Once again President Biden says things that are head-turning, and once again the Biden administration disputes his words.
It was in the early days of his term when Joe Biden would on occasion drop a curious phrase. While speaking extemporaneously Joe would utter as aside, “Man, I’m probably going to get in trouble for saying this…”, and then unspool some syntax for the microphones. It is revealing in itself that Biden would have the notion that he should not say something but he could not fight off such a compulsion, saying the forbidden phrases anyway. But there was far more to this.
These moments would raise questions, such as “With whom?!”, as well as “Why would the President of all people be in any sort of a tangle for what he says?”
Inevitably, speculation would rise as to who is actually running the show in the White House because if the President was tipping his hand that he had to actually answer to someone this introduced a set of serious problems. Well, those problems and the questions are growing from serious, to severe.
Last night, as Nick Arama detailed this morning, Joe Biden spoke at a fundraiser and he intoned some grave words about Putin and the prospect of global annihilation.
Speaking at a fundraiser for the Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee, Biden said Russian President Vladimir Putin was “a guy I know fairly well” and the Russian leader was “not joking when he talks about the use of tactical nuclear weapons or biological or chemical weapons. We have not faced the prospect of Armageddon since Kennedy and the Cuban Missile Crisis.”
How about that for some uplifting pull quotes just ahead of the mid-term elections? A Democrat President asserting that he has overseen a foreign policy that might bring us to the brink of a nuclear wipeout! Say what want about the mean tweets-era of Trump, but our foreign theater presence was not resembling the gameboard of a Stratego match president by a player who ingested a fistful of mushrooms.
But as many awoke today with the uplifting words of the president admitting that he might be ushering in the era of Armageddon, we now learn that maybe Joe’s comments were not fully sanctioned. Kelly O’Donnell, White House correspondent for NBC News, gives us an update from on board the President’s pleasurecraft.
On Air Force One, @PressSec says there is no new intelligence that shaped the president's use of the term Armageddon discussing Putin and nuclear weapons at a fundraiser last night.
— Kelly O'Donnell (@KellyO) October 7, 2022
While the official walk-back is not that surprising anymore, we need to note the lack of any concern from the journalists. Do you mean to say the president alluding to a nuclear war, and then having the White House officials quickly disavowing what he said in about half a day’s time is not at all concerning? I am relatively certain that global leaders are being apprised of what Joe Biden said and feeling a level of uneasiness as a result. But our press corps is facing this reality on a regular basis, and you will be hard-pressed to find a journalist coming forward with words of concern.
It is jarring enough to see the communications team at the White House actively moving to explain that the President’s words are not the White House Policy. They are literally saying that Joe Biden’s comments are not the position of the Joe Biden administration. But this has become a regular feature with this man, and things only become more surreal with each example.
Joe has repeatedly said the U.S. would defend Taiwan with force. He declared on 60 Minutes that the pandemic was over. This past March Jen Psaki was charged with the job of softening Biden’s call that Putin was a “war criminal”. The White House team had to wave off Biden stating they would pay off immigrant families an exorbitant sum of a settlement. Then there was his infamous toss-away line in Warsaw, where he declared Putin could not remain in power. The next day administration officials had to correct that Biden was not calling to unseat the Russian leader, only to have Biden come back out the following day and declare he was not walking back his statement.
This has been not a comedy, but a cavalcade of errors, and it is one revealing the level of disarray and unfocused leadership within this administration. With the growing obviousness that Joe Biden is not running the show, it becomes a dark parlor game of guessing who is actually at the controls. Many obvious names can be brought forward, but making the pinning down of exactly who is behind this all is made difficult because, at times, no one seems to be in control.
We are at a point where it is almost expected that the President of the United States will display his naivete’ about the operations in his own administration. What is most vexing is how ill-prepared he is when he goes out before the cameras. His infamous notecards aside, how is it that Joe routinely intones words in stark defiance of the official position of our nation? How do those people in the White House not grab him by the shoulders just ahead of an appearance, and instruct him forcefully, “Just – do – not – say – _____”.
And how does the press corps of this country not call this out? They are witnessing a man who is not in control, who is not able to stay on message, and at times appears to not even be dialed into what the administration is doing. Partisanship is one thing; ignoring the demise of our leadership is something else entirely.
For a group of whiners who love to accuse various threats to the underpinnings of our nation, let me ask a question: Do you perceive the approach of Armageddon as a “threat to our democracy as we know it”, or is it a lesser concern?