for them to remake conservatism in their own image, and not in Trump's. Bill Kristol was counting on it. Yet Biden has passed massive spending bills, insisted that the nation being systemically racist, and has steamrolled over Republicans in congress.
In November, Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D-NY) had concerns about the incoming administration, saying "I don't know how open they’ll be. And it's not a personal thing. It's just, the history of the party tends to be that we get really excited about the grass roots to get elected. And then those communities are promptly abandoned right after an election."
That worry has not proved out. In fact, the opposite is true. Just a few days shy of Biden's 100 days in office, AOC said:
"One thing that I will say is that I do think that the Biden administration, and President Biden, has definitely exceeded expectations that progressives had. I'll be frank, I think alot of us expected a much more conservative administration, and I think that his—not only what has ultimately come out, but the active invitation and willingness and collaboration with progressives in his first 100 days, or almost 100 days, has been very impressive.
"And so while there are very, y'know, there are areas where there are just plain areas of disagreement, I think that the actual conduct of the administration has absolutely been in good faith. But not just in good faith, but not just in good faith but active incorporation of progressive legislation and also for those of us individually.
"And I can at least say that there has been alot of openness and willingness and flexibility in incorporating many of our goals, demands, requests, etc."
What allows a con-man to do his work is that the thing he's offering is so desirable to the mark. The never Trump conservatives wanted so badly to hand the keys of the kingdom to a reasonable, if liberal, candidate, that they ignored and mocked warnings from the conservative press that Biden was a milquetoast Trojan Horse for a radical leftist agenda.
Trump-hating conservatives wanted Trump gone, and they barely cared how they achieved that goal. They listened to AOC when she said Biden wasn't progressive enough, and they were glad to eat that up. They thought that if AOC said Biden would be an ineffectual president for progressive policies, he would work out just fine. But they were played. They say be careful what you wish for, but also be careful who you shill for.
If AOC, peddler of activist progressive policies, is on board with what Biden is doing, those conservatives who advocated for his presidency should know that they allowed their personal distaste for Trump to blind them to the truly divisive and damaging reality of an intensely progressive Biden presidency.