U.S. Military deaths in Afghanistan from a chaotic exit, a surging pandemic, southern border crisis, and rapidly increasing inflation at home, are worrying Democrats as President Joe Biden’s approval rating continues to drop in what may be the worst month of his administration.
“I just worry about his ability to achieve his agenda,” John Jackson, the chairman of the DeKalb County Democrats in Georgia, a midterm battleground told The Washington Post Saturday. “I don’t necessarily disagree with a lot of his policies — it’s his execution.”
Execution of the American withdrawal in Afghanistan after 20 years of war led to the Taliban rapidly retaking the country in about 10 days, capturing the capital city of Kabul on Aug. 14, and causing a chaotic exodus of American citizens, third country nationals, and Afghan refugees desperately trying to get flights out of the war-torn nation.
Since the Taliban takeover, the Biden administration has been able to get more than 100,000 people out, but thousands, especially those who helped the United States during the two-decade War on Terror, may remain when the last American leaves by Biden’s Aug. 31 deadline.
Topping the foreign policy debacle off this week, terrorist attacks at, and near, the Kabul airport that killed 13 U.S. servicemen on Thursday, the most deaths in that theater in more than a year.
Meanwhile on the home front, the delta variant of COVID-19 is surging throughout the nation, causing even fully vaccinated people to once again don masks in public, as officials push to get the final third of the nation to take one of three vaccines for the virus.
Illegal border crossings are at their highest levels in years, with many of those crossing over possibly being infected with COVID.
Add to all that, the worst rise of inflation in years, is causing Biden’s approval rating to plummet into the 40% range from its above 50% high when he took office.
“Up until the point of Afghanistan, people were very impressed by the organization and seriousness and maturity of the Biden presidency and its administration,” said Rep. Jamie B. Raskin, D-Md., “Whether it fundamentally tarnishes that or not, remains to be seen.”
Since the deadly attacks in Afghanistan, several GOP lawmakers, and even a few Democrats, have called for heads to roll, and resignations to be tendered to account for the missteps.
“I reject the idea that the president's handling of a difficult situation has somehow undermined people's sense of his confidence,” White House communications director Kate Bedingfield said in the Post’s story. “It’s showing people that he can lead at a difficult time, and that he has a steady hand and that he’s committed to transparency.”
It’s not just the Oval Office that may be in danger as midterm elections gear up for 2022 with the Democrats having a razor thin majority in the House of Representatives, and an even 50-50 split in the Senate.
“Stop bed-wetting and get back to work,” said Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee Chairman Sean Patrick Maloney, D-N.Y., who predicted that the party would retain its House majority in the midterms. “We’re going to deliver results for the American people.”
Part of “those results” include a $1.2 trillion infrastructure deal with Republicans, and a $3.5 trillion budget reconciliation bill that contains most of the major Democratic agenda items.
Both of those pieces of legislation are moving through Congress but could face political headwinds if bad things continue to happen.
Bedingfield said that the problems are only showing how strong a leader Biden really is.
“No president can prevent bad things from happening on their watch. The test of leadership is what you do when a bad thing happens,” she told the Post. “And I think the American people have seen him move quickly and consistently over the last couple of weeks.”
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