The debt ceiling issue was basically like a meteorite approaching Earth, fiscally speaking. If a deal to raise it wasn’t reached, the United States would default and the world economy would suffer potentially catastrophic consequences.
Past presidents, knowing they would have to deal with hostile Congresses, planned long and hard to avert such disasters. But not Joe Biden. He looked up into his macroeconomic telescope, saw the meteorite coming, and said nope, we’re not doing anything. We’re not negotiating with no meteorite, bub. I’ve dealt with Corn Pop and got arrested trying to visit Nelson Mandela while he was in prison. Ol’ Uncle Joe’s one bad dude.
Now, this wasn’t technically the White House’s reasoning. The actual line — slightly more boring, but still just as ill-conceived — was that the Republican majority in the House was so thin that the Democrats could peel off a few GOP votes and pass a debt limit increase without concessions or spending cuts.
Well, shocker of shockers, that turned out to be wrong.
So, after a period of contemplating whether the 14th Amendment allowed the president to unilaterally raise the debt limit (spoiler alert: it didn’t), Biden and the Democrats were forced to concede to a deal that suspends the debt limit through January 2025 while cutting nondefense spending to close to 2022 levels and reclaims money the administration allocated to the Internal Revenue Service and COVID-19 relief programs, according to Fox News.
Both Republicans and Democrats hated the bill, signed Saturday– which some say is a sign of a good compromise. In this case, it was more the case of a hasty one, caused by the president’s lack of foresight to account for a contingency every president with a hostile Congress has ever had to face.
But to Biden’s campaign team, the president’s ability to barely manage to successfully handle negotiations that are expected of every White House occupant is an occasion for a victory lap.
“President Biden delivers again for the U.S. economy!” an upbeat narrator says in an ad released by the Democratic Party on Monday.
“When MAGA Republicans threatened to wreck the U.S. economy, President Biden took charge, secured a bipartisan agreement and prevented chaos, all while protecting Social Security, health care and other critical programs.”
Just in case you didn’t get the message: “President Biden delivers for us again!”
Ah, yes. The debt ceiling crisis wasn’t the fault of a White House that refused to negotiate with the other side until it realized that it, like every other White House in its position, needed to negotiate with the other side. Oh, no no no! It’s the MAGA Republicans. Quick, say it in a “Scooby-Doo” voice and it sounds really creepy: “MA~A~GA Re~e~pub~li~cannnnns!”
And this isn’t just a one-off ad hastily put together by some intern video editors at the Democratic National Committee and pushed into a corner of YouTube where no one but the Democratic faithful will ever see it.
“The Biden team and the Democratic National Committee are launching a six-figure ad campaign Monday touting the bipartisan agreement that the president reached with House Speaker Kevin McCarthy last month to lift the debt ceiling in exchange for some spending restraints and restrictions on food aid eligibility,” Politico reported Monday evening.
“The spots, which were first shared with Politico, make the case that Biden managed to protect essential government programs as well as his own accomplishments in the face of far-right Republicans who wanted to strip them away during the high-stakes talks over the debt ceiling,” the report said. “And that he did it all while avoiding a devastating outcome that would have hampered the economy.”
Perhaps the best summation of why this is literally the worst horse for the Democrats to put their money behind comes not from a conservative pundit but from CBS News’ Margaret Brennan, host of “Face the Nation.”
Reporting on the deal, she described it thusly: “Let’s put this into perspective: This is the president taking a victory lap on being able to achieve a basic matter of governance.”
CBS News’s Margaret Brennan: “Let’s put this into perspective: this is the president taking a victory lap on being able to achieve a basic matter of governance.” pic.twitter.com/6HmLIPtuNa
— RNC Research (@RNCResearch) June 2, 2023
Every politically aware person who had seen a sample congressional poll between the middle of 2021 and the 2022 midterms knew that the Republicans were going to have control of the House — the body that controls the government’s purse strings, for those of you with only a Common Core civics education. That means for the majority of his presidency, Biden knew this was coming. And he barely got it done.
There’s your campaign slogan, folks: “Biden 2024: Barely Doing What He’s Supposed to Do.”
Just picture this mentality applied to other clips of the president in action.
Upbeat narrator: “President Biden delivers again! Just before he tripped over a sandbag put in his way by ultra-MAGA Republicans during his commencement at the U.S. Air Force Academy, the president was almost able to follow stage directions and correctly point out the genders of the people he almost correctly called ‘pilots’! President Biden delivers again!”
Biden needs directions to find the stage — then again when he’s on the stage pic.twitter.com/ItRXow6dt0
— RNC Research (@RNCResearch) June 1, 2023
BIDEN: “By the way, I met with, uh, who are those guys that fly over shortly? You’ve heard of ’em, haven’t you? Three of them are women, so don’t screw around, guys.” pic.twitter.com/95j3oyDgyB
— RNC Research (@RNCResearch) June 1, 2023
Upbeat narrator: “President Biden delivers again! He correctly called on a reporter whose name and question were printed on a cheat sheet at a White House media briefing, and correctly pronounced her first name right! He also didn’t make a mistake ultra-MAGA Republicans were trying to lure him into by attempting to pronounce her last name, ‘Subramanian,’ despite the fact it was phonetically spelled out for him on the cheat sheet. Instead, he called her ‘Courtney Los Angeles Times.’ President Biden delivers again!”
Biden used a cheat sheet at today’s press conference — with a reporter’s question written on it pic.twitter.com/jfZu5JxKz5
— RNC Research (@RNCResearch) April 26, 2023
Upbeat narrator: “President Biden delivers again! He breathes air for the 29,418th straight day! Ultra-MAGA Republicans want to poison our air by rejecting the Green New Deal — and poison our seniors like President Joe Biden. Not that he’s that senior. Don’t get any ideas. He’s young and spry! And he’s still breathing air — for almost 30,000 days straight! President Biden delivers again!”
And when he stops breathing? “President Biden delivers again by voting three times in Chicago!”
Yes, that’s hyperbole, but it’s an achievement closer to what the Biden White House is actually bragging about than a real bipartisan triumph on the debt ceiling.
The president, with no Plan B if his don’t-negotiate-with-MAGAs Plan A failed, basically just got something — anything — done to avoid default.
If I were a Biden campaign adviser, I would recommend the Democrats hide this deal like Jimmy Hoffa’s remains and move on to literally any other issue that gets Democrats riled up.
But, no. We’re going with a six-figure ad spend on the “Biden 2024: Barely Doing What He’s Supposed to Do” angle, as per Politico.
Good luck with that. If this is what the White House decides it’s going to be boasting about, there are much bigger meteorites heading straight for his presidency.
This article appeared originally on The Western Journal.