The State of Play

There are plenty of things to rue about the Biden Administration. There is, for instance, old fashioned incompetence, an equal opportunity employer.  But the Administration’s slipping-on-a-banana-peel habit has become so routine that even its most enthusiastic defenders (AKA the press) is having a difficult time maintaining the fiction that the adults are back in charge. It wouldn’t matter all that much if we didn’t live in a tinder box, primed for a match. Be that’s where we are. 

Consider the state of foreign policy. The Trump administration was rightly castigated for its inflammatory and ignominious rhetoric about longstanding U.S. allies and institutions, including NATO. The Biden Administration has done him one better. Not only was the retreat from Afghanistan shambolic; the U.S. left plenty of U.S. citizens and green card holders behind to the tender mercies of the Taliban. Not to mention leaving our allies in a lurch with virtually no warning.

While the Biden Administration frets about the number of women in the new Afghan Government (none) and the dismantling of its gender programs, a founder of the Taliban has announced that they plan to bring back executions and amputations. Nooruddin Turabi, a founder of the Taliban told the Associated Press that “Cutting off of hands is very necessary for security”. In that regard the Taliban is now considering whether to resume the practice at a Kabul sports stadium. 

Then there is the way the Biden Administration presented the new trilateral security partnership among Australia, the UK and the United States (AUKUS). The deal itself is one that makes a lot of sense. But, like the precipitous withdrawal from Afghanistan, it was announced without sufficient (if any) consultation with NATO allies. 

The fecklessness with which it has attempted to implement its as yet unarticulated foreign policy goals has opened up a significant chasm between America and Europe and left other American allies unsure of America’s will and its word. 

On the domestic front, things are no better. This week the leadership of the Democratic Party is working mightily to get its members to unanimously agree to spend $4.5 trillion—$1 trillion for infrastructure and $3.5 trillion to expand on Lyndon Johnson’s utopian vision of the Great Society. In this regard it should be acknowledged that the programs that the Great Society spawned represent one of the most spectacular failures in domestic public policy in the history of the republic.  

Unfortunately, that is not the worst of it. 

The Biden Administration like the progressive movement in general, has jettisoned the individualism of classical Liberalism in favor of collectivist, illiberal, group-based intersectionality. That has led to the poisonous race-based rhetoric the Administration routinely employs as it tries to advance its agenda. 

The damage this does to the polity is on full display in the video below that, as they say, has gone viral. Perhaps eventually, there will be enough adults in the room to put a stop to the now pervasive insanity that dominates every crevice of American public life. If not, the road ahead is going to get a lot rockier. 

JFB

Corporate Welfare

Regulations are typically framed as necessities designed to protect consumers. Except that in reality they are often designed to protect existing businesses from competition, thus making consumers worse off. The video below produced by John Stossel provides a good look at how this works in practice.

JFB