What’s Wrong With Joe Biden?

It seems like everyone’s mad at Joe Biden.

No matter what Biden does, somebody thinks he should be doing more. Barely two months into his administration, and folks are lining up to complain. Everyone seems to have forgotten the situation we’re in.

We’re in the midst of a pandemic. Over half a million Americans have died in just over a year. And many of the deaths could have been prevented. If the previous administration hadn’t denied and dithered for months. Then chose to ignore the problem for the most part.

Sure, there was “Operation Light Speed.” But keep in mind, the first vaccine approved was from Pfizer. A company that never participated in Lightspeed. So, let’s not give too much credit where little seems due.

It Just Gets Worse

Then there’s the economy. It’s in shambles. Again, the previous administration’s refusal to take the pandemic seriously crippled the economy. A national mask mandate might have made all the difference early on. But Biden’s predecessor wouldn’t hear of it. And Covid ran rampant through the White House.

Then there’s the government itself.

Hundreds of executive posts went unfilled – some for years. Many positions were filled with “acting” officials, as the administration never brought them up for Senate approval. Hundreds of other positions that were filled were filled with political hacks.

The administration nominated unqualified and ethically challenged people for scores of key positions. Including cabinet posts. Many were forced to resign amidst scandal.

This is what Joe Biden faced on January 20th. Along with an evenly divided Senate. Which means he needs every Democratic and Independent member of the Senate on board to pass anything. And then, only because V.P. Harris can cast the deciding vote.

Meanwhile, the sniping has started from all sides.

Facing the Disloyal Opposition

Almost every major bill introduced in the House has met with unified Republican resistance. Not a single Republican voted for Biden’s $1.9 trillion Covid relief package. Most opposed renewing the Violence Against Women Act. The same with the For the People Act – major voting rights legislation.

For crying out loud, some Republicans even voted against honoring the Capitol Police for putting their lives on the line during the January 6th insurrection.

These are not the positions of a party concerned with the welfare of the average American. Or the continuance of our Democracy.

So, what are the GOP’s positions?

Well, they’re generally in a tizzy over a half-dozen children’s books going out of print. Because these Dr. Seuss books have racist undertones.

They’re concerned about “cancel culture,” because it discriminates against the Right. In fact, they say it’s absolutely silencing voices on the Right. A horror they broadcast on national television almost daily.

And, of course, they’re critical of Joe. Republican Party leadership is making a big deal that Joe hasn’t held a press conference in his first couple of months in office. “What’s he hiding?” they want to know.

But here’s a little tidbit to put that in perspective:

After his initial press conference after the 2016 election… Pres. Trump didn’t hold a press conference for over a year. That’s a modern record.

Yeah. The GOP is up in arms over Joe’s lack of press conferences, while their boy did much worse.

You know how else their boy did much worse? Golf. By the end of his 2nd month in office, Trump had visited his own golf clubs at least a dozen times. Biden’s record so far? Zero.

To be fair, the Obama Administration left Trump with a booming economy. So, Trump could afford to play golf. Joe Biden inherited an economy in tatters. He can’t.

For the record, the Government Accounting Office estimates Trump’s golf outings cost taxpayers about $145 million dollars. Know what else costs about $145 million?

1,450 Porsche 911s.

And Republicans aren’t the only complainers.

The Immigration Crisis and Other Stories

Folks on the Left are upset Biden hasn’t solved the immigration crisis. But let’s look at this rationally.

We’ve just endured four years of racist immigration policies. Biden has already reversed problems like the Muslim Ban. But the pressure has been building for four years.

Under Trump, a huge backlog of would-be immigrants built up along the border. Thousands of hopeful families wound up in squalid camps just over the border.

Meanwhile, Trump slowed immigration courts almost to a standstill. Case-loads built and built. He tore kids from their parents and housed them in cages. Many still haven’t been reunited. And Joe Biden walked into this mess.

In the midst of a pandemic and an economic crisis. To make matters worse, the Trump tax cuts cost the U.S. Government almost $2 trillion in revenue. Meaning the government has to do a lot more with a lot less.

