Features Australia

A week in the life of Brandon

President Joe Biden’s presidency is not going well

22 January 2022

9:00 AM

22 January 2022

9:00 AM

Was last week the worst week any US president has ever suffered in nearly two and a half centuries of American history? Here was Joe Biden’s week. Inflation hit a 39-year high at seven percent. (Spoiler alert: If you don’t believe that high inflation, with all its bad implications for government and personal debt, is coming to Australia, I’ve got some ocean view property in Alice Springs I can sell you at a really good Sydney price. Are you listening Treasury boffins and Mr. Frydenberg?) On top of that, Covid cases and hospitalisations hit an all-time US high. If you look at last week’s graphs for the now 800,000 Covid cases, it does indeed seem that the curve has been flattened – just on the Y-axis instead of the X-axis, such is the rocketing straight upwards number of new US cases, despite endless vaccines and boosters and masks and attempted despotism. Yep, Joe Biden who got into the White House solely by attacking the job Donald Trump was doing with Covid, now has presided over more Covid deaths (and everything else) than his predecessor. His heavy-handed vaccine mandates, the ‘you must mask up’ religion, the fact he inherited the vaccines and has been in office with the milder Omicron variant in play, all that and the rest of his despotic approach have done nothing. Worse results than under President Trump!

That’s not all. The US Supreme Court last week struck down and invalidated President Biden’s private sector vaccine mandate. This wasn’t done on some rights-related basis linked to the US Bill of Rights. Nope. It was straight out, old-fashioned administrative law. The governing OSHA (‘Occupational Safety and Health Administration’) statute did not authorise these sorts of executive actions. Congress could do it if it so chose. But it hasn’t. In other words, the statute being pointed to gave no plausible grounds for thinking this Biden administration could make this sort of order. So 6-3 it was invalidated. No doubt some of today’s woke, PC, diversity and HR department-driven big US corporations may impose such vaccine mandates themselves. But in the US there has been consumer pushback against such corporate actions. The data now is plain. Everyone will get Omicron. And the vaccinated pass it on just as much as the unvaccinated. There are no convincing grounds for excluding the unvaccinated from anything. Full stop. (It’s a pity our faux liberal government does nothing about this in Australia, but then its days are deservedly numbered.)

But back to the week that was Joe Biden’s last week. On top of all of the above, this President’s own Democratic Party did not stay unified to support his demand to remove the Senate filibuster in order to pass what the Biden administration called a Voting Rights Act, but was in fact an attempt to lock in the very loose and unconstrained voting practices brought in during the height of Covid for the last presidential election — no ID needed (and for readers’ benefits let me note that for elections in left-wing Canada voters absolutely do need to present ID); ballot harvesting to be allowed everywhere (uniquely in the world pretty much) and just about every other item on the ‘how to run elections’ wish list of the most left-wing, open borders person you can imagine. To get that through, the US Senate would need to remove the practice known as ‘the filibuster’. This is the practice of ‘talking out a Bill’, an anti-majoritarian procedure foreclosing voting on a Bill without super-majority support that has been part of the US Senate’s practices since President Andrew Jackson in 1837. As regards the appointment of top judges, the filibuster was not long ago removed firstly by the Democrats for Federal Court judges below the Supreme Court, and then in response a bit later by the Republicans for Supreme Court appointments. But that’s it. Hence, this needed super-majority procedure (you need 60 of the 100 Senators to end the filibuster) was in play for President Biden’s desired legislation. Of course it is only singly-entrenched – a simple majority can over-ride and remove the super-majority procedure – just as with, say, the laid-down protections around PM Scott Morrison’s position as leader. If all 50 Democrat Senators stood fast, they could ditch it. That unity collapsed last week as firstly Senator Kyrsten Sinema (D) of Arizona and then Senator Joe Manchin (D) of West Virginia said that under no circumstances would they vote to end the filibuster. So that Biden voting initiative (virtually his only legislative initiative anyone can think of) died last week.

Is that it for the Biden week that was? Nope. New polls came out showing his approval rating at 33 percent. That’s about 6 to 8 points below President Trump’s at the same time in their terms – with a further difference being that the Republican base never once deserted Trump while Democrat voters are starting to do that to this President. Worse, again, all these polls have a history of over-sampling Democrats, at the expense of Republicans and Independents. Factor that in, as they do to predict elections, and Biden’s standing with US voters has completely cratered. With midterm elections later this year a near-record number of incumbent Democrats in the House of Representatives have signalled they won’t be running again. No incumbent and the chances for the Republicans go up noticeably.

All in all, then, bad news piled on lousy news atop frightful news. That was the Biden week that was. Actually, I omitted one further metric. Sales of ‘Let’s Go Brandon’ merchandise keep going up and up. Throughout much of the country chants of these words break out at big sporting events. And the delightful bit is that these words are an attack not just on President Biden but on the mainstream press that goes to Pravda-like lengths to protect him. (Just look up how the chant came about at a big car race with a reporter keen to deflect the crowd’s dislike of President Biden. And ask yourselves what the media would be saying if Trump were in office and this sort of inflation and Covid case count were happening. Right now they are downplaying both in every direction – we are starting to hear the Centers for Disease Control and the press desperately distinguish between those who died ‘with Covid’ and those who died ‘because of Covid’. The former are upwards of half, as we have always known. But it is no easy task to put the effects of blatant fearmongering back in the bottle.)

At any rate, that was the Biden week that was. Worst one in US Presidential history? Probably President Madison’s was worse when the Brits burned down Washington in 1814 during the War of 1812. And Abe Lincoln had some pretty bad weeks during the Civil War. Still, Biden is finally making the podium for something.

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