Originally posted October 25, 2021.
Does Joe Biden know what’s up? What’s increasingly alarming is Joe Biden’s lack of concentration and his ad-libbing. He doesn’t seem to know what he’s talking about, which is a growing public concern.
The WSJ presents a number of issues that should cause ANX amongst most Americans, regardless of party affiliation.
Crisis of Rising Gas Prices? Rising gas prices, at almost $4 a gallon, are a growing public concern.
Mr. Biden blamed the OPEC cartel for not producing more oil, but then he said the answer is “ultimately . . . investing in renewable energy.”
It’s Simple: Electric Cars Cost too Much
Most cars still run on gasoline, not solar or wind power. Electric cars remain impractical for most Americans.
The way to reduce gas prices is to produce more oil to increase the supply. Mr. Biden wouldn’t have to plead with OPEC to produce more if he weren’t working so hard to limit U.S. oil production.
Massive Supply Chain Bottlenecks? Are supply-chain bottlenecks contributing to shortages and inflation?
Mr. Biden blamed COVID and employers who won’t pay enough to attract workers. But employers are bidding up wages nearly across the economy and they still can’t fill the more than 10 million job openings nationwide.
A High Class Tragedy?
Working class families are going to bear the brunt of inflation and shortages as they struggle to keep warm and put food on the table. But that didn’t stop Ron Klain, Biden’s chief of staff, from mocking working Americans by twittering that inflation and shortages “are high class problems.” White House Secretary Jen Psaki joined in the “fun” by snidely summing up supply chain chaos as “the tragedy of the treadmill that’s delayed.”
The National Guard? Yes, replied Mr. Biden when asked if he’d call in the National Guard to address the shortage of truckers.
Deployment of the National Guard is actually controlled by Governors, as the White House later clarified.
Foreign Policy? This is an area that should not have been confusing to Mr. Biden.
The president’s confusion extended to foreign policy, which is supposed to be his strength. Regarding Taiwan—a crucial issue with China—Mr. Biden misstated U.S. policy.
Asked “can you vow to protect Taiwan,” Mr. Biden said “yes.”
CNN anchor Anderson Cooper pressed Mr. Biden: “So are you saying that the United States would come to Taiwan’s defense if—”
Mr. Biden: “Yes.”
Mr. Cooper: —“China attacked?”
Mr. Biden: “Yes, we have a commitment to do that.”
Taiwan and Strategic Ambiguity and US Policy
The actual U.S. policy toward Taiwan is “strategic ambiguity” about U.S. intentions. The Taiwan Relations Act commits the U.S. to help Taiwan defend itself but does not include a NATO-like commitment to go to war to defend the island democracy. Many people think the U.S. should make such a commitment explicit so Beijing doesn’t miscalculate and invade the island. Was Mr. Biden announcing a change in U.S. policy?
Apparently not, since the White House soon walked back Mr. Biden’s words, continues the WSJ.
Strategic ambiguity lives, or perhaps we should say strategic confusion in the case of Mr. Biden. You have to wonder what the hard men in Beijing think of this performance. Does the fast White House retreat from Mr. Biden’s words mean the U.S. doesn’t intend to defend Taiwan? What is U.S. policy? Wars have started amid such mixed signals to adversaries.
Technically, the “Commitment” President Biden referred to on Thursday was the United States’ continued role in supplying arms to Taiwan. But it also could be interpreted by many – including the Chinese leadership – as meaning U.S. military involvement.
The US Needs an Able Leader
There is no pleasure in pointing out these ineffective, disturbing responses from America’s top leader. As the WSJ notes, the U.S. needs a leader who can handle the strains of the U.S. presidency, a job considered the most important one in the world.
Mr. Biden was never Demosthenes (the Greek orator and statesman), and all Presidents stumble in speech. But Mr. Biden’s frequent public confusion about the major issues of the day is a reason for the growing public concern.
President Biden’s performance during a recent CNN Town Hall – even with a friendly audience, softball questions, and White House handlers tightly shielding him – illustrates why America is losing confidence in Joe Biden’s presidency.
The Big Lie – “Joe from Scranton”
Democrats like to call allegations of voter fraud in the last election the “Big Lie.” Writing on why the Biden presidency is a slap in the face to the working class, Amber Athey (SpectatorWorld) nominates “Joe from Scranton” as the official holder of that title: The Biden presidency is the “Big Lie.”
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