Patterico's Pontifications

2/1/2022

Constitutional Vanguard: By What Standard Ought We Judge Joe Biden?

Filed under: General — Patterico @ 8:29 am



Today I argue that comparing Biden to Trump is the wrong standard, because Biden is president now.

… unless someone else is making the same comparison to float the idea that Trump is better.

A friend tried to make the case to me that, if you put the “election stuff” aside, Trump was really no worse than Biden. I don’t agree, but let’s call that true for the sake of argument. The phrase that comes to mind is:

Other than that, Mrs. Lincoln, how was the play?

So yeah: by almost any standard, Biden is terrible. But please. Don’t use that fact to try to plead the case for Donald Trump.

Thank you.

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156 Responses to “Constitutional Vanguard: By What Standard Ought We Judge Joe Biden?”

  1. A Trump second term would have been the stuff of nightmares. No regrets. We did the right thing.

    nk (1d9030)

  2. A Trump second term would have been the stuff of nightmares.

    What specifically would have happened, do you suppose?

    mikeybates (c22064)

  3. Getting rid of Trump was good.
    Electing Biden was bad.

    He’s a stuttering fool teetering on the precipice of dotage, whispering into the microphone. Meanwhile inflation is rampant and Russia will probably invade Ukraine when the Olympics are over.

    I blame Democrats who looked into the mirror and saw Biden as the right man for the job.

    Hoi Polloi (7cefeb)

  4. after just one year, if you think a case needs to be made that biden isn’t as bad as trump, you’ve already lost the argument

    JF (e1156d)

  5. What specifically would have happened, do you suppose?

    What happened on 1/6/21 times 1,461.

    That was the day Trump showed what kind of an American he was. What he thought of the Constitution, what he thought of our laws, what he thought of our institutions, what he thought of Congress, what he thought of his own Vice President, what he thought of the American people.

    Unrestrained, he would have burned America to the ground, while Melania made a photo album of it, and the Kushners sold the real estate to the Chinese.

    nk (1d9030)

  6. So, is Biden better or worse than Mrs Clinton?

    pouncer (6c33cf)

  7. Is Biden better or worse than some other Republican candidate from the 2016 cycle? Say, Chris Christie?

    pouncer (6c33cf)

  8. @6 I wished for HRC over Biden for sure.

    whembly (3bda0a)

  9. I keep asking myself: If 2024 is Biden vs Trump, how would I vote. I live in a state where it matters. I voted Libertarian last time because I could not bring myself to vote for a ticket that included Kamala Harris. Next time, could I vote for Trump as the least awful?

    I’d rather not and I can temporize since the election is almost 3 years away and neither of them is guaranteed to be a candidate (or even alive). But right now, at this moment, even given Jan 6th and the fact that I think both of them are unsuited for the job , I’d probably vote for Trump. Then maybe lie about it, as it would embarrass me to do so.

    Why? Because if I have to choose between two lying POS, I’ll take the one who is less likely to want to F me. A Biden who actually governed from the vicinity of the middle would have been OK, but this Biden is just a figurehead for the radical Left and I won’t make that mistake again.

    Kevin M (38e250)

  10. As far as the Rule of Law is concerned, can someone make a principled case for Biden? We know what Trump is, but is Biden any better? He is already preparing the ground for a midterm claim of rigged elections (gerrymanders, voter suppression,etc). Will he pressure the Speaker to reject the election results?

    Even disregarding election challenges, he has shown a willingness to promulgate ukases that he himself has previously said were unconstitutional. He has called his opponents racists, traitors and said they want to reinstitute slavery. He has proposed radical laws and confiscatory taxes. He shows no inclination to respect the Constitution and would remove a legislative hysteresis that has provided stability and continuity, so that these radical changes can be passed by the thinnest of margins.

    His party even proposes (and has acted upon) a proposal to alter the election of presidents by illegal means, in a manner that would be incredibly destabilizing and ripe for gaming, if not fraud, all because they see a partisan advantage in the change. That Trump is no better here does not give Biden and the Democrats a pass.

    So, I think it would be easy to indict either party of lawlessness, but Trump’s lawlessness is limited by time. The Democrats’ lawlessness seems endemic.

