I hope you won’t consider today’s blog post to be a full-scale invasion. It’s more like a minor incursion…
Oh, Joey, Joey, Joey…what are we going to do with you?
What we had there was an afternoon of Uncle Joe being Uncle Joe. And that wasn’t completely a bad thing. Unlike his predecessor, Biden had the patience, stamina and balls to take tough questions, solo, for two hours. Unlike his predecessor, his every utterance was not a tribally divisive and vitriolic dog whistle. There was at least an attempt to unite, something that would never even have crossed Trump’s mind. Unlike his predecessor, Biden’s responses included at least a few complete sentences.
So, yes, I do think we are incrementally better off than we were a year ago, if only because we now have a chief executive who is a sentient human being.
That’s progress. But it’s far from perfection.
There are gaffes. There are lapses. There is naivete. And, yes, there are misstatements and factual untruths. Not nearly of the magnitude or malignancy of the defeated former president, but not inconsequential, either.
But mostly there are questions of competence.
Understand, my core problem with Trump is that he was incompetent and completely unequipped, unprepared and unqualified to be president. All of the character flaws merely exacerbated his core incompetence.
Biden’s incompetence is coming from a better vector, but is only slightly less unsettling. And that dichotomy was on full display for two hours Wednesday.
He essentially opened a door for Putin. His answers to economic questions were unsatisfying. He further (and unnecessarily) muddied the waters with respect to future election integrity. He has not fully acknowledged that his administration’s COVID messaging has been confounding, confusing, contradictory and borderline incoherent.
And he has yet to own his part of the Afghanistan fiasco.
The question, as it was in the previous administration, is competence. But at least we have taken “overtly evil” out of the equation.
It’s the anniversary of Biden’s inauguration. I celebrate it only in the sense that it marked the failure of an attempted coup.