Nate Jackson / April 29, 2022

Bumbling Biden Exudes Weakness

Failing to say the word “kleptocracy” is the least of the problems caused by the American president.

That Joe Biden is non compos mentis isn’t news, but when the American president, the leader of the free world, stands up to proclaim a significant foreign policy move meant to deter the man he’s previous called a “war criminal” who “cannot remain in power,” Vladimir Putin, it’s not too much to ask that it come across stronger than this:

I’m also sending to Congress a comprehensive package of, uh, that will enhance our underlying effort to accommodate the Russian oligarchs, uh, and make sure we take their — take their ill-begotten gains. Heh. We’re gonna accommodate them. We’re gonna seize their yachts, their luxury homes, and other ill-begotten gains of Putin’s kleptocri- k- uh, eh, yeah, kleptocracy- klep- — the guys who are the kleptocracies. Ha. Ha. Ha. Ha. Ha. But these are bad guys.

Perhaps the reason Biden couldn’t bring himself to say the word “kleptocracy” is that his family has been part of one. Perhaps that’s also why Reuters edited its video to cut out Biden’s verbal train wreck. Next up will be the “fact-checkers” defending what he “really meant.”

Imagine if your pilot sounded like this before takeoff. Or if your surgeon bumbled this way before an operation. Heck, you probably wouldn’t allow a plumber to fix your sink if you saw him act like Biden did.

Ultimately, the point isn’t to ridicule Biden’s clear dementia. Nor is it to repeat that Jill Biden could’ve kept us from this and that she should quit allowing her husband to be abused by being propped up in the job. It’s to say that an American president should be better than this.

For all the mockery directed at Ronald Reagan during his tenure, we can’t recall a single moment that was even remotely as embarrassing to our nation as the average teleprompter reading for Joe Biden. Quite the contrast: Reagan exuded toughness and brought about the demise of the Soviet Union.

In the present day, when America should be leading the world and showing strength, instead we trot out this guy to a microphone to incoherently bungle his way through a threat to a foreign power.

It’s unconscionable.

Vladimir Putin and Xi Jinping are no doubt chuckling at their good fortune to face such an inept American president.

As for the substance of what Biden was calling for — never mind the “accommodating” part he bungled — punishing Putin’s oligarchs and kleptocrats is a good idea. Making Russia’s invasion of Ukraine painful for Russian leaders is part of bringing about its end, as well as, the White House says, to “remediate harms caused to Ukraine by Russian aggression.”

Additionally, Biden wants another $33 billion in aid for Ukraine, more than double the $13.6 billion approved last month. “Basically, we’re out of money,” Biden said, though it’s not clear how much of that initial allocation has actually been spent. “That’s why today, in order to sustain Ukraine as it continues to fight, I’m sending Congress a supplemental budget request.”

That $33 billion includes more than $20 billion in direct military aid. Western weapons have so far made the invasion far less successful and far more deadly for Russia.

“The cost of this fight is not cheap,” Biden said. “But caving to aggression is going to be more costly, if we allow it to happen.” Those are fine words and even good policy, but the messenger matters and Biden is a particularly weak one. In fact, he’s a big part of the reason Putin chose this year to aim for his ambition of restoring Russian “glory.” Stopping that now is going to take more than Biden is capable of giving.

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