If you think about it, the beginning and end of a year is merely a calendrical coincidence, another month in an endless progression. The first week of a new year always feels fresh, full of promise, happy hopes, and optimism. Holiday memories remain warm. December’s bills have yet to arrive. New Year’s resolutions survive, for now.
Alas, this year is different, tainted by the passive presence of a president who’s hopelessly lost in a mental fog that everyone except him can see. Ominously, including our opponents.
Joe Biden’s guilty voters have gone largely silent on social media because all they can really say is, ‘Trump was terrible.’
But the former president is gone now. The unfortunate antics and unnecessary push-backs have dimmed in memory, as his economic and diplomatic achievements glow brighter in comparison to the current crowd of faceless ineptitudes.
Trump’s off in Florida these wintry days, milking his loyal base’s memory and 2024 dreams with an unending fundraising drive and a massive merchandising operation of calendars, photo album, apparel, and the slim chance to dine with him some evening in Mar-a-Lago, his coastal castle that translates as “Sea to Lake.”
And what are we left with? The musings of Bette Midler, the female Keith Olbermann, and that coven of cuties on “The View,” who loudly whine because none of the attractive conservative cheerleaders want to hang with them after school and get bullied.
No one who noticed Biden all those years of sluffing around the Capitol would have predicted he’d be a successful, vibrant national leader. I covered him for the 2,922 very long days of the Obama-Biden administration.
As Obama’s sidekick, Biden was no savvy Tonto, more like a Mr. Bean. Obama put him in charge of getting gun control legislation after Sandy Hook. Nothing happened. Biden was assigned to implement their $900 million economic stimulus bill. Nothing happened. And “shovel-ready jobs” became a laugh line.
Obama named Biden to oversee their open-administration campaign, Biden called a transparency planning meeting – and closed it to media. Called out, Biden put on that glassy-eyed, lost little-boy look he thinks generates sympathy.
But no one could have predicted the serial clusterflocks Biden would preside over as president these past 347 days. So very many. Killing the Keystone pipeline, a key component of the country’s energy independence that he inherited from Trump, then endorsing Vladimir Putin’s massive pipeline to Europe, forfeiting that leverage and weakening NATO unity.
Delaying Trump’s scheduled troop pullout from Afghanistan from April before that forsaken land’s annual fighting season launched. And inexplicably making it Sept. 11, the horrific 20th anniversary of the 9/11 attacks that ignited the country’s longest war.
Then changing it again to August, the height of the peak fighting season. Then, without notice to Afghan allies or anyone, changing it once more to a midnight in July.
Biden has always been loudly mistrustful of the nation’s military. So, he disregarded his generals’ advice, pulled every soldier out at once, more like a flight than an orderly withdrawal.
“The Afghanistan pullout won’t be like the fall of Saigon,” Biden proclaimed on July 9, “and the Taliban isn’t likely to take over.”
That would have been a decisive end to an unpopular war. Except such sudden abandonment instigated the sudden, total collapse of the Afghan Army. And it left thousands of Americans and allies abandoned and unprotected for any evacuation.
It also left behind $85 billion in modern military equipment for the enemy we’d been fighting for 20 years to use on its own population and sell to China and Russia for close study.
Biden then retreated from his retreat, promising to evacuate everyone who wanted out. He sent back in three times as many troops as he’d withdrawn, lost 13 to a suicide bomber, and pulled out again before the job was done, leaving 60,000 Afghan allies and some 14,000 Americans behind anyway.
He lied about how successful it was. And a sympathetic U.S. media failed to call him out, helping him move on to other obfuscating narratives, not including his failed vow to “handle” the resurgent COVID virus.
A year ago we could have predicted the serious infighting among victorious congressional Democrats whose leftist legislative ambitions far, far exceed the political reality of the slim control that wary U.S. voters had set.
When Trump was president, his Republican party controlled Congress. They gave Americans tax cuts, a rebuilt military, de-regulations that ignited millions of new jobs, and energy independence.
Joe Biden and his Democrat Congress have given Americans two immense spending measures – COVID relief and infrastructure. And that’s it.
On the shelf still unattended are student loan forgiveness, universal pre-K, citizenship for illegals, a packed Supreme Court, a federal takeover of voting laws, the Green New Deal, and statehood for Puerto Rico and D.C. Not that you’d know any of this from the sleepy watchdogs in his protective media.
And don’t forget inflation, now the worst in two generations, which Biden assured would be brief — last spring.
With those slim pickings, how long will Biden’s frustrated base hold fire? His job approval has already sunk by a third.
As for this new year of 2022, early indications – not predictions – find Democrats likely losing a few more House seats than the first midterm average of 20, and maybe even the Senate majority by a slim margin.
This would make Kamala Harris even more irrelevant than she already is.
“But wait!” as pitchman Billy Mays used to say, “There’s more!” Three hundred-and-ten days more to those midterms, to be exact. So much can happen in that time.
At 79, Joe Biden is not going to change in any good direction, as anyone knows who’s ever watched an elderly relative slip into the next dimension. They have good days and bad days in his condition. They do not get better.
There could be some sympathy for Joe Biden, if he was likable, didn’t have access to the nuclear launch codes, nor displayed a disturbing kind of casual cruelty. But the guy sought this job. The White House was his by rights. He didn’t work hard to earn it, just like Hillary didn’t.
Biden only had the good fortune of facing a Republican who’d earned the antipathy of more voters than were loyal to him.
Biden spent billions of other people’s money to get the job. He lied about his health and what he would do. Then lied about what he’d done. And no one around him who knew better blew the whistle because they get power, too, by pulling his strings, telling him who to call on, when to walk away.
The president visited a small, crowded shop recently, one with a sign requiring everyone wear masks. He didn’t.
He went on vacation again, last week, to his Maryland beachfront house. His handlers permitted us to see a video of Joe and Jill, bundled against the cold, allegedly enjoying a windy beach walk with yet another dog, this one modestly named Commander.
But what grabbed our eye was the 79-year-old man, who can’t remember the names of people standing next to him, entertaining a dog, at water’s edge, with more energy than he musters at work. The nearest person across the Atlantic Ocean was 3,550 miles away. Yet in that empty place, Joe Biden had donned a mask.