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Monday, April 15, 2024 - 01:56 AM

INDEPENDENT CONSERVATIVE VOICE OF UPSTATE SOUTH CAROLINA

First Published in 1994

INDEPENDENT CONSERVATIVE VOICE OF
UPSTATE SOUTH CAROLINA

Joe Biden campaigned as a moderate elder statesman who could help heal a divided country. The press played up the narrative that Biden put in place a team of professionals and technocrats who would provide real governing expertise as a salve from the chaos of the Trump years. The truth, of course, has been just the opposite.

Many Americans are coming to believe that, contrary to the expectations going in, the Biden administration is a rudderless, leaderless, overly ideological mess. Biden did not help himself at his rare press conference Wednesday.

When challenged on America's declining faith in the competence of his government, Biden denied reality. He said the Afghanistan withdrawal was never going to be easy. This directly contradicts his assurances before the withdrawal when he said we could do it "responsibly, deliberately and safely." Biden's earlier statements are not a secret, and everyone knows that 13 American soldiers died after Biden outsourced security around the withdrawal to the Taliban. Deflecting this reality is dishonest, and it's not helpful to Biden politically.

On COVID-19, Biden said he's done remarkably well. This is hard to square with the standard Biden set in the election, when he said Trump was unfit for office after being responsible for 220,000 COVID-19 deaths. By this metric, Biden is now responsible for 400,000 COVID-19 deaths -- the opposite of his promise to come in and "shut down" the virus.

In a rare admission, Biden acknowledged that there have been delays in his administration getting testing kits out. He didn't mention that those delays were directly caused by his own staff. Back in October, testing experts recommended that the Biden administration send COVID-19 tests to American households before the holidays. Biden's staff rejected the idea. As a result, people in towns across America waited in incredibly long lines for tests over the holidays. Biden, nonetheless, expressed continued confidence in this team.

Biden also flatly denied the charge that he was trying to pull the country far to the left. His signature legislative priority, on the other hand, the so-called Build Back Better bill, calls for increased federal government intervention at every stage of American life.

Worst of all, when challenged on his recent remarks equating those who oppose his voting bills with racists from the past, Biden denied the charge even as he continued to press it forward. Then he actually called into question the legitimacy of the coming midterm elections if his attempts to federalize election rules do not succeed.

This again is a story that is not complicated. Many states drastically liberalized voting rules during the COVID-19 pandemic. They increased early voting, expanded mail-in voting, implemented drive-thru voting, counted late votes and even allowed ballot harvesting. Some states are now pulling back from some of these COVID-19 expansions. We need rules for voting. Democrats believe looser rules help them. Republicans believe tighter rules help them. The lines must be drawn somewhere, and it's legitimate to debate them. However, it's flat-out wrong for the president of the United States to pretend that racism is at the root of state resistance to wide-open federally imposed voting mechanisms.

The president's race-card play is not only below the dignity of his office, but it's another example of the amateur nature of his administration's tactics. He needs the support of Democratic Sens. Kyrsten Sinema and Joe Manchin to pass his bills. Who decided calling them racists was a good strategy? This follows the earlier strategy of Biden's team publicly calling into question Manchin's honesty when he opposed Biden's spending legislation. The White House Chief of Staff Ron Klain just days ago admitted this mistake, telling reporters "One lesson we learned in the first year is, I think, the less we talk about our negotiations with specific senators and congressmen, the better we are. So I'm going to say our talks with Sen. Manchin will proceed directly and privately."

Not publicly trashing your most necessary allies was a lesson learned? Those lessons are supposed to be learned before you run the White House.

The most amazing thing about the Biden news conference was how little he seems to know about how badly things are going. His popularity is in freefall. He's polling at the lowest levels of his presidency. One recent poll by Politico found that 58% of people don't think Biden is energetic. Fifty-seven percent don't think he's a strong leader. Worst of all, 49% of people do not think Biden is even mentally fit. And a full two-thirds of all Americans think the country is on the wrong track.

