The Ignatius angle

David Ignatius is the Washington Post’s twice weekly foreign affairs columnist. He is easily one of the most repulsive pundits in the world of the prestige press. I haven’t written about Ignatius for a long time, but see (for example) my 2014 post “The case of David Ignatius, cont’d.”

Ignatius was of course one of the many prominent media voices promulgating the Russia hoax in the early days of the Trump administration. When the deep state sought to destroy the reputation of Michael Flynn in early January 2017, before Trump even took office, “a senior U.S. government official” used David Ignatius as his compliant tool. As I recall, there was more to come and, as I say, “repulsive” is the applicable adjective.

Now Ignatius smothers Joe Biden with flattery as he counsels that “President Biden should not run again in 2024” (behind the Post paywall). For example:

Biden has in many ways remade himself as president. He is no longer the garrulous glad-hander I met when I first covered Congress more than four decades ago. He’s still an old-time pol, to be sure, but he is now more focused and strategic; he executes policies systematically, at home and abroad. As Franklin Foer writes in “The Last Politician,” a new account of Biden’s presidency, “he will be remembered as the old hack who could.”

So why should Biden hang it up? The entirety of Ignatius’s rationale appears to rest on the possibility that Biden might lose to Trump (“if he and Harris campaign together in 2024, I think Biden risks undoing his greatest achievement — which was stopping Trump”). Having suffered through Ignatius’s nauseating palaver several times now, I can’t find anything more.

Ignatius specifies the political weaknesses raised by Biden’s age and vice president, but these weaknesses only support Ignatius’s judgment that Biden might lose. He voices no substantive criticism of Biden.

Biden shouldn’t run again. Ignatius is right about that. Biden is repulsive in his own way and a man of bottomless deceit and destruction. I will only add as to Ignatius that even when he’s right, he’s wrong.

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