In her op-ed in The Wall Street Journal on January 15, Peggy Noonan soundly criticizes the recent Georgia voting rights speech given by President Biden as divisive. It was followed the next day by a speech from Mitch McConnell basically agreeing with Noonan.
It has been very frustrating for me as a blogger to be accused of having progressive-liberal tendencies, when I am trying to make a case for the middle-of-the-road. Biden has just made my job easier.
It is now evident that Mr. Biden does not understand anything about how he got elected or why. It was not to invoke a left-wing liberal agenda so as to appease that wing of his party. That wing of his party does not represent the majority of Americans. In fact, the majority of Americans are not Democrats at all. Most Americans are not Republicans either. Neither party has a majority because so many Americans are in the middle, unaffiliated with a political party and not wishing to be as they find both parties unappetizing.
This blog has written of the silent majority, but that majority will not be silent for long if it discerns that the government it elected to do one thing—heal the country—instead is doing another, advancing a liberal agenda. Mr. Biden simply cannot see that the Build Back Better Bill, while having some worthy components, is not what most Americans want to see passed. Furthermore, as this blog has recently written, it is not at all clear that we have a problem with voting rights in the country given the huge number of voters in 2020 and the fact that Mr. Biden won. Talk about a sore winner!
It is now clear to me that what some of my friends worried about in 2020 was reasonable and concerning. Mr. Biden is cognitively impaired. He is not up to the job and if he had another vice president, I’d ask him to resign. Mr. Biden lucked into his nomination by running against a slew of extremist candidates and others who could never get elected. He was a default winner in the general as well, and as such, ought to be cautious about what he does and says. Instead, he’s like a bull in a china shop proposing extreme legislation that no one has read and giving into the worst inclinations of the members of his party. In other words, he is not leading. He is following and following a bunch of bad examples.
This brings me back to one of my favorite topics—leadership.
It is now beyond evident that we are at an all-time low when it comes to meaningful leadership in politics, business or even the sports world where the number one tennis player in the world thinks he is beyond Australia’s strict vaccination laws. (more on Friday.) And he’s not alone as so many athletes feel that the rules don’t apply to them. Of course, that also goes for show business celebrities and other rich people who feel they can buy their kids’ way into college. Everywhere you look, no behavior seems beyond the pale until the person doing it gets caught—often by the media.
Such was certainly the case with Elizabeth Holmes of Theranos who lied, cheated and stole her way to Silicon Valley riches only to be felled by John Carreyrou of The Wall Street Journal.
This is also sadly true in academia where I see more and more examples of mediocre leadership, a singular lack of vision beyond making money, and some real ethical questions about the use of political power to bully faculty and conflict of interest to get what the leaders want.
Mr. Biden may be on the verge of having a failed presidency only one year into the job. It took Jimmy Carter longer than that.
I have no great advice for Mr. Biden except to re-examine his narrow victory and act accordingly when it comes to a legislative agenda. I thought the infrastructure bill was a good choice to lead with. The rest of this social welfare list and voting rights are simply not perceived as major issues for most Americans—the ones who elected him. Mr. Biden needs to pay attention to inflation, supply chain issues, immigration, and Covid along with trying to establish a coherent foreign policy that involves more than the threat of economic sanctions when our enemies are on the doorstep of our allies.
Let me be clear. I am no liberal and no progressive. I find the Bernie-AOC wing of the Democratic Party delusional and out of touch with the reality that most Americans face. The filibuster in the Senate is not the problem. The slim Democratic majority (50-50 plus 1) is. No one has a mandate to do anything except to get us back as close to normal as possible.
I think Mr. Trump had it wrong. He’s not Sleepy Joe. He may be comatose.