    Kevin M (38e250)

  11. after just one year, if you think a case needs to be made that biden isn’t as bad as trump, you’ve already lost the argument

    I usually don’t agree with JF, but he’s not wrong here.

    Kevin M (38e250)

  12. @9 Kevin, I’m right there with you.

    If Trump does run and it’s indeed Biden v. Trump. Oh, I’m voting Trump and I’ll say it publically.

    Not because I’m a Trumper… not, because I’m a hardcore GOPer.

    And it’s not simply because I despise the modern Democrats (which I do).

    If I’m placing myself in a “bucket”. It’s that I’m anti-communist or anti-totalitarian.

    That’s why I’m so adamant about being engaged in the political process from the start – that is, during the primaries. Because if you’re not, then it’s too late during the General to get the kind of candidates you’d want.

    whembly (ce5f56)

  13. Biden’s incompetence at the southern border fits in the “Biden failed” column, along with an energy policy that only added to our inflation rate.

    But I agree, Trump is worse, for his crimes in office alone, starting with obstruction of justice and ending with his role in the 1/6 insurrection, including trying to steal an election that he lost fair and square.

    Mollie’s unapologetic sucking up to Trump earned her a promotion at The Federalist, which says something about her as well as her employer. Being totally in the bag for an unfit, unhinged narcissist really paid off for her, and I expect more idjit tweets.

    Paul Montagu (5de684)

  14. The GOP has a number of better, capable, qualified candidates than Mr Trump. The Democrats have the stuff of nightmares in the wings.

    Trump did one thing that no other GOP president has been able to do, and that was turning the federal courts to the Right. NO question about it, and Mitch McConnell’s role was invaluable, not that Trump knows or cares.

    So, if we are talking about protecting the Constitution from lawless presidents, Trump has done far better than Biden would in this regard. The Democrats would even destabilize the courts in order to regain their advantage. It’s really amazing how willing the Democrats are to destabilize government, in the courts, in the Senate, in the Electoral College, just for partisan advantage.

    So, as far as a “Constitutional Vanguard” it is hard to favor Biden and the Democrats right now, EVEN AFTER Jan 6th. They get no credit for opposing that, as their horror was largely partisan itself.

    Kevin M (38e250)

  15. that is, during the primaries. Because if you’re not, then it’s too late during the General to get the kind of candidates you’d want.

    I have voted against Trump in every primary, however quixotically. And will do so again, even if I have to write in “Dead Richard Nixon.”

    Kevin M (38e250)

  16. The reason that Trump’s “obstruction of justice” does not bother me is 1) IANAL, and 2) most presidents in living memory has engaged in this, if we are talking about a president interfering with the DoJ in its activities. Some are just better at keeping it in house than others.

    Even Biden, or are we to believe than none of what has come out about Hunter would have been investigated by an apolitical DoJ?

    Or Obama, and the tarmac meeting regarding Hillary. Or his failure to appoint special prosecutors of the IRS scandal, the Fast & Furious scandal, etc.

    Or Bill Clinton’s obstructive defense of his impeachment for earlier obstruction.

    Sure, Trump is a lying assh0le and deserved both impeachments, but that does not mean that Biden or the Democrats get a pass.

    Kevin M (38e250)

  17. If obstruction were Trump’s only crime, Kevin, I’d also not be bothered, but it’s one small part of a larger pattern of Trump’s criminality, only tempered by White House staff who cautioned him away from committing even more crimes.

    Paul Montagu (5de684)

  18. ‘Better’ is debatable.

    Confidence and competence are not; Trump triumphs over Biden on those terms alone with ease.

    The contrast is stark. What was once labelled ‘normalcy’ is the final act of the post WW2, ‘American Century’ era- which peaked in July, 1969 and has been slowly spiraling down ever since– as the world -adversaries and allies alike- rebuilt, caught up and in many areas- are leaving the United States behind. The overrated ’50 years of experience’ from a time when U.S. power and prestige could be phoned in by truly mediocre politicians– like you know who– wholly unprepared to deal with 21st century reality and have grown to believe- or make up- their own experiences, ends w/Biden. The confluence of incompetence and impotence in the face of rapid change is rarely as glaring– and further fuels the flames of populism. Trump may not be ‘better’- but that may be a matter of how Americans defines ‘better.’ Start w/t the common skill of simply walking up a flight of steps.

