Joe Biden: Still Doing Better Than You Think
What's the argument against Biden 2024 again?
1. The Border
The list of Biden administration debits is topped by:
Foreign policy problems caused by Afghanistan withdrawal
Illegal immigration surge at the southern border
All three of those are real problems that have occurred during Biden’s presidency.
Inflation is coming under control and we may be headed for a soft landing; which would be a tremendous achievement.
Biden’s response to Ukraine is the most deft handling of foreign policy by an American president since Reagan and H.W. Bush’s handling of the Cold War endgame.
Here’s the headline from CATO’s Alex Nowrasteh: “Biden's New Border Plan Slashes Illegal Immigration.”
The total number of encounters along the southwest (SW) border with Mexico dropped by 37.9 percent in the month following President Biden’s new immigration and border plan. President Biden framed his plan as an immigration enforcement measure, but it was far more than that. Crucially, Biden vastly expanded legal migration to the United States by using the power of humanitarian parole that Congress explicitly gave presidents in 1952. Specifically, the Biden plan is allowing 30,000 migrants from Venezuela, Cuba, Nicaragua, and Haiti (VCNH migrants) to legally come to the United States each month.
VCNH migrants showing up at the SW border who were apprehended, inadmissible, or expelled declined by 75.8 percent in January 2023, of which only 27 days were covered by the new Biden border and immigration plan announced on January 5th (Figure 1). The number of VCNH migrants showing up at the border fell to 22,082 in January of 2023, down from 91,330 in December 2022 – a drop of 69,248. This is consistent with Cato’s theory that legal migration deters illegal migration and border crossings. Non-VCNH migrants who do not have the humanitarian parole option fell 16.5 percent from 160,648 in December 2022 to 134,192 – a decline of 26,456.
Will it matter? I don’t know. Republicans are going to keep saying that immigration at the border is a mess, even if that’s no longer true. Same way they’re going to keep talking about inflation even as inflation comes under control. Here’s Ron DeSantis doing it this weekend as a means to avoid taking a real position on Ukraine.
The narrative doesn’t care about your facts.
But it does seem worth noting that Biden continues to govern in a manner that isn’t perfect, but is reasonably effective and which addresses the real world problems that have nothing to do with gender-neutral Oompa Loompas.1
I said this on The Next Level a couple weeks ago and I was joking—but also kind of not joking: I never would have guessed that the two most effective presidents of my lifetime would be Reagan and Biden.
But here we are.
2. Old Man Biden
The story of how Biden’s trip to Kyiv happened is pretty interesting, just from a logistics perspective. The Washington Post has the story and the sequence goes like this:
Saturday night: Biden attends Mass, visits the Museum of American History, and goes out to dinner at a DC restaurant.
Sunday morning, pre-dawn: Biden boards the C-32 and departs for Germany.
Take-off is 4:15 a.m.
Some time Sunday morning: Lands for refueling at Ramstein Air Base in Germany.
Sunday early afternoon: Lands at Rzeszów-Jasionka Airport in Poland.
Drives by car for an hour to the Ukrainian border.
Boards a train at Poland’s Przemysl Glowny station.
Travels by train for 10 hours to Kyiv.
Arrives at Kyiv-Pasazhyrsky station at about 8 a.m. local time on Monday morning.
Is driven straight to the Mariinsky Palace, the official residence of Ukraine’s president, where he met with Zelensky.
I don’t know about you, but I’m exhausted just reading this. Heck, I have to fly to Dallas later this week—non-stop, 4 hours—and I’m dreading it.
Biden did 22 hours of travel with the full planes, trains, and automobiles—and then pulled off the most consequential trip by an American president since . . . the Reykjavík Summit?
And voters are going to keep saying that he’s too old to do the job of president.
Again: Narrative, facts, etc.
3. Bullies and TikTok
This story in the New York Times will break your heart.