Our Country One Year In The Biden Presidency

I have written several articles on our Presidential candidate Biden and President Biden. A list of the links have been provided at the bottom of this article for your convenience. This article will, however address different aspects on Biden’s presidency.

As we near the end of the first year of Biden’s presidency, the question is will we survive a second year let alone the full four years? I know one thing and this is not idle banter if he wins a second term, I will move to another country, mark my words. That is why I have used a cemetery photo in this posting, because he is killing our country. So I guess you can already guess that this is going to be a negative article. I am sorry I try my best to be unbiased when I start my articles, however, their is no way can be positive in this posting. I do promise one thing, I won’t make anything up or exaggerate what damage he has done to our country. There frankly is no need to do so.

Biden’s first year a bust – here are 5 New Year’s resolutions president should adopt, for all our sakes

Can Biden turn around his fortunes? Doubtful, but for the sake of the nation he could try…

Here’s how bad things are for Joe Biden: the White House is pumping out stories about the new First Puppy as frantically as a fire brigade dousing a raging inferno. Anything to distract from the president’s abysmal polling, stalled agenda, failed COVID management and four-decade-high inflation. 

The worst news for Biden is that voters now score him poorly even on those qualities that he has banked on throughout his career, like honesty and empathy. 

Bottom line: the first year of Biden’s presidency has been a bust.

There is no guarantee that 2022 will be any kinder to the president. Inflation will continue to run hot as employers will have to pay up for workers and the Fed’s gentle down-shift on monetary largesse will prove too little, too late. Crime will remain a headline issue, thanks to Democrats who have turned our criminal justice system upside down while defunding the police. The southern border remains wide open as Biden and liberal mayors and governors do everything possible to invite people to enter our country illegally.

Meanwhile, China and Russia see this feeble presidency as an opportune time to press their advantage. 

In the midterm elections, Democrats will lose, and probably lose big. That will be, in effect, the end of the Biden presidency. 

Can Biden turn around his fortunes? Doubtful, but for the sake of the nation he could try, by adopting these five New Year’s resolutions:

Number oneFire somebody! When a White House crashes, it’s good to let the public know that the president is angry, too, and demands accountability. Biden has kept his team intact, even as disasters pile up. That is a mistake.

‘THE FIVE’ SLAM BIDEN FOR FAILING ON COVID CAMPAIGN PROMISES AND ‘GIVING UP’

It is outrageous that no one was fired after the botched withdrawal from Afghanistan.  Whoever signed off on closing Bagram Air Base, abandoning that secure airfield and its priceless cache of weapons to the Taliban, should have been dismissed. The intel team that said the Afghan government would hold and the people responsible for leaving behind so many Americans and allies should also lose their jobs. 

Thirteen American service members and scores of Afghans died in the bombing at the Kabul Airport; that is unacceptable. Heads should roll.

The State Department could also use a shake-up. Whose idea was it to have Biden ignominiously beg Russian President Vladimir Putin for a one-on-one sit-down earlier this year?  

Who “forgot” to tell the French that we were partnering with Australia to help them develop their own nuclear submarines, and that the Aussies would consequently renege on a large and profitable contract with the Elysee Palace? 

Which ignorant anti-Trumper decided to undermine the Abraham Accords, the most promising Middle East peace initiative in decades?

Serious errors of judgement and execution need to be punished. Not doing so risks portraying Biden as arrogant or, worse, clueless.

Second: Come out from behind your Teleprompter. Stop telling people you are not “allowed” to talk to the press, or to go off script.

You’re the president! 

Hold more press conferences, call on reporters randomly and cope with the resulting surprises. If you cannot handle the give-and-take of such sessions, you should not be president. 

Nearly half the nation thinks you are not mentally capable of performing the duties of your office. Either this is true, in which case you must resign, or it is untrue. The best way of demonstrating your abilities is to come out of your bunker, and act like a president. 

Third: Watch more television. Yes, you heard that right – tune in, or grab a newspaper, and get up to date. On a live Christmas show with you recently, a caller from Seattle said, “Let’s Go Brandon;” you repeated those words, and then said “I agree.” 

Is it actually possible that you haven’t heard that phrase and are ignorant of its meaning? That is an alarming possibility.

Do you rely on your team to filter the information you receive? That is a terrible idea; they will not be honest conduits of news that reflects badly on you, because it also reflects badly on them.  

You say you do not follow your polling when it turns south; actually, that is exactly when you should be on top of what voters are saying. You need to know. 

Many of your comments about inflation, or crime or the surge of people entering the country illegally appear ill-informed; you may not be able to fix these problems but you should surely know about them. 

Fourth: Drop the divisiveness. You were elected in part by people tired of constant political wrangling and hoping for comity. You promised to bring the nation together; instead, you have widened our divides. In a new poll, only 15% of the nation thought you could bring the country together; that’s a pathetic vote of no confidence on this, your signature promise.

Suggesting that the unvaccinated are not patriotic, or that Republicans are to blame for inflation because they are blocking passage of your Build Back Better bill may play well to a small part of the electorate, but the majority would like less finger-pointing and more good faith. 

So far, you have shown yourself as harshly partisan as your predecessor but with fewer accomplishments to balance the ledger.

Fifth: Stop denigrating the United States. Americans love their country, and they want their president to love it, too. This is not a “systemically racist” nation, we do not need to topple our statues or rewrite our history. Our founding fathers conceived of and delivered a miracle for their time and indeed for all time – a country dedicated to providing opportunity and freedom to all. 

Biden’s disastrous first year

President started off on the wrong foot, only hours after being sworn in

OPINION:

President Biden has not had a good first year. Because they work for the president, White House staffers must publicly pretend to think otherwise, and last week they put out a memo titled “2021: POTUS Delivered Results for Working Families.”

Mr. Biden started off on the wrong foot. Just hours after being sworn in, he signed one executive order canceling the permit for the Keystone XL pipeline and a second executive order launching the 30-day process for the United States to reenter the Paris Climate Agreement. The world took note — the new American president was not committed to U.S. energy independence.

That same day, he signed executive orders reversing his predecessor’s immigration policies, ordered an end to construction of the wall on the southern border and unveiled an immigration reform bill that included a path to citizenship for illegal immigrants. The result was predictable — a surge of illegal immigration on the southern border at record-setting levels, leaving senior administration officials and spokespeople sputtering for answers.

Mr. Biden continued his bad streak when, less than two months later, Congress — without a single Republican vote, and at his urging – passed his signature piece of legislation, the $1.9 trillion “American Rescue Plan.” The Biden White House staff seems to think this was a good thing. This is apparent because it’s the first talking point in that year-end memo.

Those who think the enactment of that stimulus bill was a good thing were wrong. While Mr. Biden and his Democratic allies on Capitol Hill celebrated his signature on the bill, they deliberately ignored economists’ warnings (including some liberals) that the bill’s economic stimulus would lead to runaway inflation. They arrogantly brushed off those concerns and introduced the word “transitory” to the lexicon, as if anyone worried about the return of the kind of debilitating inflation we saw 40 years ago was a tin-foil-hat-wearing rube.

On the foreign policy front, Mr. Biden set out to reverse the course set by his predecessor. In addition to rejoining the Paris Climate Agreement, Mr. Biden declared his desire to reengage in the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action, also known as the Iran Nuclear Deal. He sent American diplomats to Vienna to try to come to an agreement with Iran. Despite his administration’s best efforts, getting Iran to give up its nuclear program — which has now enriched uranium to the 60% level — remains elusive.

And, of course, there’s the disastrous and catastrophic withdrawal from Afghanistan, for which not a single senior-level official has forfeited his job. Oddly, in this circumstance, he didn’t set out to reverse the policy put in his place by his predecessor. Mr. Biden simply botched the job terribly. Despite promises to the contrary, hundreds of Americans and tens of thousands of Afghan allies were left behind, and America’s allies and adversaries took note.

Not too long after that, Democrats took a shellacking in the November elections. In Virginia, Republicans won a statewide election for the first time in 12 years. In New Jersey, a Republican candidate who spent just a few thousand dollars knocked off the most powerful politician in the state, the long-time president of the state Senate. Across the country, Democrats went down to shocking defeats.

Then came the passage of another trillion-dollar-plus spending bill, the Bipartisan Infrastructure Framework. Again, the federal government would shower money it didn’t have on things it couldn’t afford.

And then, as sure as night follows day, the inflation numbers surpassed the 6% mark: 6.2% in October and 6.8% in November. Not surprisingly, energy prices (remember that decision on the Keystone XL pipeline?) have soared since January — energy is up by 33.3%, gasoline prices are up 58.1%, and fuel oil is up 59%.

Finally, we have to look at the Biden administration’s handling of the COVID-19 pandemic. As a candidate, Mr. Biden said he saw no need for mandates; as president, he reversed himself and ordered vaccine mandates on federal workers and contractors, health care workers and even private companies. While the courts have blocked several of those orders from going into effect while being litigated, he seems not to care. (He didn’t care about the constitutionality of having the CDC impose an eviction moratorium, either, until the Supreme Court struck down his order.)

And while the White House’s “s’all good, man” memo brags that when Mr. Biden took office, “only 46% of schools were open,” but, “today, 99% of schools are open,” he doesn’t understand — based on what they’ve seen from the Biden administration already, no one believes that 99% of schools will stay open for one day longer than the teachers unions want them to.

Lockdowns haven’t worked, and vaccines haven’t worked (else why would be moving back to mask mandates?), so what’s left?

Apparently, an appeal to fear. The Biden administration has seemingly hired the ghost of Charles Dickens to write its COVID-19 warnings — as White House COVID-19 response coordinator Jeffrey Zients recently declared, “For the unvaccinated, you’re looking at a winter of severe illness and death for yourselves, your families and the hospitals you may soon overwhelm.”

Appealing to fear because you cannot find an uplifting appeal that unites the citizenry? Haven’t we seen this movie before, and doesn’t it look an awful lot like Jimmy Carter telling us to put on a sweater and turn down our thermostats? We know how that movie ended.

