Good Friday Morning, and a special reminder this week that AOC and her Squad are anti-Semites. They made the bizarre decision to try and leverage the ongoing infrastructure and $3.5 trillion spending debates to try and get rid of money the United States was going to send to Israel to support the Iron Dome. They lost 420-9 and even had one House Democrat from Florida blast them as anti-Semites (video linked in the tweets section below).
AOC changed her vote on that measure to “present” at the last second, appearing to shed tears over that decision at the end. I can’t imagine shedding tears over trying to defeat a measure that would protect innocent men, women, and children from a terrorist organization in Hamas. But that’s what they did, the only animating factor here is Jews are involved. It’s another reminder that racism is never far away.
This week, it’s a dive into the ongoing implosion of the Biden administration. Links to follow.
Where you can find me this week
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Biden’s fear runs America’s COVID policy – The Conservative Institute.
Biden’s presidency begins a full-scale implosion – The Conservative Institute.
Biden the incompetent, sprinkled with an implosion.
Brutal. Absolutely brutal. That’s the best word to describe the last seven days for the Biden administration. You rarely see every major policy proposal by an administration fail in the span of a few days. But that’s been the Biden administration lately. It’s altered none of my thinking about Biden. It now made me wonder if the Carter comparisons were too harsh on Carter and whether or not James Buchanan is the better comparison.
One of the more prophetic, in hindsight, pieces about Biden came from Politico, quoting numerous Obama administration allies. None of them genuinely respected Biden. Some of those criticisms were fair, others not. But this section of the Politico reporting stood out:
Yet searing, anonymously sourced quotes from Obama kept appearing through the race. One Democrat who spoke to Obama recalled the former president warning, “Don’t underestimate Joe’s ability to f*** things up.” Speaking of his own waning understanding of today’s Democratic electorate, especially in Iowa, Obama told one 2020 candidate: “And you know who really doesn’t have it? Joe Biden.”
Biden’s weaknesses were such that even Clinton reconsidered her decision not to get into the race last fall, according to Reines.
“There were a number of people who decided not to run and then around, October, before Thanksgiving said to themselves, ‘You know, did I make the right decision?,’ he said, name-checking Mike Bloomberg and Deval Patrick who did make late entries. “She went through that exercise.”
Interestingly, the Politico piece highlighted Biden’s strengths, which involved building relationships with people. And what’s startling is that Biden doesn’t have any of those talents at his command anymore. It’s unclear he can even build relationships with his staff.
There’s this old observation of older NFL quarterbacks. One minute they can seem fine, and then all of a sudden, the “IT” factor is just gone. They can’t pass, sense the defense, and every decision they make is more challenging and slower. We watched this with people like Peyton Manning, who had a noodle arm at the end. This season, it appears like we’re watching the same with Pittsburgh’s Ben Roethlisberger.
Biden is like that too, except it looks like he lost his powers about five years ago and has been muddling through ever since. The question is, what’s left?
Matthew Continetti wrote a devastating column in Commentary Magazine, “Biden the Incompetent.” These paragraphs walk through the disaster of Biden’s last few weeks:
This administration’s haplessness and buck-passing touch every issue. Biden dismantled the Trump administration’s border-security protocols and found himself unable to stanch record numbers of illegal crossings on the southern border. He delegated the border crisis to Vice President Kamala Harris, whose search for the “root causes” behind the surge in illegal immigration has taken her to Guatemala and Mexico and El Paso, but not anywhere close to a solution. Biden’s proposal to curb the rise in violent crime is to make it harder for law-abiding citizens to possess firearms—a non sequitur masquerading as action. Biden claims that inflation will subside when Congress passes his several-trillion-dollar spending plans and tax hikes, and OPEC gives in to his pleas to boost energy production. It’s hard to decide which is more shocking: His economic illiteracy or his willingness to return the United States to dependence on foreign oil.
