Monday, we passed the six-month mark of Joe Biden’s presidency. At this point, I think enough time has gone by so that the American people can evaluate his performance. In the interests of time and space I have only included the major areas. The following is just intended to be a summary. As some of you may recall I have covered most of these areas in some detail in previous blogs.
Obviously, the following is largely my opinion. Some of you will probably disagree with some of my commentary. That is to be expected in a free society. A lot will depend on (1) the sources from which you get your news, and (2) your political preconceptions. As always, I welcome your comments.
- The Southern Border
One of Biden’s first actions was to reverse all of former President Donald Trump’s policies regarding the southern border. In my opinion, it wasn’t because they weren’t working. They were very effective in securing our borders and mitigating the influx of drugs, criminals, and terrorists, among others. The obvious conclusion is that he did it to placate the far left elements of the Dem Party. For example, he halted construction of the border wall; he reversed the “stay in Mexico” policy; and he relaxed all restrictions with respect to undocumented migrants. The result has turned the border into a “turnstile.” Every day FOX news, for instance, has shown a virtual parade of migrants crossing the border. (Other news outlets are likely ignoring, or at least downplaying, this story.) According to the CBP’s website the total number of “encounters” between migrants and CBP agents for the most recent nine months between October 2020 and June 2021 was approximately 1.1 million compared to 450,000 in the previous 12 months. The largest category was single adults, which accounted for some 70%. Those numbers do not include the illegals that have not been interdicted. No one knows that total, which is very scary.
How many illegal immigrants are living in the US currently? No one knows for sure because so many sneak in undetected. The number I keep hearing is about 20 million, but I believe that number is considerably understated. According to the Migrant Policy Institute the actual number is just under 45 million.
Rather than seeking to avoid CBP agents as had been customary, migrants are actually seeking them out and surrendering to them. We don’t know who these people are, where they are from, and whether or not they are infected with COVID. Many of them have travelled thousands of miles guided by “coyotes” who frequently subjected them to rape and other atrocities. Many of them die enroute. Once they have arrived many of them, including young children, are being housed in cages with insufficient or no food, medicine, beds and toilet facilities. Additionally, many of them are being transported, in secret, all throughout the country. Media access has been limited or non-existent. This is a disaster on many levels – political, economic, social, medical and humanitarian.
Why are the Dems doing this? Why are they deliberately putting Americans at risk? In my opinion, it is because they hope and expect that sometime in the future the migrants will become eligible to vote, and studies have shown that (excluding Cubans) they will vote overwhelmingly for Democrats. So, for the Dems, it’s all about winning elections and retaining power. Grade – F.
After 75 years, toward the end of the Trump Administration the US had finally achieved energy independence. This had been a longtime goal of every administration since WWII. The significance of this is that we would no longer be beholden to the whims of other countries for energy, no more gas lines, no more blackmail, and no more risk of supply interruption during war. Biden ended all that with the stroke of a pen. One of his earliest EOs was to halt construction of the Keystone Pipeline. At the same time he eliminated some 11,000 middle class jobs, which accounted for some $2 billion in wages. These jobs were not factory jobs, which could be replaced with other factory jobs. These were jobs that required years of specialized training and experience. They are irreplaceable. Basically, this action was a negative “twofer.” They told us the reason was environmental, which, to me, is a specious argument. The absence of a pipeline means that the oil has to be transported by trucks, which is less efficient, more costly, more time-consuming and is not environmentally friendly. Also, a few months later Biden did not block the Russian-built pipeline to Germany giving our arch enemy control over the energy needs of our European allies. Totally illogical, nonsensical and inane. Go figure. Grade – F.
There are many facets to this one. Two of the most significant and controversial ones are: (1) The Administration wants to put all elections under the control of the Federal government. Its goal is to control the election process and hence the outcomes of all elections. (2) Furthermore, it is opposed to voter ID requirements, labeling them as “racist.” I and many others view these as poorly-disguised mechanisms to cheat. Consider: (1) The US Constitution clearly states that state legislatures shall fix the manner and time of elections, not the executive branch, not the feds, not the courts, and not any other body. Changing it would require a constitutional amendment. (2) In this day and age, virtually everyone has some form of ID. One is required to provide ID for many things, such to buy alcohol, cigarettes, many over the counter medicines such as Sudafed, to fly, get a library card, take a train or get married. Are all those requirements “racist” as well? Finally, every poll shows an overwhelming majority are in favor of voter IDs, even Dems, even AAs, and even Hispanics. A recent poll conducted by the NY Post reported 78% in favor. How often do 78% of Americans agree on anything? This issue is one of the best illustrations of that when Dems run out of valid arguments they play the “racist” card. Grade – F.
