Joe Biden reaches the six-month mark of his presidency in a few days. It just seems much longer. So, how’s the old guy doing barely one-eighth of the way through a 1,461-day term?
Coming after the tumultuous 1,461-day term that preceded this, Biden would like things to slow down considerably. Perhaps even be boring. Anything to get through these grimace-causing public appearances of his, where he gets lost while reading his written text or simply goes silent for 25 seconds of mental rebooting.
Biden or someone acting on his behalf decided he will not attend the opening ceremony for this week’s misbegotten Olympics in Tokyo, which is wrapped in a pandemic emergency.
Instead, they’re sending the other Biden. No, not Hunter, the professional artiste. But Jill. She’s done nothing these six months to hide her smoldering ambition to become something other than a mere first lady; Perhaps the other President Biden, his unelected surrogate, as she’s been acting in numerous appearances around the country telling people to get vaccinated on behalf of the Big Guy.
Air Force One has a private presidential bedroom with a shower, remote-control blinds and servants to provide anything desired. But to be fair, the nine-hour flight from Washington to Anchorage and then another nearly 15 hours across the Pacific with the loss of a day can play havoc with the mental processes of men far younger than the oldest president ever.
Anyway, Joe Biden served his Olympic Opening Ceremony sentence in 2010 when an angry Barack Obama declined to go to Vancouver’s Winter Games after he flew all the way to Copenhagen to pitch Chicago for a Summer Olympics and the selection committee said, Uh, no, even before the president landed back in D.C.
Mrs. Biden, who just turned 70, announced that she would not be doing merely ceremonial thingies in Tokyo but would be seen meeting on substantive issues with other foreign leaders. This could be rich to watch, better even than any of the athletic events, which will have zero spectators. News coverage is sure to be adoring.
Hubby will be left behind to shuffle around the White House and his Delaware home, and bite at more ice cream cones for a photo op.
Anything to distract from the plethora of problems No. 46 confronts, many of his own making. Take the Southern border. Please. In the last fiscal year under Donald Trump’s “Stay in Mexico, Amigos” enforcement policies, border agents arrested 458,000 illegals, a 53 percent drop from the previous year.
So far this fiscal year under Biden’s Bienvenidos policy, agents have arrested more than one million illegals with still three more months to go. That’s already the most since 2005. But you don’t hear much about this border chaos, because Kamala Harris has already been there to straighten things out.
Large demonstrations for “Libertad” broke out in Cuba this month. Once they’re breathing freedom, emigres from there tend to vote Republican. So, the Biden administration told them not to come.
Then, there’s the Hunter problem, which Dad doesn’t wish to see. Neither does Washington media, for that matter. Turns out, besides Hunter’s shady dealings to connect his family name with numerous well-paying foreign enterprises, the wayward son is an artiste.
No, really. He’s done quite a few paintings of images he had in mind, which Hunter would like to monetize while you-know-who is you-know-where. So, the “artwork” will be sold starting at $75,000 up to a half-million. “This is,” the commentary site Issues & Insights wrote, “Clinton Foundation-style corruption all over again, without the pretense of a charity.”
It’s also remarkably similar to that Ukrainian energy company paying Hunter thousands a month to do nothing, when his father was in charge of Ukrainian affairs as vice president. Surely a coincidence.
So, Biden aides brokered a deal to make the art buyers anonymous. And if you believe the president of the United States will never know who paid a half-mil to his son, we’ve got some of our own crayon oeuvres to sell you.
Legislatively, Biden wants to spend trillions more, starting with a shaky bipartisan infrastructure measure that defines infrastructure in quite creative ways.
Printing all this new money has ignited the worrisome wildfire of inflation. That jacked the consumer price index last month 5.4 percent year-over-year, the largest increase since 2008 and almost half the inflation rate that, in 1980, helped sink the presidency of Jimmy Carter, the last Democrat to lose reelection.
Biden aides spoke reassuringly that the rate would ease in a few months as the recovery gained speed. That sounds like Biden’s hollow promises of 2010, that thousands of “shovel-ready jobs” would magically materialize any month now.
A major part of Biden’s problem is, in large part to curry and maintain favor with his party’s ascendant progressive wing, that he’s pushing an immensely ambitious agenda of major national change. But he’s not got the legislative heft to drive it – barely three House seats and none in the 50:50 Senate.
Violent crime is rising dramatically, so many that California, for instance, is abandoning prosecuting many of them. What could go wrong there? Taliban troops are marching across Afghanistan as Biden’s troop withdrawal concludes.
A bloodbath is possible there, if not likely. Biden is merely the fourth commander-in-chief in that 20-year, unwinnable conflict. But he’s the last man standing – and not a very vigorous one at that — to take the blame. That makes it look like he’s lost control heading into his first midterm elections, when any president’s party historically takes major damage.
An Economist/YouGov poll last week found a bare majority (52 percent) see Biden as a strong leader, while a near-majority (47 percent) see him as weak.
Biden’s job approval has slipped, too, from the mid-50’s, as some Biden voters express regrets. His RealClearPolitics average is 52 percent. Donald Trump’s never got that high. But Biden’s now is under even Gerald Ford’s after his 1976 election defeat.
You wouldn’t hear much about it in mainstream media, but a new Gallup survey also found Americans’ faith in major institutions is sliding. Of 14 major institutions from schools, unions, and criminal justice to newspapers, Congress and the presidency, confidence has fallen in 13 – all but police.
Another unobtrusive but revealing measure as midterm elections loom is political fundraising. It’s not often that the Republican National Congressional Committee, which raises money for House campaigns, outraises its Democrat counterpart.
But donors apparently eager for change handed over $45.4 million to that GOP arm in the second quarter, including $20 million in June. Democrats took in $36.5 million and $14.4 million, respectively.
Biden recently told reporters he only wants to talk about “happy things.” Well, there’s always ice cream cones (double dip).