I suppose the theory is that if you can’t do anything else right, grandstand. From a political perspective, that’s not a stupid theory for a US President (which is why you don’t see Sidney Wang from the Ethics Alarms clip archive), but it is a desperate one, and it only is responsible leadership if there is no substantive risk of something really bad happening to the country you are leading as a result. Biden’s been grandstanding a great deal of late, such as shooting down harmless balloons like crazy to make up for the fact that he let the Chinese spy balloon travel across the U.S. For perspective, reasonable estimate is that it cost about $2 million to shoot down the Lake Huron balloon that may have cost as little as $12, but to be fair, the Biden Administration is operating under the assumption that money doesn’t matter, so this doesn’t qualify as “harm” in their eyes.
The much ballyhooed “surprise” trip to Ukraine for photo ops, however, had an undeniable potential downside: the President could have been killed. As he “stepped out into the streets of Kyiv” the New York Times reported, “an air-raid siren sounded, a dramatic moment that underscored the investment the United States has made in Ukraine’s independence.” Thanks, Times flaks, good pro-Biden spin and propaganda there! You’re doing your job, or at least what fake journalists today consider their job. Nevertheless, let me return to reality: the “dramatic moment” underscored how stupid and reckless Biden’s visit was.
Let’s put aside the inconvenient fact that Joe is probably no longer master of his own fate and is being manipulated and propped up almost as much as Woodrow Wilson was after his stroke, when Wilson’s wife Edith played President along with Wilson’s doctor. Biden is responsible for running for office in 2020 knowing (we assume) that he was shedding brain cells like dandruff. He’s also responsible for placing next in line in case he wakes up some morning no longer knowing his name a complete incompetent, Kamala Harris, because she ticked off the right identity boxes. I will not entertain the idea that Biden’s demise in office for any reason would be a good thing. A President dying (or even resigning, as in Nixon’s case) is never less than traumatic for the nation; it is an event that must be avoided, if possible, at all costs.
Biden travailing to war-torn Ukraine was undeniably a risk. How much of a risk? I won’t play that game: any risk was too much. I have always held the position that similar grandstanding by Presidents in wars where the United States was a combatant was and is a stupid and irresponsible risk (like President Bush delivering a Thanksgiving turkey to the troops in Iraq), but at least they were our troops. Biden’s pop-in visit to chat with Zelensky isn’t going to raise U.S. troop morale, and metaphorically saying “Nyah, nyah, nyah!” to Putin isn’t what I’d call a legitimate strategic objective.
In the meantime, while Biden was wasting time on a ten-hour train ride and hoping that he wasn’t terminated by an unexpected bomb or assassin, the Palestine, Ohio train derailment barely has the attention of Biden’s check-box Secretary of Transportation (not that it’s worth much) and people are noticing that the President is giving aid and comfort to Ukrainians when there are some terrified and angry Americans who might benefit from his attentions. I hold that such symbolic Presidential visits to U.S. disaster sites are highly over-hyped (especially when it is Republican Presidents not rushing to hold hands and intone platitudes), but again, at least these are American disasters involving American citizens, and some symbolic grandstanding is part of a President’s job—Ronald Reagan’s speech after the Challenger disaster didn’t accomplish anything tangible, after all.
But Biden’s visit to a war zone where all the U.S. can do is send money and tanks was pure grandstanding that risked making Kamala Harris President of the United States if the wrong butterfly flapped its wings in the Amazon. If all Joe can do is grandstand and pretend to be President, he still has to do it responsibly.
23 thoughts on “Ethics Dunce: President Biden”
And, as if on cue, after no air raid sirens had wailed for the previous 5 days and nary a sign of war, the sirens began to sound the alarm as Biden calmly strolled down the streets of Kiev – donning his tough guy aviators.
This is all choreographed. Even CNN admitted it was odd that all of a sudden at the precise moment Biden was walking with Zeleniski in the open the sound of air raid sirens blasted. It was interesting that neither appeared to feel the need to take shelter.
I am not impressed.
Biden is allowing China to reinforce Russian supply and materiel chains to cause the US to deplete its own ability to defend Tiawan or the U.S itself. Biden, by pushing for Ukraine to be part of NATO gave Putin the rationale to invade. Ukraine stood as a buffer between NATO nations and Russia. When you couple Biden’s blunder with Putin’s desire to reestablish the Soviet empire we can see that Obama was right when he said Biden will fuck up everything he touches. I’m not sure Harris could be any worse.
If a Democratic Party President is doing it then its purpose is pure as the driven snow; therefore Jack, that means that you are engaging in wrong think and spreading pro-Russian disinformation. It’s off to a reeducation camp for you.
“The political left has shown its pattern of propaganda lies within their narratives so many times since 2016 that it’s beyond me why anyone would blindly accept any narrative that the political left and their lapdog media actively push?” Steve Witherspoon 2022
I don’t trust a damn thing coming out of a Democratic Party politicians mouth or anything their lap dog Pravda-USA media outlets presents; these people are pure propagandists and liars.
Indeed. Can you imagine FDR showing up in London during the Blitz circa 1940?
I literally nearly wrote exactly that.
1) The United States and the Russian Federation have back channels for this. We told Russia behind the scenes the President was going. Russia, knowing that an expansion of the war to include the United States would spell the end of the Russian Federation obliged us by not doing anything dangerous.
2) I don’t think that kind relationship existed between the United States and the Third Reich. I don’t think 1940 Germany would have been too terribly worried about 1940 United States in the way 2023 Russia is definitely terrified of 2023 United States.
A President dying of natural causes would be disruptive. But Biden being killed by a Russian attack could easily lead to WWIII, even if he was not the intended target.
And them there’s that.
The trip was not a “surprise” to the Russians. The White House notified the Russians of Biden’s trip in advance so that the Russians would keep him safe. The air raid siren was bullshit, too. There was no air raid and no danger, just theatrical trickery.
Because the Russians are so trustworthy and they would never mis-use the information….
I really don’t think the Russians want a change of US President.
But of course, you don’t know. If they really favor Trump, having Kamala run against him would be the best way to get him back.
They don’t really favor Trump. I really hope you don’t believe our own media’s lies.
Nobody knows for certain one way or the other, except the Russians.
I have to ask: has anyone, anywhere, in print, the web or on the air, made the point EA is making here?
I’ve never read a criticism of Presidents visiting dangerous areas expressed in the way you do with respect to their safety. I only ever read criticisms of such visits when Republican Presidents do visit (grandstanding) or when they don’t (don’t care about the troops).
No, and I have been scouring all those sources. A reckless and foolhardy PR stunt, for sure.
In my opinion, his sole value is filling the job so Kamala Harris can’t get it.
And his sole value in running in 2020 was to take the job so Trump couldn’t have it. (Hey–where have YOU been?)
I have been watching, but VERY busy.
Which would not have been necessary if he, or the people who made his decision for him, hadn’t painted himself into a corner by declaring that he would only choose a black woman as his running mate and then chosen a completely unqualified black woman to boot.
“shedding brain cells like dandruff.”…”wrong butterfly flapped its wings in the Amazon”
You’re on fire, Jack!
Funniest thing: NOT_ONE_WORD about Presidents Day from either, you know, like, the President OR his laughably inept VP.
I’m surprised that at least Mayor Pete didn’t go to East Palestine sooner. He’s always ready to travel almost instantly. Know why?
His shit’s always packed! 😀
(sorry, couldn’t resist)