CARMEL – President Joe Biden now finds himself at the bottom of the political trick bag with little chance of escaping before the 2024 elections. A series of political, international and economic events has conspired to slowly sink his administration. From personal gaffs, incidents of senility and political whippings delivered by members of his own party to skyrocketing inflation and Putin’s brutal invasion of the Ukraine, Biden has become the boy who just can’t catch a break.

Before you get all misty-eyed and start to feel sorry for him, it might do you well to remember that virtually all of Biden’s miseries can be tracked back, in one way or another, directly to him. Actions have consequences and his willful or bumbling incompetence has led to an administration that has rivaled Jimmy Carter’s for its feckless character.

Of course, surrounding the president with cabinet officials and support personnel who closely resemble the Marx Brothers and the Keystone Cops has done his poll numbers no good either. The Biden Administration, to this date, has been the perfect confluence of mayhem, incompetence and disjointed messaging. It’s as if you tried to make a casserole by using mustard, sugar, habanero peppers, beet juice, milk of magnesia, pig’s intestines and squid as ingredients.The final product ain’t gonna be pretty.

Biden’s political malaise started on day one of his term of office. His cabinet and key administration appointees were an amalgamation of recycled failures from past Democratic administrations, a hodge-podge of picks to satisfy every demographic group and extremist philosophy and a cadre of sycophantic acolytes willing to sing the “Hallelujah Chorus” at the altar of the global climate change church whenever called upon. Where Jimmy Carter bogged himself down by having to settle squabbles by scheduling times on the White House tennis court, Biden has been weighed down by creating new categories of tennis competition on the courts, including mixed singles.  

Let’s just say, to be kind, that Biden’s appointees have done him no great service.

The president’s seeds of his current problem of runaway inflation tracks back to his ramrodding of the $1.9 trillion American Rescue Plan Act of 2021 through Congress.  

Sending $1,400 to most Americans seemed like a surefire political winner at the time. Heck, who doesn’t want to get a check for $1,400? In addition, while we are at it, let’s suspend student loan repayment and continue rent forgiveness. Don’t forget backing up the dump trucks and pouring out cash to cities and states by the billions. Why not just print money like it is going out of style and let government buy your votes for you? Wow, during the Great Depression you could buy a vote for the cost of a ham sandwich. Now that is a real indicator of inflation!

President Biden’s fortunes began to quickly turn when he started his push for another $3 trillion in spending with his Build Back Better legislation. At this point, even profligate spenders started to question the wisdom of this massive spending when the economy was showing great strength. Fortunately, Biden cannot pin the blame on Republicans for his BBB failure. He can pin the tail on the donkeys. Two Democrat senators, Joe Manchin and Kristen Sinema, scuttled the legislation, to the eternal gratefulness of the American people.

Then, the president suffered through the summer of 2021 trying to explain why there was nothing he could do to get consumer products on store shelves or reduce the persistent rise of COVID19 infections and death rates. While the public strained to understand what the president was saying through his ever-present thick face mask, nothing could mask the reality that Joe Biden had lost control of his administration’s fate.

If Americans had continued to stay hunkered down in their basements hiding from unseen microbes, instead of leaving their homes in search of life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness, they would not have learned as quickly about the burgeoning rate of inflation hitting consumer goods and fuel. Even those who were recipients of the government’s largess in the form of those $1,400 checks and loan and rent abatements quickly forgot and started blaming the president for the ever-escalating prices that they were paying for everything from Goo Goo Bars to gasoline.  

Everyone learned the Economics 101 lesson that the government giveth and inflation taketh away. Joe Biden is learning that when gas goes north of $4 per gallon, the average Joe Sixpack quickly forgets his worries about rising sea levels and polarbears in sunglasses.

Americans balked at the thought of sending their children back to school in plexiglass cages, wearing masks when even the experts were starting to doubt their efficacy. Joe lost the soccer moms who instinctively knew that both the education and mental health of their children was being affected negatively by continued draconian and questionable pandemic regulations. Those same soccer moms witnessed Democratic politicians cavorting at fundraisers, private dinners and sporting events without masks and asked themselves, “What are you doing to my children?”  

Finally, the summer of 2021 brought the disastrous and embarrassing end to the United States involvement in Afghanistan. Joe Biden and Secretary of State Blinken could try and spin it any way they wanted but seeing our Afghan allies dropping out of the wheel wells of escaping jet planes, witnessing 13 of our American servicemen killed by a terrorist bomb while trying to do crowd control of a panicked Afghan people, and learning about the 10 helpless Afghan children killed by our targeted drone attack on alleged terrorists was seen by the American public, Vladimir Putin and all of our enemies for what it was, an ill-conceived and devastating escape at the expense of our national honor and our commitment to allies around the globe.

The president must have been thrilled when his wife brought him his cup of Ovaltine and they toasted the New Year at 9 p.m., 15 minutes after his normal bedtime.  Finally, the nasty year of 2021 was behind him; 2022 promised no Afghanistan, lower inflation and an end to the pandemic!

The new year started out just as badly as the old year ended. Gas prices continued their relentless climb and consumers were hammered everywhere from the grocery store to the used car lot. And then Vladimir Putin delivered the cruelest blow to the president’s plans for 2022 when, on Feb. 24, he invaded the Ukraine. Biden’s and Blinken’s diplomatic efforts meant nothing to the mad Russian dictator, and he hit the Ukrainian people with the force of 200,000 men with massive armor, artillery and airpower.  

At this point, even the nearly blind could understand what our failed exit from Afghanistan bought us and the price was and will continue to be high to both the Ukrainians suffering from the Russian genocide and the American people paying for all the sanctions imposed by NATO, European and United Nations countries. The economic price to be paid for Vladimir Putin’s evaluation of our weak international will to defend our friends will be staggering and this price can be laid directly at the feet of President Biden. Actions or failure to act have consequences!  

Now, as the American people stare $5 gas and 7.5% inflation rates in the face, even Biden’s and the Democrats’ best buddies in the press have started to comment on the ineptness of his administration. When your former apologists turn on you, you have a big, big problem.

Normally, as a Republican, I would enjoy a president with low poll numbers who is leading his party to a shellacking in the mid-term elections. However, as an American, I’m sickened that everything seems to have gone to hell in just 15 short months.  

I want better things for my country, and I don’t care whether it is a Democrat or Republican president and Congress that brings them. The problem with political jokes is that sometimes they get elected. They go from being on the stump to stumping the country. Let’s hope the American people will help right the ship of state when they are given the chance, first in 2022 and then again in 2024. v

Dunn is a former Howard County Republican chairman.