4. The Economy
This is a mixed bag. The recovery from the COVID recession has been spotty and uneven. Unemployment remains higher than it should be. The latest available statistics from the Bureau of Labor put it at 6.1% The goal is about 4%, which most economists define as “full employment.” Some states, such as California, are as high as 9%. Most of you will recall that prior to COVID the US was enjoying record low levels of unemployment.
Many small businesses report that their recoveries are being hampered by an inability to find qualified workers, likely due to the enhanced unemployment benefits that are still in effect in many areas. Interestingly, the latest Department of Labor statistics disclosed that 17 of the top 20 states to regain jobs are run by GOP governors. Not surprising.
By one measure, the financial markets, the economy is doing very well. But, that is only one piece of the puzzle. In evaluating the economy one has to consider the whole picture. All the stimulus packages, much of which was not really necessary and had more to do with rewarding special interests and campaign donors rather than providing COVID relief, have reawakened the specter of inflation. The prices of almost all goods and services have been rising. Anyone who has gone shopping or filled the gas tank at the gas pump has been experiencing this. For example, a gallon of water, which cost 89 cents a few months ago is now $1.19. Furthermore, according to AAA and other sources a gallon of gas at the pump, which generally hovered around $2.00 – $2.40 for much of 2020 has jumped to as high as $3.38 (in CA).
Currently, the people who have received stimulus money are happy. Who doesn’t like to receive free stuff? Those with IRAs or 401Ks are raking it in. But, most students of economics and history know that this will likely be short-lived. Printing money, as we have been doing, is a short-term fix. Eventually, one has to “pay the piper.” Once unleashed, inflation is very hard to control and not without much hardship. History is replete with examples, such as post-WWI Germany, 1970s US, or present-day Venezuela. The Administration’s decision-makers appear to be ignorant of this or hope we are. Grade – D.
5. Foreign Affairs
This is a real mess. Everyone can see that Biden is weak and ineffective. Our allies are nervous. Our enemies are emboldened. Almost daily, our enemies can see evidence that he is cognitively compromised. They see the same speeches and news conferences that we do. Often, he seems to be unable to answer the simplest of questions cogently. As Walt Frazier might say, he fumbles, bumbles and stumbles his way through interviews.
Moreover, he is likely compromised in his dealings with Russia and China as a result of his and Hunter’s nefarious business dealings with them. The mainstream media has suppressed this scandal, but In my opinion Joe and Hunter are bought and paid for.
Russia is threatening Ukraine, a NATO ally by the way, and has bullied Biden into approving their pipeline. By the way, why is Russia’s pipeline environmentally acceptable and not ours?
China has refused to provide information on the origin of the coronavirus, is threatening Taiwan, our longtime ally, and is saber-rattling in the South China Sea.
Iran is threatening to destabilize the Middle East and continuing to develop its nuclear capabilities in blatant violation of the controversial Iran nuclear deal.
Biden’s treatment of Israel, our only enduring and reliable ally in the region, has been outrageous. It makes one wonder if he is anti-Semitic. Israel is feeling increasingly abandoned and isolated. Don’t forget, Trump was on the verge of securing peace agreements between Israel and various Arab states when he was voted out of office.
Terror organizations, such as Hamas, ISIS and the Taliban are becoming increasingly bold. Grade – F
It’s not going well. Yes, we have reliable vaccines (thanks to Trump, not Biden), but that’s the extent of the good news.
