Lulled by Biden? Look Up.

There’s lots to see, not much of it good. Democrats, Republicans, and independents who don’t want to slog through another four years with this guy in the White House need to begin rapidly identifying an alternative.

AP/Patrick Semansky
President Biden boards Air Force One at Delaware Air National Guard Base, New Castle, Delaware, March 5, 2023. AP/Patrick Semansky

If you’re ever tempted to imagine that giving President Biden another four-year term would be okay, look up.

Look up, and remember the chaos of American military planes scrambling to evacuate from Kabul with desperate Afghans clinging to the exteriors. 

Look up, and remember the Chinese Communist spy balloon that traversed the country until Mr. Biden was shamed into belatedly shooting it down.

Look up, at inflation soaring — energy prices, rent, food, cars. Prices are up, up, up. Labor costs for businesses are up, too.

Interest rates are also up — not enough to conquer inflation, alas, but enough to make it more expensive to borrow money for a house or a car.

Tax rates are up, too, as Mr. Biden and Democrats in Congress tried to pay for a spending blowout in part by raising corporate tax rates. Mr. Biden has proposed to raise taxes even higher — $4.7 trillion more, by the estimate of the House Ways and Means Committee. 

The federal debt is up, to a record of more than $31 trillion

The suicide rate is up.

Hate crimes are up.

Obesity is up.

Disorder, street homelessness, and drug use on the sidewalks, subways, and public parks of American cities are all up.

Food stamp spending is up, to $119.2 billion in 2022, or nearly double the $60 billion that the welfare program cost the federal government as recently as 2019.

The number of refugees and displaced persons from Ukraine is up to about 8 million after Mr. Biden failed to deter a Russian invasion.

What’s not up? 

Levels of trust in the federal government are low relative to historic levels. That could also be phrased as saying that distrust is up.

The labor force participation rate is also below the levels of the 1980s, 1990s, and 2000s. Working is not up.

Standardized test scores are not up, as schools grapple with the aftereffects of pandemic closures.

Mr. Biden’s approval rating is not up — it’s under water, with more Americans disapproving than approving of the job he is doing as president.

America’s international standing is also sagging. Witness China stepping into the vacuum to negotiate a deal between Iran and Saudi Arabia.

Anyone who thinks Mr. Biden is the best America can do should look up an American history book. There were presidents who gave Americans confidence, who exuded optimism, hope, and pride. Who is really enthusiastic about Mr. Biden? Even a lot of people who voted for him the last time around seemed to be motivated more by antipathy to President Trump than by any great loyalty to Mr. Biden. 

All the clichés of presidential politics are so for a reason. An election is a referendum on the incumbent. By that definition, Mr. Biden is in trouble.

Also, though, you can’t beat something with nothing. The 2024 election won’t be Mr. Biden against some platonic ideal of a perfect opponent. It will be the president, if he does run for re-election, against an actual candidate with his or her own weaknesses.

One might argue that after the excitement of Mr. Trump, Mr. Biden’s dullness is a kind of relief, allowing Americans to properly seek inspiration in non-political spheres. That may be the best that can be said about Mr. Biden, but it may not ultimately be enough.

Democrats, Republicans, and independents who don’t want to slog through another four years with this guy in the White House will have to begin rapidly identifying an alternative. If such an alternative emerges, Mr. Biden may soon be looking up post-presidency employment and fundraising for his presidential library and museum.

Otherwise, by the end of another four years of Mr. Biden, evidence of deterioration may spread even more widely. Unemployment will be up. Poverty will be up. By then, too, for the Democrats in the White House, time may finally be up.

The New York Sun

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