Biden’s terrible first year

From culture and foreign policy to COVID-19 and the economy, a close look reveals Biden’s first year was worse than either party thought it would be.

Biden started the year with a huge misstep for cultural conservatives when he released a Jan. 20 executive order on “preventing and combating discrimination on the basis of gender identity or sexual orientation.” While not an official law, this order did pave the way for federally funded entities such as schools to ban single-sex bathrooms, as administrators with the Chicago Public Schools did recently . Biden signaled within the first few days of holding office, and again in his April State of the Union speech, that he would not just be friendly to the gay and transgender community, but he would eagerly sign bills, such as the Equality Act, that would upend societal norms about gender and sex and penalize people who hold traditional views about such topics.

Biden’s mistakes go far beyond cultural issues. That same week in January, Biden halted former President Donald Trump’s “Remain in Mexico” policy, a move that was single-handedly responsible for the largest surge of immigrants at our nation’s border in over 20 years and that immediately caused a dangerous increase in crime and drugs at the border. The decision forced Texas Gov. Greg Abbott to bolster the border patrol and build a wall.

The economy has fared no better under Biden. While Democrats applauded Biden for his infrastructure bill, both parties should be able to admit that little about the economy or infrastructure has improved since he took office. In fact, it’s gotten far worse. The inflation rate “rose to 6.8% over the last year to its highest point since 1982,” and gas prices surged to $3 or more after the president shut down the Colonial Pipeline. An op-ed in the Wall Street Journal cited Biden’s “[i]naction on the Renewable Fuels Standard” as an additional contributor to high gas prices. Skyrocketing gas prices might seem small to lofty-minded politicians, but to small businesses and people who commute to work daily, the cost has been crippling.

As if Biden’s domestic policies weren’t bad enough, he didn’t stop making mistakes here. In August, Biden botched the military’s withdrawal from Afghanistan so badly that he started getting heat from Democrats and legacy media outlets.

“The debacle of the US defeat and chaotic retreat in Afghanistan is a political disaster for Joe Biden, whose failure to orchestrate an urgent and orderly exit will further rock a presidency plagued by crises and stain his legacy,” CNN’s Stephen Collinson wrote .

“Withdrawal was always bound to be chaotic, but wishful thinking, poor planning, and glacial bureaucracies have made a difficult situation worse,” read a subheading from a group of think tank authors at Foreign Policy. Biden’s decision will harm America’s relationships with our allies for decades to come.

Even Biden’s response to COVID-19 hasn’t helped his presidency much. Although the pandemic was difficult for Trump too, at least it was new then. Biden came into office touting unity and solutions. As it turns out, one of his solutions was forcing large employers to institute a vaccine mandate on their employees. The reaction was fierce and litigious. As some states remain wide open and others, such as California and New York, remain prisoners of mask and vaccine mandates, the presence of the omicron variant and another year of potential school closures demonstrates that Biden failed to dampen COVID-19 or even provide hope for the future.

As if this wasn’t enough, Biden fails on a monthly basis to communicate adequately, with fewer and fewer press conferences. “Joe Biden has been president of the United States for 138 days. And in that time, he has held a total of ONE formal news conference,” CNN’s Chris Cillizza wrote in June. When Biden does give a speech , he often flubs even the most basic presentations in a manner that is as excruciating as it is revealing: There was a reason voters didn’t hear much from Biden outside of planned speeches with accompanying teleprompters.

Of course, no president is entirely responsible for what happens in America, but for a team that touted unity, a bolstered economy, a basic understanding of foreign policy, and “building back” what’s been lost, Biden’s first year was as bad as you thought — if not worse.

Joe Biden’s First Year: The Worst in Modern History

American presidents, from time to time, face difficult first years. None more so than President Abraham Lincoln when he was greeted by the secession of southern states. In the modern television era, in his first year, President John Kennedy endured the Bay of Pigs debacle and then, Nikita Khrushchev’s browbeating of JFK at their Vienna summit, which Kennedy termed “worst thing in my life. He savaged me.”

So how does Biden’s first year compare and what criteria should be used to determine the success of the first year of the president?

Should it be based on popularity ratings? The state of the economy? Foreign policy achievements? Legislative accomplishments? Law and order? Handling a crisis? Domestic unity?

It is likely all of those things should be considered as well as other considerations. Regardless of the criteria, however, by any fair measure, the first year of the Biden presidency is likely the worst first year in modern presidential history.

1. The Economy. The economy Joe Biden inherited was not the best in history. After all, it was still suffering the dislocations of our government’s response to COVID. Nevertheless, it was inflation free by historical standards and the economic growth rate was improving from its COVID low.

The inflation rate was approximately 2% for the four years prior to Biden. Now it is at a 40 year high of nearly 7%. According to some analyses, however, it would be nearly as high as inflation during the Jimmy Carter years if government didn’t change how it measured inflation. Further, the recent drop in growth has many saying we have hit stagflation.

While the Biden administration is not at fault for all of the inflationary rise, his policies of enormous spending, higher regulations and renewed war on energy play a major role in not only the rise in inflation but our drop in economic growth. Further, there is no expectation that Biden will moderate his policies to combat inflation.

Keep in mind that inflation is likely the worst of economic ills. If it gets out of control, it can take years of pain to get back under control. That is what happened during the Carter years and the early Ronald Reagan years.

Carter’s inflation problems were caused by his spending policies and the Federal Reserve monetary policy — but inflation hit in his second and third years, not so much in his first. As for Biden, no president in modern times has ended his first year with the combination Biden did this year with much of it his own doing.

2. Foreign Policy. Most presidents are tested in the first year of their presidency by foreign leaders determined to assess the mettle of the new president. Harry Truman faced Russian provocation. In 1961, John Kennedy’s Bay of Pigs his first year and Soviet leader Khrushchev’s bullying at the Vienna summit certainly marked a bad first year for Kennedy.

While some will say the world lost confidence in Donald Trump his first year, nothing Trump did or didn’t do compares with the fallout Biden and the U.S. has endured because of the horrific pullout of U.S. troops from Afghanistan. It has shaken world confidence in U.S. leadership.

Further, as the year closes, Russia is acting in a way never seen during the Trump administration. Russia appears to be preparing for war with Ukraine, which is a replay of sorts of Russia’s taking of Crimea when Biden was a vice president. Meanwhile, China looms large and Biden is without a significant accomplishment. Overall, Biden had a bad first foreign policy year and serious geopolitical danger lies ahead in 2022.

3. Legislative Accomplishments. Biden’s first year, during his first 100 Days, was focused on reversing Trump policies through a flurry of executive actions that did, in fact, reverse Trump policies. His largest legislative victory came with the signing of a $1 trillion infrastructure bill.

But that didn’t happen until November and it was immediately followed by a high profile legislative defeat that left questions about his ability to control his party. Still, overall, Biden got a fair amount from a policy point of view — part of which is why we are having the economic trouble we are having.

As for other presidents, certainly, President Gerald Ford had a less effective legislative first year. Of course, Ford became president under the most difficult of circumstances, i.e., being appointed to becoming vice president and then the Nixon resignation that left the country scarred.

Thus, Biden did not have the worst legislative year of any modern president but he did not have the best either.

4. Law and Order. There can be little doubt that among the biggest issues of the day is the lack of law and order across America today and along our border. Polling gives Republicans a huge advantage on the border issue and sends a warning to Biden on law and order overall.

Biden has only 38% approval rating for his handling of immigration, according to a recent Reuters/Ipsos poll, and, according to a Wall Street Journal poll, Republicans have a 52% to 16% advantage over Democrats on which party is better to handle the border issue.

Further, “the percentage of Americans who say crime in the United States is ‘extremely serious’ has reached its highest point in two decades,” according to a 2021 Washington Post/ABC poll and “only a little more than 1 in 3 Americans (36%) approve of Biden’s handling of crime, down from 43% in an ABC News/Ipsos poll in late October.”

As 2021 comes to an end, our national media is filled with images of smash and grab crimes. Altogether, it is hard to conclude that Biden has had a good year on the law and order issue.

5. Handling of a Crisis. Certainly, the Biden administration has stated to all Americans that the United States remains in a COVID crisis. So how has Biden done?

Well, when he ran for president, Biden tweeted the following: “We’re eight months into this pandemic, and Donald Trump still doesn’t have a plan to get this virus under control. I do.”

As 2021 ended, Biden admitted a form of defeat.

A December poll by ABC/Ipsos showed Biden’s approval rating on COVID had tumbled 19% to just 41%.

Along with the Afghan pullout, which became a crisis, Biden’s responses to them also contributed to Biden’s historically bad first year.

6. Domestic Unity. As the New York Post accurately reported: “Unifying the country was a major campaign pledge for Biden during the 2020 presidential election and was the dominant theme of his Inaugural Address.”

The problem for Biden, however, is that, as the New York Post also reported, “Fifty-four percent of the respondents think the country is less united, while only 37 percent say it is more united, a Fox News poll found.”

Obviously, as the author of “The Divided Era,” I am keenly aware of this issue. Our country has been becoming more divided since the mid-1990s — the start of The Divided Era.

One of the key reasons our divisions are rising is in reaction to ever more intrusive government mandates. Indeed, the more government decides, the more it divides Americans between those who see government as an effective tool for change and those whose object to government overreach and who want to preserve their liberties.

Barack Obama’s first year was divisive as well as his administration and House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, D-Calif., derided those who opposed their agenda of Obamacare and other spending.

It is also true that the first year of the Trump presidency was, by all accounts, divisive. Trump, however, can point to his miserable treatment by the media and an investigation built on lies.

Biden, by contrast, has benefited from a supportive media and has had no such investigation. To the contrary, Trump is still under investigation.

All of which brings us to …

7. Popularity polls.

Despite his supporters in the media, Biden polling is among the worst of any first year president in history. According to Rasmussen, Biden’s approval rating was 40% on Dec. 27. That is 5% lower than Trump had on the same date.

