As Russian tanks rolled across the border into Ukraine, you could sense a shift among the American left. After months of being battered by the political realities of the Biden administration, they were finally getting to focus on the one thing they believe is political gold for them: Vladimir Putin.
Ridiculous arguments commenced, blaming Donald Trump for a Russian invasion of Europe he managed to avoid, while assertions that Republicans were “pro-Putin” spread far and wide. Not since January 6th had Democrats been so sure they were sitting on a political winner.
Friday morning delivered some sobering news, though. That “rally around the flag” moment the left was counting on to resurrect Joe Biden’s failed presidency didn’t materialize.
Joe Biden's job approval drops to its lowest level in the NPR/Marist poll, same as it did in yesterday's Fox News poll. 39-55 with adults, 40-55 with voters. 56 percent of adults and voters rate his first year as a failure. Ouch. H/t @TonesHyus. https://t.co/34feOoVkxr
— Varad Mehta (@varadmehta) February 25, 2022
Ouch, indeed. Biden’s approval numbers continue to crater despite his tough talk on Russia, coupled with nearly a week’s worth of media coverage obsessing over the GOP supposedly being in Putin’s pocket. It’s almost as if failed narratives don’t suddenly become successful ones via sheer wish-casting.
To those of us outside the Beltway bubble, this lack of a rebound was not surprising in the least. After all, how can you have a “rally around the flag” moment when you don’t actually give Americans a reason to do so? Biden’s strategy to combat Putin’s aggression has been imbecilic, and the U.S. president’s response after the fact hasn’t been any better. The White House went from insisting its “greatest ever” sanctions package was a certain deterrent to claiming it was never even meant to deter within just days. Worse, the details of that sanctions package paint a picture of weakness, meant to look impactful while mostly letting Russia off the hook.
Combine those realities with the fact that Biden himself appears so incapable as a leader, both in word and deed, and it isn’t difficult to see why most Americans still aren’t buying what he’s selling. Yes, what’s happening in Ukraine is terrible, and the Ukrainians are fighting valiantly. Objectively, though, the United States and Europe aren’t doing much to help. Meanwhile, Biden is leaving on vacation again to spend another extended weekend at his Delaware home. You know, because there’s nothing else important going on or something.
Getting to the point, those aren’t the actions of a man who deserves to have a nation rally around him. Rather, they are the actions of a man who has completely checked out, believing he will receive credit for presiding over an international crisis, even though he’s done nothing to defuse it. It’s reminiscent of his COVID “reset,” where the administration didn’t actually change any of its policies. Contrary to Jen Psaki’s desires, politics isn’t actually “The West Wing.”
Lofty words (delivered especially poorly, given Biden’s mental state), coupled with ineffective actions, ultimately breed discontent, not support. Real life isn’t just an hour of mediocre writing and rolling the credits — to the squees of sycophants. Americans have had a chance to observe the actual results of the Biden presidency, and they don’t like what they are seeing. That was never going to change just because Putin became a hot topic of discussion again. In fact, the current situation with Ukraine has only further exposed the administration’s ineptness.