The Senate did something pretty unusual for these times: it produced a useful piece of legislation dealing with the southern border, immigrants already in the country, and funding for both Israel and Ukraine. Unfortunately, it’s stillborn in the House. Why? Because the guy who runs the GOP says not to give Democrats anything resembling a victory. Why? Because he’s a thin-skinned ball of vituperation and retribution. But the guy in the Oval Office who has the phone and pen can’t speak forcefully because he’s a bookmark, a placeholder whose one qualification for office is not being the other guy.
Last night, I was watching a hilarious Victor Borge (God rest his soul) bit where he invented “inflation English” and realized it sounded very much like a Biden speech. You kind of know what’s being said, yet realize it’s coming out gibberish. When Borge does it, it’s funny. When the guy with the nuclear briefcase does it, I worry.
Arguably, the president’s “bully pulpit” is the greatest tool of that office. He can directly address the American people, pretty much at will, on any topic, and make his case. This works even better when the topic is something the American people want. President Biden has all the advantages dealing with our border crisis, funding for Ukraine, and funding for Israel. Yet he can’t turn the page and get Republicans to break from their cultish devotion to the guy who promised (and failed) to secure the border.
Nearly three quarters of Americans want to deal with illegal immigrants in the country by creating a path to citizenship. This isn’t even a new concept, and spans both blue and red states. Democrats, opposing the former administration, doubled, tripled, and septupled down on letting illegal immigrants into the country, to the point where almost anyone was granted asylum. Most Americans think our current level of legal immigration is either good where it is, or should be increased, and over time, opinions have swung, but not big swings.
As we all know, the problem is illegal immigration, in great numbers, flooding the southern border, and ending up in cities like New York City and Boston, that have laws requiring everyone to be given shelter, even if there’s no shelter to give. Democrats as well as Republicans now see the need to secure the southern border. I suppose you could say that Gov. Abbott and Gov. DeSantis are geniuses for putting these immigrants on buses and airplanes and shipping them north, but they were doing more than political stunts. South Texas is really overrun to the point where public services to permanent residents and citizens is severely impacted.
Now, Biden is pleading with Congress to help solve the issue, along with getting needed funding to Ukraine and Israel. Biden should not plead with Congress. He should address the American people, who support what he is now asking for (regardless of Democrats’ previous takes on it). The far-left of the Democratic Party is overrun by extremist progressives who hate Israel and feel that more immigration will eventually give them a demographic advantage (they are wrong). Biden appears to be unable to deal with these competing views, nor is he able to rally Americans to a cause that Americans want.
Democrats are paying for Biden’s lack of leadership. The news cycles are now discussing what a Ukraine peace deal might look like, and Russia is pushing a winter offensive to bleed out Ukraine’s ammunition and fighting power, using new, adaptive techniques (war is a great teacher). Putin will win without U.S. support for Ukraine, even if Europe steps up.
In a general election match-up, Biden is now losing by between 2 and 5 points, especially in key battleground states. The South Carolina primary is coming up (Nevada is not competitive) and Nikki Haley, who is hauling in cash, seems to be headed to the inevitability junkyard. One thing is obvious: Republicans in Congress are not listening to Haley, they are obeying the party’s master.
Speaking of that guy, his March federal trial for his role in January 6th is no more, not in March at least. The delay tactics have worked and the Supreme Court’s rejection of a quick dispatch regarding unlimited immunity killed any hope of a conviction before the summer nomination. The other potential trial, the one in Georgia, has been scotched by Fani Willis’ hubris and stupidity. There is every reason to believe, because the polls are pretty accurate, and the facts support it, that Donald J. Trump will be the Republican nominee, and in November the general election will be super competitive and very close.
There is every reason to believe, because President Biden does not have the facilities to properly employ the best tools of his office, to rally the American people around things they clearly want, so that Congress does its job, that things will get worse between now and November. Russia will become more of a threat. America will be pulled into conflict with Iran’s proxies, or pay Iran a king’s ransom to make them go away (snubbing Israel in the process). China will grow bolder viz Taiwan. Inflation will be largely gone, but prices will remain high and living expenses for the middle class will be painful.
None of these things are carved in stone—events, dear boy, events—but the trends are evident. The House of Representatives is killing a bill that Americans want, and if it were properly explained—that the federal government can in fact enforce existing immigration laws and use the new bill to relieve pressure at the border—Americans would get their Republican representatives to vote for it, or get rid of the MAGA swamp Speaker of the House who carried water for the Big Lie.
But Biden can’t stand up to his extreme left progressives infecting the Democratic Party. He can’t stand up and explain things without sounding like a Victor Borge comedy bit. He can’t lead, because he’s a bookmark, and bookmarks don’t turn the page. So, the country stands ready to have another four years of the other guy, who might end up elected by the skin of his orange cheeks.
Or we will have a bookmark, and the pain will continue, because Democrats are being made to pay for their poor choices.
Follow Steve on Twitter @stevengberman.
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Author: Steve Berman