So maybe folks should give Joe a break. He’s a human; not a wizard. Congress could help… But you know the GOP will fight tooth and nail to spoil any humanitarian moves.

Meanwhile, the Left also complains about Biden failing to address their environmental concerns. Well, he’s already begun to reverse some of the Trump Administration’s worst ecological and environmental damage. He’s done what he can with executive orders.

But Congress has to help by closing loopholes in laws that let polluters and other abusers get away with literal murder.

So what’s the bottom line?

The Left Needs to Work With Joe… Not Criticize Him

The political Left has been riding high, thanks to a few big wins and almost legendary heroes, like “the Squad.” But there’s also a lot of dirty work to be done in the trenches.

And that doesn’t always involve big wins.

Sometimes, incremental change is all we can expect. Especially when there are other big issues involved.

Like a deadly pandemic and a crippled economy.

Even a fairly popular president like Mr. Biden has limits. He can’t change everyone’s mind on everything all at once. But, the more he accomplishes in areas that concern the average American, the more capital he’ll have to make changes that don’t concern them as directly.

So, give the guy some slack. He beat his initial promise – 100 M Covid vaccine doses in 100 days – by 6 weeks. The guy has skills. Stop beating on him and start supporting him. The more you back his plans, the more yours will make progress.

 

Sources:

“President Trump’s New Record: The Longest Time Without a Formal Press Conference in Half a Century,” The Daily Beast. Feb 16, 2018.

“Trump Golf Count: 298,” TrumpGolfCount.com. Mar 2, 2021.

“2021 Porsche 911,” https://cars.usnews.com/cars-trucks/porsche/911. Aug 14, 2020.

Why I’m Worried About America’s Future

Our Founding Father’s worried about the future of the Colonies. King George had to balance his checkbook, and the Seven Years War had put the British Empire deep into debt.

Although six European powers had been involved – and the war stretched over the whole of the Empire – George and his Parliament leaned heavily on the American colonies to pay off their debt. After all, the French and Indian War had been a part of this global conflict.

So Mother Britain looked to the Colonies to pay down the debt.

A series of laws flowed out of Parliament – where the colonists had no representation – placing heavy burdens on the Colonies. For many, the Stamp Act was the final straw.

The Stamp Act placed a duty (tax) on virtually every legal document produced in the Colonies. And on newspapers, playing cards, pamphlets, calendars, and more.

Want to place an ad in the local paper? His Majesty gets two shillings. Are you printing pamphlets of less than one whole page? That will be one penny. Each. Want to play dice? Not till you’ve paid the King’s ten shillings tax on them.

Taxation without representation triggered a rebellion. And, so, our nation was born.

Fast forward 244 years…

Once Again, Liberty Stands at a Crossroads

The election of 2020 was messy. America is polarized. Though he’s wildly unpopular, Donald Trump’s base is solid. His opponent is a respected Washington insider: Joe Biden. Biden’s last job was serving as V.P. under the charismatic Barak Obama.

Trump and his allies did all they could to sway the election. Many GOP-controlled states made early and mail-in voting as difficult as they could.

Key states fell, one after another, to Biden. Trump refused to concede.

Trump’s campaign and his allies mounted dozens of legal challenges. The courts slapped down all but one. Even judges appointed by Trump himself deemed some cases meritless.

Trump’s personal lawyers floated conspiracy theories. Votes were changed while being counted in Spain. Catering vans delivered fake ballots to counting locations. A dead Venezuelan dictator had voting machine software sabotaged. Each claim was crazier than the last. All have been disproved.

State after state certified the results. Even swing states controlled by Republican administrations. Trump’s own Depts. of Justice and Homeland Security noted there’s no evidence of widespread voter fraud.

Still, Trump and his cronies continue to claim fraud. And they’re turning to ever more desperate ways to overthrow a duly elected government. Even before that government has been seated.

Meet the Party From Crazytown

In Arizona, Trump supporters chanted, “Count those votes!” in hopes of Trump gaining an advantage. At virtually the same time, in Michigan, Trump’s minions were chanting, “Stop the count,” as Biden pulled ahead.

