Judging from the polls, President Biden has lost the confidence of the American people.
President Trump was among the most unpopular presidents in American history. He was the only one whose favorable rating never surpassed the 50 percent mark. Depending on one’s perspective, that was because Trump was incessantly hammered by a biased media and unhinged hatred of the leftwing establishment unlike any president in history … or because he had a pugnacious personality and whose statements and actions seemed to create self-damaging controversies with malice aforethought.
This commentary is not about debating the reasons for Trump’s lack of popularity, however, but rather to specifically examine why President Biden’s favorable ratings are frequently below those of Trump – and almost never much higher. Why the Biden presidency seems to be failing across the board.
While Biden can be pugnacious, he is no match for Trump. So, pugnacity does not explain why Biden is struggling to be liked by the American people. Biden did have that “Uncle Joe” public persona that was considered endearing when he served in the Senate and as Vice President. But it seems to have faded in the brighter spotlight of the presidency.
If Trump’s problem was 70 percent personality and 30 percent issues and policies, Biden may have it reversed – 30 percent personality and 70 percent issues and policies. A growing number of Americans are seeing Biden as incompetent – pursuing unpopular policies and mishandling major issues.
Some attribute his gaffes and unpopular policies to a reduction in mental acuity. There may be some of that, but not sufficient to make him mentally incompetent. Others say he has allowed himself to be dragged to the left by the growing influence of the progressive wing of the Democratic Party. That is more like an explanation.
While voters were seeming to give Biden the benefit of the doubt initially, his mishandling of major issues is taking their toll. A major drop in public confidence was seen in conjunction with the withdrawal of American troops from Afghanistan. It was seen as a bad idea executed badly. With European allies criticizing the decision – and even reports of opposition from his generals – Biden looked like an untethered President. Biden took responsibility for the decision – and the public agreed to his culpability and sank him in the polls.
Biden assured the nation that he could handle the Covid-19 Pandemic – and that under his policies, America would be returning to normal by mid-2021. He promised to have 70 percent of Americans vaccinated by the Fourth of July 2021. That did not happen – and still has not happened. To push harder, Biden imposed several very unpopular policies –vaccination passports, indoor masking – especially for school children.
In justifying his initial Stimulus Bill and the bipartisan Infrastructure Bill, Biden insisted that there was no threat of inflation – even as Republicans and economists were calling Biden’s legislation inflationary. The economists expressing concerns were such iconic progressives as Larry Summers and Steve Rattner. Inflation started to accelerate during his first hear in office – and surged in 2022, even for the Russian invasion of Ukraine.
Biden then predicted that the inflation would not be too serious and would ebb soon later in 2022 – in time for the November midterm elections. It got worse, reaching record highs — and there is no end in sight.
When Vladimir Putin started building up an invasion force on the border of Ukraine, Biden talked tough – talked of Draconian sanctions that would cripple the Russian economy. Biden was slow in rolling them out. His refusal to implement serious sanctions in a timely fashion – and initially rejecting Ukrainian pleas for more weapons (those fighter jets, for example) and the creation of a no-fly zone – are policies more popular in Russia than they are in the United States. As of this writing, more than 70 percent of Americans support the request for the fighter jets – as do a bipartisan majority of Congress.
And now we have the inflationary impact of cutting off Russian oil. Biden now blames Putin and the Pandemic for the run-away inflation. While that has been part of the problem, Biden policies still are the cause of most of the inflationary price rises. Under his watch, American oil production declined.
Biden’s policies to cut down on the use of fossil fuels have exacerbated the surge in pump prices. America would have been in better shape had Biden policies not cut production. His suggestion that Americans can mitigate the high cost of gas by purchasing electric cars had the ring of Marie Antionette telling the breadless masses to “eat cake.”
Biden has said that he does not support defunding the police, but he has done nothing to stop his powerful progressive wing from continuing to promote and implement the concept. Democrats in communities around the country have been passing police defunding ordnances.
While opposing defunding, Biden does speak of the need to “reform” police departments – which includes shifting money away from enforcement and spending it on “social services.” That essentially defunds police operations at a time of surging crime in America’s cities. In addition, Democrat district attorneys are doing away with the prosecution of some felonies – or even changing laws to legalize certain crimes. All of this puts the unprecedented crime wave across the country on Biden’s shoulders.
Then there is the immigration crisis at the southern border. Biden is literally ignoring it despite the surge of illegal border crossers having impacted on the crime and drug crisis in America. The porous border has become the primary entry point for foreign illegal drugs. And there is south of the border at new caravan assembling that will bring record numbers of illegal border crosses into America in the next few months.
Despite his 36 years’ service in the United States Senate and eight years as Vice President of the United States, Biden is looking like a rookie in the Oval Office. He seems to be operating on some internal vision that is not consistent with the situations on the ground. Maybe it’s his age – or may the fact that he has been a creature of the Washington establishment for more than half a century – but Biden seems to have lost stride with the American people. Instead of the affable “Uncle Joe” of the past, Biden is starting to come across as a cranky old man – less of a leader and more like a person increasingly dependent on others to motivate his actions.
The Biden presidency appears to be collapsing – and nothing on the horizon suggests there will be a turnaround in the near future. That should scare the hell out of Democrats facing a potential Republican wave election in a little over seven months. But no matter what happens in November, Biden will still have two years in office – and THAT should scare every American.
So, there ‘tis.