Back in the real world, the flap with France, the tragic drone strike that killed 10 Afghan civilians, and the botched, politicized vaccine booster roll out are all the obvious outcomes of his own policies and governance. Of course, the real goal is to provide cover to pass a massive, progressive spending spree that’s currently on life support and fading fast.
President Joe Biden is on a losing streak that would make even the most stout-hearted gambler fold his cards, go home, and avoid the casino for a year or more. After a summer that saw the coronavirus pandemic he declared close to over explode to almost unseen levels, inflation take a 2% bite out of people’s actual wages, unexpectedly weak job growth, a continuing and growing crisis on the border, and a disastrous retreat from Afghanistan, September is proving the old adage that when it rains it pours. Last Friday, brought a trio of bad news: France has recalled their ambassador, a stunning move for a country that has been our ally before we were even a country, the FDA refused to approve the new coronavirus booster shot for all Americans, and the Pentagon was forced to admit a drone strike in Kabul killed ten civilians, not terrorists. The news didn’t get any better on Monday when the Senate Parliamentarian ruled immigration reform proposals hidden in Biden’s signature $3.5 trillion spending plan couldn’t be passed under the 50-vote reconciliation threshold.
In response, the pro-Biden mainstream media could only shrug their shoulders and claim, hey, these things are bad, but not really his fault, describing them as “unexpected” or “uncontrollable events.” CNN, for example, focused on “How Biden hopes to recapture his momentum after a week of unexpected setbacks” rather than the actual setbacks themselves and the resulting interruption of his planned vacation of all things. “Biden’s weekend trip to Rehoboth Beach, Delaware — rescheduled after repeatedly being postponed during a chaotic August — was slated to include a heavy focus with his senior advisers on the critical weeks ahead: on his agenda, but also on looming, and equally high-stakes, battles to fund the government and raise the debt ceiling to avoid a catastrophic default, according to two officials who spoke to CNN ahead of the trip.” Unfortunately, reality interceded and before Biden departed for Delaware “it was evident the economic agenda wouldn’t be the only matter at hand.”
This is a pretty bizarre way to frame developments that are far more self-inflicted wounds, as in the potentially obvious outcome of strategies Biden is pursuing, than anything unexpected or uncontrollable. Who chose to cut France out of the Australia discussions, not even notifying them that any discussions with Australia were underway? How did he think France was going to react, send over another Statue of Liberty for costing them billions? Here’s how the French described it, “This extraordinary decision reflects the exceptional seriousness of the announcements made on September 15 by Australia and the United States,” Jean-Yves Le Drian, the French minister for Europe and foreign affairs, said in a statement. “The abandonment of the ocean-class submarine project that Australia and France had been working on since 2016 and the announcement of a new partnership with the United States aimed at studying the possibility of future cooperation on nuclear-powered submarines constitute unacceptable behavior among allies and partners; their consequences affect the very concept we have of our alliances, our partnerships, and the importance of the Indo-Pacific for Europe.”
No one can recall anything similar happening in the modern era, if ever. Sadly, it seems as if the entire rift is essentially over nothing, simply bad diplomacy. France and Australia has been working on a non-nuclear submarine deal to provide a counterbalance to China in the region valued at around $66 billion. France is also known as a leader in nuclear power and enjoys it’s prestige in the field, so what does Biden do? Swoop in with the United Kingdom and write their own deal to create a trilateral security partnership, AUKUS. Australia issued a statement on the new partnership, “The security challenges in the Indo-Pacific region have grown significantly. Military modernization is occurring at an unprecedented rate and capabilities are rapidly advancing and their reach expanding. The technological edge enjoyed by Australia and our partners is narrowing.” The question for Biden, which to my knowledge has not been either asked or answered, why not simply include France in the deal? France and the United Kingdom have been stalwart allies for over a hundred years. Why cut them out when four countries would certainly make it stronger and make all of us look better?
Australia is claiming that their existing deal with France was no longer sufficient, but their statement on the matter strikes me as purely face saving. “Ultimately, this was a decision about whether the submarines that were being built, at great cost to the Australian taxpayer, were going to be able to do a job that we needed it to do when they went into service,” he said. “And, our strategic judgment, based on the best possible intelligence and defense advice, was that it would not.” This may be true, but is somewhat beside the point given the submarines in question were set to be delivered fifteen years from now. They could have renegotiated the deal, included new partners, or we could have encouraged them to do so and made everyone happier. It’s not just France either. The entire European Union is upset. Thierry Breton, the EU commissioner for internal markets, told CNN on Monday that “something is broken between our relations in Europe and the US.” He warned there was a “growing feeling” and a “lack of trust and confidence between allies.” To think, they claimed for years that Trump was a threat to our allies, but now, in less than a year, Biden has opened a transatlantic rift not seen since likely the establishment of NATO and the EU.
Likewise, President Joe Biden was the man who was supposed to “follow the science” and “listen to the experts” on the coronavirus pandemic, but did precisely the opposite by talking about booster shots before they were even approved, much to their embarrassment. In mid-August, the administration presented a plan to roll out booster shots for everyone in the United States, essentially a third vaccination in far less than a year. At the time, neither Pfizer nor BioNTech, the two companies that partnered to develop the vaccines, had publicly released any data on the efficacy and had not even submitted their request for FDA approval. Incredibly, despite not knowing whether these booster shots were effective or safe, Biden vowed to start rolling them out on September 20. Even ABC News reported that health experts were mystified, “But health experts advising the government on that decision say the August announcement by Biden’s political appointees came as somewhat of a surprise. It also was unclear, they said, why that date was chosen at all. Evidence for boosters is still mixed, and announcing a timetable — while likely popular with much of the public — put independent government regulators in a corner by suggesting they would sign off no matter what.”