Some GOP-controlled legislatures blocked counting mail-in ballots before election day… meaning millions of votes were counted after in-person votes. Since Democrats were far more likely than Republicans to vote by mail, this led to large last-minute gains by Biden.

Their own party created this situation. But that didn’t stop many Republicans from claiming this predictable situation proved election fraud.

Seventeen Republican attorneys general signed on to a Texas lawsuit trying to deny four swing  states the right to count mail-in ballots received according to those states’ laws. Laws that are strikingly similar to the laws in some of the states that joined the suit.

Consider what Trump’s lawyers are saying in court.

Rudy Giuliani and Trump’s other minions are quick to claim massive fraud in front of the media. But in front of a judge? Not so much.

  • In a PA case, the judge asked a Trump lawyer if he was claiming voter fraud. The response was, “To my knowledge at present, no.”
  • In an AZ suit, a Trump campaign lawyer said, “We are not alleging fraud in this lawsuit.”
  • And, in federal court, Rudy Giuliani himself told the judge, “This is not a fraud case.”

Why? Maybe because lying to a judge has serious consequences.

More Word from Crazytown

Texas Rep. Louis Gomert tried to overthrow the Constitution by suing V.P. Pence over Pence’s role in the counting of Electoral College votes. This suit was such a stretch, Pence and the Dept. of Justice both asked the court to dismiss the case. Which it did.

And still GOP operatives try to overthrow the will of the people.

Freshman Senator Josh Hawley (R- MO), says he will challenge Biden’s victory when the Electoral College count comes up in the Senate on Jan. 6. He joins more than 100 GOP members of Congress.

Hawley’s challenge will trigger debate in both Houses… but should have little effect. First, all the evidence points to Biden winning by over 7 million votes. Second, the grown-ups in the House and Senate are generally opposed to undermining our democracy.

So, Hawley and his co-conspirators appear to be doing this just for political points. And you really have to be from Crazytown to risk our Republic for personal political gain.

But that’s exactly what Donald Trump did when he called Georgia’s Secretary of State, Republican Brad Raffensperger.

Trump spent an hour begging and bullying Raffensperger to “find” enough votes to turn the election his way. After the votes had been counted and recounted… twice.

Trump offered a list of already-disproven rumors as excuses. But it all came down to this:

“All I want to do is this,” Trump said. “I just want to find 11,780 votes, which is one more than we have. Because we won the state.”

Flattery, threats, pleading… Trump tried it all. It was pitiful, but there it is.

What About the Aftermath?

Here’s where I really worry. Because the only effective solution is a painful one. It’s tempting to “let bygones be bygones.” But that teaches a destructive lesson:

If you get away with it long enough, they’ll let you off scot-free.

To preserve our Democracy, Trump and his cronies must face the music. All the lies… the ethics violations… the crimes. They have to be laid bare. And they must have consequences.

Robert Mueller found 10 instances of Trump possibly obstructing justice. Prosecutors should evaluate each. The Georgia phone call. Profiting from his lease on the Old Post Office in DC. The list goes on and on.

Plus the state investigations. Did the Trump Organization manipulate values for favorable loans and tax rates? That’s potential bank and tax fraud. Why did Deutsche Bank loan Trump so much money when nobody else would? And why did the executives in charge of Trump’s accounts suddenly resign on Dec. 22, 2020?

We need a full accounting and a resolution to these – and many other – questions before we can move on as a nation.

America’s future hangs in the balance. The resolution lies in laying bare all of Trump’s antics. And that’s why I’m worried.

Because it will involve exposing all Trump’s cronies in Congress.

Can it happen? Yes. But only if Joe Biden’s Department of Justice is ready to yank the bandage off a particularly nasty scab.

Sources:

Peters, C., “The Supreme Court rejects Texas’s undemocratic election lawsuit,” msn(dot)dom. Dec 12, 2020.

Kruzel, J., “GOP lawmaker sues Pence in bid to overturn Biden win,” TheHill(dot)com. Dec 28, 2020.

Berenson, T., “Donald Trump And His Lawyers Are Making Sweeping Allegations of Voter Fraud In Public. In Court, They Say No Such Thing,” time(dot)com. Nov 20, 2020.

