The aides in the Joe Biden administration aren’t known for rebelliousness. They rarely air grievances over their boss’s missteps—certainly not publicly, or to the press. There have been moments of crisis, of course, like the nationwide baby formula shortage or the wildly chaotic military pullout from Afghanistan. But they kept their heads down through those, enduring long hours and low pay to work for a president some hadn’t even initially supported in the Democratic primaries.
This time was different. The chatter started almost immediately after the US Supreme Court reversed the precedent that had protected nearly 50 years of legal abortion in the US. In text messages, over drinks, and at house parties, aides privately expressed anger that President Biden wasn’t responding with real action, or seemingly any sense of urgency, to the dismantling of Americans’ rights.