Stubborn

Stubborn

By

Leonard Zwelling

https://www.nytimes.com/2021/09/07/opinion/biden-failed-afghanistan.html

Brett Stephens makes a good case in The New York Times on September 8, that Joe Biden is on the verge of giving America another failed presidency after the same could be said of Donald Trump, Barack Obama, and George W. Bush. What’s Biden’s problem? He was supposed to be the solution to the chaos of Donald Trump yet has proven to be anything but. As Stephens says of Biden, he’s “headstrong, but shaky, ambitious, but inept. He’s proud, inflexible, and thinks he’s much smarter than he really is.”

What’s the evidence?

Let’s start with Afghanistan. I understand that Mr. Biden did not want to pass this war on to yet another president. I am quite sure most Americans agreed with that. But to have spent 20 years fighting, even if it is a sunk cost, and then run like rabbits deserting our own people and the Afghans who helped us is unconscionable. It’s also cynical to think you can do this desertion act now and think everyone will forget by 2024. This is Biden’s defeat now. Lyndon Johnson didn’t get us into Vietnam, but he couldn’t figure out a way to get us out either. Instead, he kept digging as did Mr. Nixon after him, but it was Johnson who paid the highest price for Vietnam. I suspect it will be Biden who the Republicans crown with Afghanistan in 2022 and 2024. As Stephens suggests, Antony Blinken should resign given the manner in which the State Department handled the Afghan exit. I don’t know what the memorial services for 9/11 will look like on the 20th anniversary of the tragedy, but I do know that we will look back and wonder what we fought for and spent money for in Afghanistan and then in Iraq. There was no such mystery on December 7, 1961, the 20th anniversary of Pearl Harbor. Biden has made a mess of this and will likely make it worse by denying he made a mess. He’s too stubborn to admit when he’s wrong. He’s a typical man. He cannot say, “I’m lost, I’m wrong, I’m sorry,” and in that he will likely go down as a failed president.

He’s not doing all that much better on the home front as Stephens also notes. There simply is no way that the $3.5 trillion social infrastructure bill is going to get past the Senate even if reconciliation is invoked. Joe Manchin (D-WV) and Kyrsten Sinema (D-AZ) will not vote for it leaving the Dems short the necessary fifty votes and I really doubt anything is going to change that especially given the fact that this proposal really is the socialization of America. Nancy Pelosi needs to line up her troops in the House and pass the $1 trillion infrastructure bill that has bipartisan support and forget about the bigger bill. It’s not going anywhere and Biden ought to read the riot act to his members of Congress about the reality of legislating.

Finally, Mr. Biden had better come up with a plan behind which all Americans can get when it comes to the coronavirus. If that’s boosters for the willing, show me the data. If it’s overriding the governors of Texas and Florida and allowing schools to mandate masks, let’s go the Supreme Court and duke it out. If it’s house arrest if you decline vaccination, I’m good with that too. We had the wherewithal to limit the tragedy of covid instead of maximizing it. And what did we have, no leadership. Biden is giving us too little, too late.

Even something Trump did right, Operation Warp Speed, The Donald now backs away from when the crowd boos vaccination. Even Trump knows this is foolishness.

The great worry about Mr. Biden was that he had no new ideas, no power of persuasion, and was not an inspiration. All of that has been on full display.

It’s going to take a major turnaround to save the Biden Presidency which seems to have gone to hell in less than a year. Would Mr. Trump have been any better? I doubt it, but just because we had two lousy choices doesn’t mean Biden was going to fail. Unfortunately, right now, he’s doing just that.

2 thoughts on “Stubborn”

  1. The complexity of the decisions about how to extract from Afghanistan will be revealed someday. It is interesting that the American CIA Director recently met with the Taliban Leadership who fear ISIS-K in Afghanistan. American banks control most of Aghan’s assets. We have tremendous financial leverage over the Taliban. I would not speculate yet about how Biden and his team of experienced advisors managed this one.
    The infrastructure of this country needs critical attention. Our legislators need to step up and fund this one.
    And, finally, Biden has become aggressive about vaccination. As a doctor, I abhor those who have not been vaccinated nor follow CDC Guidelines placing our nurses and doctors at such risk. I lost a dear friend, a surgeon, last week from COVID, and I have NO empathy for those ignoring the common good.

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