Rasmussen wasn’t alone. Trafalgar also had him at 40% in December, Politico/Morning Consult had him at 43%, the Economist/YouGov had him at 42% and The Wall Street Journal had him at 41%.

Perhaps worst of all, for months the country has doubted Biden on honesty and leadership. Below is data from an October Quinnipiac poll:

When it comes to Biden’s personal traits, Americans were asked whether or not Biden …

  • cares about average Americans: 49 percent say yes, while 48 percent say no, compared to 58-37 percent yes in April;
  • is honest: 44 percent say yes, while 50 percent say no, compared to 51-42 percent yes in April;
  • has good leadership skills: 41 percent say yes, while 56 percent say no, compared to 52-44 percent yes in April.

The majority in a December Wall Street Journal poll answered consistent with that October Quinnipiac Poll. Biden has all of those bad polls despite a favorable press.

Overall, it is hard but to conclude that Biden is in trouble on all the major issues of the day at the end of his first year in office. No president in the modern era has found himself troubled to this degree and most of it is his own doing.

The question for 2022 is whether Biden can reverse his fate. The public, obviously, doesn’t think he can.

THE GOOD, THE BAD, AND THE UGLY OF BIDEN’S FIRST YEAR

It’s probably not wise to sketch out a “Biden doctrine” after just one year, but if you want to try, start at the top. U.S. President Joe Biden was inaugurated on the steps of a fenced-off U.S. Capitol on Jan. 20, just two weeks after a pro-Trump mob ransacked Congress.

It’s a scene that’s largely defined Biden’s first year as president: trying to find a new normal in U.S. foreign policy with a country still riven by the pandemic and deep-seated political polarization. And if the fledgling administration sought to return to the international rules of the road former U.S. President Donald Trump trod upon, Biden is staring down challenges by China, which has plans to be the world’s No. 1 superpower, and a resurgent Russia, which spent 2021 dialing up military pressure in Ukraine.

Even though allies and partners are now the foreign-policy tool du jour, there’s an important area of continuity between Biden and the former commander in chief he once told to “shut up” on the debate stage. Biden has put together a retrenchment-minded foreign policy that has seen U.S. troops pull out of Afghanistan after two decades of war. The United States will instead husband its economic strength at home to fight terrorism from “over the horizon.”

It’s probably not wise to sketch out a “Biden doctrine” after just one year, but if you want to try, start at the top. U.S. President Joe Biden was inaugurated on the steps of a fenced-off U.S. Capitol on Jan. 20, just two weeks after a pro-Trump mob ransacked Congress.

It’s a scene that’s largely defined Biden’s first year as president: trying to find a new normal in U.S. foreign policy with a country still riven by the pandemic and deep-seated political polarization. And if the fledgling administration sought to return to the international rules of the road former U.S. President Donald Trump trod upon, Biden is staring down challenges by China, which has plans to be the world’s No. 1 superpower, and a resurgent Russia, which spent 2021 dialing up military pressure in Ukraine.

Even though allies and partners are now the foreign-policy tool du jour, there’s an important area of continuity between Biden and the former commander in chief he once told to “shut up” on the debate stage. Biden has put together a retrenchment-minded foreign policy that has seen U.S. troops pull out of Afghanistan after two decades of war. The United States will instead husband its economic strength at home to fight terrorism from “over the horizon.”

Is that going to be enough? Biden’s detractors insist it’s not and worry the United States is losing credibility on the world stage with a haphazard and deadly withdrawal from Afghanistan that drew comparisons to the fall of Saigon. Here’s the good, the bad, and the ugly after Biden’s first year in office. 

THE GOOD

Friends in new places: Biden came into office with a serious foreign-policy conundrum that also befell his one-time boss, former U.S. President Barack Obama, as well as Trump: Big alliances like the 30-nation NATO—or even the 10-country Association of Southeast Asian Nations—were too slow and ponderous to keep up with Russia and China’s sudden moves on the global stage. So the Biden team has opted to thread the needle. Washington has used the four-nation Quadrilateral Security Dialogue that includes Australia, India, and Japan as an engine for security and vaccine distribution in the Indo-Pacific and the newly constituted AUKUS bloc with Australia and the United Kingdom to provide Canberra with nuclear-powered submarines. 

China’s saber-rattling has helped the United States lock in some of these new mini-lateral groupings. The kerfuffle over Whitsun Reef, where the Chinese moored civilian-flagged fishing boats in disputed waters, helped end the honeymoon between outgoing Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte and Chinese President Xi Jinping, forcing Manila back into the longer-term security deal with Washington it had sought to shed. And the decades long courtship between Washington and New Delhi looks like it’s moving toward something more serious as China continues to build up forces near its disputed territory with India. 

But it’s not just limited to the Indo-Pacific. As Russia amasses more than 100,000 troops on its border with Ukraine, the Biden administration frequently engages the so-called Bucharest Nine, former nations of the Soviet Union, including Poland and Romania (where the United States stations missile defenses)—even pledging to add more troops to NATO’s eastern flank if Russia invades Ukraine again. 

Bring the boys (and girls) back home. Almost everybody acknowledges that Biden’s management of Trump’s decision to pull out of Afghanistan was chaotic and the Taliban’s return to power just days before U.S. troops left caught the administration flat-footed. But the president has still touted the withdrawal as a signature accomplishment, with this Christmas being the first in 20 years that U.S. boots weren’t in Afghanistan. The war on terror isn’t over: U.S. troops are still on the ground in places like Iraq and Syria, and drones are in the skies over Somalia. But the administration insists the United States has washed its hands of the regime-change foreign policy that characterized former U.S. President George W. Bush’s years and bedeviled the Obama team in Syria. 

A senior administration official summed it up. Three administrations in a row set “quite grandiose goals in this most volatile region of the world,” the official said. It didn’t work in Iraq, and it didn’t work in Afghanistan. “We really just kind of concluded that, you know, setting these types of objectives, the ends totally outstrip the means.”

THE BAD

What’s the plan, Stan? Yes, as U.S. officials are fond of telling reporters, the Biden administration is working with allies and partners on a great number of issues. But the Biden administration has, at certain points, found itself ground down by the careful, deliberate interagency process that was meant to shield the White House’s course from the foreign policy-by-tweet method of Trump’s tenure. At times, it broke down, with allies finding out about Biden’s timeline to withdraw from Afghanistan through media leaks, and the French briefly cutting off diplomatic relations with the United States over the AUKUS submarine deal.

For all the happy talk, behind closed doors, U.S. allies have déjà vu: They hear lip service and see the United States doing what it wants. And the process-driven administration has been locked in strategic reviews for much of the year, leaving many allies (and everyone else) on the outside looking in—and wondering if the United States really has a plan to deal with its biggest strategic challenges, such as China and Russia. 

The Biden team has tried to stitch things up by rapidly declassifying intelligence to get on the same page as European allies in the Ukraine crisis, and there’s a push from the Defense Department to call out China and Russia’s bad behavior more publicly. But some fear the Biden administration’s year of reviews amounts to little more than busy work. 

“No decisions, no changes, no sense of urgency, no creative thinking. Lots of word salad,” one congressional aide told Foreign Policy of the Pentagon’s recently completed review of U.S. troop deployments around the world. 

What’s the deal? Biden came into office with a very narrow window to get a fresh Iran nuclear deal hammered out, fearing hard-liners would take over in Tehran and facing frustration from both Democrats and Republicans in Congress over not being clued in on the process. Hard-liners did take power in Tehran, Congress is still not thrilled about the prospect of a new nuclear deal, and Iran is making steady advances on uranium enrichment that have left some in the U.S. delegation fearing talks could be null and void. 

“Either we reach a deal quickly or they slow down their program,” a senior U.S. official told Foreign Policy earlier this month. “If they do neither, [it’s] hard to see how [the] JCPOA survives past that period.”

It’s not all gloom and doom though. U.S. officials are hopeful that new channels of communication between Saudi Arabia and Iran, two longtime rivals, could help reduce the risk of miscalculation in the Middle East. And Iran-backed militias in Iraq have been mostly quiet for the past five months, giving the Biden administration some hope that high temperatures that characterized the months after Quds Force leader Qasem Soleimani’s death in a U.S. drone strike could finally cool down. 

THE UGLY

Bar exam. Russia’s military buildup in Ukraine was seen as Biden’s first foreign-policy test earlier this year. It’s now turned into the geopolitical equivalent of a bar exam, with Russian President Vladimir Putin again building up troops for the possibility of a renewed invasion that could charge deeper into the country. 

Former British Prime Minister Winston Churchill once defined Russia as “a riddle, wrapped in a mystery, inside an enigma.” For Biden, the characterization has held true. U.S. officials are hopeful of returning Russia to the bargaining table for talks next month instead of escalating the situation.

In some parts of the administration, Russia is seen as an “ankle biter” type of problem, and there’s a desire to make it go away so Biden can focus on bigger things, such as China. But Moscow has proved a vexing near-term security threat—and not just in Ukraine. The Pentagon and the U.S. State Department have grappled with the U.S. National Security Council (NSC) for the better part of the year over whether to send more defensive lethal aid to Ukraine (like Javelin anti-tank missiles that could blunt a Russian armored assault). The NSC relented in September, but another package is awaiting signature on Biden’s desk.

Is it 2014 all over again? Sources familiar with the aid freeze said they were worried about the United States repeating the Obama-era mistake of trying to give Russia an off-ramp from the conflict. 

Afghanistan’s bloody aftermath. Yes, Biden got U.S. troops out of Afghanistan, but it came at a cost. Some 13 U.S. troops died in August when an Islamic State suicide bomb ripped through a security checkpoint at Kabul’s airport. Now, Republicans in Congress—poised to win back one or both houses—insist the State Department is stonewalling their search for answers into what went wrong. And a harsh winter has left the Taliban mostly powerless to feed a malnourished country, with China and the United States facing (diplomatic) blows over a humanitarian aid exemption. 

