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Biden’s fortunes fall as some sympathetic conservatives turn on him

Howard Kurtz: Media have already moved on from Afghanistan crisis

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Biden’s fortunes fall as some sympathetic conservatives turn on him

If political punditry were a stock market, Joe Biden’s shares would be trading at an all-time low.Washington, like Wall Street, can be subjected to wild swings. The president’s fortunes were thriving two months ago and then started plummeting—what financial analysts would call a correction.Now there’s a Biden Bear Market.But for those not caught up in the frenzy of the moment, things are rarely as wonderful or horrible as they seem. The Biden White House was never as wildly successful as its biggest boosters contended, and the political obituaries of its greatest detractors may be a tad premature. People have short memories, and politics, like day trading, can be a crapshoot.This is not to deny the recent damage suffered by a 78-year-old president. Trust and credibility can be hard to regain once they’re lost.The Biden-bashing is hardly confined to the right. Late last month, as the administration mounted a desperate and chaotic effort to evacuate Americans from Afghanistan, the leading organs of mainstream media unleashed a sustained barrage of criticism.THE LEGACY OF 9/11: HOW THE ATTACKS CHANGED US FOREVER”President Biden is mired in the most devastating month of his tenure in office — struggling to contain a deadly crisis in Afghanistan, an unyielding pandemic, and other setbacks that have sent waves of anger and worry through his party as his poll numbers decline,” said the Washington Post.
The mainstream media seem to be moving on from President Biden’s chaotic withdrawal from Afghanistan. (Getty Images) 
(Photo by Mark Makela/Getty Images  |  Photo by SHAKIB RAHMANI/AFP via Getty Images)”With President Biden facing a political crisis that has shaken his standing in his party, Democrats across the country are increasingly worried about their ability to maintain power in Washington, as his administration struggles to defend its chaotic withdrawal from Afghanistan and stanch a resurgent pandemic that appeared to be waning only weeks ago,” said the New York Times.And things have only gotten worse with the coronavirus, with Biden tacitly admitting the failure of his persuasion strategy in moving to impose sweeping vaccine mandates.Biden’s low-key style—explicitly marketed as an alternative to the frenetic Trump years—is soothing when things are seen as going well. But when the news cycle overwhelms him, a president who grants few interviews and limits press questions can appear relegated to the sidelines.WHEN FAKE NEWS GOES VIRAL: LESSONS OF A LIE ABOUT IVERMECTINOn Saturday, Biden went to the 9/11 anniversary ceremonies in New York, Washington, and Shanksville, Pa., but did not give a speech. On one level such modesty is admirable, but it also amounts to ceding the megaphone that George Bush literally grabbed at Ground Zero.What’s most telling at the moment is to watch some on the right who either accepted Biden as a reasonable alternative or outright supported him—because of their antipathy to Donald Trump—gradually turning on him.Now part of this may be bitter disappointment in the man they saw as a plausible alternative, and part may be an attempt to regain some conservative cred after flirting with a liberal Democrat. But they can’t be accused of being reflexively hostile.”Biden was always fundamentally a default president, elected in opposition to Donald Trump and initially buoyed by the contrast to his outlandish predecessor,” says National Review Editor Rich Lowry. But after losing Trump as a “foil,” Lowry says, Biden botched the Afghanistan exit and didn’t appear in control.”Privately, Democrats must know that his performances at his press conferences weren’t reassuring, let alone commanding. The problem Biden has is that any act of incompetence will, fairly or not, raise questions about his age, even if he would have done exactly the same thing at 38 that he’s now done at 78.”This isn’t a position of strength from which to deal with another structural problem that was submerged by his initial success getting new COVID-19 spending and by wishful press coverage — uncomfortably narrow margins in Congress.”And that is undeniable. With Joe Manchin able to block anything too costly or liberal in the Senate, and the AOC wing able to sink anything too moderate, the clock is ticking on Biden’s domestic agenda before the likely loss of the House next year.SUBSCRIBE TO HOWIE’S MEDIA BUZZMETER PODCAST, A RIFF OF THE DAY’S HOTTEST STORIESBret Stephens, the New York Times conservative who voted for Biden, calls him “a diminished president…Joe Biden was supposed to be the man of the hour: a calming presence exuding decency, moderation, and trust. As a candidate, he sold himself as a transitional president, a fatherly figure in the mold of George H.W. Bush who would restore dignity and prudence to the Oval Office after the mendacity and chaos that came before.”Now, says Stephens, Biden “has become the emblem of the hour: headstrong but shaky, ambitious but inept. He seems to be the last person in America to realize that, whatever the theoretical merits of the decision to withdraw our remaining troops from Afghanistan, the military and intelligence assumptions on which it was built were deeply flawed, the manner in which it was executed was a national humiliation and a moral betrayal, and the timing was catastrophic.”CLICK HERE TO GET THE FOX NEWS APPHis takeaway: Biden is “proud, inflexible, and thinks he’s much smarter than he really is.”Naturally, if the virus is fading and the economy rising next year, we could be in for a Biden Bull Market. That’s especially true if he can muscle through some of his spending bills that funnel aid to lots of folks. But for now, his stock has taken a major hit.


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