That Joe Biden is failing as president has been obvious from the beginning. It was clear from the start that Biden’s basic selling point as a presidential candidate — that he was an uniter, not a divider — was a cynical effort to win the votes of people who still believed in an America that was “indivisible.”
All anyone had to do to disabuse themselves of the notion that his words of unity were anything but a shallow political ploy would be to read the president’s Georgia speech where he tried to sell his “voting rights” bill as a last gasp effort to “save democracy.”
The speech united the country, all right. But it united it against him.
The president’s Tuesday speech in Atlanta, on voting rights, was a disaster for him. By the end of Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell’s answering speech on Wednesday you knew some new break point had occurred, that President Biden might have thought he was just crooning to part of his base but the repercussions were greater than that; he was breaking in some new way with others–and didn’t know it. It is poor political practice when you fail to guess the effects of your actions. He meant to mollify an important constituency but instead he filled his opponents with honest indignation and, I suspect, encouraged in that fractured group some new unity.
The speech itself was aggressive, intemperate, not only offensive but meant to offend. It seemed prepared by people who think there is only the Democratic Party in America, that’s it, everyone else is an outsider who can be disparaged. It was a mistake on so many levels.
There’s a lot of fluff and chaff in politics. We see it every day. The back and forth between politicians calling each other liars and knaves is nothing new.
What’s relatively new is a president who fails to rise above the fray to lead. George Bush managed to unite the country for a few months in 2001-02 after the terrorist attacks of September 11. But not so much after that.
The man supposedly born to unite America on race — Barack Obama — failed miserably on all levels. Eventually, he stopped trying.
Donald Trump didn’t even try the unity track. Perhaps more than other presidents, Trump realized the America where unity mattered was dead and he decided to proceed as if it were unattainable — which it probably was.
Now we have Joe Biden who used the idea of “unity” to display his “moderate” credentials — all the while catering to the radical left and their agenda. In Georgia, Biden dropped all pretenses and allowed his inner radical to fully blossom. This disturbed a lot of old-fashioned liberals like Senator Dick Durbin and 35-year Washington Post columnist David Ignatius who still believe that America is a bipartisan country.
Biden destroyed that idea by wildly flailing about, accusing Republicans of being seditious and racist. “Do you want to be on the side of Dr. King or George Wallace? 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?” Biden asked.
Matt Margolis covered the epic response of Mitch McConnell on the Senate floor. “Twelve months ago, the president said that ‘politics need not be a raging fire destroying everything in its path’… Yesterday he poured a giant can of gasoline on that fire.”
“In less than a year, ‘restoring the soul of America’ has become: ‘Agree with me, or you’re a bigot.'”
It seems the president has made a conscious decision to throw off the “unity disguise” and go full-on radical. Perhaps he thinks that’s what will get the Democrat — whoever it will be — another term in the White House. Perhaps he doesn’t care.
What’s become obvious is that Joe Biden is failing anywhere and everywhere. And if all he has left is calling people who disagree with him racists, he’s already lost.