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Biden’s Incompetence Is Outstripping Voters’ Fear Of Trump

Democrats were hoping 2024 would be all about Donald Trump. Instead the No. 1 issue in a world on fire is Joe Biden’s incompetence.

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Last week, President Biden said he would withdraw military aid to Israel if it commenced military operations to go into Rafah and go after Hamas. There were many reactions to this announcement because it seemed to perfectly encapsulate the incoherent Israel policy the Biden administration has been developing since Hamas’ brutal attack last October that touched off the war in Gaza.

On one hand, the American people are broadly supportive of Israel and the moral justification for this war. Lest anyone forget, Hamas is still holding American citizens hostage at this very moment. On the other, the hard-left grassroots that are an important part of the Democrat Party’s coalition are radically pro-Palestinian and eager to engage in street violence domestically to prove the point. It’s also worth noting that the hard-left shock troops aren’t just emblematic of the party’s activist heart — their efforts to destabilize colleges and worse are being funded by George Soros, the Tides Foundation, Rockefeller Brothers Fund, and those that hold the purse strings for billions of dollars of funding for Democrats and their lefty causes.

The issue is drastically polarizing the Democratic coalition. For instance, normally America’s celebrities are engaged in overt social media campaigning for Democrats six months out from an election. Well, here’s a video of Jewish actor Michael Rapaport, an avowed Trump hater, unendorsing Biden in characteristically profane fashion.

Also, last week, rapper Macklemore released a banger of an old-school hip-hop track in support of the Palestinian protests, which isn’t a huge surprise given his antisemitic bona fides. (Hope the ADL feels good about defending Macklemore now!) Anyway, Macklemore’s song is primarily notable for one verse: “The blood is on your hands, Biden/ we can see it all/ and f-ck no/ I’m not votin’ for you in the fall.”

Of course, it seems pretty tawdry to look at a conflict where children are dying half a world away and view it through the lens of politics. However, examining this viewpoint may be necessary because politics is unmistakably determining policy here. Since the beginning of the Gaza war, the Biden administration has done little but try to follow the shifting political winds, hoping to find some Goldilocks zone between extremes in his coalition — and this is all being done with an eye toward November.

Biden has plainly flip-flopped on his support of Israel, his administration is making up reasons to withdraw support, there are no principles here, there’s no attempt to articulate and stake out a position, and there’s no attempt to lead. Meanwhile, the Gaza conflict has significantly disrupted global shipping and threatens to turn into a full war in the Middle East.

Like almost every other major challenge of his presidency, nay his entire political career, Biden’s approach has been defined by his incompetence. “I think he has been wrong on nearly every major foreign policy and national security issue over the past four decades,” to quote Obama Defense Secretary Robert Gates. Of course, when Biden was a senator and vice president, his terrible judgment wasn’t nearly as consequential. Now that he’s president, it’s a different story.

Biden wonders why he’s down in the polls. Biden’s incompetence on Israel and beyond is so evident that it’s far outstripping voters’ fear of the chaos that might accompany another Trump presidency.

Panic!

What’s more is that you can see the panic in real time. Even the compliant media are noticing. “Biden’s nuanced position [on Israel] has created different fault lines of division within his own Democratic Party,” observes NBC News. “Nuanced” is an odd way of describing what Biden is doing, especially since NBC’s own reporting indicates voters don’t view it that way:

“It’s starting to seem as if he is supporting the wrong side,” Dovid Jacobowitz, a Democrat from Allegheny County in Pennsylvania, told NBC News. Jacobowitz wouldn’t say if he’ll vote for Biden in November. 

Nasir Raza, an undecided voter from Scottsdale, Arizona, who voted for Biden in 2020, said the president’s shift in position on Israel “may be too late for a lot of people that I know,” but added: “I may yet still vote for Joe Biden if I see a complete cease-fire, if I see a hope for Palestinians to go on in there, to have their own rights and the homeland for themselves.”

Obviously, this is causing tremendous consternation among the pundit class, whose entire reason for being is opposing Trump. Jonah Goldberg has been quite vocal about his opposition to Donald Trump for many years, but for him to even acknowledge Biden is losing support results in angry anti-Trump pundits chastising those voters for not supporting Biden in spite of his terrible Israel policy.

On some level, the denial really is astonishing. Biden hasn’t led in the polls against Trump since last September. Insisting the voters are wrong to be concerned at this point is just asking to lose. Moreover, it ignores the possibility that voters are making a pretty rational choice.

Indeed, the Trump presidency was a lot of chaos. Some of that was Trump’s fault, but much of the chaos that surrounds him — such as the Russia hoax and the current spate of absurd and politically motivated criminal charges against him — is unfairly manufactured controversy. And on the issue dominating the news right now, foreign policy, Trump legitimately excelled.

The Abraham Accords achieved by the Trump administration were such a diplomatic success at building peace in the region that when Iran launched missiles at Israel last month, Jordan and Saudi Arabia helped shoot them down. That kind of collaboration between Israel and Arab states, let alone in the middle of a conflict with the Palestinians, would have been unthinkable not that many years ago.

On top of that, Trump was the first president since Carter not to start any new foreign wars — and he managed to maintain relative peace exhibiting serious strength against American adversaries, such as going after Russians in Syria and killing Iranian terror chief Qasem Soleimani.

And through all this, he was mocked by D.C.’s profoundly terrible foreign policy establishment, not to mention our free-riding European allies. Remember when Trump went to the UN and told the Germans not to become too dependent on Russian energy, and “German Foreign Minister Heiko Maas could be seen smirking alongside his colleagues”? Well, one new Ukraine war and an exploded Nordstream pipeline later, both of which happened on Joe Biden’s watch, who’s smirking now?

Cui Bono?

But foreign policy is just the start of bad news for Biden. There are other very significant issues right now, chiefly the economy and immigration, where a rational voter not bound by ideology would easily prefer Trump’s track record in the wake of Biden’s demonstrable failures. Indeed, the most recent New York Times poll, which has Trump leading in five of the six key swing states, notes that “Mr. Trump’s strength is largely thanks to gains among young, Black and Hispanic voters.” Not exactly the typical GOP demographic.

It seems a lot of voters don’t recall Trump’s presidency being as chaotic or miserable or, based on who’s supporting him in the polls, as racist as his opponents are convinced it was. Indeed, one way of judging Biden’s competence is simply a matter of cui bono.

If you’re a member of institutional Washington, the government gravy train is rolling along, and the fine folks at The Atlantic Council et al. have their fingers on the levers of foreign policy, and it’s all working out for them. The rest of the country is scared and not better off than it was during Trump’s presidency — or they were at least until Covid hysteria shut down the country. (Even now, somewhat incredibly, pro-Biden influencers think it’s a mark against Trump that he was trying to keep America’s schools open during Covid.)

Accordingly, in retrospect, Trump’s presidency looks like the inverse of Biden’s: Voters outside Washington felt safer and more prosperous, and the people who most acutely felt the pain and chaos of his presidency were inside the Beltway.  

But given Biden’s obvious age and mental acuity issues, Democrats were probably hoping they could once again stuff Biden in the basement and run a campaign focused on Trump and the circus around him. They might have gotten away with that if the economy weren’t in bad shape and the world wasn’t on fire. However, things are a mess, the buck now stops with the current resident of the White House, and voters need a positive reason to reelect the guy currently in office.

Based on how he’s handling Israel, along with every other big issue he’s faced, his incompetence is now the biggest issue in this election — and voters simply have a hard time believing at this point that Biden’s even capable of rising to the occasion.


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