Monday marked the one-year anniversary of the fall of Kabul, and even the media machine can’t deny that the Biden administration’s execution of the necessary U.S. withdrawal from Afghanistan was disastrous. What they fail to acknowledge, though, is that the rank incompetence that plagued that withdrawal has shown up in practically every hire, decision, and policy position in the Biden administration.
Biden slammed his predecessor for his inability to stop an endemic airborne virus and promised to “get [Covid] under control” and “beat this virus.” Of course, even for a capable administration, that was an impossible task — and under Biden, the Covid toll only grew while freedoms shrunk. Even though the Biden administration oversaw more people receiving (or being forced to receive) shots that had been manufactured under the Trump administration, Biden still presided over more Covid deaths in his first year in office than Trump did in 2020. And as my colleague Eddie Scarry noted, by last September, a majority of U.S. adults reported “little to no trust in Biden to relay accurate information related to COVID-19.”
Covid hysteria has died down as Americans have grown tired of politicians’ lockdowns and media fearmongering — and as the media have found other crises to fan. But it hasn’t been a result of any competent effort by the Biden administration, which spent more than a year getting people fired with heavy-handed mandates and nuking dissent from cyberspace.
Deadly Border Crisis
After the Biden administration signaled a change from the Trump administration’s hardline stance on border security, the human trafficking industry run by cartels at the U.S.-Mexico border has surged. We’ve seen record after record number of illegal immigrants apprehended at the border — a metric that doesn’t even account for those who get through undetected. Horrific footage in September 2021 showing roughly 12,000 migrants in a crowded encampment under the international bridge in Del Rio, Texas, reflected how out-of-control the continuing crisis at the border is. As my colleague Jordan Boyd reported in April, “In 2021, at least 650 migrants died during their attempts to illegally cross the U.S.-Mexico border,” many due to drowning, heat, or cartel violence.
A pastor who runs shelters in Matamoros, Mexico, told The Federalist’s John Daniel Davidson and Emily Jashinsky that the cartel “controls everything here now.” The Biden administration has continually shown itself either unwilling, unable, or both, to put an end to the lawless smuggling and the deaths and violence it causes.
Painful Gas Prices
The average gas price in the U.S. hit a new record, north of $5.00 per gallon, in June under Biden’s watch. While the unpopular administration has managed to inch that price down artificially by depleting our strategic oil reserve to dangerously low levels — an “accomplishment” they’re all too willing to brag about — gas prices remain close to $4.00 per gallon, far higher than the roughly $2.39 voters were paying on the day Biden took office. The administration tried its best to blame Russian President Vladimir Putin for the spike in fuel costs, but even before the Russian invasion of Ukraine, a gallon of gas cost more than $3.50 on average around the country.
It’s an intentional repercussion of the Biden administration’s well-known plan to drive the U.S. off of gas and oil and replace those industries with “green” options. Both Biden’s promises and actions have confirmed as much, and Congress’s bizarrely-named “Inflation Reduction Act” will only make things worse.
Speaking of inflation, the Biden administration has overseen inflation breaking 40-year records nearly every month. Year-over-year inflation rates have hovered around 8 and 9 percent, while certain grocery staples have jumped almost 25 percent. And now that the country is barrelling into a recession with two consecutive quarters of downturn in economic activity, the Biden administration’s incompetent response is to redefine a “recession” and insist that inflation is “zero.”
Disaster in Ukraine
The Biden administration hasn’t fixed its post-Afghanistan reputation for foreign policy disaster by its response to the Russia-Ukraine war. In a bumbling jumble of remarks in January, Biden appeared to green-light a “minor incursion” of Russia into Ukraine, before adding, “My guess is [Putin] will move in. He has to do something.” And when a reporter sought clarification and asked, “Are you effectively giving Putin permission to make a small incursion into the country?” Biden replied, “That’s how it did sound like, didn’t it?”
Since Putin invaded Ukraine a month later, the Biden administration and Congress have done nothing but throw money at the problem and stage dramatic photo-ops, spending $54 billion of taxpayers’ earnings with no assurance that money and weapons will even make it into the right hands.
A Roster of Incompetent Hires
At the top of all these fiascos is a dementia patient who can hardly get through a teleprompter speech without a gaffe, such as reading “repeat the line” out loud or forgetting what year it is. And the incompetence doesn’t improve down the chain of command, among officials who seem to have been picked more for checking identity politics boxes than for their qualifications. Vice President Kamala Harris has failed at every policy area she’s been appointed over, and is infamous for thoughtful commentary like, “It is time for us to do what we have been doing and that time is every day.”
Transportation Secretary Pete Buttigieg, whose qualifications included enjoying the board game “Ticket to Ride,” took two months off for paternity leave while the nation endured a supply-chain crisis. Secretary of State Antony Blinken wouldn’t even admit whether the president knew what was going on during the Afghanistan withdrawal debacle, and posed in front of an upside-down Mexican flag in February 2021 when bragging about America’s relationship with Mexico.
Energy Secretary Jennifer Granholm couldn’t tell reporters “how many barrels of oil the U.S. consumes on a daily basis,” and called a question about increasing U.S. oil production to bring down gas prices “hilarious.” And Press Secretary Karine Jean-Pierre has responded to a largely softball press corps by talking about the “Department of DOJ” and looking at her briefing book for more than 20 seconds only to admit “I don’t have anything new” when asked about the baby formula shortage in June.
From intentional “failure” (like driving gas prices up in an attempt to force Americans to follow Democrats’ green pipe dreams) to arrogance (such as thinking Americans either won’t care or won’t be able to do anything about it), even the Biden administration’s intentional decisions are executed with incompetence. Unfortunately, the botched Afghanistan withdrawal one year ago was neither the only nor the last sign of it.