Neera Tanden, professional divider
"[T]o restore the soul and to secure the future of America requires more than words. It requires that most elusive of things in a democracy: unity." Those were President Joe Biden's much acclaimed words at his inaugural address. He was right, which, ironically, is why most conservatives did not believe a word of it.
His words indicate an attempt to unify. But if President Biden knows that more than words are needed to achieve unity, he must not really want it. Most of the actions he has taken as president have been hyper-divisive.
In his first week in office, he went on an all-out assault on conservatives, opting to promote abortion on demand at home and abroad, ignoring women's concerns over the safety and fairness of males taking over women's sports and spaces, and canceling many projects and policies (like the Keystone Pipeline) that were life-bringing for millions, especially those with low incomes.
His nominations also reflect he is not serious about uniting the country. They suggest he is actively working for a deeper divide.
Neera Tanden, President Biden's nomination to be the director of the Office of Management and Budget (OMB), is just the latest example. Tanden, a former Hillary Clinton adviser and the current president of the leftist Center for American Progress, has made a career of dividing.
In a 2016 press release, the Catholic Medical Association decried revelations of how Tanden, alongside John Podesta, the current chair of her board, plotted to spur division among Catholics for political gain, saying "the strategy of using contraception as a wedge issue has been 'successful as a political cudgel, helping isolate extreme ... [pro-life] advocates from the mainstream.'"
It is no wonder she is described as a "key architect" of the Affordable Care Act (AKA Obamacare), which was used repeatedly to go after nuns (the Little Sisters of the Poor) for their religious views regarding abortion and contraception. That fight is still ongoing, and with this pick, President Biden sends a signal of where it is headed.
He is following through on his promise as a candidate to return to the Obama-era policy of persecuting nuns. White House press secretary Jen Psaki was recently asked, "If Biden still planned to go after the religious and moral objection exemptions given his stated goal of bringing the country together." She reiterated that "there's not a change in his position from what he said earlier this summer," even though, as customary, she promised to "circle back."
The reality is that everything seems to be going according to the Biden plan — the action plan, not the empty unifying words the media promoted. Division is key to the Democrats' radical policy agenda. It's the old divide and conquer technique.
Tanden fits perfectly. Her long career as a political operative has, in fact, contributed to our current divisive climate. She describes herself as Clinton's "loyal soldier." The failed "basket of deplorables" strategy was born under her guidance.
Lest you think that was just Hillary Clinton's way and not reflective of Tanden's modus operandi, consider that she has had to delete and apologize for over 1,000 inappropriate tweets since her nomination. The comments included exclaiming, "There's a God. And she's unhappy" after Rupert Murdoch's house caught fire; saying, "Vampires have more heart than Ted Cruz"; and calling then–Senate majority leader Mitch McConnell "Moscow Mitch" and "Voldemort."
Tanden has also brought about division within the Democratic Party to advance her preferred causes. She was instrumental in the shenanigans done to quash Sen. Bernie Sanders's presidential campaign. He confronted her about some public comments about him during her hearings, saying, "Your attacks were not just made against Republicans. There were vicious attacks made against progressives. People who I have worked with, me personally."
Considering how much Democrats decried President Donald Trump's continued use of Twitter, I was surprised to learn that Tanden had outperformed the former president, tweeting 30,000 more tweets than he did.
When confronted with her abusive and divisive comments at her hearing, she had to disavow her behavior, saying, "I deeply regret and apologize for my language." She acknowledged she "caused hurt to people." But the comments are par for the course for Tanden. Is anybody buying that she's suddenly had a change of heart?
Surely, all senators see that Tanden is merely trying to get through confirmation to continue her strategically divisive work at the OMB, of all places. She is the wrong nominee for the wrong post at the worst time possible. She should be emphatically rejected by senators from both sides of the aisle.
Image: Neera Tanden. YouTube screen grab.