You know when moving into a new house or apartment you feel this nagging sense of unease and discomfort. It’s refreshing, perhaps even exciting to be in a new location.
But at the same time after perhaps years in the same old place, it’s mentally stressful. Nothing is in its proper, meaning familiar, place. Uncertainty sits everywhere.
I speak from recent experience, having completed my 16th move – and last, a spouse has declared. The changes complicate everything, cloud thinking, lower the annoyance bar. The thermostat works differently. Installers fail to show. Steps are a different height.
It’s time-consuming to find anything, even the simplest stuff that you use every day. Boxes labeled “Books” contain two books and pounds of garage tools. It’s 90 degrees outside, and the first box contains winter clothing.
It seems to me our country is going through a similar move right now. And it’s broadly disconcerting, even if turmoil fatigue caused you to move away from the previous president.
Voting against a candidate instead of for one is always politically dangerous. I’ve done it. You’re so focused on one candidate’s faults, you overlook the warning signs on the other. Signs like not knowing where he is or knocking off from campaigning by 10 a.m.
This new guy looks lost, acts confused, speaks incoherently often. He shows up three hours late, offers no explanation. He stops mid-sentence for 25 seconds for an apparent mental reboot. Forgets the names of people standing next to him. Recalls past occupations he never had.
As a senator, that was quaint. As President of the United States, it’s downright scary. When cornered by a difficult question, he asks one back, most often a silly one, Then walks away as if he dunked it.
Biden snaps angrily out of the blue, like my grandfather with hardening of the arteries who then had no memory of such behavior. Except my grandfather didn’t have control of the nuclear launch codes.
Vice presidents are useless. They never matter. Until they do. Think Lyndon Johnson. Like many, perhaps most, vice presidents, Kamala Harris was picked for political expedience, not presidential promise. Joe Biden did not need California’s electoral votes, as John Kennedy needed Johnson’s Texas. California’s long been a Dem gimme.
Nor was Harris chosen for presidential campaign prowess. Hers perished before any voting. No, Harris was the right gender and color for a party convulsed by identity politics. So, if anyone is worried by Joe Biden’s aberrant behavior, be careful what you wish for.
Not by accident, Harris is certainly no political threat to Biden. She served her purpose last November. And candidly, what does Joe care if Harris ever becomes president? He won’t be around, physically or mentally. And next in line is – God save us – Nancy Pelosi, another Dem who’s older even than Biden.
Polls aren’t everything. But they can be revealing and help explain Americans’ mounting disquiet. Let’s examine a few:
Biden’s job approval has slipped. Which makes sense. What’s he done really besides spend an alarming amount of money and issue a flock of executive orders, many of them merely countermanding Trump’s executive orders. That’s how America governs itself now, with easily erased edicts.
“I killed a pipeline” is no campaign slogan, especially when you then inexplicably approve another that helps Russia’s president whom Biden describes as “a killer.”
Biden’s early job approval in the mid-fifties was higher than Trump’s ever was. But Biden’s was based on optimism over the Covid vaccine, which was Trump’s doing, despite doomy Dems predicting a same-year vaccine was impossible.
And now there’s a new virus variant increasing caseloads and a vast number of folks taking a pass on the needle. The government estimates 60 percent of adults have been fully vaccinated. But Gallup found up to 25 percent who say they have not and will not get it.
Biden would like to spread the misinformation that conservatives are the anti-vaxxers. Truth is, the most resistant are blacks and Hispanics, traditionally a major lump of the Dem base.
This resistance to government orders sets off the authoritarian-government gene residing within the soul of most Democrats, especially on the far left where they know that they know what’s best for everyone. Remember Michelle Obama’s school-lunch program that went bad?
And all this rankles even many Americans who got the vaccine but don’t like distant officials pushing, like the British who prompted those faux Indians to dump tea in Boston harbor some years back.
That’s a strain of independence that riles. Ask Democrat leaders after they rammed through ObamaCare in 2010 with no GOP votes. And the party then suffered an historic shellacking in Obama’s first midterms, including loss of 63 House seats and nearly 1,000 state legislative seats, devastation that handed Republicans control of redistricting that decade.
A decade later Democrats have not fully recovered yet, so the GOP will control redistricting once more. That devastation also wiped out a generation of farm-team players working their way up the elective-office ladder. Every member of the party’s stale, House leadership was born well before Pearl Harbor.
Now, you know why crabby Nancy Pelosi, whose favorability ratings are deeply underwater (37 Favorable, 54 Unfavorable) and Chuck Schumer (31-41) are in such a hurry to pass pieces of Biden’s overly-ambitious agenda before they lose slim congressional control in next year’s midterms.
Mitch McConnell’s are even worse (24-54), because liberals dislike his opposition and conservatives think he’s not fighting hard enough. But the wily Kentuckian will be around long after the current carpers.
Oh, look! The job approval of Congress was 26 percent in June, down from 31 in May.
But those aren’t the only measures of national disquiet. Violent crime is rising nationally. Murders, for instance, jumped nearly 29 percent nationally January to March, year-over-year. Inflation is increasing fastest since 2008. Biden, who in 2010 infamously and incorrectly predicted hundreds of thousands of “shovel-ready jobs” were just around the corner, assures this burst of inflation is merely a passing phase not connected to printing nearly $6 trillion in new money.
The Misery Index (inflation plus unemployment) has risen every month of Biden’s term, while real wages have declined every month. A July ABC News/Ipsos poll found 55 percent of Americans are pessimistic about the next year, up from 36 percent in April.
After declining through fiscal 2020 when someone else was president, border apprehensions under Biden have jumped every month of his presidency. He put Harris in charge of that.
Even the Supreme Court is suffering during this national unease. Its job approval dropped nine points this year to 49 percent, lowest since 2017 after being its highest since 2008. In one sign of the breadth of national dissatisfaction, approval dropped equally among Republicans and Democrats.
You might hear on the news these days that the percentage of Americans mentioning coronavirus as the nation’s most important problem just spiked up from eight to 12 percent. This is true, as far as it goes. Covid, disease, death, and vaccines are hot topics every contemporary news cycle.
However, those news reports might not mention the same, new Gallup survey also found that the most important problem Americans cite facing the nation nearly seven months after moving into their new Joe Biden presidency is – wait for it — government and poor leadership.