    DCSCA (f4c5e5)

  19. A Trump second term would have been the stuff of nightmares. No regrets. We did the right thing.

    Except ‘we’ didn’t. Speak for yourself.

    DCSCA (f4c5e5)

  20. A Biden 1st term is already a nightmare.

    * More Covid with the vaccine than before, without.
    * Keystone XL cancelled
    * All new fracking stopped
    * Oil and natural gas prices up
    * Supply-chain unfixed, if not worse, transportation Secretary on “paternity” leave.
    * Possible war with Russia over Ukraine, that Biden’s family really really really has no vested interest in.
    * Attempts at killing the filibuster to take over state elections, jack up taxes, spend trillions we don’t have even with jacked up taxes, and impose a “green” energy regime, all with no mandate.
    * Talk of stacking the Supreme Court, which is really only stopped by not enough Senators.
    * Attempts to legalize the illegals, which is really only stopped by not enough Senators.
    * Attempts to pander to Iran, which is really only stopped by not nearly enough Senators.
    * The demonizing of opponents as traitors, racists and wannabe slavers.
    * A truly terrible VP waiting in the wings.

    Kevin M (38e250)

  21. I’ve made this case before at other times, but I might as well recycle it now: the one way in which it was a far better outcome to have Donald Trump in the White House rather than Hillary Rodham Clinton is that the media took a very aggressive posture towards Trump and worked incredibly hard to uncover and report malfeasance in his administration (including at times going way overboard in this mission). Based upon how they treated her husband and her former boss (President Obama), it is impossible to imagine they would have been as engaged in routing out the corruption in a Clinton II Administration. And thus would the Washington in-crowd have quietly consolidated even more wealth and power, and thus would our nation’s standards have quietly been lowered even further. Recall that allegedly serious people wanted us to believe that the Secretary of State using an unsecured private email server to conduct classified business as well as having her account somehow shared on a laptop which belonged to a convicted child sex predator was, at worst, “a lapse in judgement.”

    I hope it’s understood that I have a great deal of contempt for Donald J. Trump, but I will never regret the fact that Hillary Clinton and her sleazy husband were denied their triumphant return to 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue. Never will you ever hear me say or see me write, “It would have been better in the long run had Hillary Clinton won.”

    JVW (ee64e4)

  22. Really, when it comes down to is this. If Biden loses in 2024, do you expect him to fight tooth and nail to overturn the results through lies and threat of government action and violence? If you do, then maybe you do vote for Trump, because the objective test on who is more utterly awful is becoming an unfortunately close call.

    If the preservation of the Constitutional system, checks, balances, etc, etc, matters, you vote for Biden in 2024 if the opponent is Trump. Trump brings a dictatorial intent and a whole lot of grifters who will work tirelessly to see that he gets a third term, a fourth term, until the lack of a balanced diet keels him over.

    If you think the way I propose things is a false choice — the truth about Trump’s lame duck lies hasn’t seeped into your cranium and I doubt we can have a conversation abut it.

    Appalled (1a17de)

  23. #21 —

    I get your point. So much so that in 2016, I made the mistke of thinking the Libertarian Party could be a serious entity and voting that way.

    Appalled (1a17de)

  24. @21 To your point JVW…

    I’d rather have a contemptuous, ignoramus, trash-talking asshole in Trump than Biden/HRC/modern Democrat.

    If for nothing else, like you said, the media and DC establishment doing their damnedest to reign in the Trump administration, rather than having the media/DC establishment provide cover to any mal/misfeasance done by a Democrat administration.

    whembly (7e0293)

  25. @21. You ‘vote’ for media w/eyeballs and clicks. Trump drew both ratings w/t spiking advertising rates and revenue in his wake. T’was a frigging gold mine.

    “Son of a bitch- we’ve struck the motherlode!!” – Diana Christensen [Faye Dunaway] ‘Network’ 1976

    DCSCA (f4c5e5)

  26. In the UK, even though the parties re incredibly stronger, parties get rid of candidates whom they fear are going to lose – at least when it come to a second election. (that may be because they don’t really have anything resembling primaries. An imitation of that got them Jeremy Corbin.

