NBC News reports that the President is “furious” with how people perceive him as not being in charge, “bristling” at being stifled by his staff, and “rattled” that his poll numbers have sunk lower than Donald Trump. All that’s missing is an actual plan that would help the American people.
The President is unhappy, beleaguered, even mad as hell and not going to take it anymore. According to NBC News, there’s a pattern that’s developed inside the White House that is rather upsetting to the poor dear. “He makes a clear and succinct statement — only to have aides rush to explain that he actually meant something else. The so-called clean-up campaign, he has told advisers, undermines him and smothers the authenticity that fueled his rise.” Why would they do that? What fear could they possibly have about their boss’s unfettered speech? It’s not like he could start a war or anything. Surely, the President wouldn’t make off the cuff remarks calling for regime change in Russia or claiming we will use military force against China. That would be downright crazy, borderline Trumpian, a sign that he might be unfit for office, and yet that’s precisely what President Biden did in just the past few months. In March, the President delivered a speech in Poland about the state of Russia’s unprovoked war against Ukraine, one which continues unchecked despite claims it would last all of 72-hours. Rather than sticking to the script, President Biden decided to ad lib, inserting the phrase, “For God’s sake, this man cannot remain in power.” Needless to say, calling to remove the sitting President of a country armed with nuclear weapons that are currently on high alert is not something to be taken lightly, nor should it be said on a whim or accidentally, and so within minutes White House staff clarified the remarks, insisting a call for regime change wasn’t actually a call for regime change.
The President, however, was “furious” with the actions of his team, believing “his remarks were being seen as unreliable, arguing that he speaks genuinely and reminding his staff that he’s the one who is president.” Yes, he “speaks genuinely” certainly introduces a new phrase in the long lexicon of words used to describe a Presidential address. What precisely does that mean in this context? We can imagine a President who believes his counterpart in Russia shouldn’t remain in power. He might even “genuinely” believe that to be the case. In fact, you might say that I and many of my fellow Americans feel the same way, but I am not the leader of the free world and the most powerful man in the known universe, nor was I delivering a major international address in a foreign country where precision in language becomes incredibly important and off the cuff remarks are likewise very rare for obvious reasons. President Biden, however, is and was doing both, and his words in that setting, whether “genuine” or not, have a lot more consequences than mine in this one. What were his staff supposed to do, let Russia believe United States policy was in fact desirous of regime change even if it actually wasn’t and risk what Russia may do in retaliation? The staff, of course, insists they did nothing wrong. An unnamed official told NBC News, “We don’t say anything that the president doesn’t want us to say.” Perhaps we might give the President the benefit of the doubt if this was an isolated incident, but it’s far from it. Last month, he told reporters the US would intervene “militarily” if China invaded Taiwan. According to CNN, the “White House quickly downplayed the comments, saying they don’t reflect a change in US policy. It’s the third time in recent months – including during a CNN town hall in October – that Biden has said the US would protect Taiwan from a Chinese attack, only to have the White House walk back those remarks.”
The sad reality, whatever the President may think or believe, is that he frequently has trouble speaking whether “genuine” or not. When he’s not making up foreign policy on the fly, he struggles to express even the most basic thoughts much of the time, especially without a teleprompter to read from. You might say misspeaking is the rule, not the exception. After all, this is a man who referred to the opening lines of the Declaration of Independence as “you know, the thing.” “We hold these truths to be self-evident. All men and women created…by the — you know — you know the thing,” he said. In 2021, he came close to repeating the same mix up, “We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men and women are created equal, endowed by their creator with certain unalienable rights, including life, liberty, etc.” He followed that whopper up this Memorial Day by declaring that “Democracy has never been good.” “Ladies and gentlemen, today we remember, and we reaffirm: Freedom is worth the sacrifice. Democracy is not perfect; it’s never been good.” He’s mistaken Syria for Libya, and Iran for Ukraine. He’s referred to his Vice President as President. He’s mixed up wars and dates. He even confused his own birthday, saying it was his “58th” instead of “79th.” This is when he isn’t outright ranting at people, referring to a reporter as a “stupid son of a bitch” for asking a basic question, and a voter as a “lying dog faced pony soldier.” Sometimes, he just makes stuff up entirely like just this past weekend when he claimed he applied to the Naval Academy the same year he graduated from another college. The President is a lot of things, but precise and accurate certainly isn’t one of them. Instead, he’s like a toddler, leaving a monstrous mess in his wake for their parents to clean up and now he’s a toddler who apparently resents them for doing so dutifully.