Scannell, K., “Trump’s private bankers resign from Deutsche Bank,” CNN(dot) com. Dec 22, 2020.

An Open Letter to Angry Conservatives

Dear Fellow Americans,

I understand you’re hurting.

Disappointment isn’t easy. Think back to when you were just a kid. Somebody probably beat you time after time at checkers, hangman, or some other game. After a while, you got so frustrated, you didn’t want to play anymore.

But you grew out of it.

In school, the older kids beat you at dodgeball or red rover. No matter how hard you tried, you couldn’t come out on top. And you were pretty competitive. Chances are it made you pretty angry.

But you got over it.

In high school, a know-it-all in one class or another probably got all the answers right. And ruined the grading curve for everyone else. I’ll bet that got on your nerves.

Still, you worked your way past it.

Adult life is full of these disappointments. The boss who never sees when a lazy co-worker screws up…. but “catches” your tiniest mistakes. The cop who won’t cut you a break – even though you were only going 3 mph over the limit. The restaurant that “loses” your anniversary reservation, but finds room for some local VIP.

Yeah, accepting disappointment is hard. But it’s something all grownups have to learn.

And, right now, you’re probably feeling some major disappointment.

It’s Okay to Feel Your Loss

Look, I realize you believe in your causes. Just like I believe in mine. And I know you’re sincere. It’s okay to feel bad about your candidate losing. Everybody does.

Any loss naturally leads to grief. It takes time to work through that grief. And finally reach acceptance.

In fact, psychiatrists recognize people have to cycle through several “stages” of grief to reach acceptance. And we all share certain “stages” of the grieving process.

Grief starts with Denial, then moves to Anger. Next is Bargaining, then Depressions. Finally, at the far end, you find Acceptance.
All these court cases? That’s your Party in Denial, though some have moved on to Anger. Just listen to the voices from the “Million MAGA March.”

I don’t know what Bargaining will look like. But I can tell you about Depression. I felt a lot of that when my candidate received 3 million more votes than her opponent… and still lost the 2016 election. At least this year’s winner had a clear majority of votes.

(Though you may still be in Denial.)

Eventually, you’ll get to Acceptance. That doesn’t mean you’ll like it. But, eventually, reality will intrude. Well, maybe not for Donald Trump, but certainly for his Party. Probably for you, too.

Inevitable and Undeniable

Republican election officials say there’s no evidence of wide-spread fraud. Homeland Security’s top cyber-security expert called this the most secure election in U.S. history. GOP lawyers have admitted in court they’ve found no evidence of fraud.

State and federal courts have found no merit in any of the cases Trump’s lawyers have filed. Most have already been thrown out. And Rudy Giuliani didn’t fare well arguing in front of a federal judge in Pennsylvania.

So, it’s time to move on. Joe Biden is your president elect. Donald Trump – as much as he hates to admit it – lost the 2020 election. His foot-dragging and courtroom tantrums are just hurt national security. And slow our recovery from the Covid-19 pandemic.

And that hurts you, his most loyal supporters. You don’t deserve that.

As Jim Kenney, Philadelphia’s mayor, said, it’s time for Trump to “put his big boy pants on.” Even if all his campaign’s remaining lawsuits succeed, they won’t make enough difference to change the results in even a single state.

In fact, his newest lawyer, Marc Scaringi, has already said Trump’s legal maneuvers won’t work. “At the end of the day,” Scaringi said on his radio show, “in my view, the litigation will not work. It will not reverse this election.”

Add that to the law firms withdrawing from Trump’s court cases. The debunking of virtually all the claims of fraud. And the ongoing certification of vote counts.

It hurts. We understand. Losing always hurts. But throwing a tantrum doesn’t help. Especially if you’re the President of the United States.
I never thought I’d say this… but, try to be more of a grown-up than the President.

The Insanity of Donald Trump

Donald Trump has accomplished something no one else in America has ever done. He’s normalized insanity.

Covid-19 has killed over 120,000 Americans. More than half the states have infection rates rising… some of them precipitously. Trump, meanwhile, pats himself on the back for “saving millions of lives.”

