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Which Crisis Will Be The Next To Catch Biden ‘Off Guard’?

A little over 500 days into his presidency, Joe Biden has an unblemished record — of being “caught off guard” by every major crisis that has engulfed the country since January 2021.  The question now is, what’s the next crisis that will catch Biden flat-footed and for which he will have no solutions?

Search for “Biden caught off guard” and see for yourself how often this has made news over the past year and a half.

To save you the effort, here are just a few examples:

Biden was caught off guard by the Taliban’s rush to victory in Afghanistan. Caught off guard by inflation. Caught off guard by the supply chain crisis.

And remember, this is the guy who, we were told repeatedly, would surround himself with experienced pros. One commentator gushed that “the adults are back in charge, and the American people are about to be reminded of what it’s like to have a competent government working for them.”

The press, of course, was all too happy to parrot White House talking points about how seasoned Biden’s team was.

When he issued a press release about how his “crisis-tested team” would help “lift America out of the current economic downturn and build back better,” the term “crisis-tested” starting turning up in news accounts everywhere, and without the usual scare quotes that the media would put around such a claim if it came from a Republican.

So, the question now is, what will be the next crisis that catches Biden and his team of dunces off guard? Diesel shortages? Insulin shortages? A massive new flood of illegal immigrants?

Will it be the recession?

As we pointed out in this space recently, the country is already in a recession (see “The Biden Recession Has Arrived”), which means it started in January, when Biden stood before Congress and in his State of the Union address bragged about “all the bright spots in our economy” and how he was going to “keep the economy going strong.” As late as April, Biden was declaring that the economy had “gone from being on the mend to on the move.”

And just a few days ago he scolded a reporter for asking about a recession, saying “Now you sound like a Republican politician,” and “there’s nothing inevitable about a recession.”

To paraphrase Richard M. Weaver, ignorance has consequences.

As former CKE Restaurants chief executive Andy Puzder put it recently: “Biden has waved off recession concerns,” and his “refusal to acknowledge the negative impact of his policies has rendered him incapable of implementing realistic policy solutions. Democrats in Congress who enable him share the blame.”

Worse, some are now warning that we could be in for a combination of 1970s-style stagflation and the financial crisis of 2008.

Here’s how Nouriel Roubini, chief economist at Atlas Capital Team, put it:

In the 1970s, we had stagflation but no massive debt crises, because debt levels were low. After 2008, we had a debt crisis followed by low inflation or deflation, because the credit crunch had generated a negative demand shock. Today, we face supply shocks in a context of much higher debt levels, implying that we are heading for a combination of 1970s-style stagflation and 2008-style debt crises – that is, a stagflationary debt crisis.

What will Biden do when the economic collapse becomes undeniable? We don’t claim to be clairvoyant but we’re fairly certain that here’s what will happen.

  1. The media will report that Biden was caught “off guard” by the recession.
  2. Biden will then start running around blaming Vladimir Putin, or the now long-ago pandemic, or Republicans, or anyone else he can point his craggy finger at.
  3. What he won’t do is offer real solutions.

That’s the depressing reality — knowing what’s ahead, and knowing that the leaders in the White House and Congress refuse to accept blame and have no clue how to respond.

The only chance voters have to change this trajectory is to create a political wave in November so massive and so powerful that it not only washes Democrats out of power in the House and Senate, but gives Republicans a veto-proof majority.

Biden would be caught off guard, of course.

— Written by the I&I Editorial Board

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I & I Editorial Board

The Issues and Insights Editorial Board has decades of experience in journalism, commentary and public policy.


  • Will President Biden be caught off guard by all of the NATO people being killed in Afghanistan by the Taliban? No? Oh right, he got us out of Afghanistan. Oddly, the fat boy claimed that he was gonna get the US out of there – right after one of his many golf games.

  • I think the moment it became obvious Biden had to reward his very incapable primary campaign rivals by putting them into important cabinet positions, the entire “adults back in charge” meme collapsed.

    If, as is hoped here, Republicans can assemble a veto-proof majority, they are going to need a lot of wise support and tolerance from their base. Many of these Republicans will be politically naive, and the usual opposition suspects will begin setting clever snares for newbies and false stories in the wee hours post election — recall John Podesta’s 2016 early morning promise that the resistance (to Trump) begins now. Where will this wise advice come from? Not from much of the establishment, that’s for certain.

  • He won’t be caught off-guard by the next Black Swan that keeps Democrats in power – The Midterm Variant. They will design a super-virulent super-contagious SARS2 variant in a lab that is much worse than Delta and release it 3 weeks before the election. By election day so many election workers will be terrified that no state will be able to hold an in-person election, and only voters who already requested mail-in ballots will be able to vote. Biden will hide in his basement and come out grinning and blaming as usual after the election is over.

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