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The Wheels Are Coming Off the Biden Administration
And Democratic insiders are showing that they know it.
Are the wheels coming off the Biden Administration? It looks like it, to the extent that this shambolic vehicle for a third Obama term ever had wheels to begin with. There are some external clues, but there are also clues in the way Democratic insiders and spokespeople are suddenly acting.
The first bit of evidence comes from a New York Times / Siena poll that showed former President Donald Trump leading incumbent Joe Biden in 5 out of 6 battleground states.
But it’s not just the numbers. As the Times reports: “Discontent pulsates throughout the Times/Siena poll. . . . The survey also reveals the extent to which the multiracial and multigenerational coalition that elected Mr. Biden is fraying. Demographic groups that backed Mr. Biden by landslide margins in 2020 are now far more closely contested, as two-thirds of the electorate sees the country moving in the wrong direction.”
Biden is hemorrhaging votes among Hispanics, his margin among women is dwarfed by opposition from men, and Black support for Trump is up to 22%, “a level unseen in Presidential politics for a Republican in modern times.”
If Trump does as well on election day (assuming, as seems likely, that he’s the Republican nominee) he’d win handily with over 300 electoral votes. Voters still don’t care for his personality, but they miss his policies. “Another ominous sign for Democrats is that voters across all income levels felt that Mr. Biden’s policies had hurt them personally, while they credited Mr. Trump’s policies for helping them. The results were mirror opposites: Voters gave Mr. Trump a 17-point advantage for having helped them and Mr. Biden a 18-point disadvantage for having hurt them.”
It’s particularly impressive that Trump is polling so well given the near-universal opposition of major media organs, and the campaign of systematic legal harassment that has had him indicted four times and sued in civil courts both by Democratic state attorneys general and private citizens. Maybe doubling down on a strategy of expensive energy, housing, and food was a bad idea for the Biden Administration.
Aside from polls, though, it’s worth looking at how the insiders are reacting, and they seem to be giving up on Slow Joe. Obama insider David Axelrod recently tweeted that Biden should think about withdrawing from the race: “Only @JoeBiden can make this decision. If he continues to run, he will be the nominee of the Democratic Party. What he needs to decide is whether that is wise; whether it's in HIS best interest or the country's?”
That’s hardly a vote of confidence. Of course, if Biden steps down, Kamala Harris becomes President, and one expects that a President Kamala would want to stay in office after 2024. She’s no more popular – or able to deliver a coherent speech – than the dotard-in-chief, which means that dumping Biden won’t be enough to save the Democrats’ bacon. Worse, she’s unlikely to go quietly, and shoving a black woman off the stage won’t help the Democrats hold on to black votes. They could still nominate someone else (Gavin Newsom? His record’s terrible, but Obama seems to like him), but how much would that help?
And speaking of Obama, he’s suddenly reappeared. It’s been an open secret in Washington that much of the Biden Administration’s policy – and particularly its mideast foreign policy – has been run on instructions from the Obama crowd. And now suddenly Obama has shown himself to opine on the Hamas massacre in Israel: “What Hamas did was horrific, and there is no justification for it. And what is also true is that the occupation, and what’s happening to Palestinians, is unbearable.”
He added: “You have to admit that all of us are complicit to some degree.” No, I don’t admit that at all. I think that Obama is complicit, by favoring not only negotiations with, but outright subsidies to, terrorists instead of eliminating them. I also think that he’s trying to spread the blame to “all of us,” now that his policy is a disaster.
And what’s this “occupation” stuff? Israel pulled out of Gaza in 2005, before Obama was elected President. Hamas considers the entire nation of Israel to be an occupation, and wants it to be Jew-free “from the river to the sea.” Is that what Obama means by occupation?
Regardless, Obama’s sudden, blame-shifting reappearance is not a good sign for the Biden administration. Axelrod says that the decision whether to run or not is entirely Joe Biden’s, but I don’t think that’s actually the case. And I think Obama and his acolytes are readying the hook that will pull Biden offstage.
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