Biden blamed Trump for an Afghan withdrawal deadline that he alone altered twice. Then he scolded the Afghan defense forces for melting away once he removed the close air support that the United States had provided for decades. Biden said that he withdrew U.S. forces from Afghanistan to protect the lives of U.S. troops. But more soldiers died in the August 26 attack at Kabul Airport than in any single day in Afghanistan since 2011. Biden said that despite our departure the United States will be able to combat al-Qaeda and ISIS in Afghanistan through an “over-the-horizon” counterterrorism capability. But that horizon is far, far away: America has no bases in Central Asia, and Afghanistan is a landlocked nation surrounded by our enemies. Biden said that he wants to focus on competition with China. He hasn’t backed up his strident rhetoric with action.
Biden declared our “independence” from the coronavirus on July Fourth. Then he spent two and a half months dithering as the Delta wave spread havoc in the Southeast and Midwest. He went after governors who banned school mask mandates, but he didn’t announce a major slate of proposals to increase vaccinations and mitigate Delta until September 9—by which time the summer wave had peaked. Mr. Unity has yet to “shut down the virus” as promised. But he has given Americans plenty of additional things to fight over and complain about. “There’s little doubt that the honeymoon is over for Biden,” election analyst Amy Walter of the Cook Political Report wrote recently. “The question now is if voters are still going to be happy in the marriage come next year.”
Happy? At this rate, they’ll be filing for divorce.
Here’s one Continetti missed: It’s been more than two weeks since Joe Biden gave his vaccine mandate speech. Here’s what Biden said, “I’m announcing that the Department of Labor is developing an emergency rule to require all employers with 100 or more employees, that together employ over 80 million workers, to ensure their workforces are fully vaccinated or show a negative test at least once a week.”
So far, nothing. That suggests this was a very last-minute decision, and the White House jumped into this unprepared. This policy smacks of no planning at all. I assume we’ll get a rule, but I’m also not discounting the possibility (under 5% odds in my mind) that no regulation appears. For a man claiming this is a unique threat, Biden’s administration is acting remarkably slow.
Further, it’s my opinion that Biden’s speech undermined the vaccine rollout — again. The J&J pause sunk the vaccination rollout from averaging more than 3.3 million doses a day at the peak to collapsing to around 500,000 doses a day. Biden did nothing to fix the biggest debacle of the entire pandemic. But with the Delta surge, vaccines had started recovering, numbers nearly 1 million a day in the averages — but since his speech, vaccinations have collapsed again to 750,000 and falling (all numbers from Bloomberg’s tracker).
Declaring a mandate has further undermined trust in vaccines. And it’s not just conservatives who are taking the brunt here. A few months ago, I wrote a pretty ticked-off newsletter, where I vented about how arguing about the vaccines was driving me nuts. What riled me up was that a liberal friend told me the vaccine mandates wouldn’t be perceived as racist.
His argument only makes sense if you’re new to politics and utterly unaware of things like consequences and ripple-down effects. Here’s a story — this week — from the news:
BLM organizer says de Blasio vaccine mandate weaponized against black community
The co-founder of New York’s Black Lives Matter chapter said New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio’s citywide vaccine mandate is targeting the black community and creating conditions akin to segregation.
“Seventy-two percent of black people in this city from ages 18 to 44 are unvaccinated,” Chivona Newsome said during a Monday protest in New York City. “So what is going to stop the Gestapo, I mean the NYPD, from rounding up black people, from snatching them off the train, off the bus?”
Newsome warned that her group could respond with an “uprising” similar to the ones that followed the death of George Floyd in the summer of 2020.
“We’re putting this city on notice that your mandate will not be another racist social distance practice. Black people are not going to stand by, or you will see another uprising. And that is not a threat. That is a promise,” she said. “The vaccination passport is not a free passport to racism.”
Kimberly Bernard, the co-founder of the Black Women’s March, made a similar claim that COVID-19 mandates are being used to target black people and other minorities.
