Joe Biden — ingenious idiot
Hanlon's Razor states, "One should never attribute to malice that which can be explained by stupidity." There's an engineering interpretation of this guidance that says, "Never underestimate the ingenuity of idiots." It is a caution to engineers never to underestimate the ways in which their products may be misused. As we've discovered this year, the guidance is applicable to politics as well. Barack Obama even provided a political interpretation of Hanlon's Razor. As he said, "never underestimate Joe's ability to eff things up." Just as Obama warned, Joe has given us a remarkable demonstration of idiotic ingenuity.
In just the last couple of months, Joe has flipped the world order on its head. He left our allies in the dark about our Afghanistan withdrawal plans. After they had helped us in the war on terror for twenty years, we left them to pick up the pieces. Just for good measure, after the Afghanistan debacle, we cut the French out of a submarine deal with Australia. Great Britain's Parliament has held Joe in contempt and France has recalled its ambassador. But we've thanked the Taliban for conducting themselves in a businesslike fashion (at least if your business is murder). Our friends have become our enemies and our enemies have become our friends — in only a couple of months.
Joe turned the most formidable military in the world into the Keystone Cops in camo. Under his orders, they dropped their weapons (80 billion dollars' worth) and ran from a bunch of 12th-century cavemen. In fairness, they did have another pressing mission — looking for white supremacist boogeymen and phantom Trump insurrectionists. Never underestimate the ingenuity of idiots.
Joe managed to make the most energy-rich country in the world dependent on foreign oil. That would be oil from the most unstable region in the world. Just for extra credit, he even ticked off Canada by canceling its pipeline project.
Joe even achieved something that shouldn't be economically possible. We have high unemployment while at the same time businesses have a shortage of workers. How did he manage that? By using other people's money to pay people not to work, that's how.
Joe has even managed to splinter his own party. The Dems control the Executive and Legislative Branches for the first time in ten years. To celebrate, Biden promised them a bountiful Christmas with his "build back better" plan. The party responded by feverishly putting together their wish list. Now there's a fight going on about how big the spending bill should be. Bernie and the Squad (sounds like an Elton John song) want the bill to be insanely outrageous, while Manchin and Sinema want it to be only kinda outrageous. Both sides are refusing to compromise — and the Republicans are eating popcorn and enjoying the show.
As if splintering his own party weren't enough, Joe also managed to offend the Democrats' most loyal voting bloc: the black community. He not only imposed vaccine mandates, but said he'd lost patience with those resisting it. He apparently didn't notice that members of the black community are the biggest resisters to the vaccine. It harkens back to their distrust of government-ordered medical treatment from the Tuskegee experiments. Now we have the image of a white guy ordering blacks to take an experimental treatment. The master has spoken. It's totally tone-deaf, but further proof that one should never underestimate the ingenuity of idiots.
Joe even accomplished something I didn't think was possible. He got John Roberts to defend the Constitution. Roberts had originally voted with the radical wing of the Supreme Court to uphold the CDC eviction moratorium — based on the "we can do whatever the hell we want" penumbra. But when Joe announced that he knew that the moratorium was unconstitutional but was extending it anyway, it was too much for wishy-washy John — he switched his vote to strike down the moratorium. Biden's move was so idiotic that it even got Roberts to do the right thing. Genius.
But my personal favorite is this: Joe created a Haitian crisis at the Mexican border. How is that even possible without a military airlift and way more planning than went into our Afghanistan surrender? But Joe made it seem effortless — or at least mindless. Never, ever underestimate the ingenuity of idiots.
We're only about eight months into the Harris/Biden administration. Let's pray the displays of ingenuity slow down a bit.
Image: Russ Allison Loar.