And that’s not meant as a compliment. Joe Biden’s catastrophic withdrawal from Afghanistan, his imposition of legally suspect mandates, his disastrous economic muddling all demonstrate the single biggest flaw of Biden and his White House. They have no strategic direction at all, and even worse, have no clear handle on reality.
Small wonder that even his own political advisers have come to this conclusion about the midterms, according to the Washington Post:
As an anxious Democratic Party hurtles toward the midterm elections led by a president whose approval ratings have dropped precipitously, Biden is beginning to put the pieces together for an aggressive campaign to help limit Democratic losses in November.
But it’s an effort some in the party say is long overdue, and despite Biden’s ramped-up efforts, there is no finalized, comprehensive strategy for the midterms inside the White House. There’s no overarching document that outlines the president’s involvement in key races, nor a set message that will carry the party through November, according to multiple people familiar with the situation who spoke on the condition of anonymity to talk candidly. …
Democratic strategists say the White House is still moving too slowly and remains too disorganized ahead of the midterms, when many Democrats fear their party will lose control of the House and possibly the Senate.
“There is as much a plan to win the midterms as there was to airlift Afghans out of Kabul,” said one Democratic political adviser who remains close to the White House. “They’re putting us all in a bad place.” The adviser, who spoke on the condition of anonymity to speak candidly about the party’s prospects, was referring to the chaotic, deadly withdrawal of U.S. forces from Afghanistan last summer.
There weren’t even plans to airlift Americans out of Kabul ahead of our retreat. Furthermore, we still don’t know how many of the 14,000 American citizens and legal permanent residents left behind have been exfiltrated out of Taliban control. As much as midterm strategies will matter in November’s elections, they pale in comparison to the failure of abandoning thousands of Americans to the Taliban and the failure of both the Biden administration and the national media to focus on getting them out of Afghanistan.
The glib reference otherwise pins this tail on the donkey’s patoot, though. The Afghanistan crisis exposed Biden’s complete lack of strategic thinking in a way that few could deny. That event alone precipitated a confidence-crisis cascade that created the entire reason why Biden’s lack of a midterm strategy now matters so much. I warned in mid-September that Afghanistan would create such a cascade, similar to George W. Bush’s Hurricane Katrina response and Jimmy Carter’s Iran hostage crisis. In retrospect, I was clearly correct:
At that time, I predicted that Biden wouldn’t be able to pull out of it. It doesn’t even appear that he’s willing to acknowledge the confidence crisis at all, and even his political strategists have begun to worry about Biden’s state of denial.
Even apart from that, though, midterm strategy is a normal part of the White House political operation. It’s not just Biden’s competence and connection to reality that’s being judged by the strategists and reported by the Post. It’s also the political operation at the White House, which should have been working on a comprehensive midterm election strategy all along and especially after Biden’s approval numbers began to crater post-Afghanistan withdrawal. It’s not as if we call snap elections in the American political system, after all. Midterms have been on the calendar all along.
All of this reinforces what I have long argued — that this is the least strategic, most reactive, and deeply in-denial presidency of my lifetime. As the Post notes, it seems that even Biden’s own advisors and strategists have figured that out. Too bad that the midterms are going to be the least of the damage that Biden will do as president as a result of that incompetence.