It’s been a tough week for President Joe Biden by most any measure.
Certainly not tougher than the last week of August 2021, with the bombing at the Kabul airport killing 13 American military service members amid the fall of Afghanistan, but it has been brutal.
Some things that went sideways for Biden centered on his push to federalize election law.
It started with the 46th president’s catastrophic speech on the subject Tuesday in Atlanta calling on Democrats to end the filibuster so the Senate can pass the “voting rights” legislation.
Bad news came to Biden before he took the stage.
Democrat Stacey Abrams — who is running for Georgia governor again and is all about the kinds of changes to voting laws Biden wants — nonetheless snubbed the president and did not attend his speech.
No doubt part of the reason is that his approval numbers are underwater in Georgia as they are in the U.S. overall, but more on that in a moment.
In his speech, Biden — whose record on race is troubling — accused Republicans of trying to enact Jim Crow 2.0 and compared those who oppose his agenda to segregationists such as former Alabama Gov. George Wallace and Birmingham top law enforcement officer Bull Connor — both of whom were Democrats, by the way.
Biden went on to say lawmakers who did not support him were akin to those who sided with Confederate President Jefferson Davis, another Democrat.
Do you think Biden is a lame duck?
The Democratic Party was the party of segregation, and Republican Party is the party of Abraham Lincoln, Ulysses S. Grant and Dwight Eisenhower, all of whom had a strong record on race.
Biden’s Atlanta remarks earned a stiff rebuke from his former Senate colleague Minority Leader Mitch McConnell.
“[Biden] compared … a bipartisan majority of senators to literal traitors. How profoundly, profoundly unpresidential,” the Kentucky Republican said.
“Look, I’ve known, liked and personally respected Joe Biden for many years. I did not recognize the man at the podium yesterday. … The president’s rant, rant, yesterday was incoherent, incorrect and beneath his office,” he added.
.@LeaderMcConnell: Biden “delivered a deliberately divisive speech that was designed to pull our country further apart…He compared…a bipartisan majority of senators to literal traitors. How profoundly, profoundly unpresidential…I did not recognize the man at the podium[.]” pic.twitter.com/UnzXDWBFyr
— Curtis Houck (@CurtisHouck) January 12, 2022
Moderate GOP Sen. Mitt Romney of Utah went right to the Senate floor after Biden’s remarks and charged that the president said “quite a number of things that simply weren’t true.”
The Washington Post’s fact-checker noted one of the false things Biden said is that he was arrested while protesting for civil rights. The Post gave him”four Pinocchios” for that claim.
Romney took him to task for accusing “a number of my good and principled colleagues in the Senate of having sinister, even racist inclinations.”
“This is a sad, sad day. I expected more of President Biden,” the senator said.
It’s absurd to claim that to ‘save a democracy,’ a party that represents barely half the country is entitled, entirely by itself, to trample the rules of its senior democratic institution. Legislation of consequence must be a product of bipartisan compromise to be effective. pic.twitter.com/NVyENHdNgx
— Senator Mitt Romney (@SenatorRomney) January 13, 2022
Boy, when Biden offends Romney, one of the most centrist Republicans and someone who, like the president, cannot stand Donald Trump, he’s got a problem.
Well, the president’s push to change the nation’s voting laws received a likely death blow Thursday when Democratic Sen. Krysten Sinema of Arizona announced from the Senate floor she would be standing firm in her opposition to changing the filibuster rule to pass the voting legislation.
Sen. Joe Manchin of West Virginia indicated the same earlier in the week.
Biden traveled to Capitol Hill on Thursday to try to win them to his side on the issue, apparently to no avail.
He told reporters after meeting with the Senate Democratic Caucus, “I don’t know whether we can get this done.”
“We missed this time,” he further conceded.
But that’s not all.
The same afternoon, the Supreme Court ruled against the Biden administration’s COVID vaccine mandate for large private employers, though it did allow one related to health care workers to remain in place.
On Wednesday, the nation received the news that inflation grew at its fastest pace in 40 years last month, no doubt spurred by the nearly $2 trillion in additional spending Biden signed into law last spring.
Also on the economic front, last week’s jobs report came in at a disappointing 199,000 added, which was less than half of what economists predicted.
Americans have noticed Biden is not doing a very good job as the nation’s chief executive.
The latest polling released Wednesday had him at 33 percent approval and 53 percent disapproval.
It’s a triple-whammy for Biden. His handling of …
– the economy: 34% approve, while 57% disapprove;
– foreign policy: 35% approve, while 54% disapprove;
– the response to the coronavirus: 39% approve, while 55% disapprove.
— Joey Garrison (@joeygarrison) January 12, 2022
The midterm elections this year are shaping up to be a blowout at this point, with the Republicans almost certain to take the House and quite conceivably the Senate too.
Biden is less than a year into his time in office, and he has already become a lame duck.
It’s hard to see how he could have a worse week than the one that just passed, but his presidency is still young.
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