Biden's troubles extend to his party as well. According to a recent Gallup poll, more Americans were likely to support the Republican Party over the Democratic Party than at any point since 1995. When Biden took office, 49% of people described themselves as Democrats, versus only 40% who identified as Republicans. It was the largest lead Democrats had in the poll's history. Today, it's 47% describing themselves as Republicans and only 42% as Democrats. This is the largest Republican lead since 1991. In just one year under Biden, Democrats have squandered their largest lead in history to, in turn, achieve one of their largest deficits in history. That's hard to do.

His first news conference in ages was an opportunity for Biden to reverse these ominous trends. The American people are reasonable and have proven time and again that they can forgive mistakes. Biden could have gained by leveling about his missteps and explaining how he will fix them. By choosing instead to obfuscate, spin and deflect, Biden wasted the opportunity. The catastrophic nature of Biden's mistakes, the amateurishness of his team and the apparent weakness of the president himself are now top of mind for many Americans. I would not want to be a Democrat on the ballot in 2022.

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Neil Patel co-founded The Daily Caller, one of America's fastest-growing online news outlets, which regularly breaks news and distributes it to over 15 million monthly readers. Patel also co-founded The Daily Caller News Foundation, a nonprofit news company that trains journalists, produces fact-checks and conducts longer-term investigative reporting. The Daily Caller News Foundation licenses its content free of charge to over 300 news outlets, reaching potentially hundreds of millions of people per month. To find out more about Neil Patel and read features by other Creators writers and cartoonists, visit the Creators website at www.creators.com

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Tucker Carlson and Neil Patel

Tucker Carlson currently hosts Fox News’ “Tucker Carlson Tonight” (weekdays 8 p.m. ET). He joined the network in 2009 as a contributor.

“Tucker Carlson Tonight” features powerful analysis and spirited debates, with guests from across the political and cultural spectrum. Carlson brings his signature style to tackle issues largely uncovered by the media in every corner of the United States, challenging political correctness with a "Campus Craziness" segment and tackling media bias and outrage during "Twitter Storm."

Carlson co-hosted “Fox & Friends Weekend” starting in 2012, until taking on his current role at “Tucker Carlson Tonight.”

While at Fox News, Carlson has provided analysis for “America's Election Headquarters” on primary and caucus nights, including in the 2016 and 2012 presidential elections, as well as the 2014 midterm election. He also produced a Fox News special, "Fighting for Our Children's Minds," in 2010.

Prior to working at Fox News, Carlson hosted “Tucker Carlson: Unfiltered” on PBS from 2004 to 2005 and “Tucker” on MSNBC from 2005 to 2008. He joined CNN in 2000 as its youngest anchor ever, co-hosting “The Spin Room” and later CNN's “Crossfire,” until its 2005 cancellation. In 2003, he wrote an autobiography about his cable news experience titled "Politicians, Partisans and Parasites: My Adventures in Cable News."

Carlson graduated with a B.A. in history from Trinity College in Connecticut.

Neil Patel

In addition to his role as publisher of The Daily Caller, Neil Patel is co-founder and managing director of Bluebird Asset Management, a hedge fund investing in mortgage-backed securities.

Before starting his two companies, Neil served in the White House from 2005 to 2009 as the chief policy adviser to Vice President Dick Cheney. From 2001 to 2004, Neil was staff secretary to Vice President Cheney. Prior to joining the Bush administration, Neil was assistant general counsel at UUNET Technologies. Earlier in his career, Neil practiced law with Dechert Price & Rhoads. He also served as Counsel to the U.S. House of Representatives Select Committee on U.S. National Security and Military/Commercial Concerns with the People’s Republic of China. 

Neil received his B.A. from Trinity College in Connecticut and his J.D. from the Georgetown University Law Center, where he served as associate editor of the Journal of Law and Policy in International Business.

Neil lives in Washington, D.C., and Jackson Hole, Wyoming, with his wife, Amy, their two daughters, Caroline and Bela, and their son, Charlie.

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