Other COVID news:
a. There is continued resistance among some people to getting vaccinated. According to the CDC only 56% of Americans who are eligible to be vaccinated have done so. This is far less that the Administration had set as its goal. Many have chosen not to be vaccinated for various reasons, e. g. health issues, religious reasons, doubts of the vaccines’ efficacy, mistrust of vaccines in general, and personal choice.
b. Recently, there has been a spike in COVID cases. The primary cause is that the virus has mutated as viruses tend to do. The newest mutation, aka the Delta variant, seems to be stronger. It has been infecting primarily those who have not been vaccinated. Furthermore, common sense (which is not common) tells us that when you open your borders and let thousands of unvaccinated people in and then scatter them all over the country you should not be surprised when a spike in cases results. The dummies who are running the administration want it both ways, and that is simply not logical.
c. Masks are once again being required in some locales where COVID has spiked. Most of those who have been vaccinated are reluctant to start wearing them again. They feel they are being “punished” for getting vaccinated. In addition, it sends a subtle message to those who have not been vaccinated that the efficacy of the vaccines is in doubt. Many people believe that masks have limited value. It is better to improve your general health, for example, lose weight or exercise more. Some people may refuse to “mask up.”
d. There is a growing divide between those who have been vaccinated and those who have not. Many in the former group have been advocating forcing the latter group to be vaccinated. I am opposed to forcing people. This is still America where we have freedom of choice. However, I do favor encouraging and convincing them to do so.
e. From the outset there has been much conflicting information regarding COVID, which has tended to confuse people and cause them to mistrust the so called experts. For example, Dr. Fauci has continually flip-flopped on the need to wear masks as well as on other aspects of the virus.
f. There is a growing possibility that the virus may cause an interruption of the 2021 Olympics before the competition concludes in two weeks.
g. After all this time we still do not know definitively the cause of the virus. China has refused to be forthcoming, and our leaders have been loath to force them to do so. Grade – F7.
Slowly, but surely our first and second amendment protections are being chipped away. Freedom of speech is being challenged continually by the “cancel culture warriors.” They are a small, but vocal minority. Say or do something they don’t like, and they will attack you relentlessly. Many targets relent rather than face attack. For example, MLB’s decision to change the all-Star game from Atlanta with its heavy minority population to Denver with its disproportionately white population because of Georgia’s revised voting law is but the latest example. Lost in the shuffle was the fact that Georgia’s law was actually significantly less restrictive than that of many other states, including Biden’s home state of Delaware. The CCWs didn’t care, and the media ignored it. MLB wimped out, and the big losers were the fans and businesses of Georgia.
The schools are teaching our kids critical race theory, which holds that whites are born oppressors and AAs are born victims. Everything is to be viewed through that prism. This is outrageous on so many levels. Parents have largely been oblivious to this indoctrination. Many of them have been paying tuition in excess of $50,000 to send their young kids to private schools that teach this garbage, although in some areas they have begun to protest.
Just as appalling is the fact that social media outlets, such as Facebook, openly censure opinions with which it does not agree that are posted on their websites with the support of the Biden administration. The Biden Administration is doing everything it can to chip away at the Second Amendment. There are many reasons for the rise in crime in many locales, but gun control advocates always blame the gun rather than the gun owner. Grade – F.
There are many other areas in which Biden has been failing. He has done a lot of damage in just six months. The foregoing were but a few of the most egregious ones. Many believe he is not really in charge of the government. Who is? Harris? His wife? His chief of staff? Bernie Sanders? AOC? Schumer? Pelosi? Some combination of the above? Your guess is as good as mine. Furthermore, VP Kamala Harris has continually demonstrated an inability to serve as president should the need arise. For example, Biden put her in charge of the southern border crisis, and she has not even visited the areas where the crisis is. (El Paso doesn’t count).
As I said, Biden’s mental acuity is clearly deteriorating. It’s not just my opinion. Anyone who watches and listens to his public statements would have to agree. We should all be nervous, very nervous, including any Dems up for re-election in 2022.
The situation has been exacerbated by the attitude of the media. It is supposed to challenge those in power, to keep them “on their toes,” to inform the public, to be impartial. At the moment it is doing none of those things.
In our system of government the voters have the final say. If we don’t like the performance of those in power it is our right, our duty to vote them out. We will get our chance in 2022. At the moment, the most important question is the way things are going can the country afford to wait until then.
Biden’s overall grade is a resounding F.