Laura Hollis, Mary McCarthy once said of fellow author Lillian Hellman, “Every word she writes is a lie, including ‘and’ and ‘the.'”
The Democratic Party gives Hellman a run for her money.
Politicians are not a terribly honest bunch generally, but Democrats — at least those on the national stage — have grown so accustomed to lying and getting away with it that they either don’t know how to do anything else or don’t think they’ll ever pay a price for it. For the past few years, virtually all of the Democratic Party’s major talking points have been lies. Former President Donald Trump colluded with Russia to win the 2016 election? Lie. The summer 2020 protests were “largely peaceful”? Lie. The damning content on Hunter Biden’s laptop was just “Russian disinformation”? Lie. Jan. 6 was an “insurrection”? Lie. State legislation to ensure election integrity is really anti-Black “vote suppression”? Lie. Trump supporters are “white supremacists” and “domestic terrorists”? Lie.
Because the media overwhelmingly leans left, Democrats’ lies are not only covered up, but often further disseminated and promoted. Republican politicians may be just as inclined to lie, but the media won’t circle the wagons for them. Plus, Republicans are accused of lying even when they are telling the truth.
With the Biden presidency, however, Democrats have now lied themselves into a mighty bind. President Joe Biden’s executive orders and policy decisions in the first seven months of his presidency were bad enough: allowing millions of illegal immigrants to cross the southern border, shutting down the Keystone XL pipeline and then pleading with OPEC to produce more oil, continuing to pay Americans not to work while businesses struggle to stay open, and inflationary spending.
But the collapse of Afghanistan is an unmitigated disaster and full-fledged international crisis of Biden’s own making. Afghans who provided support for our military and tens of thousands of American civilians are now caught behind enemy lines and at the mercy of the Taliban, which is imposing rules and deadlines that Biden inscrutably accepts, over the objections of our allies in Europe (who are now scrambling to evacuate their own citizens).
What kind of commander in chief takes orders from terrorists, evacuates the military first and leaves civilians behind?
Biden refuses to take responsibility for his decisions, contradicts high-ranking members of his own administration, makes flatly false statements to the press and shuffles away following his brief “press conferences” without taking any questions.
Biden has a long history of self-aggrandizing falsehoods and multiple instances of outright plagiarism, but he now seems incapable of telling the truth. This is more than Democrats bargained for. Whether the falsehoods he’s pitching are deliberate misrepresentations or befuddled misstatements, they are so appallingly and obviously untrue that even stalwart partisans in the media and the party are increasingly unable to defend or explain them.
Broadcast, print and social media are peppered with articles pointing out Biden’s evident lack of capacity; some are calling for his resignation, removal or impeachment. As Afghanistan fell to the Taliban despite Biden’s assurances that this would not happen after the withdrawal of the U.S. military, CNN’s Jake Tapper asked Secretary of State Anthony Blinken how Biden could have gotten the situation there “so wrong.” After Biden’s Aug. 20 address, Fox News anchor Chris Wallace also pressed Blinken on Biden’s “flat wrong” public statements: “Mr. Secretary, does the president not know what’s going on?” Last week, National Review’s Jim Geraghty wrote a column, “Something is wrong with the President.” A blogger for RedState put it more bluntly after Biden’s Aug. 24 press conference: “What I took the most from this presser is this: Biden is sick.”
For all the apparent astonishment, this is no revelation. Biden’s lack of capacity — shuffling gait, failing memory, inscrutable outbursts and frequently incomprehensible verbal gobbledygook — was abundantly evident before the election. The campaign hid him as much as possible, the press covered for him, and millions of voters crossed their fingers and chose to ignore it.
Now it’s just too bad to ignore.
The Democratic Party knew the risks of running Biden. They calculated that their power players could control things behind the scenes for one term until they could get Vice President Kamala Harris ready for the torpedo tube.
But things aren’t going as planned. Biden is not only unlikely to last the term; he’s unlikely to last the year.
Harris cannot save the day, as a more seasoned and respected vice president may have been able to. She is broadly disliked and out of her depth. The public views her as having botched her role as “immigration czar.” (My suspicion is that she’s doing exactly what she’s been told to do, which is nothing). She’s not presidential material, and it’s clear that she won’t be able to pull the votes in 2024. For all his faults, candidate Biden had 47 years of public service and plenty of political capital to parlay with; Harris doesn’t.
And there’s 2022 to think about. Biden’s approval numbers — assuming we believe the polls — have dropped significantly. CBS reporter Ed O’Keefe confronted Biden with a poll showing that a majority of Americans no longer believes him to be “competent, focused or effective in the job.” According to other contemporaneous polls, independent voters’ preference for control of Congress has flipped 15 points, from plus 14 Democrat to plus 1 Republican.
All this bodes ill for Democrats in next year’s midterm elections. Dems have control of the House by the slimmest of margins, and the Senate is split 50/50. Democrats Mark Kelly (Arizona), Raphael Warnock (Georgia) and Alex Padilla (California) hold their Senate seats by virtue of special elections or gubernatorial appointment; those seats are up for regular elections in 2022.
Lies have consequences. Signs are pointing to a blue bloodbath next year. Unless, of course, there’s cheating in the elections.
But cheating has consequences, too.