Last one to leave, turn out the lights
Mr. Biden’s many exits.
(Video Still Courtesy of ABC News)
During Mr. Biden’s thirteen month tenure, we have left Afghanistan, left Voting Rights on the table, let student debt relief, Community College and HBCU funding fester, left the US Embassy in Kyiv, Ukraine unoccupied, bereft of an active Ambassador …
I’ll stop here; it’s a long list. You get the idea.
Mr. Biden’s legacy of leadership so far demonstrates that he is not shy at packing up and leaving. To go where, one is not sure. And judging by his rhetoric, neither is he. In Afghanistan, it’s ‘over the horizon.’ In Ukraine it’s ‘gone to the western frontier,’ wherever that is precisely — Ukraine is a big country. On Capitol Hill, it’s ‘onto the mid-term Elections.’ In challenging militarism, it’s “Tiger Team” scenarios. (1)
The trouble is America doesn’t savor this strategy of exiting. America is better at intervening where restraint matters and holding on to appearances like the proverbial hand-in-the-cookie-jar proclaims, “Who, me?”
Furthermore, America knows not how to wait; America is the constantly foot-tapping teen.
For what shoe, and where, more the uncertainty. Welcome to the consequences of poor ‘Presidential approval’ poll numbers: avoiding the dropping of ‘the next shoe,’ avoiding, as some journalists have concluded, the consequence of appearing to have made a mistake, having committed a ‘bad decision.’
Whereas American leaders search for long game heroics, short term America looks to the world observers as both hesitant and muddled. These are strange bedfellows — American exceptionalism and American muddling. So the question looms, what is America covering up?
America’s last President made a show of cozying up to dictators and authors of wholesale repression and thuggery, bringing authoritarianism home and fertilizing it.
America’s current President is showing the world that America is ‘deterrence in process:’ dressing up for walking away. (2)
Neither posture engenders hope nor reassurance. And this is a global problem, not one confined to the Oval Office.
What is troubling about these immobile moves is that uncertainty gets shunted, can-kicking ‘down the road’ becomes the new political sport and as reluctant learners Americans might seem, the current White House is worse at explaining… why? (3)
This is not good politics, and as we have been taught, lessor leadership: one culls information for options, for resolve — not to create more smoke and mirrors. Not to recite more cable ‘cry wolf’ sounding “breaking news.”
Benefit of the doubters, here. Did we elect a government or a sound bite factory? Or perhaps a “data set,” a “Tiger Game Table,” and other smart-sounding yet pointless cliches.
More data, a political future doesn’t make. One finds little solace with the equally confused.
Neither it seems does evidence of attempted sedition a protection against conspiracy prevent: the DOJ appears absent, the January 6 Committee, ‘hurrying up and waiting.’
And the world watches as Putin erects a wall his predecessors tore down. It’s a new wall of tanks and Big Bertha like cannons — a parade of intimidation and militarism.
Will Tiger Table games successfully contain Russian militarism? Not in real time, but in repressive geo-politics? Invasion? Russia is here. Medics have stored emergency blood supplies at the border.
So what exactly is success?
Goodbye, hawks and doves. Hello, polls and opinions.
The ‘not showing up,’ is just beginning.
2-”deterrence: the action of discouraging an action or event through instilling doubt or fear of the consequences.” (Oxford Languages)
3-”Jen Psaki schools an ignorant reporter: may not be the front & center on U.S. news but…,” Egberto Willes, Medium.com