AMAC Exclusive – By Shane Harris
In the days following the deadliest wildfire in U.S. history on Maui that left at least 115 people dead and 1,100 still missing, President Joe Biden escaped to his beach house in Delaware, sent another $200 million to Ukraine while offering pittances for Hawaii, and hobnobbed with liberal billionaire Tom Steyer at his Lake Tahoe mansion before finally visiting the ravaged island – where he promptly insulted the victims and left them feeling angry and betrayed. When the history of Biden’s presidency is written, his actions over the past three weeks will undoubtedly go down as one of the great disasters of his term, right alongside his botched Afghanistan withdrawal.
The blazes began on August 8 and have burned 6,400 acres. The historic town of Lahaina was completely destroyed, with total economic losses of at least $5 billion. With so many people missing more than two weeks after the inferno ripped through the town, it seems likely that the death toll could climb dramatically higher in the days and weeks ahead.
Yet as the entire country’s attention turned to Hawaii, President Joe Biden’s focus was anywhere else. Three days after the fires began, on August 11, Biden flew to his Delaware beach house for the weekend, where he twice told reporters “no comment” when asked about the blazes. As rescue workers were pulling burned bodies from the wreckage and begging for federal help, Biden was reclining in the sand 5,000 miles away.
Then on August 14 came the federal government’s paltry offer of $700 checks to families that had just lost everything they owned, which Biden touted on Twitter rather than announcing in person. After raking in $4.9 trillion in tax revenue last year, the Biden administration has so far only distributed an embarrassing $3.1 million to the devastated islanders.
On the same day he tweeted bragging about his administration’s response to the wildfires, Biden also announced another $200 million for Ukraine. That funding means the United States has now sent $113 billion to a country halfway around the world, but can spare just 0.0027 percent of that total for the American citizens on Maui. As an article from The Federalist pointed out, the $700 checks “won’t even cover each household’s portion of the $113 billion in aid packages the United States has billed taxpayers for the war in Ukraine, which averages almost $900 per household.”
A day later, on August 15, Biden finally broke his silence about the disaster during a speech in Milwaukee – a full week after the fires started. But his utter disregard for the victims was only just beginning. Three days later, on August 18, he departed for another vacation to Steyer’s mountain chalet. (For those of you keeping track at home, Biden has spent 39 percent of his presidency on vacation.)
With pressure mounting on all sides for Biden to do something to show empathy and compassion for the victims, the White House finally scheduled a trip to Maui this past Monday – only to see the president make things even worse.
When Biden arrived, it was already clear many residents were angry. As the president’s motorcade drove through the wreckages, there were shouts of “thanks for nothing!” and “traitor Joe must go!” Many held signs reading “no comment.”
After stepping up to a pristine lectern prepared for him in the midst of the wreckage, Biden still had one more slap in the face ready for the wildfire victims. As people who had just seen every one of their possessions and even family members and loved ones literally turned to ashes listened in disbelief, Biden compared their suffering to a small kitchen fire in his home two decades ago.
“To make a long story short, I almost lost my wife, my ‘67 Corvette, and my cat,” the president said about an episode that the incident report shows he routinely exaggerates. The hopelessly out-of-touch comment also came just moments after Biden had cracked a joke about the “hot ground.”
One social media user succinctly summed up the response of many Maui residents to Biden’s self-centered ramblings: “You almost lost your cat? Go f*** yourself.”
This isn’t the first time we’ve seen Biden – whose main selling point ahead of the 2020 election was that he is a “decent” man – show a complete lack of caring for the suffering of Americans.
Earlier this year, Biden waited days before responding to a train derailment in East Palestine, Ohio, that sent toxic smoke billowing into the air and poisoned the ground and water for miles in every direction. Biden repeatedly promised to visit the site of the disaster but has yet to do so, while also denying Ohio Governor Mike DeWine’s request for further federal assistance in the clean-up.
A few months after the Ohio disaster, Biden again ignited outrage by making a bizarre joke about ice cream in the wake of a horrific mass shooting at a Nashville Christian school that left six people, including three children, dead.
And don’t forget Biden’s utterly contemptuous response to his botched evacuation from Afghanistan in 2021. Even though 13 American service members died and the country fell to the Taliban days later, Biden called the evacuation an “extraordinary success.” Just a few weeks ago, the mother of one of the Marines who was killed at the Kabul airport revealed that Biden had likened her son’s death to that of his own son, Beau, who died of brain cancer, not on the battlefield, and then asked her for a photo op in the Oval Office.
A common refrain in conservative circles throughout Biden’s tenure has been that the president’s handlers are keeping him out of the public spotlight as much as possible to hide his very obvious cognitive decline. But given his track record, it’s worth asking if Democrats and the media are also desperate to mask the fact that Biden simply doesn’t care about the people he is sworn to serve.
Shane Harris is a writer and political consultant from Southwest Ohio. You can follow him on Twitter @ShaneHarris513.