    Sammy Finkelman (c49738)

  27. If the preservation of the Constitutional system, checks, balances, etc, etc, matters, you vote for Biden in 2024 if the opponent is Trump. Trump brings a dictatorial intent and a whole lot of grifters who will work tirelessly to see that he gets a third term, a fourth term, until the lack of a balanced diet keels him over.

    If you think the way I propose things is a false choice — the truth about Trump’s lame duck lies hasn’t seeped into your cranium and I doubt we can have a conversation abut it.

    Respectfully, Appalled, you have lost me here. Those of use who refused to vote for Donald Trump in both 2016 and 2020 killed billions and billions of bits here arguing that the notion, as then presented by Trumpers, that elections are binary and the only two choices are Trump and not-Trump is entirely false and an insult to how the democratic process should work. To hear anti-Trumpers now adopt the same argument is, pardon the pun, appalling to me. If it comes down to a choice between Donald Trump and Joe Biden in 2024 then I will once again “throw away” my vote on some hopeless third party candidate. But I refuse to to lend any degree of support to a candidate as putrid as either Donald J. Trump or Joseph R. Biden. If that means that our democratic republic is gonna crash and burn, well, then we likely were well beyond the point of ever saving it anyway.

    JVW (ee64e4)

  28. Kwvin M @20. More Covid with the vaccine than before, without

    Biden totally got rid of Operation Warp Speed and he didn’t realize what Trump did right, there. (but not enough)

    https://www.wsj.com/articles/operation-warp-speed-slowly-gets-its-due-covid-deaths-vaccine-omicron-monoclonal-antibodies-biden-11643646972

    …Operation Warp Speed shifted the financial risk to government by placing orders for vaccines and therapies before they were authorized by the Food and Drug Administration or even shown to be effective. This encouraged pharmaceutical companies to expand manufacturing capacity so vaccines and therapies were ready to be distributed once they had the FDA’s green light.

    Three Operation Warp Speed leaders explained the strategy in a September 2020 commentary for the New England Journal of Medicine. “Predicting drug performance in a new disease is difficult,” Moncef Slaoui, Shannon E. Greene and Janet Woodcock wrote. “Many candidates may fail to demonstrate efficacy or have safety problems. It’s necessary, however, to take a financial risk early to scale up manufacturing in order to have drug supplies on hand if the results are positive. If we wait for clinical trial readouts before initiating large-scale manufacturing, developing an adequate supply could take months or years.”

    In July 2020, Operation Warp Speed announced a $450 million manufacturing and supply agreement with Regeneron for up to 300,000 doses of its experimental monoclonal antibody. A few months later, it ordered 300,000 doses of Eli Lilly’s experimental antibody. The FDA granted emergency-use authorization to both treatments in November 2020. [But first to Eli Lilly]

    Supply of both monoclonals exceeded demand last winter because many people were unaware of the treatments. Still, during the final two months of the Trump presidency, Operation Warp Speed ordered another 1.25 million doses of Regeneron’s and 650,000 of Eli Lilly’s antibody treatments, leaving the Biden administration well supplied.

    When the Biden team took over, they dismissed Mr. Slaoui, announced they were “phasing in a new structure,” and retired the Operation Warp Speed name. Cases and hospitalizations fell as vaccines rolled out. President Biden prematurely declared success last Fourth of July and failed to prepare for another wave by stockpiling treatments and investing in new ones….

    …When the Delta variant slammed the South in July, GOP governors promoted the Regeneron and Eli Lilly monoclonal treatments. Supplies had to be rationed as demand surged. As the Delta wave crested in mid-September, the Pentagon and the Health and Human Services Department ordered 1.4 million more doses of Regeneron’s antibody and 388,000 doses of Eli Lilly’s.

    Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis sought to circumvent the feds by ordering a monoclonal antibody treatment from GlaxoSmithKline and Vir. The antibody binds to a target on Covid-19 that is shared with the SARS virus, making it more difficult for variants to evade. It was authorized by the FDA in May, but the Biden administration then declined to add it to its meager treatment arsenal. This was a colossal mistake, since it was the only monoclonal treatment for infected patients that turned out to be effective against the Omicron variant.

