Initial Public Reaction Negative For Biden

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In politics, often it is the optics of a situation, not necessarily the facts that determine the eventual political repercussions of a particular event. Sometimes no amount of effort can undo the impact of the striking visual message.

The Economist, the reliably left-leaning publication of the international business elite suggests the implications of Biden’s botched withdrawal will have repercussions well into the future. They say “America May Pay Dearly for Defeat in Afghanistan” and suggest the decision will haunt his presidency.

The airways are filled with cell phone videos of Afghans chasing a C-17 on the tarmac, some clinging to the side only to plunge to their deaths. Another showed a C-17 literally packed with 640 terrified Afghans. The literal optics could not be worse.

Many in the Twittersphere noted sympathy with what the President said at his short speech, but were critical that it took so long and that he answered no questions. Candace Owens spoke for many when she noted the President could not say anything until the speech was written for him and he had the trappings of the White House to read from the teleprompter. Then, without taking any questions, he turns and leaves abruptly.


The speech was not terrible per se, and in fact, was essentially given by Conservative firebrand Ron Paul a decade ago. So, it is not so much the withdrawal, it is the lack of proper planning and illusions peddled for years from our “intelligence community” and politicians that have people angry. However, it should be noted he as usual incorrectly dumped blame on his predecessor Donald Trump and also blamed the Afghans for lack of fighting spirit, ignoring their sacrifices, and importantly forgetting the role he Biden played in breaking their morale.

Also, Biden’s remarks on July 8th are being replayed frequently wherein his estimate of things to transpire are so far off course one wonders who he was listening to. Were the briefing books that bad or is he unable to retain the information?

Either he is incompetent or his staff is incompetent. But who after all, picks the staff?

Others like Tammy Bruce noted that the unwillingness to take questions suggests he is incapable of responding without words put in his mouth by aides and speechwriters, and that his quick bolting from such a momentous moment calls into question his capacity to think and reason on his feet unaided by staff.

Many others note that Taliban leaders are allowed to hold forth on Twitter, but former President Trump continues to be banned.

Meanwhile, over the weekend, Secretary of State Blinken was blinking into a camera looking nervous while being grilled by a suddenly aggressive Jake Tapper. It didn’t go well. But CNN had to make sure they kept their reputation for inane analysis with one reporter noting that Taliban shouting “death to America” seemed “friendly.” That one was almost on par with “peaceful rioting.”

Meanwhile, Vice President Harris and Jen Psaki seem AWOL.

More disturbing were reports that lists of Afghan special forces and other U.S. allies were either provided or left for the Taliban to have, so they could conduct house to house searches for those they now want to punish or kill. That is not a way to treat your friends.

Others wondered why Bagram Airbase was hastily abandoned, as it easily could have been a controlled space for the orderly evacuation of U.S. personnel and Afghan allies.

We precipitously pulled troops out only to have to hastily put them back in. 

The White House says they were prepared for all contingencies and thus had troops “nearby.”

In short, the public reaction is bad for Mr. Biden as he and his team appear incompetent. Several commentators called these “rookie mistakes”, which are hard to fathom from a man who served as Vice President for 8 years and spent many terms in the Senate. Again, the implication is that his brain is so fried he can’t remember the experience.

As stated earlier, his official speech was not terrible, but it was evasive. Most seem sympathetic to our getting out of that mess of a war. After all, even Trump was pushing for that.

It is not what he did but how he has done it that seems to have most critics exercised. Biden during his short-canned response, just said the buck stops with him, and indeed it does.

It is the breathtaking incompetence of the execution of the exit, the betrayal of allies and friends, and the spin storm coming from the White House trying to cover up the botched operation that will likely do the most damage. We can see the videos now spliced together with his wide-of-the-mark observations haunting the next election cycle.

It recalls previous disasters such as the Bay of Pigs, the Iranian Hostage rescue disaster and the betrayal of South Vietnam. It also recalls the observation of Henry Kissinger, who famously said, “To be an enemy of America can be dangerous, but to be a friend is fatal.”

He should know.

Taiwan, take note.



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