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A column from The Atlantic went out of its way to defend President Joe Biden from the criticisms of the American people and even those in Biden’s own party.
In the Tuesday piece, “Leave Joe Biden Alone,” contributing writer Tom Nichols argued that Biden has done a “pretty good job” as president considering all the crises he’s had to handle since taking office, and that the American people are being too hard on him for things like high gas prices.
Nichols began his Biden apologetics by declaring, “I voted for Joe Biden, and I like him.” He described Biden “as someone to whom I could relate: a working-class centrist who spoke his mind, even when his thoughts were garbled or when he seemed comically full of himself.”
The author explained that he liked Biden even more during his 2020 presidential run than in the past. “The Joe Biden who ran in 2020 appeared wiser, sadder, somewhat deflated, and seemed to be taking on the presidency as a public service and a burden. Time and tragedy had tempered Biden, and I liked him even more than I did in his flashier, Jason Sudeikis–like youth,” Nichols wrote.
And Biden as president has been “pretty good” for Nichols as well. He added, “these days, I think he’s done a pretty good job, especially given the fact that he’s dealing with a pandemic, revelations about an attempted American coup d’état, and an economic slowdown over which he had no control.”
He praised Biden for not getting us into World War III and then absolved him of blame for high gas prices.
“He’s also managed (so far) to head off World War III and a possible nuclear conflict… but while we’re griping about the gas prices (over which Biden also has no control), the Russians are replaying the Eastern Front against 40 million Ukrainians and also threatening NATO,” he wrote.
Nichols expressed that despite this success, Biden’s getting some rough treatment. “So why can’t the president catch a break?” he asked. “The public blames him for almost everything, and his approval ratings are cratering. What’s going on here?”
Nichols mentioned “the fringe” GOP, who are “determined to impeach Biden because they have no other play.” He claimed the point of the impeachment will be to “make sufficient noise to cover their lack of a plan to govern the country.”
He then mentioned his own party’s rough handling of Biden, writing, “One might have hoped, however—and by one, I mean ‘me’—that the Democrats would hold their fire and stop their whispering about what happens if Biden steps down, or even dies.”
He also mentioned the Democrats who don’t have faith in supporting Biden any longer. “And if Biden does hold on—well, there are some prominent young Democrats who haven’t decided if they’re going to support him. (And by young Democrats, I mean ‘Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez,’” he added.
Though Nichols claimed that the political parties and the American people just don’t see how bad things are regardless of Biden. “My suspicion is that the full weight of our foreign and domestic crises has not broken through the self-absorption and solipsism of not only our political parties but the American public,” he wrote.
Nichols continued, “We are just not capable of understanding that at home, we are inches away from the meltdown of our constitutional system of government, and abroad, we are one errant cruise missile away from a nuclear crisis.” He implied that slamming Biden over this reality makes no sense.
“But this is all the president’s fault because Joe Biden is old and talks like … well, like Joe Biden,” he claimed sarcastically.
Nichols concluded by saying Americans are only harsh on Biden because their expectations are too high. “This is part of a more general problem in American politics: We have come to regard the presidency as a temporary appointment to Superman, and the White House as a gleaming Fortress of Solitude full of potential miracles,” he declared.
Thus, we blame Biden and never ourselves. “In doing so, we let ourselves off the hook for any responsibility either for our own actions as voters, or for any requirement to face our problems together with resilience and understanding,” he added.