    Actually the Regeneron and Eli Lilly antibodies became ineffective because of the FDA.

    First, to gain approval, Regeneron and Eli Lillly used only two antibodies, to limit the chances of bad reaction and second they could not update it quickly, even though they knew how to do it. Eli Lilly managed to replace its antibody after about two or three months.

    The Trump Administration was too conservative in not rocking the boat , Biden even more so. They y did sign a contract fror the Merck antiviraL

    Sammy Finkelman (c49738)

  29. 30 trillion in debt as a country and biden has been a major player in his years of hacking the tax-payer.
    Indeed ” Worse than Trump”

    mg (8cbc69)

  30. nk – Are you a border lawyer for crimaliens?

    mg (8cbc69)

  31. If HRC had been elected in 2016, the Supreme Court would now be 6-3 liberal. That poses a large3r dander to the Constitution than anything else a president can do in office. Oh, but you say, “Jan 6th” and the effort to overturn the election, but it failed and it always was going to fail, so it was really just a Golem brought live out of Trumpian clay and doomed to melt at the slightest rain.

    Kevin M (38e250)

  32. again wishing for an editing function.

    Kevin M (38e250)

  33. If I believe that Trump should have been convicted by the Senate…. and should no longer be eligible to hold office, why would Biden suddenly make Trump an appropriate choice? If the GOP decides they absolutely must have someone who arguably has obstructed justice, failed to do his duty on Jan 6th, and has led an organized effort to serially distort the truth, my reaction is they don’t want my vote. It means another protest vote. Hopefully it causes a 3rd party to run someone serious. Biden v. Trump makes it wide open for a Perot-like candidate…or an independent governor (not fixated on marijuana)….to make it interesting. I’ll sleep fine….

    AJ_Liberty (ec7f74)

  34. They did sign a contract for the Merck antiviral

    More’s the pity since that drug is an obvious carcinogen. It WORKS by breaking DNA strands. It should never have gotten FDA approval.

    The Pfizer drug is a far better approach.

    Kevin M (38e250)

  35. I made the mistke of thinking the Libertarian Party could be a serious entity

    I spent some time there in the 90’s, even running for public office for the LP in 1994. I was rapidly disabused of their seriousness. Posturing and the normal race to the extremes you see in 3rd parties.

    Kevin M (38e250)

  36. I think to judge Biden, you have to compare his first YEAR to Trump’s first YEAR, and while I have some issues with Trump’s first year, Trump did better. Jan 6th was 3 years in the future and we have no idea what is 3 years in the future of this administration.

    They are already unlawfully importing immigrants by choice.

    Kevin M (38e250)

  37. On Fuel costs the president gets a fjb.

    mg (8cbc69)

  38. there is no such thing as a protest vote

    what a ridiculous conceit

    every vote helps the R or D presidential candidate, even if you cast your vote for third party

    if you normally would vote R, a vote for third party helps D

    and D will gladly enable you by making sure the libertarian is on the ballot and the green party is off it

    JF (e1156d)

  39. JF (e1156d) — 2/1/2022 @ 2:43 pm

    Keeping the green party off the ballot, I think, was enough of a difference to change the outcome in at least one state that went to Biden.

    felipe (484255)

  40. @26. Yep. They have a better system.

    DCSCA (f4c5e5)

  41. @36. Nope. He was sold as an experienced pol w/half a century of government savvy in domestic and foreign affairs: a “return to normalcy.”

    Instead, he’s mentall, physically and visibly incompetent– and given his experiences with a pontiff and a certain British duchess, likely incontinent as well.

    He’s a bum. And the period at the end of the American Century.

    DCSCA (f4c5e5)

  42. “there is no such thing as a protest vote what a ridiculous conceit”

    If I believe that neither candidate is qualified…based on character or policy…..why do I have to fall into the binary trap? Nothing will change if we validate two awful choices. I don’t trust Trump and don’t want to give him one more vote that he could use to justify some horribleness. Conservatives generally aren’t big risk takers….why are they now?