But even as Biden insists U.S. foreign policy is turning away from the war on terror, desperate scenes from Afghanistan have given some analysts, experts, and congressional aides pause. Is a strategy of striking terror targets from U.S. bases in the Middle East actually viable without intelligence assets on the ground? And does the U.S. withdrawal leave a power vacuum for China and Russia to exploit?

The withdrawal hasn’t left the Biden administration with a military dividend to pivot to the Indo-Pacific—at least, not as much as it was hoping. Although Biden has pledged to be an anti-Trump president, his economic playbook to counter Beijing through economic growth and continued tariffs looks eerily familiar. Efforts to move more U.S. troops to Asia have been undercut by internal politics in the region and bureaucratic churn back in Washington. And Biden’s push to make the United States a beacon for democratic values abroad—mostly through a virtual summit that included backsliding countries—is challenged politically at home by scores of Republicans who (still) haven’t accepted Trump’s election defeat. With all that in the rearview, year two for Biden will be a wild ride. Buckle up.

Biden’s first year: why the US president was and remains a “lame duck”

In American political jargon, a lame duck is a politician with limited capacity who is serving his term in office and is a convenient target for attacks. After the failed elections for the ruling Democratic Party of the United States, which took place a week ago in various American cities and towns, the press and analysts began talking in unison that in the next regular midterm elections, the party in power may lose control over one or both chambers of the US Congress. And then, they say, the leader of the party and the current president of the country, Joe Biden, will turn into a “lame duck”.

Formally, according to overseas canons, this is correct, but in fact, in my opinion, it is somewhat inaccurate. Biden, who turns 79 on November 20, was initially perceived by observers as a president of at best one full term due to his age. In this sense, his status has been and remains vulnerable. Another thing is that the political failures that are pursuing him really complicate the situation even more for him and for his party. Make them that very convenient target.

Neophyte success

First, a little explanation to avoid confusion. The federal political cycle in the United States is two years old. Congressional elections are held on even-numbered years, and presidential elections are held every four years.

Most states and municipalities coincide with the same single voting days and the solution of their own electoral problems. However, there are also exceptions. Of the 50 states, five elect their governors in odd-numbered years: mainly, according to their authorities, just so that the attention of voters is not distracted by federal races. Three of these states vote one year before the presidential elections, and two – a year after them.

The last-option elections have just been held in Virginia and New Jersey. In the first case, Republican businessman Glenn Youngkin, a political neophyte, defeated former Virginia Governor Terry McAuliffe, a Democrat. The victory is significant, since no one had heard of Yangkin before, and McAuliffe has long enjoyed fame and authority not only in his native state, but also in the country: a quarter of a century ago he was the co-chairman of the election campaign of his friend, President Bill Clinton, then headed the national Committee of the Democratic Party, and in 2008 he chaired the campaign headquarters of Hillary Clinton.

In addition, until recently, Virginia was considered one of the key “controversial” states, the arena of fierce political battles between the “blues” and “reds”, as it is customary in the United States to conventionally designate Democrats and Republicans. But since then, as she twice voted for Barack Obama, and then for the same Clinton, she was included in the category of persistently pro-democratic. Last year, Biden won there by 10 pp; the metropolitan Washington Post then wrote that “the era of Virginia as a wavering state appears to be over.”

Yangkin’s success now shows that the liberal edition was likely wishful thinking. This in itself is important for assessing the prospects for further political struggle in the United States, including at the presidential level.

Is victory worse than defeat?

But perhaps even more interesting is that, according to American analysts, for the Democrats, almost worse than the defeat in Virginia was… the victory in New Jersey. In any case, MSNBC and other commentators call the circumstances of this victory “more troubling” for the ruling party.

New Jersey is usually perceived in the United States as one of the unshakable strongholds of the “blue”; Biden in 2020 was ahead of Trump there by 725 thousand votes (about 16 pp). Governor Murphy was promised an easy and convincing victory in advance – especially since he firmly pursues a “party line” in his state, including on “vaccination mandates” from COVID-19 for local government officials and contractors. Nevertheless, he, one might say, scribbled this victory – by a margin of only 65 thousand votes.

Moreover, in the same New Jersey there was a sensation, the echo of which spread throughout the country. One of the pillars of local politics, the President of the Senate of the State Legislative Assembly, and also a major trade union boss, Democrat Stephen Sweeney, lost the election in his district to Republican Edward Derr, who works… as a truck driver.

The chauffeur-turned-senator claims to have spent $ 2300 on his entire election campaign (against more than $ 600 thousand from his rival), and at the stage of the primaries he generally met the expenses of $ 153, paying only for coffee and buns for his fellow party members. According to him, he decided to go into politics after he was denied the right to concealed carry of arms, although he never had problems with the law. Critics point out that in his past posts on social media, he “compared vaccination mandates to the Holocaust and defended the rebels [stormed] the Capitol.”

In general, the results of local elections for the American party in power look, to put it mildly, discouraging. The Associated Press commented on the topic: “Democrats on the ground are warning their party that the rising Republican tide is real.”

Meanwhile, in the ruling party itself, another wave is expected – “voluntary retirements” among its representatives in the lower house of Congress. The Hill newspaper in an article on this topic indicates that 14 Democratic congressmen “have already announced that they will not seek re-election in 2022.” And in light of the “Virginia defeat” and “painful setbacks” elsewhere, other legislators may follow suit, “hoping to avoid a grueling struggle for re-election or return to the role of a [parliamentary] minority.”

The people are “upset” and “alarmed”

According to AP, the leadership of the Democratic Party from the ground “is sending an urgent signal: the state of affairs is worse than you think!” Presumably, then she herself understands that he has problems. Moreover, according to the general opinion of experts, one of the main reasons for the dissatisfaction of voters is the internal confusion and vacillation in the ranks of the Democrats themselves, the inability of their leaders to carry out even key decisions through the Congress, although the latter is still under their complete control.

So, because of the incessant strife between the “progressive” and “moderate” factions of the Democratic Party, the House of Representatives of the Congress only last Friday finally voted for the infrastructure plan of the White House, approved by the Senate back in August. When Biden introduced the initiative in the spring, it was considered politically advantageous, including for many Republicans. Then it was estimated at $ 2.25 trillion, but now it has been cut by almost half – to $ 1.2 trillion; real new budget allocations (in addition to regular planned investments in the maintenance of dilapidated infrastructure) should amount to $ 550 billion over the next five years.

Presenting the decision to reporters, Biden called it a “monumental” achievement for his administration. But critics in absentia, including in the Democratic Party itself and in the media close to it, sarcastically that it is still better to achieve success before the elections than after them. They also reminded that other key components of the President’s Build Back Better promise remain frozen in Congress and are even more controversial than the infrastructure project.

In person, reporters asked the owner of the White House if he believed that his program was doomed to failure, since the Republicans were not initially going to support it, and the moderate Democrats had already achieved what they wanted in an infrastructure package. Biden declined to give a direct answer, but in confused discussions on this topic admitted that American voters demand that politicians “stop talking and get down to business”, that people are “upset” and “alarmed.”

Why be surprised?

This is most likely still putting it mildly. Biden’s popularity rating fell to an all-time low of 38%, according to a recent poll by USA Today and Suffolk University. At the same time, 46% of the respondents believe that the president is working not better, but worse than they expected. This opinion is shared by 44% of independent voters, whose sentiments are always monitored in the United States with particular bias, and even 16% of those who voted for the Democratic leader a year ago.

“This disapproval,” says the Hill newspaper, “is already leaving its mark on Biden’s chances of re-election in 2024.” In the course of the poll, 64% of respondents, including 28% of Democrats, spoke out against the president’s entry into a new election race.

In my opinion, this is not surprising, even on the basis of the past election promises of Biden himself. Remember, in the first weeks of his presidency, he insisted that he was fighting four crises at once: the COVID-19 pandemic, the economic recession it caused, global climate change, and the exacerbation of racial divisions in the United States? And of course, he expressed his readiness to unite the country and the people to overcome all these misfortunes.

Well, a year has passed since his election. There is no smell of unity in the country. The protruding struggle against “systemic racism” and other forms of discrimination is taking on ever stranger and sometimes ugly forms; in any case, intolerance in American society is clearly not diminishing. In Yangkin’s victory in Virginia, an important role was played by the “theme of education,” that is, by and large, questions about what and how to teach children in schools and whether it can be done according to the new canons of liberal political correctness against the will of parents.

The pandemic has not been defeated, and the absolute rates of morbidity and mortality remain the highest in the world. Although the proportion of Americans vaccinated is approaching 60% of the population, there are also enough anti-vaccines, and they are very determined. A ghost from the 1970s looms in the economy – stagflation; The November report from the publishers of the Investor’s Business Daily’s Economic Optimism Index is titled “America at a Crossroads: Economic Confidence Torn to Shreds by Rising Energy Prices and Ongoing Fear of Inflation.” Added to the global and transcendental climate crisis is a specific historical energy crisis, which is, according to the well-known definition of Russian President Vladimir Putin, “the man-made result of the short-sighted policy” of the closest friends and allies of the United States in the EU.

You can’t even tell right off the bat how to trump the White House under these conditions. I’m not even talking about such a well-known foreign policy failure of the Biden administration as the story of the departure, or rather, the flight of the United States from Afghanistan.

“Trumpism without Trump”

Of course, all this is trying to take advantage of the political opposition in the United States. One of its main heralds, the popular TV presenter Tucker Carlson on Fox News, gave a sarcastic monologue about the results of the after-hour elections, in which, in particular, he noted that both in Virginia and, for example, in Texas, Latin Americans were massively voted for the Republican candidates, although Democrats are used to seeing them as part of their own indigenous electorate.