Weeks of protests followed the murder of an unarmed black man by a police officer. Trump responded with threats of violence against the protesters. Yet, when armed right wingers menaced legislators in Michigan’s capital, Trump urged the governor to compromise with them.

At almost the very moment Trump declared himself “an ally of all peaceful protesters” – he had a peaceful protest violently broken up by law enforcement in full riot gear. So he could stroll across a square for a photo op.

As Covid-19 ran unchecked and protests continued, Trump complained the “Lamestream Media” hadn’t paid enough attention to his rally’s ratings on Fox News.

He calls himself the “law and order” president. But he blithely violates laws left and right… ignores the Constitution.

Trump warns Democrats will push to limit American’s 2nd Amendment rights. At the same time, he tramples on the 1stAmendment, calling for journalists and flag burners to be jailed.

Trump shows no empathy for those affected by systemic racism. But he thinks those who deface or tear down statues of racist traitors should spend 10 years in jail.

All this, yet few Republican officials call him out. Most Christian evangelicals continue to support him. And his white supremacist fans are absolutely beside themselves with joy.

This is where Donald Trump has brought America.

You may not be a Joe Biden fan. It doesn’t matter. He’s the option. Support him. Campaign for him. And, for goodness sake, vote for him. Because you know what the alternative is.

We must bring Trump down in November. Because, if we don’t, he’ll bring us all down with him.

Donald Trump and The Republicans’ Sunk Cost Problem

Donald Trump created a problem for the Republican Party the day he declared his candidacy. He opened his campaign outside the normal bounds. And once the GOP began backing him, they had a problem.

You see, Trump’s campaign started on a dicey note. He launched it with an appeal to white nationalism. He made racist comments about Mexicans. His party failed to respond. And this set the direction the GOP had no choice but to follow ever since.

Here’s how Donald Trump hijacked his party… and made it all but impossible for them to break from him.

The Theory of Sunk Costs

A sunk cost is an investment you can’t get back if you change direction. The phrase began with the oil industry… but it quickly made sense in politics.

For example, the GOP leadership didn’t outright condemn Trump’s early racist comments. They saw his core voters respond to his racist message. They probably thought they could transfer these voters’ loyalty to a more reasonable candidate during the primaries. So, they remained silent.

That silence was a sunk cost. Once you begin digging a racist hole, there’s no climbing out.

With each outrageous act and statement, Trump dug the GOP’s hole a little deeper. The party leadership continued to think they could reel in Trump’s supporters when he failed. Only Trump’s primary opponents voiced dissent.

Then those opponents fell one by one. Trump won the nomination. Then he won the Electoral College… and his voice became the official voice of the GOP.

Every event – like the Charlottesville incident – moved Trump and his supporters further and further from the mainstream. And dragged the Republican party with them.

Step by step, the Republican Party had multiplied their sunk costs in Trump. To maintain unity, the GOP had to defend his increasingly bizarre words and actions.

Party leaders had to bend over backwards to explain what Trump “actually meant” when he said something crazy – or racist. To spin his outrageous claims into something the rank and file could swallow. To excuse his bizarre behavior.

Now, they find themselves defending the actions of an increasingly unhinged would-be dictator. The sunk costs have grown too large. So, the GOP has dug in.

Party Before Country

Trump suggested to the president of Ukraine that U.S. financial support hinges on Ukraine “investigating” Joe Biden. Trump knows this is wrong, because White House senior staff “buried” the call in a top-secret server. Even though nothing on the call involved secrets.

Now we know this isn’t the first time White House staffers have done this – to protect the President from himself. Calls with other leaders have suffered the same “bury-the-evidence” fate… Even though nothing on the calls was classified or secret.

Just potentially damaging to the President. And the GOP that backs him.

After all, this is the man who…

  • Revealed classified information to Russian officials – and laughed about it
  • Suggested those who exposed his unlawful acts should be executed
  • Claimed speaking to whistleblowers should be considered “treason.”