“We are serving notice on the mayor, on the governor, on the restaurant industry that we will not allow for you to use this pandemic, vaccination cards, and masks as another reason to be racist, to put us in prison — because there’s enough of us in there,” Bernard said.
De Blasio issued a vaccine mandate in August, requiring New Yorkers to show proof of vaccination to enter indoor restaurants, gyms, and entertainment centers.
And they’re not wrong — creating and enforcing categorical separation of people that prevents some from engaging in everyday society is textbook segregation. As my liberal friends are doing, you can argue that this applies to everyone and isn’t inherently racist. And they’re correct; this does apply to everyone. What they miss is enforcement.
Think about the enforcement of these mandates. Who will enforce them? Democrat-run states/cities. Who won’t enforce the mandates? Republican-run states/cities. There are disproportionately more black citizens living in those Democrat-run states and cities, which means, by default, black communities will bear the brunt of the enforcement of these mandates, forcing them out of jobs, keeping them from shopping or dining, and more.
The greatest irony of all? If you follow Critical Race Theory, a proper understanding of CRT will label Democrats enforcing these mandates as textbook examples of CRT racism. Textbook. A law that applies to everyone but is only implemented on one demographic is a tailor-made example of CRT racism. The left — who doesn’t understand CRT at all — stands condemned by it now.
The more significant problem with the mandates is that they segregate and create two classes of people, the vaccinated and the unvaccinated. If you were concerned about health, you’d forcibly vaccinate people. But people don’t want to do that; they’d prefer to punish those they see on the other side. Biden’s speech got at this, saying of the unvaccinated, “We’ve been patient, but our patience is wearing thin. And your refusal has cost all of us. So, please, do the right thing.”
All of which brings us back to Biden, the incompetent. Biden, the President who isn’t there. He’s undermined the vaccine rollout again, resorting to divisive politics, and doesn’t have any of the skills he claimed to have at the outset of his campaign.
I’ll leave you with this thought as we watch the Biden implosion.
I’m in the middle of reading a novel about the Civil War by William Safire. He makes a point of walking through the Presidents from Andrew Jackson to Abraham Lincoln. From 1937 – 1861, 24 years, America had eight Presidents, none of them had a second term. Martin Van Buren and James K. Polk are the best of that period. Still, otherwise, it’s a mess of bad Presidents and awful leadership, leading to the Civil War (and capping off with Buchanan, the worst President in US history).
I’m not convinced Biden runs again. I’m wavering, again, on whether I think Trump runs again. Kamala Harris gives me no confidence, and Democrats have no bench behind her. I could foresee someone like Ron DeSantis turning things around, but it’s a long time until 2024, and it’s never good to be the frontrunner this early.
There’s a chance we could be entering a similar period of US history. We were already in a back and forth pattern between Democrats and Republicans trading eight-year terms. Could that shorten to trading four-year terms? It’s impossible to know right now, but it’s not outside the realm of possibility. Biden’s implosion would hasten a pattern like that.
Links of the week
We Are All Baptists Now—So Let’s Not Fight Like It: American democracy and democratized Christianity face a similar crisis of disunity. – Russell Moore, Christianity Today
The U.S. has more in common with South America than Europe: The U.S. isn’t exceptional. It’s American. – Samuel Goldman, The Week
Facebook’s Oversight Board Says Company Lied About Whitelist – Santi Ruiz, The Washington Free Beacon
For many Haitian migrants, the journey to Texas started online – Associated Press
Why Pick a Fight Over Iron Dome Funding Now? – Jim Geraghty, National Review
After Mandating Masks Outdoors, Oregon’s Active COVID-19 Cases Increased 73 Percent – Jim Geraghty, National Review
Ron Klain hasn’t retweeted Jennifer Rubin since Politico reported on lovefest between Biden WH, WaPo columnist: Before last week, the WH chief of staff retweeted Rubin ‘more than three dozen times since mid-May’ – Fox News
The Competency Question – Amy Walter, Cook Political Report
Twitter Thread(s) of the week
Satire of the week
Thanks for reading!