The country has the Biden blues bad, and that ain’t good.
Joe Biden, 46th president of the United States, has pushed all the buttons that were supposed to be the right ones and they have produced no result or the wrong result.
Domestically, things have been bad enough. He hasn’t convinced anyone that he has a viable border policy and his point person on the issue, Vice President Kamala Harris, has no ideas and an aversion to being reminded that she is the policy chief of the border.
His stimulus package, so timely at the time, now appears to have overstimulated the economy, leading to the worst inflation since the 1970s.
Congress frustrates the president routinely. The man who spent 36 years in Congress is unable to find consensus. To the shame of the Democrats, the Guantanamo Bay prison remains open.
Crime is rampant, cities are again unsafe. The administration has been silent, pointing up a sustained ideas drought.
Abroad, things have been worse and more consequential. As vice president, Biden prided himself on his foreign policy nous. But as president, he seems to be a study in foreign policy infelicity. Doing the right thing at the wrong time is his special talent.
The speedy, ill-considered withdrawal from Afghanistan is emblematic of the Biden blunders. It led one to wonder what he is told in those daily briefings? What was he told that led him to believe that he should build on Donald Trump’s foolish negotiation with the Taliban? Biden seized that misbegotten idea and executed it.
Similarly, when a column of asylum seekers was making its way up South America from as far as Chile, didn’t the daily briefings mention this; explain that this appeared to be well-financed. If he weren’t told, what action did he take to make sure there wouldn’t be such failures going forward?
Biden persuaded Germany not to certify the Nord Stream 2 pipeline under the Baltic Sea, taking natural gas from Russia directly to Germany.
That Germany has willingly climbed between the sheets with the Russian Bear wasn’t Biden’s fault, but Nord Stream 2 was a long time in planning and construction. It all got going during the Obama years when Biden was being thought of as the vice president who understood foreign policy.
That was the time to dissuade Germany, not when it is complete and threatens to drive a wedge between Germany and NATO. Friends don’t let friends date the bear. They warn them off.
Now comes the Winter Olympics in China. Taking your marbles and going home isn’t a good strategy. The game goes on and you are out of it, as with Biden’s diplomatic boycott of the games.
That led not to a better deal for the Uighurs, but to the world being treated to innumerable images of Chinese President Xi Jinping and Russian President Vladimir Putin together — images that suggested they represent a new Axis that can dismember the world as they wish.
Those images are more damaging than any agreements the two caudillos concluded; they cement the sense that the West is defenseless against dictators.
In his administration, Biden’s propensity to do the right thing and get the wrong result is demonstrated in his relationship with Harris. He has worked hard to elevate her to a status she isn’t earning for herself. The administration now bills itself as the Biden-Harris administration. It was never the Obama-Biden administration.
Biden’s cabinet is filled with the right people for a charity event: good people who are likable and bland to a fault. The exceptions are Transportation Secretary Pete Buttigieg and Commerce Secretary Gina Raimondo. Sadly, neither is in a position where they can redirect the ship of state or even nudge it back on course. If you don’t have the mettle yourself and lack the needed cunning, hire it.