Cup of Joe

So, Joe Biden is now President. Can’t you just feel the excitement?

No, seriously—has there been a new president in the last 70 years entering office with less enthusiasm than Slow Joe? I caught a YouGov poll today reporting that Joe Biden’s public approval rating is 52 percent—among the lowest for an incoming president since this polling question began decades ago. (Obama was at 69 percent on inauguration day.)

Biden has one mandate—not to be Donald Trump. Biden won’t be able to settle for that. The good news for Republicans is that recent Democratic presidents invariably overreach, and provoke a backlash among swing voters. And the Georgia Senate election and the capitol riot of January 6 have emboldened the left, putting more pressure on Biden to deliver. Biden has much less of a “mandate” (which is overrated in any case) than either Bill Clinton or Obama. He also has much less congressional support for his mistakes. He is Lyndon Johnson in 1965—about to be made miserable by the far left of his own party.

Biden says he wants to promote good-paying union jobs. And so, his first act in office is killing 20,000 good-paying union jobs connected to the Keystone pipeline. At this rate, we’ll be back to 15% unemployment by April.

• The current mode of the Democratic Party is to double-down on disaggregating the American people into ever more exotic identity groups (I still have to look up “BIPOC” every time I hear the acronym, and I work at a university) and demonize white Americans as the source of every other group’s difficulties. Cue Jon Lovitz: Yeah, that’s the ticket. Democrats have no idea how unpopular this is, even among the very ethnic groups they claim to champion.

• You want to know how crazy it is that Joe Biden is President? For my sins—and, readers who know the reference, don’t mock me for this—I made the mistake of binge-watching a very weird Netflix show on my many airplane trips a couple years ago, called “The OA.” As I say, if you saw it, don’t mock me. If you didn’t see it—don’t. Anyway, the main feature of the show is parallel universes (sort of—did I say mention it is a weird show?). And in one of the parallel universes, the protagonist wakes up in a hospital after a psychotic break of some kind, and is asked, “Who’s the President of the United States?” OA: “Barack Obama.” Nurse: “Who?” Then there rolls the TV news spot:

“President Biden” was even too unbelievable for a Hollywood fantasy movie. Either that, or we’ve slipped into a parallel universe. Anyone know Jason Isaac’s whereabouts?

• Trump’s detractors on the right said, “Character is destiny.” There is something to this, which showed up in Trump’s less than stellar post-election performance. (More on this separately.) Will the Never-Trumpers apply the same standard to Biden? We’ll be watching.

Biden is a political chameleon. That can work fine while you’re a Senator. I’m reminded of FDR talking about his pet chameleon: “I put my chameleon on a plaid cloth. The chameleon died.” Biden is now on the plaid cloth of the American presidency, needing to adjust to the spectrum of nationwide interests and conflicts. His color already looks bad. I give him five months before his public approval rating dips down toward 40%.

So cheer up everyone—we’ve got ’em right where we want ’em.

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