    AJ_Liberty (ec7f74)

  43. @42. ‘If I believe that neither candidate is qualified…based on character or policy…..why do I have to fall into the binary trap?’

    Given the ever-growing number of indies, an increasing number of the electorate have moved on from both major parties, yet find themselves given a choice between a D or R. These parties and the clique of elitists have rigged and financed the system from the ground up for decades, spit out the same D or R party-backed hacks as ‘choices’ and leave little opportunity for alternatives. It’s a familiar habit to a few fellas overseas…

    … and Putin smiled.

    DCSCA (f4c5e5)

  44. You were here when DRJ was reporting on the Ramos and Compean case, mg. You know, when 43 sent two Border Patrol agents to prison for 12 years for trying to stop a crimalien with a truckload of marijuana.

    Don’t believe the lying liars who lie. They all want their crimalien drug payola, and their crimalien sex trafficking, and their crimalien slave labor, and their crimalien rhetoric to spiel to the rubes.

    nk (1d9030)

  45. I’m not sure what it says about America when the choice between the D and the R (more specifically, Biden and Trump) is a hard decision. In earlier times, it was much easier. You just voted for the candidate who supported the policies you favor. I always voted for the Republican presidential candidate.

    Trump changed all that, because his policies came with a steep price–cult following, loyalty over all else (I repeat myself), corruption, gaslighting, lying, intimidating, the Jerry Springer and professional wrestling mode of public discourse. And then there was the big one, which was trying to overturn an election.

    Biden’s policies are horrible, and his race rhetoric is deplorable. I’m not convinced he’s as corrupt as Trump just yet. Nevertheless, I didn’t vote for Biden, and will probably vote third party again in 2024 if Trump is the nominee.

    Americans themselves are to blame. Trump should never have gotten any traction in the first place. When he descended the escalator and implied that illegal immigrants in general are rapists and criminals, he should have been shunned by society, and I say that as a former immigration officer who believes in strict immigration enforcement (but not because those crossing the border are evil).

    All too many of our citizens have a superficial understanding of politics, so they fall for the charismatic leader who can make a cartoon out of complex issues.

    Comic book movies kill it at the box office, and now we have comic book politicians.

    norcal (d4ed1d)

  46. Really, when it comes down to is this. If Biden loses in 2024…

    He likely gets lost in the WH already. 😉

    DCSCA (f4c5e5)

  47. there is no such thing as a protest vote

    I think AJ_Liberty’s response to this assertion is exactly right. And I think that JF is absolutely right that Dems — the alleged “protectors” of the sanctity of elections, to hear them and their allies tell it — are ridiculously hypocritical in pretending that they don’t hamstring the Green Party’s attempts to get ballot access every single election. I mentioned that in the blog post I did about choosing my third-party candidate.

    JVW (ee64e4)

  48. there is no such thing as a protest vote

    And yet I’ve protest-voted in the last two elections. No one gets my vote by default.

    Paul Montagu (5de684)

  49. there is no such thing as a protest vote

    It’s a preference vote. A statement. “This is what I prefer to the choices offered.”

    If I vote for D or R, what are they going to think but that I liked the candidate and/or issues that D or R offer. If I despise both, I must still pick one? Why can’t I instead say “a pox on both your houses, this is what I prefer and gfy.”

    I honestly did not care who won in 2020. Both candidates were incredible assh0les. Biden offered to be mellower, and restrained by a 52-48 Senate. Little did I know that TRUMP would act for the Democrats in Georgia out of spite at the GA election officials who would not fix the election.

    The more I think about that last part, the less I want to see Trump be the candidate, and if he dies before 2024, I will hold a party.

    Kevin M (38e250)

  50. The most effective protest vote in my lifetime was the 1992 Perot movement. Even though Perot was a bit loony, he stood for a balanced budget and honest accounting in government. And he got 19% of the vote and came in second in two states.

    What happened? A few years later the budget was balanced, and stayed that way until W blew it up.

    Kevin M (38e250)

  51. I have two solutions to the Trump problem:

    1. First, Trump should step out of the public eye. He should release Melania who, whatever crimes she may have committed, has surely paid for them by now. He should give control over any money he has — assuming he has some — to a trustee of good character who would use it to reimburse Trump’s many victims. And then he should join one of those monastic orders where the monks have to take a vow of poverty, chastity, obedience — and silence.