Thankfully, the FDA itself refused to cave to this extraordinary political pressure and rejected the broad approval of the shot, recommending it only for individuals over 65 or those with underlying conditions. The good Dr. Anthony Fauci was left spinning this, badly, on the Sunday shows, claiming he didn’t think the FDA was wrong, he might recommend boosters he’d previously been pushing at some later date, and acknowledging there might be some confusion on the matter. “I understand why there might be confusion because I think people were not understanding the difference of planning for something and actually what element of that, what proportion of it you’re actually going to roll out, and that’s exactly what happened,” he told “Meet the Press.” You think there might be some confusion after the President promised it and everyone in the administration has been talking it up? Now it’s our inability to understand the difference between the plan and what proportion you are actually planning to roll out?
This is especially ironic given the administration wears the science mantle like an itinerant priest a cloak in the Dark Ages, and now we know they really mean following the science when it suits them politically. It’s no coincidence that the sudden drive for boosters came amidst the Delta surge and new vaccine mandates, “popular” with the public as described by ABC News.
Alas, the news from Afghanistan was far more tragic than the foibles of a botched foreign policy or politicized pandemic response. Ten innocents including seven children lost their lives in a failed drone attack executed in response to the suicide bombing that killed 13 service members and a large number of Afghan civilians last month. At first, the administration tried to claim the attack took out those aiding and abetting terrorists, a show of strength in the face of aggression from ISIS-K. President Biden promised those responsible would “pay” for the attack and claimed they had aerial imagery of individuals loading explosives into the trunk of a car. This was presented as a masterful example of our “over the horizon” capabilities that would protect us from terrorists after the rout at the hands of the Taliban. Now, innocents are dead and not so much. “You can have the most sophisticated air, but if you don’t have the information it doesn’t matter,” explained one former intelligence official to CNN. “You have to know there’s a threat, then you have to know who is involved and identify them and say, ‘where are they going to be and when?’” While I think it’s safe to say the drone attack was a tragic mistake, it’s also fair to say the entire incident was precipitated by Biden’s disastrous exit from Afghanistan. After refusing to listen to the generals and keep troops at an adequate level during the withdrawal, we were forced to rely on the Taliban to provide security in Kabul, directly resulting in the attack on our soldiers and prompting a chaotic, rushed response, simply a show they were strong and doing something, that cost civilian lives.
In short, none of these incidents were unexpected or uncontrollable. They’re all the foreseeable consequences of bad policy, but the mainstream media doesn’t particularly care either way. They’re hoping to change the topic just as much as President Biden, glossing over these challenges and crises, to focus on passing a $3.5 trillion spending bill hanging in the balance, a laundry list of liberal dreams including everything from free community college to fighting global warming. This is their one goal, a potentially once-in-a-generation change to American life and taxes, forced through on a party line vote. That project, however, is not going smoothly either. On Monday, the Senate Parliamentarian ruled that back door amnesty and increases in immigration needed to be stripped out of the 10,000 some odd page bill, dealing a massive blow to progressive plans or as the Associated Press described it, “crushing.” In addition, moderate West Virginia Senator Joe Manchin floated the idea of pushing discussion on the proposal until next year and fellow moderate, Arizona Senator Kyrsten Sinema, reportedly gave President Biden an ultimatum for a clean vote on the supposedly bipartisan infrastructure bill by September 27 or she would back out of the partisan, reconciliation bill.
Amazingly, the Democrats have found themselves playing chicken with themselves, literally holding their own priorities hostage purely for Democrat partisan purposes. The Republicans have no power in Washington, controlling neither the House, nor the Senate, nor the Presidency, and yet Democrats continue inflicting wounds on their own party. To my knowledge, nothing like this has happened in recent memory. The Senate has overwhelmingly based a $1.2 trillion infrastructure bill, an elusive political goal that goes back to at least the Obama Administration, but instead of taking the clear win, progressives in the House are refusing to pass it unless the $3.2 trillion bill also goes through and taking shots at each others backs in the process.
It’s an iron law of politics that your window to pass anything major is short and can close unexpectedly, but they are risking a major victory in the hopes of getting something even more major. The window is now rapidly closing and dissension has entered the ranks. Their answer? More Biden apparently. I’m serious. According to CNN, “Acutely aware of the stakes, Biden has begun more directly involving himself in the strategy to see his priorities passed this autumn. He plans to put himself more at the center of the legislative process, a place the longtime Delaware senator feels very comfortable.” Sure, that’ll do it: A Presidency beset by crisis on all sides, a man I’ve described as in a box, sinking fast, is certain to sooth the concerns of moderates like Mr. Manchin and Ms. Sinema. Ironically, it’s Biden that’s supposed to be the moderate himself. Instead, he’s prostrated before the progressive wing of the party and it sounds like he plans to stay there until his entire Presidency implodes. Oh, and did I mention there are 10,000 Haitians massed on the border? I’m sure that’s just the push he needs…