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Douglas Andrews / November 22, 2021

Emperor Joe’s New Clothes

Joe Biden has the stench of a loser, and Democrats are in deep denial about it.

If Democrats can’t figure out why their guy is so deeply and thoroughly and lastingly unpopular, then they’re more out of touch than we’d imagined.

But that seems to be the case — at least for one David A. Graham, who writes for a rag called The Atlantic. “Six Theories of Joe Biden’s Crumbling Popularity,” shouts the headline of his recent article, while the subhead conveys the Left’s continued cluelessness: “The president’s approval ratings keep falling. The question is why.”

If the question is still “why,” then they really aren’t interested in the answer. But we’ll give it to them anyway: Joe Biden carries with him the stench of a bumbler, a loser, and — worst of all — a laughingstock. It clings to his suits with a skunk-like stubbornness that his handlers will never be able to wash away. He can’t be rehabilitated because he can’t suddenly assume the attributes that are necessary for a recovery. He’s irrevocably long past his prime, and he can’t somehow evolve into a more sharp-witted, charismatic, and youthful version of his 79-year-old self.

In short: The American people’s impression of Joe Biden is set like a Sharpie stain. Wash it all you want, but it ain’t going anywhere.

And yet.

Graham ponders six possible reasons for Biden’s unpopularity: familiarity, Afghanistan, COVID-19, inflation, Democrat disarray, and the lack of a convincing villain. And there are at least three other big reasons that he’s omitted. More on those in a moment.

There’s probably something to the first of Graham’s theories — familiarity — and the natural contempt that it breeds. And the effect of this is probably amplified with Biden because he’s been around for half a century — which is longer than any president ever. Many Americans have been sick of him for decades. Many others are just now catching up.

The Afghanistan debacle was certainly the catalyst for Biden’s slide in the polls, but not for the reasons Graham cites: bumbling and incompetence. No, the people haven’t forgiven Joe Biden for Afghanistan because he embarrassed us on the world stage. Biden didn’t honorably withdraw us from that 20-year war; he retreated and surrendered, and that, more than anything else, gave us the impression of him as a weak commander-in-chief, and, yes, a loser.

Biden’s inability to deliver the nation from COVID-19 is also plaguing him, but it’s a self-inflicted wound. He’s overpromised and underdelivered, and he’s greatly overreached with his vaccine mandates. The American people are sick of this. They want to move beyond COVID-19, but Biden has instead imposed upon them a permanent pandemic.

Inflation and, most specifically, surging gas prices remind us where it hurts most: in our wallets and pocketbooks. They also remind us that Biden’s penchant for printing money, for paying people not to work, and for wrecking our nation’s energy independence with his onerous “green” policies are all contributing factors to this self-inflicted wound, as well as the resulting gas pains.

The Democrats are certainly in disarray. Their policies are being driven by the radical “Squad” and hard-left of their party instead of the more sensible center. Indeed, the Democrats no longer have a center. The dominant voice for congressional Democrats is their “Progressive Caucus,” and its policy prescriptions are wildly out of touch with the majority of the American people.

Lastly, that lack of a convincing villain has certainly hurt Joe Biden. Here, Nancy Pelosi and her ilk thought they’d be able to demonize Donald Trump for at least the next two years, but the American people aren’t having it. They’ve moved beyond the events of January 6, even though the Democrats refuse to do so. And they remember that Trump’s outstanding “America First” policies far outweighed his occasional mean tweet.

Finally, those three additional matters: race, crime, and open borders. How any serious analysis of Joe Biden’s unpopularity can ignore these three issues is beyond us. Biden gets failing marks on all three. Our nation is more divided than ever in terms of race, and it’s entirely due to the Democrats’ obsession over it. Anyone who doubts this need only look at the recent election results in reliably blue Virginia, which were driven by a grassroots revolt against Critical Race Theory. As for crime, Joe Biden’s party is the party of lawlessness, the party of defunding the police, the party of appeasing thuggish pressure groups like Black Lives Matter and antifa — and the American people know it. Finally, this president’s unwillingness to protect our borders against unchecked illegal immigration is turning our nation into a sanctuary country. What’s happening along our southern border is not just unpopular; it’s deadly, and the blame belongs entirely to Joe Biden.

Where it concerns these kitchen-table issues and others, Emperor Joe has no clothes. His party might not want to acknowledge it, but the American people already have.


*Updated to correct the omission of Joe Biden’s open borders immigration policy as a third issue that has greatly contributed to his persistent unpopularity.

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