Candidate Biden ran for office in 2020, promising to do everything differently from President Trump. True to his word, Biden has U-turned on every major policy decision - taxes, spending, foreign policy, Iran, energy policy, and management of the southern border - to disastrous results. But nowhere is the contrast as stark or impactful as Biden's decision to continue to retain his senior cabinet and advisory leadership.
Having passed the halfway mark of his first term, attrition among President Biden's senior staff is remarkably low. Notable exits have been Jen Psaki, the first press secretary who began auditioning for an MSNBC analyst position immediately after Biden's inauguration. "Prime Minister" Ron Klain, the White House Chief of Staff, left last Fall after ensuring inflation was at record highs and crime in America's urban neighborhoods reduced cities to a third-world status. Klain failed to get Biden's Build Back Better passed, lost the Virginia Governor's mansion to the Republicans, and helped elect the GOP to a House majority.
Every other cabinet member has stubbornly stayed on despite dismal performances that would have gotten them fired in the private sector.
Homeland Security Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas is the most inept and ineffective senior officer in Biden's cabinet. According to a press release by the Federation for American Immigration Reform (FAIR) in October 2022, around 5.5 million migrants crossed our borders in just 18 months under Mayorkas's tenure, a record. Migrant deaths at the southwest border totaled 856 in FY 2022—the deadliest year ever.
At a Senate hearing last week, Mayorkas, as usual, took no responsibility for his terrible performance, blaming Congress for not reforming a broken system. Frustrated, Ron Johnson of Wisconsin told Mayorkas he should resign.
"You're not giving me any stats whatsoever in terms of the number of people that are human trafficked, how many young girls are sex trafficked," Johnson said. "You don't have a clue. You won't even answer how many dead bodies, which is very well documented, at the border. Do you not care? You just sit there looking with a blank look on your face."
Most individuals would have resigned in shame after such an exchange. But not Mayorkas, whose response was a classic deflection. "The senator, of course, disparagingly characterizes our commitment to address human trafficking and the exploitation of vulnerable individuals, including children. The senator misstates the data because he confuses encounters with unique individuals."
Sen. Roger Marshall of Kansas told Mayorkas he was "derelict in your duties" and planned to push through a no-confidence motion.
What was the response from President Biden? Nothing.
Many cabinet members are only marginally better. Transportation Secretary Pete Buttigieg attracted national criticism when he did not promptly respond to the Ohio rail accident, preferring to stick to his favorite DEI agenda in public appearances. The left-leaning Intelligencer from New York Magazine ran an entire story about how the job to him had become a nightmare.
Buttigieg faced criticism for excessive coziness with the auto industry. He failed to manage the supply chain crisis, the Los Angeles-area port strikes, and the various breakdowns in airline travel. We would rate him an F, yet he thrives in his cabinet position. Having moved to Blue Michigan, there is talk that he may even get elevated. President Biden may support his run for the Senate seat being vacated by Debbie Stabenow.
Additionally, we would hand out D or below report cards for a slew of senior members, each of whom would have been fired in any other administration.
- Brash-talking National Security Adviser Jake Sullivan has deepened America's divide with nations of the Global South because of his constant threats and Ukraine policy (F).
- Secretary of State Antony Blinken has not used the vast diplomatic apparatus to push for peace in the Ukraine war. Instead, he has acted more as the defense secretary to supply $116 billion of weapons to the war theater and counting (D).
- Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen failed to acknowledge inflation initially but has overseen a stringent sanctions regime against Russia that has moved nations towards China. The sanctions themselves have not been effective, as the Russian Ruble is still marginally stronger than the dollar from the date of the invasion (F).
- Defense Secretary Lloyd Austen continued to usher in significant changes to embrace a more woke Armed Forces. Despite record increases in the Pentagon's budget, all military branches are struggling to meet recruitment targets. Austen has steadfastly supported Ukraine and moved so many weapons there that America is dangerously running short in several weapon systems. War game scenarios show that should a conflict escalate in the Taiwan Strait, China would likely prevail (F).
- Energy Secretary Jennifer Granholm has overseen a department that has conceded America's energy-export status to one having to beg Middle East nations for oil. Higher pump prices for nearly two years have taken a substantial toll on Americans trying to fill up. Granholm has also aggressively pushed for America to embrace EVs, although the policy is inherently discriminatory against Blacks and Latinos (F).
Judging by performance, America fared far better under the four years of Trump, despite the Brookings Institution calculating that a record 14 cabinet members turned over.
Taxpayers will likely take the Trump White House's drama and the frequent cabinet exits over an incompetent Biden administration. Under Trump, America enjoyed the best economy in 60 years, with low inflation, energy self-sufficiency, and no new wars. It is hard to imagine the Biden cabinet delivering anything close to the Trump record.
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