The Other McCain

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The Biden Administration’s Blame Game and the Sad Fate of #NeverTrump

Posted on | September 25, 2021 | Comments Off on The Biden Administration’s Blame Game and the Sad Fate of #NeverTrump

My colleague John Hoge points out that, no matter what goes wrong in the Biden administration, it’s never their fault. It is psychologically unhealthy to think of oneself as a victim of forces beyond one’s control. Good mental health requires a sense of agency — the belief that we are masters of our own fate, able to obtain success and happiness by our own efforts — and the opposite of this is the victimhood mentality, the belief that we are doomed to misery, because we are being sabotaged and betrayed by an evil “them.” The tendency of the Biden administration toward the victimhood mentality was observed by Jonah Goldberg, who seems to be sobering up from his five-year binge of Trump Derangement Syndrome, experiencing “buyer’s remorse” over the Biden presidency he helped foist upon the nation. Brett Baier had Jonah on Thursday:

BAIER: Jonah, I have to commend this piece that you wrote for “The Dispatch” about Joe Biden and the passive voice, and that is the portrayal that this is somehow passively happening to him as opposed to decisions that Biden is making and the consequences of them.
GOLDBERG: Yes. We heard this just tonight, the clip you had from Jen Psaki earlier in the show, where she says we are weathering storms. No, when you are weathering storms, you are not responsible for the weather. Storms are things that happen to you. Joe Biden says events in Afghanistan unfolded, events at the border have unfolded, as if he has no agency and no responsibility for these things. He has made choices, and we are seeing the consequences of his choices on a whole bunch of fronts. And the way the media and the way the White House spin it, it’s like poor Joe Biden is like Charlie Brown being followed by a rain cloud, and he has no responsibility for what the predicaments that his White House is in.

Go ahead, spit on the ground and curse Jonah Goldberg, but he is correct about this passive-voice tendency in the Biden administrations — events unfolded, they are weathering storms and facing challenges, always victims of forces beyond their control. Nothing that goes wrong is ever their fault, according to them, because they are incapable of admitting error. The whole point of the Biden presidency — their existential purpose, their raison d’être — is to be Not Trump, the antithesis of Trumpism, doing everything the opposite of what Trump did.

Now they are shocked by the discovery that this approach doesn’t work.

Why? Because, however much you hate Trump, the fact is that his policies worked. Prior to the arrival of the Wuhan vicus, Trump’s policies had the U.S. economy in overdrive, with record-low unemployment, and it was his administration that initiated “Operation Warp Speed,” which yielded the COVID-19 vaccines that Biden now wants to make mandatory. This is where Jonah Goldberg needs his own confrontation with reality. What was the point of “Never Trump” conservatism if, as we now can all see plainly, reversing Trump’s policies produces disaster?

Goldberg now bemoans the passive-voice victimhood mentality of the Biden administration, but what about you, Jonah? Do you and your #NeverTrump comrades bear no responsibility in this failure?

Last time I checked the official numbers, Biden was elected because he beat Trump in four states by a combined margin of ~60,000 votes. Is it possible that such narrow margins might have gone the other way had it not been for the constant attacks on Trump from Goldberg, et al.?

Unlike so many others on what Kurt Schlichter dubbed the “Ahoy” crew — Jen Rubin, David French, Charlie Sykes — Jonah Goldberg does not seem content merely to parrot the daily DNC talking-points. One gets the idea that Goldberg may be nostalgic for the days when people didn’t spit on the ground and curse the very mention of his name, as every decent and patriotic American must now do. But he could rectify this, merely by titling the name of next book, I Was Wrong.

Don’t hold your breath waiting for that confession of error, though.

By the way, am I the only one who noticed the weirdly ritualistic way in which Biden administration officials used the word “horrific” to describe the photos of Border Patrol on horseback rounding up Haitian illegal immigrants? What was so “horrific” about these images? You cross the border illegally, the Border Patrol catches you — this happens every day. Is it merely because these illegals happened to be black?

In making such an issue of this, obviously in an effort to quell outrage among the BLM crowd, I doubt the Biden administration has thought about how the Hispanic community might view the situation. Imagine you’re a Hispanic resident of Arizona or Florida, and you see the Biden administration jumping up and down to denounce the Border Patrol for rounding up Haitian illegals. Wouldn’t you be tempted to say, “Wait a minute — where was this hyperventilating outrage during all the decades when it was Mexicans being rounded up at the border?” Isn’t it possible that this will cost Biden some Hispanic support? I think so.

Joe Biden is about as popular as herpes nowadays, so of course he is lashing out at scapegoats, promising to punish them:

President Joe Biden berated American border patrol agents for using horses to confront migrants crossing into the United States on the Southern border, vowing they would be punished.
“To see people treated like they did, horses running them over and people getting strapped, it’s outrageous I promise you those people will pay,” Biden said, despite no publicly available evidence to back up his claims.

“Those people will pay” — the people who are enforcing the law are wrong, according to Biden, but as for the foreign invaders trying to violate U.S. law by crossing the border? Oh, nothing wrong with that.



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