Readers know of my concerns about the competence of the Biden administration. In my March post, I noted in “The Dog Ate Biden’s Homework,’ the apparent lack of knowledge of “Project Warp Speed” led to out-of-touch pronouncements. Some people around the President should have been on top of everything Covid but dropped the ball. Now the capability problem is exposed across the board.
Can anybody put forward anyone, including the President, showing minimum ability in this administration. You know you have a losing roster when your go-to guy is Transportation Secretary Pete Buttigieg. You know the guy who went on two-month maternity leave while the U.S. suffered through a massive supply chain snarl due in large part because to transport problems. As a small city mayor with no background in the field, he has yet to develop solutions.
The closest he’s come to any plan is to tell us to switch to Electric Vehicles for transport. After all, he informs us you’ll never worry about the price of gas again. He seems unaware that those running heavy trucks, buses, and ships looking at the weight and range of batteries might favor hydrogen. With a hardworking genius like this, how can we go wrong? Yet, he’s the one sent out to defend the administration across media.
South Africa reported a new Covid variant. The World Health Organization named it Omicron. Many countries, in panic, immediately blocked travel to South Africa and other African nations. Fear of a faster spreading and deadly Covid tanked markets. Instead of our Health and Human Services Secretary, Xavier Becerra, the administration sent out National Institute of Health (NIH)Doctors Anthony Fauci and Francis Collins to Sunday news shows. The former to most, while the latter went on Fox.
Dr. Fauci’s position as Covid leader is baffling. His all over the place performance in the previous administration earned him distrust by half the nation. His perceived undermining of President Trump and others in that administration may have made him popular with Democrats, but Republicans tune him out. Worse, both he and Dr. Collins are under scrutiny for having provided NIH funds to the Wuhan Lab for “gain of fuction reasearch.” Who can forget the don’t wear a mask, wait better wear a mask. Better yet, wear two from Fauci.
To criticism, Fauci replied on Sunday, “attacks on me, quite frankly, are attacks on science.” This direct contradiction of the tried and true “Scientic Method” shows how far he has wandered from science.
The marginalizing the HHS Sec. Becerra in favor of the mistrusted Fauci probably reflects Xavier’s non-existent experience in health and human services. The result is more unforced errors. On the advice of Dr. Fauci, Biden placed a belated ban on travel from South Africa and other African nations, but not till Monday, days after we learned the variant is in several other countries across the globe. We don’t know if the variant originated in southern Africa, only it was identified there.
The ban was to appear like we were doing something. What we did was offend South Africa and other African nations. In effect, we punished them for finding and reporting the new variant. Hard to believe, but South Africa is very good at findings variants. In fact, better than we are. We have no idea if it originated there, but they identified it. For their excellent efforts, we punished them. Panic is no way to maintain friendships.
An on-the-ball secretary of State would’ve instantly seen the stupidity of our actions and intervened. Unfortunately, Secretary Anthony Blinken has already proved less than adequate. While opposed to Russia to Germany gas pipeline, he nevertheless failed to stand up, and Biden O.K.’d a tremendous Russian victory. Blinken followed this fiasco with the incomprehensible Afghanistan disaster. With many Americans and our supporters still stranded there, Blinken is the definition of dishonor.
Of course, he isn’t alone in shame—Sec. Of Defence, Lloyd Austin shares Blinken’s disgrace. He failed to stand up against the doomed plan. Where another Secretary of Defence faced with the same untenable position resigned, he fell in line. How can we expect our warriors to follow Austin and those around him into battle?
However, Homeland Security Secretary Alejandro Mayokas sets a new standard in failing to stand up for his people. While viewing the mounted Border patrol using standard tactics to turn back illegal border crossers, the Secretary promised to investigate and punish them for doing their job. Gross ignorance of how your people work goes a long way to explain the ever-growing crisis on the border.
Maybe good legal advice could help prevent missteps. Attorney General Merrick Garland, however, is too busy inserting the Department of Justice (DOJ) in politics. A group representing school boards worked with the White House on a memo requesting the DOJ investigate parents questioning school policy as terrorists. Amazingly, Garland complied with the message with political, legal action intervening in local matters. The resulting public outcry caused the school board group to apologize and withdraw, leaving Garland’s DOJ hanging with an egg on its face.
With the most significant inflation in 30 years, Treasury secretary Janet Yellen seems to have forgotten about basic economics. After holding many prestigious economic positions, the simple inflation definition of “too much money chasing too few goods” eludes her—no plan yet from Yellen to reduce the pain of rising prices.
Energy prices are at the forefront of our inflation. If you’re looking for knowledgeable energy discussion, don’t look for it from Energy Secretary Jennifer Grandholm. When asked the simple question of how much oil we consume per day, she had no idea. Why should she with no background in the energy field?
If anyone has seen anything positive from the rest of the cabinet, bring it to my attention. Almost a year in, and we don’t know much about the lesser members. That’s probably for the best. We know the major cabinet players, but not in a positive way.
Let’s not even go into the lack of performance by the vice-president. What does she do all day?
Watching T.V. shows such as The West Wing or Madame Secretay, the White House Chief of Staff is the ringmaster at the circus. Protecting the President from missteps and bringing order is the job. Given the endless failures and disorder in the Biden administration, one might ask why Ron Klain still has a job. Like the rest of the bunch, he has no idea about his assignment.
Biden supporters point to his administration’s incredible diversity of race and gender. Given the results, maybe it’s time to return to Martin Luther King’s “Content of their Character” model to judge capabilities. Better people usually lead to better results.
Casey Stengel’s “Can’t Anyone Here Play This Game,” referred to his hapless expansion Mets baseball team that lost a record 102 games. The great journalist Jimmy Breslin used Casey’s question to tittle his humorous tale of those Mets. At a point in the future, we will have a book about the wretched Biden team. It probably won’t be as funny.