AMAC Exclusive – by Herald Boas
It is obvious that Joe Biden has just gone through the worst month of what is still the early part of his presidency.
His conduct of the U.S. military withdrawal from Afghanistan has drawn near-unanimous sharp criticism at home and abroad, and he is beset with crises and challenges in domestic and foreign issues, many of his own making.
As a result, many Republican officials and some conservative commentators are calling for him to resign.
The question is whether such calls make good political sense for the opposition party, or are even good for the country.
The 2022 national mid-term elections will enter their home stretch in less than a year. Republicans, as of now, are poised to make substantial gains in the U.S House, likely regaining the majority. The GOP also looks primed to win a small net gain in the U.S. Senate, thus reclaiming control. And Republicans are also expected to expand their lead in governorships and state legislatures. This circumstance existed before the debacle in Afghanistan, and if anything, has been enhanced by it.
Mr. Biden and his supporters are counting on voters to forget Afghanistan by next November — although hundreds of Americans remain stranded there, and the new Taliban regime’s ability and desire to stop terrorist and jihadist groups’ acting from there is questionable at best.
Recent polling suggests that the political damage to Mr. Biden is quite serious, and possibly more than short-term. Most polls, including those which formerly were very generous to the President, now show his approval percentage deeply in the negative. A USA Today poll had his positives at 41%. Most other polls have him in the low-to-mid 40s. An Emerson Poll had him losing to former president Trump 46-45 — indicating that many independents and quite a few Democrats are having second thoughts about 2020. Since such polls reflect the popular vote, including the large populations concentrated in heavily Democratic states such as California, New York and Illinois, the one-point poll lead indicates a theoretical landslide in the electoral college vote for Mr. Trump.
As other issues come to the fore, the anger about Afghanistan will subside — but would it be forgotten, especially if Mr. Biden were to leave office before the end of his term? And if he did resign, his successor would be Vice President Kamala Harris who, so far, has given no indication she is ready or able to assume the presidency. If Ms. Harris did become president, the next in line would be Speaker Nancy Pelosi — until a President Harris nominated a new vice president who might be even further left than she is. Moreover, any new president would likely have a honeymoon period with many voters, and if this took place now, it could alter the course of the 2022 elections.
Mr. Biden now has to face the issue of a clearly worsening U.S.-Mexican border crisis, sudden economic inflation, lingering pandemic issues, Chinese provocations in Asia, ongoing Middle East debacles, and resistance to radical proposals (such as defunding the police) originating in his own party (but opposed by many voters.)
The past several weeks have also seen the unprecedented abandonment, probably temporarily, of the mainstream media from protecting Mr. Biden — as it has done since the 2020 presidential campaign. In regard to the Afghan disaster, liberal editorial pages and commentators were often even more brutally critical of Mr. Biden than their conservative counterparts. Although already showing signs of softening, suddenly the Biden administration no longer has the guaranteed support the mainstream media once provided.
With the president’s standing impaired, he might be more of a hindrance than a help to Democratic candidates in 2022. In the weeks and months ahead, the real pressure for Mr. Biden to resign is more likely to come from within his own party then from any Republican.