One year in, Biden known more for misses than hits

by mcardinal

Willie R. Tubbs, FISM News


It would be unfair to say that President Joe Biden failed to achieve any of his objectives in his first year in office; but a reasonable person can fairly and honestly conclude the President has to date failed to deliver in a manner agreeable to most Americans.

Wednesday, the White House released a pair of fact sheets that labeled the past year as a rousing success for the Biden administration and a victory for Americans.

“When President Biden and Vice President Harris took office one year ago, our country faced unprecedented crises,” one release reads. “From the raging pandemic, economic turmoil, ongoing climate change, and persistent racial injustice, the President and Vice President promised to move quickly, tackle these crises head-on, and deliver results for working families. That’s what they’ve done.”

“In spite of unprecedented crises and opposition from Congressional Republicans, the President and Congressional Democrats got an enormous amount done for the American people in their first year.”

The problem seems to be that no one told Americans they were supposed to be pleased.

On the one-year anniversary of his taking the oath of office, Biden sits among the least popular presidents in modern history. According to a recent Gallup Poll, only 40% of the nation approves of the job he’s done. The ever-critical independent voter demographic tracks even worse at 33%.

Biden entered office with about a 57% approval rating and has seen his popularity track down ever since. This trend makes his 48.9% average approval rating, second worst among first-year presidents since the statistic began being tracked, all the more noteworthy.

For his part, Biden has maintained a positive outlook.

“From getting more than 200 million Americans fully vaccinated to the addition of over 6 million new jobs, we’ve made record progress for working families over the last year,” the President tweeted Wednesday night.

Reality tells a less rosy story.

Three-hundred-sixty-five days after being sworn in, few of Biden’s plans have come to fruition, and all his victories have been coupled with setbacks.

When he ran for office, Biden’s sold himself on his ability to foster a return to normalcy and be the person who healed a divided nation. President Biden has struggled to rally the nation, except, perhaps, for the growing number of people who agree he’s doing a poor job,

Of late, his more animated speeches– on the anniversary of the riot at the U.S. Capitol and in favor of changing Senate rules to remove the filibuster – have led to accusations of the president stoking division.

Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) tweeted on Wednesday that Biden is using his position of power to try to “silence millions of Americans’ voices.”

Later in the day Sen. Ted Cruz (R-Texas) tweeted, that Biden is becoming the “divider-in-chief.”

President Biden has fared poorly in advancing key legislation. Some of his bills have died in the Senate, others have stalled.

His Build Back Better bill, which at one point carried a price tag of $6 trillion, was whittled to less than $2 trillion then shelved when moderate Sen. Joe Manchin (D-W.V.) joined 50 Republicans in opposition. His push for voting rights legislation died Wednesday, just hours before the President’s one-year anniversary in office, when Manchin and Sen. Kyrsten Sinema (D-Ariz.) joined Republicans in defeating a motion to remove the filibuster.

Biden’s greatest success was the passage of a bipartisan infrastructure bill. The proposal enjoyed bicameral support but took months to pass as the president and progressives in the House sought to couple it with the more polarizing social spending bill.

One area in which President Biden might have built momentum was in international politics and military posturing. He strengthened the U.S., U.K., and Australia’s presence in the Indo-Pacific Region through the signing of the AUKUS treaty and smoothed over a brief rhetorical flareup with France. He’s also consistently reaffirmed his commitment to back Taiwan against China and protect Ukraine from Russian advances.

However, President Biden failed so profoundly in his handling of the U.S. withdrawal from Afghanistan, that whatever successes he achieved were overshadowed.

Biden’s record on immigration has been abysmal. As explained by Border Report, he’s drawn criticism from his own party for not pushing for immigration reform and from Republicans for not addressing a crisis at the southern border.

COVID-19 has also been a stumbling block for the president. His vaccine mandates have been limited by the Supreme Court and numerous states and individuals have resisted, flouted or ignored Biden’s COVID-related policies. He has been successful in making testing more widely available, but COVID-19 worker and supply shortages persist, as do the nation’s supply chain woes.

Climate change was an area in which Biden had some ceremonial successes. He returned the nation to the Paris Accord and the more recent Glasgow Pact, treaties in which hundreds of nations promised to work together to mitigate climate change, and also launched various green initiatives through the infrastructure bill.

In the area of economics, President Biden has had mixed success, but his failures have far outstripped his victories. The stock market has stabilized and employment numbers have improved, but inflation has risen to a decades-long high, and Americans have seen the cost of gasoline soar.

While it’s impossible to use first-year approval ratings to predict future political fortunes – Jimmy Carter enjoyed a first-year average approval rating of 61.9% while Bill Clinton checked in at 49.3% – the evidence suggests Biden is, as of today, underperforming in the eyes of American voters.