Who is watching the store in Washington?
Republicans say that President Biden is not up to the job – implying that the folks around him are actually running the store. Probably a bit of political hyperbole. But recent events suggest some legitimacy in the accusation. Two cases seem to expose the problem – and they are serious ones.
The French Dis-connection
The Biden administration cut a deal with Australia to provide nuclear submarine technology to the island nation. In view of the growing tension in the region over Chinese aggressive policies, that could be considered a wise move.
But it was an action that created a MAJOR rift between the United States and France – America’s longest ally. France had their own request for the same information and hardware. French President Macron went ballistic when he read the reports of the deal in the French newspapers.
This was no small diplomatic blunder by a President who claims to have great experience in matters of international diplomacy. Macron ordered the withdrawal of the French ambassador. That is something that one usually does when there is state of war – or at least in response to adversarial actions.
The French ambassador has since been returned, but based on the recent meeting between Biden and Macron at the G20, the wound has not yet closed.
Biden offered a mea culpa of sorts by conceding that the entire matter was handled in a “clumsy” manner. Then Biden said something extraordinary. He said that he was unaware that the French government had not been informed. In other words, it was not his fault. The buck never seems to stop on Biden’s desk.
There are two problems with Biden’s excuse. How involved was he in the negotiations and decisions that led up to the Australian deal? And how does this reflect on his oft touted claim to be the expert in foreign diplomacy?
If you believe his excuse, the brouhaha with Macron was caused by Biden not being fully informed on the negotiations – and not having the input he should have had. Biden’s lack of knowledge on such an important decision and the rollout is a cause for reasonable concern.
$450,000 or more to illegal aliens.
The Wall Street Journal published a report that migrant families who were separated from their children during the Trump administration could receive taxpayer compensation of $450,000 or more. This was not some crazy rumor going viral on the Internet. This was a report in one of the nation’s premier news publications.
When FOX’s Peter Doocy asked Biden if it was true and wouldn’t that encourage more migrants to cross the border, the President slapped him down by saying it only gets validity by news outlets that “keep sending that garbage out.” Biden followed up by declaring “That’s not going to happen.”
Weeell … turns out that Biden was totally unaware what his folks at the Department of Justice have been doing. The ACLU swiftly issued a statement saying that Biden was apparently not informed of the status of settlement talks between the affected families being represented by … the ACLU – and the DOJ. There is, indeed” a tentative framework agreement to pay $450,000 or more to settle various claims out of court.
Why the DOJ is being so accommodating instead of fighting such payments in court, is one problem. What is more shocking is that Biden seemed to be totally unaware of such a controversial action by his own DOJ – one that is bound to outrage millions of Americans at any price.
If Biden is clueless on such major matters, it is fair to ask what else is going on in his administration that is not coming to his desk. Looking through this lens, one can legitimately wonder if Biden’s disastrous and deadly surrender in Afghanistan was a failure to inform the President of the likely consequences. To paraphrase the old question, “What didn’t Biden know — and when didn’t he know it.
So, there ‘tis.