Moreover, if President Biden would like to be seen as in charge, he should, you know, actually be seen as in charge. Over the past 18 months, the American people have witnessed the never before seen spectacle of their President following the directions of a person dressed as the Easter Bunny. All kidding aside, he regularly tells reporters when he is allowed to take questions and who he is allowed to take them from, appearing complete with notecards that often include a picture of the reporter like a children’s book. It isn’t uncommon for him to end a speech or a press conference with some variation on the phrase, “I’m not supposed take any questions” or at least not on a specific topic. Sometimes, he warns that he’s “really going to get in trouble” for taking a question. Last December, he actually said, “I’m not supposed to be having this press conference right now.” In January, he said he couldn’t take questions because they might be about Russia. “The reason we don’t have any time for questions now is these guys got to get on a plane and go out and do a major announcement in Ohio,” the President said. “And you guys will ask me all about Russia and not about anything having to do with chips.” More than once, he referred to who he was “instructed” to call on. “Ladies and gentlemen, they gave me a list here. The first person I was instructed to call on was Kelly O’Donnell from NBC,” he said. While addressing athletes before the Olympics last year, “Anyway, I should get going. I can get myself in trouble here. But I get in trouble for things I say, I know. No one ever doubts I mean what I say; the problem is I sometimes say all that I mean.” Even his former Press Secretary, Jen Psaki, said out loud what everyone following this President thinks to themselves: Taking questions is “not something we recommend. In fact, a lot of times we say, ‘Don’t take questions.’” One White House Official claimed his staff didn’t even watch him live for fear of how he might mangle the message. “I know people who habitually don’t watch it live for that reason,” they told Politico.
After 18 months of watching this unfold on a daily basis, why would anyone in their right mind think Biden was actually in charge or want him to be in the first place? Perhaps even worse, the underlying rationale for the President’s less than optimal emotional state is disturbing, if not frightening. This is a leader who has presided over 18 months of abject failure both foreign and domestic. The very things he promised wouldn’t happen at all, have happened, in many cases worse than most observers thought possible. Inflation was supposed to be “transitory.” Instead, it’s the worst in 40 years and will be with us until the next presidential election. Supply chain problems were likewise supposed to be resolved early this year, but now we have a baby formula shortage and broader issues will linger for the foreseeable future. The economy was poised to enter a period of stable growth, but the first quarter saw an unexpected contraction of 1.5% and many fear we are already in a recession while the Administration babbles about a “transition.” The coronavirus pandemic was supposed to be “shut down” and yet the White House is currently in court to force airline passengers to wear masks again. On the foreign policy front, the President insisted Afghanistan wouldn’t fall to the Taliban. “The likelihood there’s going to be the Taliban overrunning everything and owning the whole country is highly unlikely,” he said, followed by the worst US military rout since Vietnam complete with 13 soldiers dead. Sanctions, we were told, could deter Russia from invading Ukraine, until they actually invaded, starting the largest land war in Europe since World War II, and then we were told nothing could have prevented it short of us going to war first. Elsewhere, we are beset by a border crisis with record breaking crossings almost every month, about 1.5 million in a single year and rising. Crime is also on the rise in major cities, with some 100 more people killed per week on average.
It seems like good news is almost impossible to find, but instead of taking ownership and changing direction, the President is “furious” about how people perceive him, “bristling” at being stifled, and “rattled” that his poll numbers have sunk lower than Donald Trump. Perhaps needless to say, Biden-friendly NBC News is happy to play along with this charade, acting as if the multitude of crises we face has next to nothing to do with the occupant of the Oval Office. They are simply things that happen to someone else because any “assessment of Biden’s performance needs to take into account the epic challenges he faced from the start.” What were these epic challenges, pray tell? He inherited a vaccine from President Trump along with the best coronavirus testing platform on planet Earth. The economy was likewise well into a V-shaped recovery and breaking records on a monthly basis. The world itself was as close to peace as one gets. Russia was quiet. The Middle East was signing new peace accords almost monthly. The Taliban hadn’t launched an attack on US service men and women in a full year. All that was needed was the sort of confident, centrist leadership President Biden and the media both promised, but sure “They came in with the most daunting set of challenges arguably since Franklin D. Roosevelt, only to then be hit by a perfect storm of crises, from Ukraine to inflation to the supply chain to baby formula,” explained Chris Whipple, the author of a book about White House chiefs of staff. “What’s next? Locusts?” NBC notes that the President himself “wonders the same thing.” They quote a White House official in that regard, “I’ve heard him say recently that he used to say about President Obama’s tenure that everything landed on his desk but locusts, and now he understands how that feels,” the official said.
How about considering how we, the American people, feel? We’re the ones beset by locusts chewing money out of our pockets, preventing us from buying the things we want and going to the places we’d like to go, assuming we aren’t one of the extra 5,000 or so people dead per year on his watch. President Biden, in this analogy, is supposed to be the exterminator, not the victim, and yet the peons to his poor, poor pitiful Presidency continue.