Sleepy, Sloppy Joe Biden is King Midas-in-Reverse. Everything golden thing he touches – from a vibrant economy with low inflation to energy independence to order at the border to unprecedented diplomatic breakthroughs through an assertive foreign policy – turns to dreck, to put it politely.
Which is why the hapless Scrantonite is well underway toward displacing the only other born-Keystone Stater to occupy 1600 Pennsylvania – James Buchanan – as history’s worst president.
All Buchanan did, in many chroniclers’ view, was lose his grip on a nation sliding toward a bloody Civil War. Besides deep-sixing the American Dream, faux President Brandon is stumbling, bumbling and slouching his way – and ours – toward Doomsday.
Don’t take this scribe’s word for it. The Chief Wreck-xecutive just dropped the bombshell (excuse the pun) his-own-self before a select collection of Democratic heavy-hitters: “He’s (Vladimir Putin’s) not joking. I don’t think there’s any such thing as the ability to easily use a tactical nuclear weapon and not end up with Armageddon.”
Leading wry political analyst Byron York to muse as to the Commander in Thief’s odd choice of venue for his “alarming remarks:” “Shouldn’t he tell someone else first — like the nation?”
And causing this commentator to query just when Uptake-Slow Joe caught on to the seriousness, in both senses, of Vlad’s threat. Maybe when the Russian bear growled that his warning of using “all the instruments at (his) disposal” to defend his homeland was “not a bluff?” And when military-national-security-industrial-complex types started cavalierly tossing off response scenarios that would practically guarantee all-out global conflict?
Of course, Scranton Joey, who once shared a “life lesson” that “you can never say anything that’s true about someone when you’re criticizing them,” dumped blame for this sword of Damocles on his predecessor: “I didn’t realize how much serious damage the previous administration did to our foreign policy.”
Yeah, right. Donald Trump was the scarily senile septuagenarian who essentially invited the Russian strongman to waltz into Ukraine by vacillating on the Western response to a “minor incursion?” Right after his show of resolve in bequeathing billions in lethal military equipment to Taliban terrorists in a mad dash out of Afghanistan?
The good news: As usual, this pundit stands ready, as a public service, to provide Slouchy Joe a sure way out of his current strategic cul-de-sac.
Not to mention, in the style of the convenient “one-stop shop” various service providers offer, to simultaneously address two other ongoing, seemingly intractable international hazards: Li’l Kim Jong Un’s nasty habit of lobbing missiles at his peaceful neighbors. And the Taiwan invasion for which China appears to be gearing up, the subject of Joey’s previous mega-gaffe.
Actually, it’s more like a “one-stop chop.” Sloppy-Slouchy Joe should simply, for a moment, morph into Steel-Spiny Joe and play his “Trump card” (yeah, more wordplay) against his “old friend,” Xi Jinping.
To wit: “Xi, baby, if Vladdy lets loose with so much as a Little Boy-sized nuke … or Kim launches even a bottle rocket over Japan … or you land, say, a flotilla of rowboats on Taiwan … China will never during your ‘presidency-for-life’ dock another container ship in L.A. or Long Beach. Capisce?” In other words, we will “chop” off China’s access to U.S. markets.
After all, two things are inalterably true: First, depriving the Middle Kingdom of its $577 billion in exports to the US of A (2021) would knock its Potemkin Village of an economy, mired in a “slow-motion financial crisis,” flatter than the North China Plain.
Second, China, and only China, has the economic and political leverage to reverse Kim’s and Putin’s courses.
Now the striped pants set will object that it’s not that simple – that China has as much to worry about from North Korean destabilization as we do, and is treading a fine line to avoid getting too close to Putin.
Yada yada yada.
We all know full well that there is no chubby Kim without Chinese patronage – some accounts have his Communist big brother shoveling half its foreign aid his way and helping North Korea evade food and fuel sanctions. And no Putin bluster absent his Xi bromance – and the 30+% jump in Chinese-Russian trade, especially purchases of discounted oil, as the rest of the world deserted him.
You say throttling China commerce would take the U.S. economy down too? Yes, economic decoupling would be messy. But a lot less catastrophic, and in the long term downright salutary, if it were combined with an emergency appeal to Congress to speed-rebuild the equivalent of FDR’s “Arsenal of Democracy,” this time the world’s strongest economy.
How? By passing a corporate tax holiday – 10 years has been previously suggested by this author, but permanent would be perfectly fine as well – for U.S. business activities repatriated from China. Oh, and unleashing U.S. energy producers.
Could Sleepy Joe show the spine to slow our slouch toward apocalypse?
Don’t hold your breath waiting on that. Instead, the world will keep pausing its collective respiration at the knowledge that this sad sack stands at the helm of the Free World’s ship of state at its moment of maximum peril, mostly of his making.
Bob Maistros is a messaging and communications strategist, crisis specialist and former political speechwriter. He can be reached at email@example.com.