Larry O’Connor, With Monday’s disastrous, tone-deaf national address deflecting any responsibility or semblance of reality in relation to his failed withdrawal from Afghanistan, Joe Biden’s presidency has already shrunk… beyond recognition.
It seems like the last several presidents all endured the same, clichéd headline at some point in their presidency. “The Incredible Shrinking Presidency.”
It began in 1992 when Time Magazine gave the cover story treatment of “The Incredible Shrinking President” to harm George H. W. Bush and prop up the chances of Bill Clinton.
The media kept propping Clinton up through his scandals and failures and only came around to a post-presidency analysis of him as the “Incredible Shrinking Ex-President” in 2002.
George W. Bush was incredibly successful and popular with the American people, so, of course, the media had to run endless articles describing him at various times as the “Incredibly Shrinking President.”
And with Trump… well… CNN, USA Today, Boston Globe, Salon, Commentary, NY Daily News… There are more.. see for yourself. You’d think these political commentators would be embarrassed by writing literally the exact same headline about every president for the past 30 years. But, sadly, you’d be wrong.
I’d love to use my little corner of this website to be the first to pronounce “The Incredibly Shrinking Presidency of Joe Biden, but, sadly, after today, it’s too late. It’s shrunken.
His petulant speech arguing in favor of a troop withdrawal that virtually nobody is even debating today is a perfect example of his willful diminishment of the highest office in the land.
What was in question and what deserved to be addressed Monday was not whether America should withdraw her troops after 20 years of nation-building. The topic on the table was the disastrous way he executed the withdrawal.
Biden’s policy and his defensive, stubborn demeanor defending the policy showed zero empathy for the American families who sacrificed over the past 20 years to support the policy he advocated for, voted for, propped up, and now has sabotaged in its final days.
In claiming the buck stopped with him, Biden proceeded to pass the buck to multiple entities, including his predecessor.
“When I came into office, I inherited a deal that President Trump negotiated with the Taliban,” Biden intoned. The implication was that Biden’s hands were tied, and he could do nothing about the plan Trump had put into place.
Let’s think this through for just a nanosecond. There are a lot of Trump policies Biden “inherited.”
Over the past several months, Biden ignored and reversed Trump policies on abortion funding, border crossings, the wall, keystone pipeline, Paris climate accords, Iran nuke deal, taxes, Title IX transgender rules…
But we are to believe that he is locked in and beholden to Trump’s policy on troop withdrawal in America’s longest war in history?
Further, Biden’s duplicitous teleprompter recitation not only diminished his own office but also the authority and influence of the long-respected military leadership across the Potomac at the Pentagon.
What advice did he get from America’s top generals and admirals about this withdrawal plan? Logically, there are only two conclusions we can draw at this time.
Either he got terrible military advice, the generals were wrong and they should be fired, or Biden ignored the generals’ military advice and those generals should resign out of duty and honor.
It’s one or the other.
Without those firings or resignations, the leadership at the Pentagon shrinks right along with their feckless commander-in-chief.
Ultimately, this is all about Biden and his negligent stewardship of the office he has been handed. Despite all the proclamations that Biden’s presidency represented a supposed “return to norms” and an ascendency of the “grown-ups” back in charge after the Trump Administration, Biden’s team of Ivy League experts has ruined our border policy, our military reputation in Afghanistan, put our nation at higher risk of a terror attack and have sent a message to the rest of our allies that we are unreliable and reckless.
The hope that Biden would somehow lead this nation in his diminished state was always a fantasy. Biden has never really been a leader.
In summarizing Joe Biden’s 50-year political career, can anyone identify a single, over-arching value he has consistently believed in other than his own personal political advancement?
He has always been a small, petty man. Just ask the families of Robert Bork and Clarence Thomas. They saw it firsthand. Far from rising to the occasion of the office he accidentally occupies, he has quickly allowed the grand office to shrink to his lamentably diminished profile.
Biden’s presidency is not shrinking. It’s already shrunk.
We deserve better. So does the world.