Brave commentators or run-of-the-mill voters who challenge Joe Biden with a politically awkward question may find themselves answered with a familiar refrain, “c’mon man.” That sarcastic nip hides the mental fog often evident in his expression and is used as a safeword for his spokespeople to put an end to further inquiry. It is often followed by a quick retreat, a tug by a concerned spouse, or some other preplanned exit strategy.
Biden’s remarks can be imprudent if unscripted and he offers only a marginally better performance squinting in front of a teleprompter. It bodes ill for America that this shortcoming is not commonly found among the rivals he must now face as praetorian of the free world. Many of those big and small tyrants hail from cutthroat regimes such as China, Russia, and Cuba, where respect and credibility on a world stage hinges on hardball diplomacy and exploiting the weakness in one’s opponents.
Just a few days into the Biden presidency and the media are already chipping away at the granite on Mt. Rushmore. They may have to stretch the yardstick for statuary fitness if they expect strokes of presidential greatness from number 46. Close your eyes and imagine Biden delivering Lincoln’s address at the Gettysburg Cemetery, handling the Cuban missile crisis, or manipulating Gorbachev to advantage at Reykjavik. Or, for that matter, building domestic prosperity, brokering a tricky Middle East peace deal, stopping China in its tracks, and bringing the brutal regimes in North Korea and Iran to heel.
Biden’s real power brokers are just downwind of the Oval Office. They entreat Congress, write speeches, pile on executive orders, and promulgate domestic and foreign policy. Biden, for his part, is the face and signature on an agenda far more radical than he would have tolerated in more temperate social climes gone by.
Biden’s reluctance to withstand challenge is a consequence of his kid-glove treatment prior to the election. It adds to the bewilderment of how such a candidate, mediocre among a Democrat primary field of twenty-seven, who lay low during an entire presidential campaign, sometimes acted out as the godfather of a crime family, bumbled his words and got into racial dustups, could ascend above one of the most popular and accomplished presidents in American history.
Antifa and other street insurgents rioting in Democrat city strongholds have quickly abandoned the man whose election they abetted by quietly withdrawing from the battlefield a few weeks before the election. Now back in all their gothic splendor, with Biden as the new archenemy, the figurehead of a Democrat party that has not met their Marxist expectations and robbed Bolshevik Bernie of his last opportunity to wreak havoc on democracy.
Antifa’s volte-face is a latter-day et tu, Brute lesson for Biden. Up front in his inaugural address, Biden enlivened his plea for national unity by grim reference to the mob violence and threat to democracy during the January 6 breach of the U.S. Capitol. Noticeably absent from the speech was any condemnation for the disunity and destruction wrought by a hundred-night pogrom of firebombing, looting, and death at the hands of a group who will now inflict on Biden many ignominies for giving a free pass to their crimes.
When it comes to China, Donald Trump, as the titular leader of a Republican party largely in absentia for four years, played hardball in direct opposition to the financial interests of Beltway Democrats, social-media moguls, and corporate boardrooms. In response, liberal media and Wall Street, already succored by the People’s Republic, conspired like a tree full of honking pandas to diminish and defeat him. In earnest, they continue a cause celebré to punish conservativism by marginalizing, discrediting, and de-platforming its followers.
Notable among Biden’s Inauguration Day attacks against America First was his recoup with the World Health Organization (WHO). The United States now finds itself squarely inside the China propaganda machine and under the thumb of WHO’s chief executive, Tedros Adhanom, an Ethiopian Marxist and allegiant Sino-surrogate who formulates global health policy without a medical degree. The bitter pill for U.S. taxpayers to swallow is the half-billion dollar membership renewal fee, roughly $2,000 for every American life lost to COVID.
Anthony Fauci, America’s chic virologist and WHO apologist, now appears willing to side with Democrat politics over science in exchange for a few minutes of airtime. His pro forma support of Tedros’ leadership stands in ignorance of actual evidence that the WHO explicitly toed Beijing’s COVID timeline, doling out misinformation on the contagion as it spread globally. It shows the chutzpah by which Fauci is willing to put the Trump administration and his own credibility in the rear-view mirror while bending to the current political winds.
Blaming China for the onset of COVID will now fade as fast as a Chinese naval squadron can island hop in the South China Sea. With the help of the WHO, Beijing succeeded in unleashing the virus upon the world and sowed global economic chaos while escaping worldwide criticism for its consequences. With GNP growth up five percent in the last quarter and the world still bottled up, China continues to practice aggressive imperialism in Europe, Africa, and Asia through the control and influence of countries indebted to its Belt and Road Initiative. Meanwhile, America remains a pharmaceutically-challenged country beholden to the China Communist Party for its drug supply, laptops, cellphones, and the cheap labor production of almost everything else. From China’s perspective, the lives of more than two million of the world’s citizens cut short by COVID is a paltry price to pay for the global economic and military supremacy of a country who imposed Mao’s cultural revolution at the expense of more than 45 million Chinese lives. Who will stand in their way, a Biden administration more likely to surrender the noose to the hangman.
It’s like good ol’ times in the State Department, kowtowing to dictators and posturing to shoot at everybody else, as the globalism and warmongering of the Obama years finds a new home in the Biden foreign policy. Career policy wonk and onetime songwriter Tony Blinken, who has never actually fought in the wars he supported, assumes the Secretary of state seat as Trump suffragists continue to flee Foggy Bottom.
John Kerry, himself no stranger to shady backroom dealings with foreign despots, returns to government as Biden’s climate envoy. Pete Buttigieg, who, as mayor, needed Domino’s Pizza to help him fix potholed roads in South Bend, Indiana, and couldn’t control crime for its 100,000 residents, now aims to head the 55,000-strong Department of Transportation with little more experience to show for it than a driver’s license and good riddance from his former constituents.
The nominee for Secretary of Health is not a medical practitioner, but Xavier Becerra did spend most of his tenure as California attorney general suing Donald Trump over healthcare matters and immigration issues. Biden has also nominated Rachel Levine, an actual doctor and former Pennsylvania health commissioner as his deputy. It would appear from the media hysteria that her transgender status was paramount in her selection and sufficient to overcome her actions as commissioner to erase Pennsylvania senior citizens from the voting rolls by sending hospitalized COVID patients back to their nursing homes. Levine can be credited with saving at least one life, as the fate she cast upon more than three thousand elderly convalescents who perished raised fears for her own mother, who was promptly relocated to a hotel.
The Biden team has cobbled together a gallery of Obama retreads and a handful of other prominent figures not especially well-suited to their cabinet-level destinations. In Biden’s own words, some nominations and appointments are highlighted by focus upon sexual orientation or race.
We should be getting used to these offbeat qualifications and standards by now. If not, C’mon man. You ain’t American.