Patterico's Pontifications


Same Old, Same Old: Our President Embarrasses Us Overseas

Filed under: General — JVW @ 2:12 pm

[guest post by JVW]

So I guess changing Presidents isn’t really accomplishing the goal of advancing American prestige overseas at G-7 summits. Whereas the previous guy was noted for his boorishness on the world’s stage, the new guy is setting tongues wagging with his befuddlement [links in quoted material appear in the original source]:

President Biden embarrassed himself at the G-7 summit when he tried to correct British Prime Minister Boris Johnson for not introducing “the president of South Africa” — even though Johnson already did so by name.

The blooper — one of several Biden made amid the series of meetings with world leaders — prompted laughter at his expense at the start of a roundtable discussion in Cornwall, England.

This is the sort of news that is being embargoed by the major news outlets who are fully vested in leaving us with the impression that the guy they helped drag across the finish line this past fall is competent and in control. Yet then we get moments such as this:

Biden wore dark sunglasses that obscured his eyes in an audience at Windsor Castle on Sunday with Queen Elizabeth II regarding future meetings with Russian President Vladimir Putin and Chinese President Xi Jinping.

Royal protocol dictates that one must remove sunglasses during a meeting with the queen, according to a former royal butler.

“We had a great talk. She wanted to know what the two leaders that I … the one I’m about to meet with, Mr. Putin, and she wanted to know about Xi Jinping, and we had a long talk, and she was very generous,” Biden said after the meeting.

This statement from the president may have broken another protocol.

“It has nonetheless been a rule that an audience with the queen is strictly private, and to reveal its contents is a breach of trust,” said royal commentator Richard Fitzwilliams.

To the degree that Elizabeth II Regina “asked” President Charming about other world leaders it was almost certainly a courteous way to make small-talk, as she is known to be well-informed on current events with an excellent memory for the people she meets in her state duties. Mr. Biden tried to make up for his famous oafishness in breaching protocol by clumsily comparing the Queen to his mother, and as I joked over the weekend Her Majesty should have thought to return the favor by comparing the President to her late Uncle Edward.

Warming to his own incompetence, President Biden then had one of his news conferences in which he let loose his own personal brand of aging befuddlement:

Biden referred to Syria as Libya three times in the span of 90 seconds while speaking about potential areas where the United States can partner with Russia despite the countries’ fraught relationship.

“In Libya, we should be opening up the passes to be able to go through and provide … food assistance and economic ― I mean vital assistance ― to a population that’s in real trouble,” Biden said during his speech, which capped the three-day Group of Seven (G-7) summit in Cornwall, England.

“The rebuilding of Syria, of Libya ― you know, this is, they’re there and as long as they’re there without the ability to bring about some order in the region, you can’t do that very well without providing for the basic economic needs of people,” he added. “So I’m hopeful that we can find an accommodation that where we can save the lives of people in, for example, in Libya.”

National security adviser Jake Sullivan told reporters later Sunday aboard Air Force One that Biden had mixed up the two Middle Eastern countries.

The President’s media courtiers inform us that behind the scenes Mr. Biden pressed for a tougher Western stance against China’s myriad of aggressions, and the G-7 crew did manage to issue a statement that criticized China’ human rights abuses and called for more transparency in the Wuhan Lab investigation, happily irking the tyrants in Beijing. I am pleased to hear that Secretary of State Anthony Blinken is apparently continuing to use his predecessor’s description of China’s behavior towards the Uyghurs as “genocide and ethnic cleansing”; I was fearful that the Biden Administration might water down the rhetoric for the sake of appeasement.

The President now moves on to a face-to-face meeting with Vladimir Putin, in which the Administration seems to already be dampening expectations. When Administration officials are (allegedly) telling reporters that a chief goal is for President Biden to have an error-free summit meeting, it’s very hard to keep up confidence in our Chief Executive, especially since the White House is working to ensure that Mr. Biden is not put into a position where his vigor and resolve might be unfavorably compared to that of his adversary, a tacit acknowledge that he lacks the stature of the man who served as President way back when Slow Joe was serving his third term in the United States Senate.

I don’t blame anybody for feeling a sense of relief that the last guy is no longer in the White House, but how can anybody feel secure that we are in the best of hands given the gaggle of mediocrities currently running the show? At least with the prior Administration we had a Vice-President who was competent, decent, and honest, three traits which none of us can ascribe to the current disaster who sits at Mr. Biden’s feeble right hand. We’re in for a rough ride over the next few years, especially if the President’s infirmities elevate the cipher that is Kamala Harris into an office for which she would undoubtedly be the worst-prepared occupant in our nation’s history. God bless America takes on a truly pointed meaning these days.


Supreme Court Unanimously Rebukes Biden DoJ Pander to BLM

Filed under: General — Patterico @ 8:29 am

Ed Whelan has the scoop here. The Supreme Court unanimously held “that a crack offender is eligible for a sentence reduction under the First Step Act only if convicted of a crack offense that triggered a mandatory minimum sentence.” Whelan says the unanimous opinion was a blow to the credibility of the Biden administration.

How, you might wonder, can the Supreme Court’s unanimous affirmance of a federal criminal sentence be a huge defeat for the Biden administration?

The answer is that the Biden administration, which inherited defense of this case from the Trump administration, informed the Court on March 15—the very date the United States’ brief on the merits was due—that it would not defend the judgment below and that it was confessing error in the case.

Both the confession of error and the timing of the confession were extraordinary. The Department of Justice routinely defends criminal convictions and sentences in cases on appeal that it is almost certain to lose, yet it refused to defend this case that informed observers recognized that it was very likely to win. The only plausible explanation is that the Biden administration confessed error in this case in order to pander to the Black Lives Matter crowd and other constituencies in the Democratic Party.

Prosecutors in DoJ played defense attorney for political reasons, to pander to black voters. But the law was decidedly not on their side, as a unanimous court held.

This is a disgusting abdication of the rule of law. When an administration subverts justice, it is supposed to be on behalf of the president’s personal friends, not Black Lives Matter.

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