I can’t imagine what President Joe Biden’s handlers — particularly his speechwriters — feel when he gives any kind of extended remarks.
If forced to identify what the strain must feel like, I’d have to guess it’d be like the unpleasant adrenaline rush experienced by a gambler who could either break even or lose everything. No upside, all downside.
There are no more flashes of eloquent rhetoric left in the nation’s 46th president, to the extent they ever were there. On the best of days, then, team Biden can merely hope their boss acquits himself, to use George Orwell’s words, as “simply a hole in the air.”
And then there are the speeches that make America wish they had elected the air instead.
What kind of day was it Wednesday as Biden gave an infrastructure-centric speech in Covington, Kentucky? Well, let’s put it this way: This is only the second-worst clip it generated.
“I’ll paraphrase the phrase of my old neighborhood: The rest of the countries, the world is not a patch in our jeans, if we do what we wanna do, we need to do.” pic.twitter.com/0TLeSe5aGY
— TheBlaze (@theblaze) January 4, 2023
Boy, that world, they’re not a patch on our jeans, as they used to say around the ol’ watering hole in Scranton, I tell you what, ol’ Corn Pop — he was a bad dude and he used to say America, like I was telling you folks, literally, and that’s why this country is the greatest country in the world because of three words: American manufacturing. Lying dog-faced pony soldier!
So goes the usual Biden gaffe. Looks like gramps didn’t drink his Ovaltine this morning! But the thing is, these moments are a dime a dozen, even factoring Bideninflation into the mix.
They remind us that we have a president who isn’t just experiencing the side effects of a childhood stutter (after all, Biden has had plenty of time to fix it since his birth during the Van Buren administration), nor has he just “lost a step” — unless, of course, you’re conceding he only had one step to begin with.
The problem is when the president reminds us that this has real-world implications — like when, in the very same speech, he wanted us to all “think about” how bad things got “two years ago.”
According to a transcript from the White House, this was as Biden was crowing about how, “since I got elected, we’ve created 750,000 new manufacturing jobs” — including investments in semiconductor manufacturing.
“And, by the way, we invented — we invented the semiconductor. The United States. Then we got back on our heels,” Biden said.
“No, think about it. Think about why the recession got so bad two years ago. Cars got so expensive. We didn’t have semiconductors. Scores of them are in the engines of every automobile. We invented them! And then we went to sleep. We exported jobs.”
See the problem there? If not, let’s let tax expert Julio Gonzalez point out the flaw in Biden bringing this particular point up:
Joe Biden: “Think about why the recession got so bad two years ago.”
Joe Biden took office two years ago. pic.twitter.com/w4PhV6XqOq
— Julio Gonzalez – juliogonzalez.com (@TaxReformExpert) January 4, 2023
Well, a year and 349 days, but who’s counting?
First, “why the recession got so bad” in the first place had little to do with semiconductors on their own, although they played a role. It’s because of COVID-19 and the subsequent lockdowns, lockdowns vigorously supported by the Democrats despite their job-killing, economy-draining side effects.
To the extent that a lack of semiconductors played a role in the COVID economy, as well, that can be attributed to the outsourcing of those jobs to countries overseas.
It didn’t help that the country we most prominently outsourced the manufacture of semiconductors to, China, locked down even harder than America did.
Yet, when then-President Donald Trump tried to entice manufacturing firms to come back to the United States by aggressively competing with Beijing, all we heard about were the kind of people one normally finds allied with Joe Biden braying about the effects of a “trade war.”
But things should have bounced back since Biden took over and our pandemic footing normalized, right? Here was a guy handed the easiest job in the world: take over a country decimated by lockdowns and don’t screw up the reopening. And he screwed it up.
It’s worth noting that just a little over 12 hours before Biden made his Covington remarks, the House Judiciary Republicans tweeted out another picture of Biden’s two years in office:
Joe Biden’s Swamp. Crisis, after crisis, after crisis.
And it’s only been two years. pic.twitter.com/prNe81547S
— House Judiciary GOP (@JudiciaryGOP) January 4, 2023
The only reason we haven’t had a recession under the Biden administration is that officials within it have sought to redefine the R-word, telling media to eschew the usual two quarters of negative GDP growth because they believed we should be looking at a broader set of data. (And because they asked really nicely, and because — look, you want the Republicans to get back into power, New York Times editorial board? That’s what I thought.)
In 2021, as it became clear inflation was rising rapidly, officials in the Biden administration were telling us that inflation was merely “transitory.” In December 2022, the president himself — or whoever maintains his Twitter account — was celebrating a 7.1 percent year-over-year rise in prices.
Historic job creation.
Early signs that inflation is easing.
Unemployment near a 50-year low.
Gas prices under what they were a year ago.
I’m so optimistic about our future.
— President Biden (@POTUS) December 10, 2022
Why is this? Because it was the lowest number since December 2021, according to Bureau of Labor Statistics data — back when they were talking about “transitory” inflation.
And while unemployment may be near a 50-year low, the labor-force participation rate is also low, at 62.1 percent — 1.3 percent below where it was in February 2020, before the COVID-19 pandemic.
Think about two years ago. Then think to yourself, am I better off now than I was then? Or would you rather the air be in charge of our economic direction, instead of the hole in it?
This article appeared originally on The Western Journal.