Trump withholds information from Congress – even information the Constitution says Congress should have. He’s “hinted” he’d pardon staffers who ignore the law. He’s even suggested defying him could lead to civil war.

This lawlessness should set off alarm bells for any American – especially those sworn to uphold the Constitution. But his GOP allies have dug in, and continue to defend their standard-bearer.

Mike Pompeo sat in on the Ukraine call… but feigned ignorance when asked about the transcript. Congressman Jim Jordan lied to Jake Tapper on national television about that call. GOP leadership insists Trump did nothing wrong on the call – in spite of the clear quid pro quo even the doctored transcript reveals.

The GOP has thrown their lot in with Trump. They’ve backed his radical platform to the hilt. Now, not backing Trump means not backing their own platform.

Today’s Republican party can’t abandon Trump. They’ve tied themselves too closely to his radical agenda. So, as suicidal as it may seem, Republicans have no choice but to back Trump.

Facing the GOP’s Hard Reality

That’s why the GOP isn’t calling for impeachment. And why most Republican leaders will fight it tooth and nail. Damning Trump has become the same as damning themselves.

As richly deserved as that irony may be, the GOP can’t go there.

They counter charges of Trump’s corruption with a fabricated story about Joe Biden’s “corrupt” defense of his son. They’re counting on the repetition of a lie to create controversy. It’s the age-old “charge-your-enemy-with-the-crimes-you’ve-committed” play.

Fortunately, we now have the ability to record – and play back – the truth. Which shows the GOP’s claims about the Bidens are lies.

But they’ve invested so much in their corrupt leadership, they have no other viable option. They must follow Trump off the rails. Or undermine their whole position.

So, the White House refuses to cooperate with Congress. The GOP leadership lies about the call. And their party defends a president who used strong-arm tactics to get a foreign government to smear a political opponent.

But – for better or worse – they’ve hitched their star to Trump. Maybe they should have listened to one of his biggest detractors back in 2016.

A Sober Assessment of Donald Trump by a Leading Conservative

So, what does the Republican leadership really think of Donald Trump? Here are some thoughts from one of their most influential members.

“At the end of the day, Donald Trump, his foreign policy is gibberish,” he said. “His understanding of the world is bizarre…”

“I think Donald Trump would be a pathetic commander in chief,” this Trump foe continued, “unequal in temperament, judgment and understanding of who our friends are.”

This same man also said of Trump, “He’s a race-baiting, xenophobic, religious bigot.” And claimed, “He doesn’t represent the values that the men and women who wear the uniform are fighting for… He’s the ISIL man of the year.”

Another observation from the same source: “I do not believe he is a reliable Republican conservative, nor has he displayed the judgment and temperament to serve as commander in chief.”

In February 2016, this GOP leader said, “I think he’s a kook. I think he’s crazy. I think he’s unfit for office.”

So, who is this GOP official with such a low opinion of Donald Trump?

None other than Senator Lindsey Graham. Yes… the same Lindsey Graham who golfs with Trump regularly, defends the President’s every indiscretion, and seemingly worships the ground Trump walks on.

The party has invested so much in Trump, even his harshest critics within the GOP have become toadies. Lindsey Graham now dances like a puppet on the end of Trump’s string.

And if Graham – one of Trump’s harshest critics – will do this… imagine how far the rest of the party leadership will go. Because they’ve painted themselves into a corner.

So, we can’t rely on help from the Right to defeat Trump. Which means we have to get out the vote of every reasonable, freedom-loving American in 2020. Because, if we don’t, we may not have the chance in 2024.

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Walker, H., “Lindsey Graham fires back at ‘pathetic’ Donald Trump,” Yahoo!News. Feb 18, 2016.

Brest, M., “FLASHBACK: Graham says Trump is ‘a race-baiting, xenophobic, religious bigot,’” Washington Examiner. Jul 15, 2019.

Bergengruen, V., “Sen. Lindsey Graham: I won’t vote for Trump in 2016,” McClatchydc.com. May 6, 2016.

Mazza, E., “Sen. Lindsey Graham’s Old Words About Trump Come Back To Bite Him In The Butt,” HuffPost.com. Nov 30, 2017.