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It's So Easy To Explain Why Joe Biden Is Unpopular

His incompetence and lawfare tactics diminish his presidential image.

President Joe Biden delivers remarks at a campaign event in Atlanta, Georgia, on March 9, 2024. Photo by Peter Zay/Anadolu via Getty Images.

Russ Douthat, an establishment conservative by his own description and the only such columnist for the New York Times, wrote a piece on March 9: Why It's Hard to Explain Joe Biden's Unpopularity.

Douthat is bewildered by public polling that places Biden's unpopularity at the worst for any president at this stage of the general election, worse even than for former President Donald Trump in 2020, when a once-in-a-millennium pandemic raged worldwide. After all, Biden won a clear popular majority in 2020, so how could he be so unpopular?

Aiming to be analytical, Douthat is amazed why people don't give Biden credit for the economy when the stock market performance is so good. Shouldn't it neutralize the high inflation rate? He gets lost in the usual punditry nonsense about college-educated voters, ignoring a fundamental truth that college-educated or not, Americans are smart enough to make complex decisions about everyday life - from raising a family to balancing obligations at work, life, and church - and choosing their next leader shouldn't be that difficult.

Douthat doesn't understand why Biden's "push for racial representation in elite America" did not find appeal with nonwhite voters. Almost on cue and as if to make Douthat's point, Biden himself rattled off race and gender statistics at a sparsely attended rally in Atlanta on Sunday: His cabinet represented how diverse America is all the way to Kamala Harris. Two-thirds of the judges Biden nominated were women or minorities, and he was the first president to appoint a Black woman to the Supreme Court.

The entire Douthat piece is laden with similar confounding ideas and shows why our premier journalists are so out of touch with the country. We unpack Douthat's mysteries as we have done numerous times on these pages. 

Biden was always unpopular. Biden was the establishment pick of South Carolina dealmaker James Clyburn, who supported him in 2020 to extract a concession to have a Black person run as Biden's VP and promote other minority hires in a future Biden administration.

Biden was a shadow under Obama, who chose the unremarkable Biden as his running mate only so that Obama could shine in contrast. "I think he has been wrong on nearly every major foreign policy and national security issue over the past four decades," former Defense Secretary Robert Gates said of Joe Biden in his book, Duty: Memoirs of a Secretary at War.

Conventional wisdom was that Biden didn't run in 2016 because he was grieving his son's death. The inconvenient truth was that Obama felt that Hillary Clinton was a far superior choice over Biden to win in 2016 and continue Obama's policies, and was encouraged to run.  So much for Biden's popularity within his own party.

Even in 2020, Biden's candidacy was unremarkable until South Carolina. He performed so poorly in the primary debates leading to Iowa 2020 that he placed a dismal fourth, with just 13% of caucusgoers selecting him. In New Hampshire, Biden placed fifth behind Elizabeth Warren and won the support of fewer than 9% of the electorate. No candidate who has fared this miserably in the first two nominating contests has ever won their party's nomination. 

Americans knew Biden was installed as the Democratic party nominee, an elder statesman superior to unreliable flamethrowers Mayor Pete Buttigieg, Bernie Sanders, and Elizabeth Warren. Besides, Independents had soured on the chaotic Trump years with Trump's frequent tweets and dozens of senior officials departing the administration. They fell for Biden's unity messaging and promises that an adult would return to the White House. 

Biden's incompetence. Now Americans know that Biden lied during the campaign and has consistently lied since occupying the White House. He has been the most divisive politician America has seen. People who lie and divide are not popular.

And the incompetent way he has run the country—wars without any timelines, trillions of dollars borrowed to pump into an economy already overheating with federal spending, and an insane hatred towards Trump resulting in unwinding the former president’s policies (whether or not such reversals are good for America)—has made him deeply unpopular.

63% of Americans think the Biden administration bungled the Afghan withdrawal

President Biden does not have a clear vision to end the Russia-Ukraine war.

Over 9 million illegal aliens have inundated America (in New York, recent arrivals are given $10,000 debit cards, free housing, education, and healthcare). 

The rest of the world is scared about Biden's sanctions and the weaponization of the dollar and wants a currency that is not so aligned with a country's foreign policy goals when it serves as the world's reserve currency. The Global South sees deep moral conflicts in how America is handling the Russia-Ukraine war and the problems in the Middle East. The Biden administration has repeatedly said that supporting the war in Ukraine with weapons and cash is OK because American lives are not at risk. The corollary is that it is acceptable to have Ukrainians die in the meatgrinder of war. Leaders who don't seek peace are inherently unpopular.

Americans demand competence in their government personnel for all the tax dollars they send to Washington. But, Biden has hired primarily to meet DEI goals with little regard for merit. Does anyone in America think that Kamala Harris is a serious leader, a heartbeat away from becoming the leader of the Free World? 

White House Press Secretary Karine Jean Piere, the public face of the Biden administration, lies so often that we headlined an entire editorial about her falsehoods. Every criticism of hers triggers an automatic liberal counterpoint- as a Black gay woman, KJP faces attacks that a white male never would. 

Biden hasn't dismissed a single individual for incompetence. The architects of America's foreign policy—Blinken, Jake Sullivan, and Lloyd Austen—are still firing from the hip and running with it. We are relieved that Victoria Nuland stepped down

Meanwhile, Bidenflation, our measure of how much prices have risen since Biden took office, stays at over 17%. We recently explained why Douthat's colleague Paul Krugman’s gaslighting fails to align with America’s economic realities.

Biden's playbook is straightforward. The driving force behind all his actions is wealth redistribution, aimed at enticing voters. As we predicted, especially given that it's an election year, he's rolling out enticing offers, such as student loan waivers, summer job opportunities, and tuition-free education, in an attempt to win back the support of young voters who have been drifting away. Additionally, we anticipate him extending special incentives to union households. He hopes this tactical move will bolster his standing in critical swing states like Michigan, where he's currently trailing behind Trump by four points. Furthermore, it wouldn't be surprising if he soon announced another drawdown from the Strategic Petroleum Reserve to lower gasoline prices, mirroring a strategy he employed prior to the 2022 midterms.

Biden's lawfare. Americans may even tolerate a certain level of incompetence, but they will never stand for unfairness. Playing fair is central to the American experience, and Biden and his allies have been anything but fair. 

On November 9, 2022, Biden told a crowded press conference: "We just have to demonstrate that he [Trump] will not take power if he does run, making sure he — under legitimate efforts of our Constitution — does not become the next president again."

Nine days later, Attorney General Merrick Garland appointed an aggressive special counsel, Jack Smith, who, along with prosecutors in New York and Fulton County, Georgia, have filed 91 criminal charges against the former president. Now, there is evidence that Fani Willis, the Fulton DA, may have visited Kamala Harris to coordinate the County's RICO charges. 

In New York, two judges and ambitious district attorneys have fined Trump over $600 million, forbidding him and his sons from operating businesses in the state and banning him from moving his business outside the state. Biden hasn't said a word to criticize this kind of political targeting.  

There you have it, Russ Douthat - Biden is deeply unpopular for dozens of reasons. You have our permission to print this as a supplement to your piece so you and your readers can be better informed.

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