Has any administration been caught off guard on so many fronts as the Biden administration?
It was shocked by the Taliban’s rapid takeover of Afghanistan. It was surprised by the surge in energy costs, the spike in inflation, and the depth of the supply chain crises. It hadn’t planned on a massive flood of illegal immigrants. It didn’t think COVID would still be around. It expected job growth and the economy to be stronger than it is. It didn’t foresee the sharp rise in crime.
Judson Berger of National Review Online had it right when he quipped that “the Biden administration sure is ‘surprised’ a lot.”
Just yesterday, the head of President Joe Biden’s Council of Economic Advisers, Cecilia Rouse, admitted that the White House didn’t expect a prolonged supply chain crisis. The administration “just didn’t fully appreciate that the supply system, the supply chain, wouldn’t be able to process through the elevated demand for durable goods,” she said.
These are just the surprises that team Biden has publicly admitted to.
What’s even more troubling is that Biden’s policies are (at least partly) to blame for every one of these crises. Worse still is the fact that Biden and his Keystone Cops cabinet are clueless about how to deal with any of them.
Take the nation’s ongoing supply chain crisis. Today, the Los Angeles ports are as clogged as they were before Biden announced his “solution.” The Marine Exchange of Southern California reports a backlog of 94 container ships as of Tuesday – right about where it was before Biden stepped in.
So Biden simply shrugs his shoulders and tells the public, as he did last week, that empty shelves are no big deal because “there are items every year that sell out, that are hard to find.” He then compared the shortages of essential goods and services today to Cabbage Patch Kids, Beanie Babies “or other toys that have run out at Christmas time in past years when there was no supply chain problem.”
Biden’s answer to the $4-a-gallon gasoline that came after he declared war on the oil and gas industry was to beg OPEC to ramp up its production and, when it didn’t, he released some oil from the Strategic Petroleum Reserve. And then his party bragged about how that had lowered gasoline prices – by a whole 1.5 cents a gallon! Meanwhile, Biden’s inept Transportation Secretary Pete Buttigieg has been running around the country saying the answer to today’s energy crisis is to buy electric cars because then you “never have to worry about gas prices again.”
On COVID, after repeatedly promising the nation that he would “end” the pandemic, Biden ended up breaking his pledge not to impose a vaccine mandate, only to find that federal courts blocked his illegal mandates. When the new Omicron variant appeared, Biden imposed a travel ban on some African countries even though the variant had already shown up in the U.S. His plan for “free” COVID tests requires people to pay up front and then try to get reimbursed by their insurance company. He extended existing federal mask mandates, even though they did nothing to stop the spread of the Delta variant.
On the rash of crimes now plaguing cities across the nation, Biden had his press secretary blame the spike in murders, attacks, smash-and-grab robberies on “root causes” such as guns and the pandemic – not the defund the police rhetoric and policies his party has pursued.
Biden’s only answer to the border crisis he created was to appoint Vice President Kamala Harris to head up the response. She’s turned out to be more clueless on this issue than Biden.
Nor does Biden seem to understand why China and Russia are suddenly talking and acting with increased belligerence (hint, it was Biden’s disastrous Afghan withdrawal), much less what to do about it. Biden has been making nice with Beijing in hopes that he can get it to agree to (utterly phony) CO2 reductions. Commerce Secretary Gina Raimondo is still peddling the failed notion that “robust commercial engagement” will help mitigate tensions with China. And after China tested a hypersonic missile (also a surprise to team Biden), the response from the White House that “we welcome stiff competition.”
Biden’s two-hour video chat with Putin yesterday didn’t yield any progress on Ukraine. Sen. Tom Cotton, R-Ark., said it was worse than nothing, calling it “an example of how he is appeasing Vladimir Putin.” Cotton went on to say that after Putin sent 175,000 troops to Ukraine’s border, Biden “rushes to get on a video call to beg him not to invade Ukraine when he is unwilling to specify exactly the kind of measures the United States will lead Europe in taking should he invade Ukraine.”
The administration did, however, tell the press that it’s “exploring options for a potential evacuation of U.S. citizens from Ukraine” should Russia invade.
Not exactly comforting.
Biden’s cratering approval rating shows that the public is figuring all this out, despite the Praetorian Guard media. The question is what are we supposed to do about Biden’s increasingly worrisome incompetence?
— Written by the I&I Editorial Board