The conservative Washington Examiner ran a column by renowned journalist Paul Bedard, entitled “Trump Wins 4-0 on Election Day.” It meant that the four candidates won, supported by the former president, “who is at the peak of popularity and influence.” Donald Trump himself with gratitude distributed the publication via Telegram, and a little later said that he intends to announce in a year whether he will participate in the 2024 elections.

It is another matter that many are skeptical about such a prospect. The liberal media in the United States are vying with each other to say and write about the fact that today’s Trumpist standard-bearers learn to live and win without Trump and often deliberately distance themselves from him. “Trumpism without Trump” seems more popular than it does with him, business news service Bloomberg pointed out. “By winning without rapprochement with Trump, Yangkin demonstrated the ability of a [Republican] party that is no longer dependent on Trump,” Atlantic magazine said.

And the British Guardian, located in the same ideological camp, generally published a text that personally “Trump, apparently, embodies Biden’s best hope for re-election.” In the USA Today poll mentioned above, 58% of respondents, including 25% of Republicans, said they did not want to see the former president at the head of the party list in 2024.

A plague on both your houses

On the whole, in my opinion, both the current hat-shit of the American conservatives and the depressing decadence of the liberals are somewhat premature. I would rather agree with one of the grand dames of the overseas establishment, Susan Glasser, who wrote in her New Yorker column that “both Trump and Biden lost the election.”

But in Virginia, at least no one complained about the falsification of the voting results and there was a peaceful transfer of power, the venerable journalist recalled. In her opinion, this gives rise to hope that “the crisis in American democracy, perhaps, can still be avoided, if only this one does not run, like him there.” She still hates Trump with every fiber of her soul.

Well, I also believe that the foundations of the American political system are stronger than it sometimes seems in light of the startling upheavals of recent times. But the water wears away the stone.

Biden’s Approval Rating Nosedived in 2021 But He Still Ends First Year Better Than Trump

President Joe Biden’s approval rating has declined significantly since he entered office, but he’s still ending his first year in office better than his predecessor Donald Trump.

According to Gallup, Biden started out his presidency with an approval rating of 57 percent. While it remained in the mid-50s for the first several months of his presidency, the rating has been in decline since June.

By mid-December, Biden’s approval rating had fallen by 14 points to 43 percent.

Still, the numbers are better than Trump at the end of his first year in office in 2017. The Republican had a 39 percent approval rating in the final poll conducted by Gallup that year, after starting his presidency at 45 percent approval.

“Trump started at the same point Biden has fallen to and so I think it’s remarkable that in the midst of a massive COVID spike with the Omicron variant and the economic strain that everybody’s under, Biden is still holding at a point better than Trump,” Douglas Herman, a Democratic consultant who was the lead mail strategist for Barack Obama‘s campaigns, told Newsweek.

Biden has seen some major legislative wins in his first year: the $2 trillion American Rescue Plan to provide relief amid the coronavirus pandemic and the $1 trillion bipartisan infrastructure law.

“The American people sent us here to deliver. The American people sent us here to make the government work,” Biden said last month during a cabinet meeting about the implementation of the infrastructure package. “They sent us here to make a difference in their lives. And I believe we’re doing that.”

But the administration is ending the year with several ongoing crises, including a coronavirus surge driven by Omicron, deteriorating conditions in Afghanistan and the stalling of Biden’s cornerstone legislation the Build Back Better Act.

One top pollster previously told Newsweek: “His fundamental problem is the country is still not feeling good about itself, and it’s on his watch now.”

The White House and Biden himself have shrugged off his sinking poll numbers. Last month, press secretary Jen Psaki attributed Biden’s low numbers to “fatigue” from the coronavirus pandemic.

“We see that in poll after poll…People are sick and tired of COVID and the impacts on the economy. We understand that; we’re tired of it too. That’s why this is the number-one priority—continues to be—getting COVID under control.”

Biden said the polls are “going to go up and down” and that he didn’t run for the White House to “determine how well I’m going to do in the polls.”

Still, some party operatives have expressed concern that Biden’s low approval may hurt Democrats going into the 2022 midterm elections as the party seeks to maintain control in the U.S. House of Representatives and Senate.

Herman said, “anytime you’ve got numbers that are going down, there’s a cause for concern” but he believed Biden could make up the ground.

“I think he’s got a fighting and competitive chance by gaining five or six points, and given what’s going on, he should be able to do that,” Herman told Newsweek.

HOLY COW! HISTORY: Worst First Year as POTUS? It’s Not Joe Biden

No matter how you look at it, 2021 was a bumpy ride for President Joe Biden. Washington pundits are already declaring his agenda D.O.A., and at least one says Biden’s had the worst first year of any president. Ever.

In the current era of political hyperbole and 24/7 cable news commentary, such a claim is hardly a surprise. But from the standpoint of history, it has to be labeled #FakeNews.

Looking for a rough rookie presidential year? Try William Henry Harrison. He stood in bitingly cold weather without a coat or hat and delivered a two-hour inaugural address, the longest in history. It was hardly a surprise when the 68-year-old died of pneumonia 31 days later, the shortest presidency in history. (The evidence suggests a longer Harrison administration wouldn’t have been any prize.)

But Harrison’s short-lived presidency can be dismissed as an outlier. Not so with President Bill Clinton.

Widely viewed as a political wizard later in his career, Clinton’s first year in office was almost amateurish. His first two nominees for attorney general went down in flames over not paying their nanny’s Social Security tax. He ran afoul of the military’s big brass over whether openly gay Americans should be allowed to serve in the military, resulting in the embarrassingly convoluted — and highly ridiculed — “Don’t ask, don’t tell” policy.

Clinton announced early on he would raise taxes (always a crowd-pleaser in the polls), and he pushed his tax-hiking 1993 budget through the House with just a 218-216 margin. His Department of Justice’s calamitous raid on the Branch Davidian compound in Waco, Texas, left 75 people dead.

Travelgate and Troopergate were born, and a controversial healthcare reform commission headed by first lady Hillary Clinton was launched with the same fanfare the Titanic received when it set sail… and ultimately suffered a similar end.

Now that’s a bad first year.

But most historians agree the president who suffered through the absolutely worst first year of all was Abraham Lincoln.

Elected with just 39.8 percent of the popular vote in an election where turnout topped 81 percent, seven states had left the Union to create their own country before he’d even taken office in March 1861. His early attempts to keep more states from seceding left him looking weak.

Lincoln’s presidency was born in war (the first shots of the Civil War were fired on Fort Sumter just before sunrise on April 12, 1861) and began with few successes. Union forces were soundly defeated at Manassas, Virginia and Wilson’s Creek, Missouri in the war’s first major battles.

Then there were the political gaffes and diplomatic stumbles. The secretary of war (forerunner of today’s secretary of defense) was openly corrupt. When a Union general freed slaves in Missouri without authorization from Washington, Lincoln quickly rescinded the order to avoid escalating tensions in the crucial border states. He lost much support among abolitionists for that.

His administration bungled badly by declaring a naval blockade of Southern seaports. Under international law, a nation can only declare a blockade against another nation. Britain seized on that to grant the South belligerent status, one step shy of full diplomatic recognition. (John F. Kennedy avoided repeating that blunder a century later when he announced a “naval quarantine” instead of a blockade during the Cuban Missile Crisis.)

Worst of all, in late 1861 a U.S. warship stopped a British commercial steamer on the open sea. Two Confederate diplomats bound for England and France were seized at gunpoint and tossed into a Boston prison. Lincoln looked decisive to Northerners but infuriated Britain. Her majesty’s government demanded the emissaries be immediately freed—then sent 12,000 British soldiers to neighboring Nova Scotia as a reminder Washington was dealing with a global Superpower. Faced with the real prospect of wars on two fronts, Lincoln humiliatingly released the pair in December. Lincoln’s support nosedived.

Biden’s first year the worst ever? Not even close.

At the same time, it’s hardly been a resounding success, either. And as bad as it’s been, many political observers expect it to get worse: His party’s almost certain to lose control of at least one chamber of Congress, his vice president is pulling down his poll numbers and few D.C. insiders expect Biden to run again. Once it’s clear he’s a lame duck, his political influence will fall even farther.

So while Joe Biden didn’t have a great first year of his presidency, the irony is it may turn out to have been his best.

After one year in office, what has Biden done
about the four crises he pledged to address?

As a presidential candidate, Joe Biden sold himself as prepared to address four crises that were roiling American life in 2020. He laid them out clearly: fighting the coronavirus, restoring the economy, combating climate change and making the country more equal.

“History has delivered us to one of the most difficult moments America has ever faced,” Biden said at the Democratic National Convention in 2020. “Four historic crises, all at the same time. A perfect storm.” Biden repeated those challenges often on the campaign trail and ticked through all four during his inaugural address.

Those four issues remain central to Biden’s presidency. “I think if you take a look at what we’ve been able to do, you’d have to acknowledge we made enormous progress,” President Biden said Wednesday of his first year in office.

But unforeseen issues and staunch Republican opposition have hampered his efforts to resolve or make progress on them, and left many who clamored for the changes Biden promised feeling that not enough has been done to this point. On the first anniversary of his inauguration, four Washington Post reporters, plus activists and other experts, assessed Biden’s performance in each of the four areas he emphasized during his campaign.

From defeating the virus to living with it

By Annie Linskey, White House reporter

One year after Biden confidently said in his inaugural address that “We can overcome this deadly virus,” the country is struggling with a fifth surge of infections and familiar problems.

Hospitals in some areas are struggling to treat patients, medicines to treat covid-19 are in short supply, and tests are difficult to come by. “Most people are going to get covid,” Janet Woodcock, the acting Food and Drug Administration commissioner, predicted during a recent Senate hearing.

The Biden administration has had to shift its approach over the past year, from trying to beat the virus to figuring out how to live with it.

The good news is that the vaccines — which the Biden administration made widely available — have prevented deaths from matching the pace of that upward trend. But the country is still enduring more than 1,500 deaths per day on average.

