When it comes to the culture wars, President Joe Biden is a conscientious objector—or at least that’s what the press would have you believe. “The culture warriors keep knocking on the White House doors,” USA Today’s Michael Collins insisted, “but President Joe Biden seldom answers.” In the Washington Post, Paul Waldman argued that because he has broken the link “between culture and policy,” Biden is “kryptonite to the Republican culture war.” Most of Biden’s policies must be viewed as part of a concerted “strategy to reduce the corrosive impact of hot-button social, cultural, and racial issues,” according to New York Times columnist Thomas B. Edsall. And while “Republicans are busy trying to bait Democrats on culture war issues,” the Week’s Damon Linker contended, the party in power is “refusing to play along” and getting high marks from voters as a result.
Joe Biden “offers the right, well, a nothingburger on culture wars,” New York Times reporter Jonathan Martin most recently observed. The use of “nothingburger” was a wordplay response to the fizzling of the allegation, credulously promoted by rightist media venues, that the president’s climate plan would require Americans to eat 90 percent less animal protein by 2030 than they currently do.