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Most Republicans are put out with President Joe Biden one year into his term. But I’m not. He’s doing great. Amazing, in fact.
I never imagined that he would, so quickly and thoroughly, expose the duplicity of his own campaign, which portrayed him as a nice old moderate grandpa who just wanted to help everyone compromise and get along. After a year we see the reality: divisive, angry, out-of-touch and as dishonest as his predecessor.
Republicans could have only dreamed of a political environment this favorable as they seek to re-take control of Congress. The Gallup organization just recorded a 14-point shift away from the Democrats when measuring American’s political preferences.
Democrats led the question by nine points when Biden started and now trail the GOP by five points, a dramatic development portending doom for Team Biden in November.
Perhaps Biden’s most stunning failure is his complete misjudgment about why he was elected in the first place. He didn’t win because he had some amazing ideas. He just appeared to be less crazy than Bernie Sanders or Donald Trump.
His entire mandate was to replace Trump, operate the government competently, and lower the temperature in Washington. The country wasn’t looking for a mind-bending jerk toward progressivism. If Americans (or even Democrats) wanted that, they would’ve gone with Bernie.
Instead, they elected Biden, along with a 50-50 Senate and a nearly 50-50 House. The voters were clear: don’t do anything drastic or stupid.
But the caretaking, competent moderate that Americans bought turned out to be, at best, an empty vessel, all too willing to be boarded by the most liberal and incompetent pirates in American politics, progressives picaroons who keep Biden in such a tight information bubble that he’s lost touch with reality.
Biden’s Atlanta speech was a fitting capper to his first year. It was full of falsehoods, was angry and hyper-partisan and led to a humiliating legislative defeat on a solution in search of a problem.
A Politico survey found that “electoral reform, in general, is not a top issue of concern for the public right now. We asked voters which of three voting reform ideas should be ‘the top priority’ for Congress… ‘None of the above’ (32%) beat out all of them.”
But inside the Biden bubble, the prevailing view is that no one can vote but the economy is great! Outside the bubble, where the rest of us live, voting has never been easier or more en vogue (two straight elections with massive turnout), while inflation destroys family budgets and cancels out workers’ raises.
Store shelves are empty. Restaurants can’t open for lack of workers. A nation that used to think of itself as the light of the world appears to be a flickering, dim bulb, a too-perfect reflection of its leader.
Biden’s political downswing began with his disastrous Afghanistan pullout. The images of people falling from the sky and the Taliban parading in American equipment and uniforms will haunt Biden forever. “America is back!” the president shouts. From where? Can we return immediately?
But even that staggering failure is now dwarfed by the emerging reality that Biden is worse at managing coronavirus than Trump ever was. Biden arrived with a set of fully approved vaccines and a year’s worth of COVID-19 knowledge. More people have died on his watch than Trump’s, and our public health regime, led by Anthony Fauci, is being tuned out by an exhausted public.
The best message was always so simple: get your shots, live your life. How Biden and his team screwed this up is mind-boggling. If there’s a human embodiment of ambiguity, apprehension, and confusion, Biden is it.
The president has exactly one bipartisan legislative victory — the infrastructure bill, something voters actually wanted. Any blueprint for improvement should start with ideas like this that meet two criteria: germaneness to pressing matters and bipartisan support. But until Biden rids himself of the Twitter-obsessed progressives who have ruined his presidency, he’ll continue to be adrift.
Perhaps I am letting Biden off too easy. After all, the buck stops with him, not the advisors who load his TelePrompTer. Senate Republican Leader Mitch McConnell, who has earned the nickname “Mr. January” for what have become his annual winter speeches dressing down America’s unmoored Commanders-in-Chief, said it best:
“Twelve months ago, this President said that ‘disagreement must not lead to disunion.’ But, yesterday, he invoked the bloody disunion of the Civil War to demonize Americans who disagree with him. He compared a bipartisan majority of Senators to literal traitors. How profoundly unpresidential.”
Kentucky’s senior senator — the only member of congressional leadership not from New York or California— has him pegged. And it seems that the rest of America does, too.
Scott Jennings is a Republican adviser, CNN political contributor and partner at RunSwitch Public Relations. He can be reached at Scott@RunSwitchPR.com or on Twitter @ScottJenningsKY.
This article originally appeared on Louisville Courier Journal: Joe Biden after 1 year — 'angry, out-of-touch and dishonest' | Opinion