White House officials maintain they’ve made huge strides: Unlike this time last year, shutdowns are rare, and most school systems are operating, despite disruptions. Tools and medicines now exist, they note, to turn covid from a deadly disease to a manageable one.

The vaccines keep most people out of the hospitals but not free of infections, as previously thought. The initial two-shot regimen that most Americans received as immunizations has become a three-shot ordeal and could require even more jabs.

J. Stephen Morrison, director of the Global Health Policy Center at the Center for Strategic and International Studies, ticked off the problems: “Communication is still a wreck. Testing is still a wreck. Getting therapies out to market is not happening.”

Health experts give the White House credit for quickly ramping up distribution of the shots, which have proved effective at preventing hospitalizations even as the virus mutated.

But Biden and his team didn’t plan for the possibility that a sizable minority of Americans would resist taking them.

The stalled uptake prompted the Biden administration to issue a series of mandates this year, including a directive requiring large businesses to require that employees either be vaccinated or regularly tested. The White House estimated it would affect 80 million Americans. But the Supreme Court struck it down this month.

The court allowed more-limited mandates to stand, determining that Biden could insist on vaccinations for health-care workers at institutions that receive federal funds. The White House estimates 17 million Americans fit into this category. Biden has also required members of the military and federal workers and contractors to be vaccinated.

One of the starkest recent problems has been a lack of coronavirus tests. This could have gone differently — the Biden administration moved quickly to approve new rapid tests for widespread use, working with businesses to help do so. But they then failed to plot out a national strategy that allowed for a scenario where millions of Americans would need to test multiple times a month.

Several covid treatments have been approved for emergency use. The Biden administration cut red tape and made raw materials available to help Pfizer develop its antiviral pill, which has shown to be highly effective. But there are not enough doses of the pills in the short term, so it won’t be the workhorse that doctors were hoping for to combat the current wave of the omicron variant.

Biden’s covid team also struggled to communicate at key moments. They offered mixed messages on whether boosters would be needed before coalescing around a message that they’re necessary. Guidance about when to wear masks — and what kind of masks to use — has zigged and zagged.

And most recently, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention changed its advice on how long to isolate and under what circumstances the exposed can return to work.

“Two years later, the pandemic was not what we expected,” said Morrison. “They’ve been in power for a year now. And guess what, they own this.”

While experts blame Biden for a patchwork response, they also understand many factors are beyond his control. In addition to the Supreme Court gutting Biden’s most significant vaccine mandate, Republican governors have blocked mask mandates and riled up voters against masking, which is a highly effective way of controlling viral spread.

Misinformation about covid and vaccines has spread widely on social media, with limited controls from tech companies. These platforms became fertile ground for unfounded worries about the vaccines to spread.

“I’m starting to believe that as far as covid-19 is concerned, the nation is virtually ungovernable,” said Lawrence O. Gostin, a professor of global health law at Georgetown University’s law school, citing the environment the Biden White House has confronted. “You’ve got a hostile court, a hostile political opposition and a large swath of the American public that will do the opposite of what you ask them to do.”

Interventions that worked — perhaps too well

By Jeff Stein, White House economics reporter

The Biden administration has largely resolved the economic crises it set out to confront, as 6 million Americans have joined the workforce, and economic growth has snapped back sharply.

But a new economic force that emerged in the early months of the presidency has proved much harder to address, and the White House has struggled to confront it: inflation.

As Biden took office, his economic team was determined to quickly get the country out of the scenario that plagued the nation both during the Great Depression of the 1930s and the Great Recession that began in 2008. In both instances, the U.S. economy contracted severely as consumers, firms and investors pulled back spending, creating a devastating cycle that took years to reverse.

The economic crisis created by covid appeared for many reasons to resemble these historic shocks. When the pandemic began, demand plummeted nationwide as Americans stayed at home and stopped their normal routines. Businesses affected by new patterns of behavior shuttered at alarming rates. Unemployment spiked, and the country was staring at a prolonged downturn.

The precedents set by the Great Depression and Great Recession were front of mind for many economists, including those at the White House. Democrats wanted to avoid a repeat of the recovery under President Barack Obama, where slow progress contributed to enormous Republican gains in Congress. They were determined to jump-start the economy with an infusion of federal cash that would fuel more economic spending, more hiring and more growth. In March 2021, after months of wrangling, the Biden administration approved a $1.9 trillion rescue plan that did exactly that.

“Nearly a century ago, Franklin Roosevelt pledged a New Deal in a time of massive unemployment, uncertainty and fear,” Biden said in his speech at the 2020 Democratic convention. “Stricken by disease, stricken by a virus, FDR insisted that he would recover and prevail, and he believed America could, as well. And he did. And so can we.”

The intervention worked. But if anything, it may have worked too well, according to many economists. Biden’s plan flooded the economy with so much cash that it has effectively started to overheat, exacerbating inflation that has increased prices for consumers.

In 2021, the U.S. economy’s total output — known as its gross domestic product — surged far beyond what was expected and may have grown by an astonishing 6 percent.

The unemployment rate plummeted to 3.9 percent, the fastest single drop on record.

More jobs are available than at any point in U.S. history, as workers take advantage of unprecedented leverage to find new opportunities elsewhere in the labor market.

The White House has said new applications for starting small businesses is up 30 percent.

But the spending spigot may have gotten out of control, with too much money chasing too few goods, in turn leading to price spikes known as inflation. Boosted by demand, inflation rose by 7 percent year over year — the biggest increase in four decades — as families faced higher prices for gas, food, housing, medicine and other essentials.

Supply chains were stretched beyond their capacity and struggled to accommodate the new demand. Also exacerbating matters has been the pandemic, which has continued to wreak havoc on the labor market and driven wage pressures higher.

“They were correct in focusing on wanting to ensure American families were getting back to work,” Matthew J. Slaughter, an economist at Dartmouth College, said of the White House. “But there were a lot of voices at the time saying we’ve already had a massive amount of fiscal stimulus and ongoing monetary stimulus.”

For months, the administration insisted the inflation was “transitory” and would fade as post-pandemic normalcy returned, a framing critics panned as Americans continued to feel the effects of rising prices. By the summer, Biden himself began to take on the issue more directly, and the administration launched a range of efforts to combat it. But the White House is still projecting optimism that inflation will level off.

There were some signs inflation decelerated at the end of 2021. If inflation cools quickly next year — as many forecasters believe it might — then the administration’s fiscal interventions will appear more justified. But if it does not, voters may be prepared to punish Biden in the 2022 midterms.

“In hindsight, they could have left out some of that spending,” said Chris Rupkey, a market and financial analyst. “But I think everyone on the planet misjudged the speed of this economic recovery.”

More symbolism than results for Black voters

By Cleve R. Wootson Jr., White House reporter

The president’s speech on voting rights had all the markings of a monumental moment in the nation’s tumultuous relationship with race.

The audience was full of civil rights leaders, including the Revs. Jesse Jackson and Al Sharpton, and the children of the Rev. Martin Luther King Jr. Both Air Force One and Air Force Two were parked at an Atlanta airport as their occupants prepared speeches aimed at putting a congressional debate on voting rights into the greater context of the civil rights movement. The made-for-TV moment was backdropped by an assemblage of students from historically Black colleges and universities, many decked out in school colors.

But just as notable were the people who had opted not to be there: voting rights groups that had spent years mobilizing mostly Black voters before the 2020 election. But now the object of their ire was the president their efforts had helped elect — who they say has done too little to address issues important to Black voters.

“If all they are doing is coming to give a speech, then I might have some Republicans to be fighting with at that time,” said Nsé Ufot, chief executive of the New Georgia Project and one of the boycotters. “What we need is a plan. What we need are marching orders.”

Biden rode to the White House on the backs of Black voters, who resuscitated his primary campaign in South Carolina, gave him a lead he would not relinquish on Super Tuesday and helped him turn states such as Georgia blue for the first time in nearly two decades.

In return, he promised that his tenure would mark a giant step toward a more equitable America months after people had stormed streets to protest the systemic racism that winds its way through many aspects of American life. And Biden had the math to back him up, particularly after Georgia turned its two Senate seats blue. The victories knotted the upper chamber at 50-50, a tie broken by Kamala D. Harris, the nation’s first Black vice president.

But frustrated critics say Biden and the Democrats have squandered the governing trifecta Black voters helped him acquire. A year after George Floyd’s family spoke at the Democratic National Convention that nominated Biden, the George Floyd Justice in Policing Act died in the Senate. A bipartisan effort on police reform collapsed before an agreement was reached.

And federal action on voting rights has also been stymied, as a pair of moderate Democrats have shown themselves unwilling to dismantle the filibuster to advance Democratic aims, including efforts to bolster and protect the right to vote.

The Biden administration says it has made great strides when it comes to racial equity, many of them included in a fact sheet that goes on for nearly 5,000 words about the “real and lasting change for Black Americans.” The administration has delivered $5.8 billion in cumulative investment for HBCUs, the Federal Emergency Management Agency set up 500 vaccination sites in underserved communities to stem a virus that Black people are 1.4 times as likely to die from as White people, and Biden has directed the federal government to use its purchasing power to help narrow the racial wealth gap. The administration says equity is baked into both the covid relief bill passed in March and an infrastructure deal passed in November.

And the administration has unquestionably increased representation of Black people within it: In addition to appointing the first Black woman as vice president, Biden has pledged to nominate a Black woman to the Supreme Court and increased the diversity of the federal judiciary.

“I’m proud I appointed … more Black women to the federal bench and the circuit courts and more former public defenders to the bench than any administration in American history,” Biden said in December.

But Biden and the Democrats have said ensuring the right to vote was at the top of their agenda, as evidenced in the Atlanta speech, where he said the Senate filibuster had been abused and should not stand in the way of federalizing voting rights protections.

“At consequential moments in history, they present a choice: Do you want to be … on the side of Dr. King or George Wallace?” Biden said. “Do you want to be on the side of John Lewis or Bull Connor? Do you want to be on the side of Abraham Lincoln or Jefferson Davis?”

