How did everything go so wrong, so fast? Former President and current éminence grise, Barack Obama, belled the cat two years ago, telling a journalist: “Don’t underestimate Joe’s ability to f… things up.” We had severe doubts about President-elect Biden (see here) and shared fears for America’s future (see here), and it gives us no joy to conclude those doubts and fears were valid. Here’s a interim report on President Joe’s legacy, thus far (0 being bad, 10 being excellent):
Afghanistan: 0/10 – Withdrawal per se was perfectly plausible, but this became the worst execution of a military and civilian withdrawal (and done in that order!) in the history of the World. But the Taliban (and al-Queda) are pleased.
Inflation: 0/10 – From initial denial of a problem, to a chorus of idiots declaring inflation was “transitory“, to blaming everything from Mr. Putin, Global Warming, the January 6th ‘insurrection’ and the Depp/Heard defamation trial, the Biden administration has been slow and incompetent, and its trillion dollar wet-dream spending sent inflation surging to the highest levels in 40 years – well before Ukraine was invaded. But the Federal Reserve must be pleased: a dollar worth less than a peso is handy to reduce public debt.
Ukraine: 1/10 – Joe managed to suggest a minor invasion by Russia would be OK, then seemed to say the US would use chemical weapons, then called for Putin to be ’86’d’, then sent billions of dollars and tonnes of military hardware to bail-out Hunter Biden’s buddies at Burisma. Meanwhile, he said his sanctions would ‘deter’; then he said it was not deterrence, after the invasion happened and Putin ‘doubled-down’, but punishment; However, he neglected to tell everyone that the American people would be the ones punished – with record high gas prices, oil embargos, supply problems, and the ruble meanwhile doubling in value. He vowed to go after Putin’s “klep…kelptoc…kloptec…kleptocracy” and sequestered a luxury yacht. Apparently, property is theft, after all: Pierre-Joseph Proudhon would be pleased.
Energy Policy: 0/10 – The genius puppeteers in the White House stopped domestic exploration and drilling, killed the Keystone pipeline, and now Joe has to go cap-in-hand for oil to benevolent democracies like Saudi Arabia, Iran and Venezuela. But soon, Americans can buy a Tesla (for $80k), notwithstanding that the emissions caused by manufacture and running of electric vehicles are vastly higher than fossil fuel-driven transport. But Joe’s billionaire donors (and even Elon Musk) are pleased.
Supply Crises: 0/10 – Gas at $7 per gallon; no baby formula; global food shortages predicted due to a shortage of wheat and fertilizers (legacy of the invasion of Ukraine); major log-jams at U.S. ports, and the transportation secretary (Pete Buttiegieg, the bender from South Bend, Indiana) takes 2 month’s maternity leave. But billionaire profiteers must be pleased.
Crime: 0/10 – While Joe’s goons go looking for white supremacists, cities such as Baltimore, Chicago, Los Angeles, New York City, Philadelphia, Portland, San Francisco, and Seattle, all appear to need rescuing by Snake Plissken. But George Soros must be pleased.
Covid-19: 1/10 – Joe was going to smash the virus. He smashed the economy instead, and still loom the spectres of mask mandates, school closures and vaccine passports…So Anthony Fauci must be pleased.
Roe v Wade: 0/10 – Joe, once a critic of Roe, now oversees and ignores direct threats to Supreme Court justices if they dare overturn it. A draft opinion was leaked a while back, and they still don’t know by whom (or as with the killer of Ashli Babbitt, don’t care). But activists of all stripes, enlivened by the chance to firebomb Pregnancy Clinics on the one hand, and Abortion Clinics on the other, must be pleased. It’s a perfect issue for the Democrats in November. A moral issue, and as Elaine May once said, a moral issue is so much more interesting than a real issue.
Border Security: 0/10 – 2 million illegal migrants flood across the southern border, to be flown and bussed to a town near you. But Joe’s billionaire donors (hankering for cheap labour in their warehouses and sweat shops) are pleased, along with Democrat demographers, who assume that ignorant peons allowed-in will gratefully vote blue. What was that thing about “the soft racism of low expectations…”?
Infrastructure: 1/10 – A trillion dollars printed, and there does not appear to be anything to show for it. In a case of perfect timing, Joe visited Pittsburgh in January 2022 to hawk his infrastructure bill, when the Fern Hollow Bridge there collapsed. (Not fixed yet).
Tolerance of Lies: 0/10 – Joe’s well-known penchant for exaggeration, self-aggrandizement and outright lies are well-documented. See the links above. But he’s gone beyond corny personal stories about life in Scranton or getting arrested in Soweto, etc.; now he tells bald-faced whoppers about policy (e.g. the Afghanistan withdrawal was brilliant, the economy is going gang-busters, white supremacists are the biggest domestic threat to the US, Republicans are all racist and a threat to democracy, and he knew nothing about Hunter’s business affairs). Even the Washington Post is awarding him numerous ‘Pinocchios.’
Censorship: 0/10 – Joe likes to smother harmful disinformation and smears, such as the de-bunked Hunter laptop from Hell, or the slander that the Clinton campaign dollied-up a dossier on Trump, or that BLM is a fraudulent, money-filching ‘idea,’ and the riots of 2020 were not mostly peaceful. Big Tech is helpful in an effort to ‘moderate’ on-line content, but they can only do so much, and Twitter might get into the hands of evil right-wing trolls. So Joe’s administration set up the “Disinformation Governance Board” (DGB – Yuri Andropov would be proud!) and appointed Nina Jankowicz, a partisan flac, to head it. We actually quite liked Nina’s ditty, to the tune of “Supercalifragilisticexpialidocious,” she’s the Marxist version of Mary Poppins! But the DGB was put on ice, and now VP Harris is in charge of a new version, a disinformation and harassment unit to police thought and speech. Kamala’s previous briefs were to restore order at the southern border, and reduce tensions in Eastern Europe, so she soon should score 0-3.
More troubling than these policy and implementation disasters, perhaps, is the President’s functional decline. We cited above our list of gaffes and misstatements leading up to his 2020 election, and it seemed to accelerate, even from the Covid Campaign Bunker, in 2020. But since then, the deterioration is startling, bearing out the Second Law of Thermodynamics (i.e., He’s getting worse).
What is most troubling is that he is wholly insentient. Never mind that he can’t string a sentence together, even off auto-cue: more disturbing is that his well-known and well-liked capacity for empathy seems to have gone. We’re left with a shrill, shrieking, weird exoskeleton, an angry man shouting at the clouds, who can’t face a hard interview, answer an intelligent question, or put in a full day, and whose backers now want him gone. His wife and other minders guide him away from inquiring adults, he’s in his jammies by late afternoon, and leaves the White House on most weekends.
After President Kennedy was killed, and with the memory of President Woodrow Wilson going ga-ga still extant, the Constitution was amended in 1965. The 25th Amendment relevantly states:
SECTION 4. Whenever the Vice President and a majority of
either the principal officers of the executive departments or of
such other body as Congress may by law provide, transmit to
the President pro tempore of the Senate and the Speaker of the
House of Representatives their written declaration that the
President is unable to discharge the powers and duties of his
office, the Vice President shall immediately assume the powers
and duties of the office as Acting President.