Joe Biden’s disgraceful performance at the G7 meeting and subsequent appearances abroad included his peddling of lies intended to discredit his political enemies, while at the same time putting his own country in a bad light. But Biden sees no problem with that–the only enemies he cares about are in the GOP.
Thus, Biden lied about the mostly peaceful protest at the Capitol on January 6, claiming falsely that rioters killed officer Brian Sicknick:
“That’s a ridiculous comparison,” Biden said. “It’s one thing for literally criminals to break through cordon, go into the Capitol, kill a police officer, and be held unaccountable than it is for people objecting and marching on the Capitol and saying, ‘You are not allowing me to speak freely. You are not allowing me to do A, B, C, or D.'”
No one killed a police officer on January 6; the medical examiner ruled, as has been widely reported, that Sicknick died of natural causes. But Biden is happy to portray his own country as violent and lawless as long as he can cast blame on political opponents.
Similarly, Biden launched into an attack on the Republican Party during a press conference in Belgium:
The Washington Post’s Anne Gearan asked Biden about our allies worrying about the “continued hold that Donald Trump has over the Republican Party and the rise of nationalist figures like him around the world.”
Leaders of some other countries worry that we might again have a president who puts America first. Biden took pains to reassure them:
But I think it’s appropriate to say that the Republican Party is vastly diminished in numbers; the leadership of the Republican Party is fractured; and the Trump wing of the party is the bulk of the party, but it makes up a significant minority of the American people.
All of this is fantasy. The “vastly diminished” Republican party controls 61 state legislative chambers to 37 for the Democrats, and there currently are 27 Republican governors to 23 Democrats. Republicans control one-half of the Senate and are within striking distance of capturing the House, having made significant gains in 2020.
American reporters do their best to cover for the doddering Biden, but foreign observers are not fooled. In the Telegraph, Nile Gardiner writes: “A weak Joe Biden is badly out of his depth.”
The Biden Presidency’s approach so far has largely been a rerun of the Obama administration’s lacklustre “leading from behind” doctrine. Biden called for a new “Strategic Stability Dialogue” with Moscow, with echoes of Hillary Clinton’s much vaunted “Russian Reset” back in 2009. The reset was a spectacular failure, and was followed in 2014 by the Russian invasion and annexation of Crimea.
Agreeing to this summit was a mistake by the White House. It is hard to see what the conceivable benefit would have been for the United States.
Putin’s press conference was a masterclass in disinformation, with repeated attacks on the United States, combined with thinly veiled menace aimed directly at anyone who dares to oppose him at home or abroad, and he clearly relished the chance to put his poisonous messaging across to an audience of millions in the West.
In contrast [to President Trump], President Biden already looks out of his depth on the international stage, and both Moscow and Beijing have grown more assertive since he entered the Oval Office. Biden did not have a good G7 summit, and at times looked confused, struggling to make points coherently and mixing up countries such as Syria and Libya.
His European tour began disastrously, with a poorly judged attack on the British Government over the Northern Ireland border. On the European stage, the US president also failed to develop a coherent, robust strategy for confronting China, on top of his mixed messages on Russia. This has only served to encourage division within Europe and given cover to those countries, such as Germany, that are seeking an accommodation with Beijing and Moscow.
It’s going to be a long four years, assuming Biden can hang on that long.