Days later Biden went to the U.S. Capitol, hoping to back up his eloquence by stirring his congressional colleagues to approve two pieces of voting rights legislation.

But the effort was dead even before Biden stepped out of his presidential limousine. Sens. Joe Manchin III (D-W.V.) and Kyrsten Sinema (D-Ariz.) had made clear that they would not vote to dismantle the filibuster.

Acknowledging an all-but-certain defeat, Biden again tapped into the lessons of the civil rights movement.

“I hope we can get this done. The honest-to-God answer is, I don’t know if we can get this done,” he said. “But one thing for certain, one thing for certain, like every other major civil rights bill that came along, if we miss the first time, we can come back and try a second time.”

A historic push, but an ‘existential’ problem remains

By Brady Dennis, national environment reporter

On a cold afternoon, one week into his presidency, Biden had the warming planet on his mind.

“It’s not time for small measures,” Biden said, noting the wildfires, hurricanes and floods that had ravaged parts of the country over the previous year.

He signed a stack of executive orders that day meant to steer the federal government sharply away from the Trump era and toward a future of electric cars, cleaner power and shrinking greenhouse gas emissions. It was time, he said, “to supercharge our administration’s ambitious plan to confront the existential threat of climate change. And it is an existential threat.”

A year later, there’s little doubt Biden is the most climate-focused president in U.S. history. His rhetoric is as ardent, his policy wish list as ambitious as ever.

But the fate of his “whole of government” push to shift from fossil fuels and slash the nation’s emissions at least in half by the end of this decade remains precarious.

His administration is navigating funding opposition in Congress, court challenges and a clock ticking toward midterm elections. The White House has faced criticism from Republican lawmakers and industry representatives, who argue Biden’s climate aspirations will stifle the economy rather than revitalize it. And it has prompted exasperation among allies, who say his actions have not yet lived up to his promises — or to the urgency that science demands.

“If you were to ask me what kind of grade I would give him, I would say: incomplete,” said Jamal Raad, executive director of the climate advocacy group Evergreen Action. Biden has made admirable commitments and some progress, Raad said, but so far, “We have not moved far enough and fast enough.”

Biden quickly rejoined the Paris climate agreement after taking office, tried to rally fellow world leaders at a White House summit and sent his top climate envoy, John F. Kerry, all over the globe in 2021 to push other countries toward bolder action.

He has flexed his executive authority to target or overturn two-thirds of President Donald Trump’s deregulatory energy and environmental policies, while advancing dozens of his own, according to a Washington Post analysis. He proposed tougher tailpipe emissions standards for new cars, sought to jump-start offshore wind farms and halted the controversial Keystone XL pipeline. He mandated that every agency prioritize climate change and that the federal government be carbon-neutral by 2050.

But as Biden begins his second year in office, recent data shows that U.S. emissions are once again rising. A major piece of his climate agenda is stalled on Capitol Hill, where for months the Senate has failed to pass the Build Back Better Act, which contains a historic package of tax credits, grants and other policies aimed at reducing emissions and boosting clean energy. Without that legislation, advocates worry it will be impossible for Biden to put the country on a trajectory to halve its emissions by 2030.

While Biden has consistently talked about climate change as a national and global emergency, some activists remain baffled that he hasn’t done more to more forcefully use every lever of power at his disposal to tackle the problem.

“It’s strange that people think of Joe Biden as a leader for the climate,” Greta Thunberg told The Post in a recent interview, noting that his administration has continued to approve oil and gas drilling permits on public lands.

Meanwhile, the Supreme Court is set to hear a case next month that could hamstring the administration’s legal authority to regulate carbon dioxide from U.S. power plants — a significant source of the nation’s emissions. Republicans in Congress have demonstrated little support for climate legislation, and the fossil fuel industry has accused the White House of whiplash, as it pursues an aggressive transition to clean energy but also has sought increased oil production amid rising fuel prices.

“That’s basically, in my opinion, the story of this first year. It’s an inconsistency within the administration over what its true objectives are,” said Lee Fuller, officer for environment and general strategy at the Independent Petroleum Association of America. “Much of the rhetoric of the administration has been fast-paced moves to get off fossil energy that I just don’t think are realistic.”

The president’s top domestic climate adviser, Gina McCarthy, said in an interview that the new administration has made “quite remarkable progress” to put in a place a framework for the profound changes that must happen in coming years. But she said the year ahead will be critical, starting with the need to pass the Build Back Better legislation.

“I don’t blame people for wanting more,” she said. “But you’ve got to celebrate when you make big leaps forward, and we’ve been, I think, pretty successful at doing that.”

To make good on his promises, Raad said, the president who a year ago vowed not to take small measures must find a way to make big changes a reality.

“The climate crisis is the defining challenge of our era and will define President Biden’s legacy — more than any other — decades from now,” he said. “The next year is the make-or-break moment for Biden on climate.”

Resources

foxnews.com, “Biden’s first year a bust – here are 5 New Year’s resolutions president should adopt, for all our sakes: Can Biden turn around his fortunes? Doubtful, but for the sake of the nation he could try…” By Liz Peek; washingtontimes.com, “Biden’s disastrous first year: President started off on the wrong foot, only hours after being sworn in.” By Jenny Beth Martin; washingtonexaminer.com, “Biden’s terrible first year.” By Nicole Russell; newsmax.com, “Joe Biden’s First Year: The Worst in Modern History.” By Tom Del Beccaro; thediplomaticworld.com, “THE GOOD, THE BAD, AND THE UGLY OF BIDEN’S FIRST YEAR.” By Admin; thefrontierpost.com, “Biden’s first year: why the US president was and remains a ‘lame duck.’” By Andrey Shitov; msn.com, “Biden’s Approval Rating Nosedived in 2021 But He Still Ends First Year Better Than Trump.” By Alexandra Hutzler; news.gallop.com, “Presidential Approval Ratings — Joe Biden”; cnn.com, “Joe Biden’s approval ratings are worse than every recent president — except 1 — at this stage.” By Chris Cillizza; nhjournal.com, “HOLY COW! HISTORY: Worst First Year as POTUS? It’s Not Joe Biden.” By J. Mark Powell; washingtonpost.com, “Opinion: The 10 worst things Biden did in 2021.” By Marc A. Thiessen; washingtonpost.com, “Opinion: The 10 best things Biden did in 2021.” By Marc A. Thiessen; washingtonpost.com, “After one year in office, what has Biden done
about the four crises he pledged to address?” By Annie LinskeyCleve R. Wootson Jr.Jeff Stein and Brady Dennis;

Addendum

Opinion: The 10 best things Biden did in 2021

10. He launched the first test of a new system to defend Earth from a killer asteroid. On his orders, NASA launched a rocket into space testing “whether a spacecraft can nudge a celestial body in a way that will alter its orbit.”

9. He twice launched airstrikes against Iranian proxy forces in Iraq and Syria. He continued the Trump policy of taking military action against Iranian-backed forces who threaten or attempt to kill U.S. personnel.

8. He became the first president to resist Turkish pressure and officially acknowledge its 1915 genocide against Armenians. His statement sent a clear message that the United States would hold even allies to account for abuses of human rights.

7. He recovered the majority of the ransom paid by Colonial Pipeline to a Russian hacking collective. After the company paid ransomware attackers who shut down its computer systems and caused fuel shortages up and down the East Coast, the Biden Justice Department followed the money and seized 63.7 bitcoin, valued at about $2.3 million.

6. He sidelined the court-packing movement on the left. Biden created a commission that included sensible liberals and conservatives which steered clear of taking a position on the most controversial ideas for changing the court.

5. He elevated Quadrilateral Security Dialogue (the “Quad”) among the United States, Australia, India and Japan. After eight dormant years under President Barack Obama, the Quad was reinvigorated by the Trump administration and raised to a ministerial-level meeting. Biden elevated it further to an annual leader-level meeting, rallying the Indo-Pacific democracies to counter China and help lead Asia in the direction of peace and security.

4. He stepped up U.S. support for Taiwan. He invited Taiwan to participate in his 110-nation Summit for Democracy, invited Taiwan’s de facto ambassador to his inauguration, invited Taiwan to share its expertise at the Global COVID-19 Summit and continued to provide Taiwan with the defense capabilities it needs to defend itself against Chinese aggression. And his administration worked hard to beat back efforts by the People’s Republic of China to squeeze countries to de-recognize Taiwan.

3. He announced a historic trilateral security agreement with Australia and Britain to counter Chinese hegemony. The new AUKUS pact will help Australia develop nuclear submarine capabilities that will allow it to project power in the Pacific, and increases cooperation on cybersecurity, artificial intelligence and quantum computing.

2. He accelerated covid vaccine delivery at home and abroad. In the United States, more than 70 percent of American adults are fully vaccinated. And his administration provided more than 300 million doses — more than the rest of the world combined — to 110 countries free of charge. He also launched the Global Covid Corps, a coalition of companies that will support vaccination efforts in developing countries.

1. He signed a $1.2 trillion bipartisan infrastructure bill into law. Biden campaigned on a promise to usher in a new era of bipartisan cooperation. Sadly, this was the only major piece of legislation to deliver on that promise. It will provide non-inflationary, long-term investments in roads, bridges, ports and waterways. Its passage also saved the filibuster, by delivering for Sens. Kyrsten Sinema (Ariz.) and Joe Manchin III (W.Va.) — the two lonely Democrats standing in the way of filibuster elimination — and vindicating their effort to reach across the aisle.

Other achievements did not make the top 10. Among the honorable mentions: Biden issued an executive order prohibiting Americans from investing in 59 Chinese firms that allegedly are linked to the Chinese military; he signed bipartisan legislation to ban the import of products produced with Uyghur slave labor; he announced a diplomatic boycott of the Beijing Olympics, a pointed snub to protest the Chinese regime’s human rights abuses without hurting U.S. athletes; and he launched an initiative to find deported U.S. veterans and bring them and their families back to America.

