Eight months in and I am perilously close to employing one of the worst political clichés in existence — Joe Biden’s honeymoon is over. You’re not imagining things — the Biden presidency is in a state of free-fall.
This is not a joke. It’s not an overreaction. It’s not about Biden’s opponents pouncing or seizing. Biden’s presidency has a very real chance of completely foundering within its first year. After a promising start where he inherited a vaccination process that was already in progress, albeit briefly, under Trump, his vaccine strategy has stalled to the point of him now demanding mandates on private businesses, a step he assured the electorate he would not take. Last Friday, an FDA panel bucked Biden’s booster rollout program, which was slated to begin this week.
That was one of many self-inflicted wounds that Biden suffered at the end of last week as he took off for the Delaware coast for a long weekend of bike-riding and ignoring reporters. In the span of that single afternoon, the Pentagon also revealed that a retaliatory drone strike for the deaths of 13 US service-members at Kabul airport did not kill any Isis-K terrorists, as Biden and his State Department had claimed, but instead killed an innocent US-linked aid worker, as well as seven children. Neither Biden nor his press secretary Jen Psaki have answered questions on this matter. Their strategic silence is all we need to evaluate how they think this looks – and they are correct.
Along with the self-imposed Afghanistan debacle, which has created an enormous refugee crisis in a foreign region, Biden has caused another one on our southern border. Drone footage and photos splashed all over social media this weekend showed thousands of migrants, some believed to be Haitian, crossing the Rio Grande river into Del Rio, Texas, unabated. They had to be corralled under the Del Rio Bridge, with several even crafting makeshift tents and shelters.
Biden promised that America would be back. Instead we’re getting his back, as he turns his away from the microphone every time one is placed in front of him. His ‘strategy’ has also not helped with allies, as France recalled their ambassador over a secret deal between the US and Australia that saw Washington renege (according to the French) on an agreement to sell nuclear submarine technology to them and not the Aussies (crikey!). I’m not going to pretend I understand all the particulars of why the French are upset with us this time, but recalling an ambassador sure sounds serious for an administration that prided itself on being the adult on the world stage.
And finally, Joe Biden’s domestic agenda, which he placed in Nancy Pelosi’s carbon-dated hands, has all but stalled, thanks to her stubborn refusal to advance Biden’s infrastructure package without budget reconciliation, something members of his own party have told him is a non-starter.
I survey all of this and I ask: what is Joe Biden getting right at the moment? Where is his presidency succeeding? What is he delivering? According to (another) Jill Biden New York Times puff profile, uniting the country has now fallen to her. It appears that America, which was willing to give Grandpa a shot so we could all get some reprieve from the loud angry orange man, is now sending a message to Biden loud and clear: simply not being Trump is not going to cut it. He still has to do the job.
People seem to be waking up to the fact that Joe Biden is who Joe Biden has always been — only now it’s not just funny gaffes and infamously bad theorizing on the state of the world. Biden gaffes are now policy. No wonder the show is flopping.
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