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Every administration has its ups and downs; Today, I examine why the Biden White House is taking more than its fair share of beatings. But first, here are three great new stories from Atlantic.
A steady hand
Any evaluation of a president’s performance usually begins with a soul-searching as to whether the writer voted for or against the incumbent. I voted for Joe Biden and I like him.
I am not, however, a partisan Democrat and have never been a member of the Democratic Party. (My parents were typical Depression-era blue-collar Democrats who turned Republicans after 1968.) In college, I became a moderate-conservative New England Republican, but worked for a centrist Democrat. in Beacon Hill and for a moderate Republican, the late John Heinz, in the Senate. And so I always liked Biden as someone I could relate to: a working-class centrist who spoke his mind, even when his thoughts were jumbled or when he seemed comically full of himself. -same.
The Joe Biden who ran in 2020 appeared wiser, sadder, somewhat deflated and seemed to assume the presidency as a public service and a burden. Time and tragedy had tempered Biden, and I loved him even more than in his flashy youth, like Jason Sudeikis. These days, I think he’s done a good job, especially as he deals with a pandemic, revelations of an attempted US coup, and an economic downturn over which he had no control.
Oh, and by the way: it has also managed (so far) to avoid World War III and a possible nuclear conflict. We seem to forget that this is the first task of every American president, but while we grapple with gas prices (which Biden also has no control over), the Russians are replaying the battle front. ‘Is against 40 million Ukrainians and also threaten NATO. It is reassuring to have a firm hand in charge of our foreign policy.
So why can’t the president take a break? Audiences blame him for almost everything, and his approval ratings plummet. What is happening here?
Forget the Republicans; Controlled by their more eccentric members (I would say “the fringe”, but they are now “the base”), they have fallen into a whirlwind of nihilism and despair. They are almost a lock on winning the House in 2022, but they don’t know why they want to, other than to protect themselves both from having to live among their own constituents and from the slow but steady approach of justice for the GOP involvement in Jan. 6.
As USA today Columnist Jill Lawrence pointed out this morning, Republicans are determined to impeach Biden because they have no other game, even if that’s not what voters want. It’s enough their the voters want, and it will make enough noise to cover up their lack of a plan to govern the country.
One might have hoped, however – and by a, I mean “me” — that the Democrats would hold their fire and stop whispering about what would happen if Biden quit, or even died. And if Biden holds his own, well, there are some prominent young Democrats who haven’t decided if they’re going to support him. (And by young democratsI mean “Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez”.)
I suspect the full weight of our foreign and domestic crises has not cut through the self-centeredness and solipsism not only of our political parties, but also of the American public. We are simply unable to comprehend that at home we are inches away from the collapse of our constitutional system of government, and abroad we are one wandering cruise missile away from a nuclear crisis.
But it’s all the president’s fault because Joe Biden is old and talks like… well, like Joe Biden.
It’s part of a larger problem in American politics: we’ve come to view the presidency as a temporary appointment to Superman, and the White House as a shining fortress of solitude full of potential miracles. In doing so, we absolve ourselves of any responsibility either for our own actions as voters or for any requirement to face our problems with resilience and understanding.
- Wall Street and President Biden are bracing for the possibility of the Federal Reserve announcing the largest interest rate hike since 1994.
- The New York Court of Appeals has ruled that an elephant named Happy is not legally considered a person and therefore is not unlawfully kept at the Bronx Zoo. Jill Lepore introduced Happy last year.
- Nevada, South Carolina, Maine and North Dakota have primary elections today. In South Carolina, a candidate backed by Donald Trump faces Representative Tom Rice, one of 10 House Republicans to vote to impeach Trump after Jan. 6.
Why fangirls are screaming
Kaitlyn Tiffany Story
On the morning of August 25, 2014, a 16-year-old girl arrived at the University of Texas Southwestern Medical Center in disconcerting condition. She was short of breath but had no chest pain. She had no history of lung disease and no abnormal sounds in her breathing. But when the emergency doctor on duty pressed on his neck and chest, he heard noises like crackling Rice Krispies in a bowl of milk – from spaces behind his throat, around his heart and between his lungs and chest wall. were strewn with air pockets, an x-ray confirmed, and his lungs were very slightly collapsed.
Read the article completely.
Lily. The prose in white girlsof Hilton Als, “holds the emotional dread of losing so many friends and potential lovers” to the AIDS epidemic.
Or try another suggestion from this list of books that explore the disorder of disease, health, and human biology.
Look. Get ready for the new Amazon Prime series The summer when I became pretty (out June 17) with a rewatch of another Jenny Han adaptation, Netflix’s To all the boys I’ve loved before.
Or pick a movie from our list of 26 Movies Critics Got Wrong.
Play our daily crosswords.
Thanks for reading and see you tomorrow. Thinking of Biden and his gas price troubles made me think of my teenage years, when every song and every movie seemed to be about the energy crisis. (Even James Bond was trying to figure it out!) But here I have to thank my hometown of Springfield, Massachusetts, and some local boys called NRBQ and their 1973 national hit “Get That Gasoline Blues.” Everything old is new again.
– To M
Isabel Fattal contributed to this newsletter.