There were also a number of policies that nearly made the list, until Biden reversed himself. He told a CNN town hall that if Taiwan were attacked, the United States would come to its defense — seemingly ending our misguided policy of “strategic ambiguity” — but then the White House backtracked and said there was no change in policy. He called Russian President Vladimir Putin a killer, and promised to oppose the Nord Stream 2 gas pipeline between Russia and Germany, but then greenlighted the project — a major victory for the Russian leader. Both of these would have made the 10 best if he had followed through.

The 10 worst things Biden did in 2021

10. He canceled Operation Legend amid a record crime wave in U.S. cities. At least 12 major cities broke annual homicide records in 2021. Yet Biden ended the Trump Justice Department’s Operation Legend, which deployed federal officers to aid local law enforcement and helped arrest more than 6,000 criminals. Now, with Chicago suffering the most violent year in a quarter-century, its mayor is requesting federal help to fight violent crime — help that Biden withdrew when he took office.

9. He weaponized the FBI to intimidate parents who show up at school board meetings. Parents are furious about pandemic closures and schools indoctrinating their kids with extremist ideologies. Biden treated them like domestic terrorists.

8. In the midst of a historic labor shortage, he pushed vaccine mandates. Forcing employers with more than 100 employees to fire unvaccinated workers — even if they have natural immunity from previous infection — or impose onerous weekly testing requirements would drive more Americans out of the labor force, at a time when businesses can’t find workers and there are more than 11 million unfilled jobs.

7. His war on fossil fuels helped drive domestic production down and gasoline prices through the roof. Then he begged the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC) — a foreign oil cartel — to produce more oil, which will result in the same emissions as domestically produced oil. It’s like the 1970s all over again.

6. He greenlighted Russia’s Nord Stream 2 pipeline to Germany. Then Biden inappropriately pressured Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky to accept Russian energy dominance over his country. Democrats impeached President Donald Trump for far less.

5. He showed weakness in the face of Russian aggression against Ukraine. It’s no coincidence that Russian President Vladimir Putin is threatening Ukraine just months after Biden’s disastrous retreat from Afghanistan and his capitulation on Nord Stream 2. Then, channeling his inner Neville Chamberlain, Biden offered to hold talks to discuss Russia’s concerns on NATO and the possibility of “accommodations.” Pushing Ukraine to “accommodate” Moscow under threat of invasion would reward Putin’s aggression — and invite more of it.

4. He unleashed the worst border crisis in U.S. history. U.S. Customs and Border Protection reported more than 1.7 million encounters with illegal migrants at the southern border, nearly four times the number the year before, the highest annual total on record — including 378,000 who were not from Mexico, Honduras, El Salvador or Guatemala. Seizures of deadly fentanyl more than doubled in 2021, and the drug is closely connected to a surge in overdose deaths, which reached a historic high.

3. His $1.9 trillion in social spending disguised as “covid-19 relief” helped unleash inflation and extreme labor shortages. This was the worst fiscal policy mistake in decades, passed with Democratic votes alone. And despite all that “covid” spending, shortages of test kits and treatments persisted as the omicron variant arrived.

2. He failed to deliver on his promise to put his “whole soul” into uniting the country. Biden threatened to veto his own bipartisan infrastructure bill, then went to Capitol Hill and urged members of his own party to take it hostage as leverage to pass Build Back Better. He failed to pass any other major pieces of bipartisan legislation, allowing himself to be captured by his party’s radical left wing.

1. His withdrawal from Afghanistan was the most shameful foreign policy calamity in my lifetime. Biden left hundreds of U.S. citizens and as many as 62,000 of our Afghan allies behind enemy lines, and forced NATO allies to abandon their citizens and allies as well. He put the safety of U.S. service members at the Kabul airport in the hands of the Taliban and Haqqani network, a decision that led to the deaths of 13 Americans in a suicide attack. His “over the horizon” drone strike killed no terrorists but took the lives of 10 innocent people. And he repeatedly lied about the unfolding disaster — declaring that al-Qaeda was “gone” from Afghanistan; that no Americans were having trouble getting to the airport; that no allies were questioning the United States’ credibility; that none of his military advisers had recommended leaving a residual force; and that his Afghan debacle was an “extraordinary success.”

That’s a shameful list, but it only scratches the surface. Among the (dis)honorable mentions: Biden proposed what the New York Times reports were the “highest sustained levels of federal spending since World War II”; he increased vaccine hesitancy by insulting the unvaccinated; at a time when the threat from China is rising, he sent Congress a budget that actually cut defense spending after inflation; and he told Putin that 16 areas of the United States’ critical infrastructure were off-limits to Russian cyberattacks — which effectively told the Russian leader that the rest were not.

Presidential Approval Ratings — Joe Biden

Joe Biden’s approval ratings are worse than every recent president — except 1 — at this stage

Roughly nine months into his presidency, Joe Biden is on the verge of writing his name into the history books — and not in a good way.

The latest polling from Gallup pegs the President’s approval at just 42%, the lowest of his term to date and the second lowest of any president Gallup has measured at this moment in their presidency over the last almost five decades.

Here’s a look at Biden’s approval in comparison to his predecessors in Gallup polling (all of this data comes courtesy of the terrific Gallup Presidential Approval Center):

* Biden 42% (272 days into his presidency)

* Donald Trump 37% (283 days)

* Barack Obama 52% (271 days)

* George W. Bush 88% (288 days)

* Bill Clinton 47% (271 days)

* George H.W. Bush 70% (289 days)

* Ronald Reagan 53% (286 days)

* Jimmy Carter 54% (277 days)(Worth noting: Both Bushes had hugely high ratings at this stage of their presidencies thanks to external events. For George W. Bush, he was still in the stratosphere in the wake of the September 11, 2001, terrorist attacks. For George H.W. Bush, his numbers were inflated following the Tienanmen Square attack in China in June 1989 and the perceived ending of the Cold War.)

Biden’s numbers have fallen precipitously in Gallup polling over the last several months. As recently as June, a solid majority (56%) of the country approved of the job he was doing. That number began to collapse at the end of the summer — dropping from 49% approval in August to 43% in September — and have stayed at that low number for the bulk of the fall. 

The reasons for Biden’s polling decline is clear: A confluence of events including a disastrous pullout of American troops from Afghanistan, the surge in Covid-19 cases due to the Delta variant, ongoing supply chain issues and a focus on the continued struggles of the President and Democrats in Congress to pass the bulk of his domestic agenda.

Some of those developments — most notably the emergence of the Delta variant and its ravaging of the unvaccinated in the country — aren’t Biden’s fault. But when you are president, you have to take the blame for what goes wrong in the country — whether or not it’s your fault. And that’s where Biden finds himself.

Now, it’s worth noting — as the numbers above make clear — that where a president stands in job approval nine months into his term is not always predictive of how he will look when he runs for a second term. George H.W. Bush lost reelection despite being at 70% 280 days into his presidency. Ditto Jimmy Carter and his 54% approval at this stage. Bill Clinton won even though he was under 50%.

The real danger in Biden’s current approval rating doldrums is for his party’s candidates in the coming midterm election. If a president’s approval rating is under 50%, his party loses an average of 37 seats in the House. Average!

In 2018, Trump’s approval rating in the final Gallup poll before the election was mired in the low 40s and Republicans lost 40 House seats (and the majority). In 2010, Obama’s approval rating had dipped to 45% and Democrats lost 63 seats (and the majority). In 1994, Clinton’s approval rating was 46% and Democrats lost 53 seats (and the majority).

You get the idea. The evidence is pretty conclusive — and none of it points to good news for Democrats in 2022.

Now, it’s of course worth noting that it’s late October 2021, not late October 2022. And that if Biden and congressional Democrats can find a way to a compromise on both the “hard” infrastructure plan and the social safety net legislation, that Democrats could well have an appealing package of accomplishments to sell to voters come next November. There’s also the reality that the trend lines on Covid-19 cases are headed downward, and, if that keeps up, Biden could well benefit some from an overall improved outlook among the populace.

But at this moment, Biden’s approval rating struggles put his party in a dire political position — and one they have limited ability to control.

Biden Postings
https://common-sense-in-america.com/2020/11/07/how-does-the-biden-sanders-platform-compare-to-the-1936-ussr-constitution/
https://common-sense-in-america.com/2020/09/11/has-china-enriched-the-biden-family-monetarily/
https://common-sense-in-america.com/2020/09/10/is-china-helping-biden-become-president/
https://common-sense-in-america.com/2020/07/21/biden-and-his-mask-does-it-give-him-super-powers/
https://common-sense-in-america.com/2020/07/10/if-you-are-voting-for-biden-consider-psychiatric-help/
https://common-sense-in-america.com/2020/07/01/twelve-mainstream-politicians-6-of-12-joe-biden/
https://common-sense-in-america.com/2020/06/13/is-joe-biden-competent-to-be-president-under-the-25th-amendment/
https://common-sense-in-america.com/2020/11/14/what-will-happen-if-biden-reverses-trumps-accomplishments/
https://common-sense-in-america.com/2020/11/16/hunter-biden-and-his-kingdom-of-corruption/
https://common-sense-in-america.com/2020/12/01/is-biden-a-trojan-horse/
https://common-sense-in-america.com/2020/11/07/how-does-the-biden-sanders-platform-compare-to-the-1936-ussr-constitution/
https://common-sense-in-america.com/2021/02/11/bidens-first-two-weeks-as-president/
https://common-sense-in-america.com/2021/05/09/who-is-pulling-the-strings-in-the-biden-administration/
https://common-sense-in-america.com/2021/05/21/is-the-biden-administration-responsible-for-an-uptick-in-human-trafficking/
https://common-sense-in-america.com/2021/08/24/is-biden-incompetent-or-indifferent/
https://common-sense-in-america.com/2022/01/01/our-country-one-year-in-the-biden-presidency/