    That, I think, would be an effective solution, but I will cheerfully admit that the chances of it happening are lower than I would like. So, here is a solution, where the odds are in our favor.

    2. If Trump runs in 2024, we should work to ensure that he is defeated in the primaries. (I have explained earlier that I agree with the British bettors, who, collectively, think the odds are against him winning the nomination. (And even more against him winning the general election.) So there is good reason to think that such an effort could succeed.

    (Those who disagree with me on the odds can back up their thinking with their money — and I hope they will come back and tell us about their bets. They can even bet here in the United States, after the Iowa Election Market opens its 2024 markets.)

    Jim Miller (edcec1)

  52. I felt that Antifa and BLM were doing a good enough job protesting Trump. I wanted him gone. And the only useful thing I could do about it was vote for Biden.

    nk (1d9030)

  53. It is curious how many well-informed people forget that Congress has the “power of the purse”. Not the president. And that that is especially true when the opposing party controls Congress.

    (This simple graph is a good guide to our recent budget history. Note that outlays began to decline around 1983. And then jumped sharply after the 2006 election.)

    Jim Miller (edcec1)

  54. I think a good argument can be made that the Biden Family is at least as corrupt as the Trump Family… Biden just practiced corruption in the way to which we’ve become accustomed… the inside the Beltway brand.

    Biden is just as self serving as Trump. Biden ran even though in rare moments of lucidity, he knew he was a dementia patient and unfit for the office.

    steveg (e81d76)

  55. It’s been interesting reading the comments that have nothing to do with grading Biden and everything to do with rehashing Trump.

    I’d say we judge Biden based on what he promised. In that regard he doesn’t get a good score. We could also grade him by what nevertrump assured us he’d be and there he doesn’t do well either.

    A different question is, is there any standard by which he’s doing a good job (other than the anything is better than Trump test)?

    frosty (f27e97)

  56. Antifa and BLM weren’t protesting Trump. They were protesting you.

    mikeybates (c22064)

  57. frosty, remember when Trump warned that Biden would destroy the suburbs? Seen any such destruction?

    Paul Montagu (5de684)

  58. @50. George Wallace. Got The Big Dick elected.

    __________

    @51. Trump problem?

    He has been out of office over a year. The problem is Biden and the glaring failure of ‘return to normalcy’ which fuels the fires of populism and the triumph of Trump. If you’d re-elected Trump, you’d have less than 3 years left. Now, you’re facing the good chance of another 4 and a permanent shift in the chjaracter of the party. Welcome to 1964.

    DCSCA (f4c5e5)

  59. Breaking- ABC suspends Whoopi Goldberg two weeks from ‘The View’ over Holocaust comments.

    DCSCA (f4c5e5)

  60. I never assured anyone, not even myself, that Biden would be anything other than not an orange dingleberry on Lady Liberty’s underdrawers.

    nk (1d9030)

  61. @20. “I trust his judgement.” – Nancy Pelosi

    😉

    DCSCA (f4c5e5)

  62. Breaking- ABC suspends Whoopi Goldberg two weeks from ‘The View’ over Holocaust comments.
    DCSCA (f4c5e5) — 2/1/2022 @ 6:47 pm

    So, a paid vacation?

    felipe (484255)

  63. @62. To Israel, perhaps?

    DCSCA (f4c5e5)

  64. In answer to the post’s question: By ordinary standards. And by those standards, he has done some things right, and some things wrong.

    For example, his administration has begun distributing better masks and more test kits. Both are the right thing to do in our war against COVID — but he should have acted faster.

    He is right to encourage COVID vaccinations, but was wrong to mandate them, where his authority was dubious. (And he should have worked with Congress on this problem.)

    He has issued many oil and gas drilling permits.

    During Biden’s first year in office so far, BLM has approved an average of 333 drilling permits per month. That figure is more than 35% higher than Trump’s first year in office, when BLM approved an average of 245 drilling permits per month.

    Some will consider that a good thing, some a bad thing.

    The deficit for his first fiscal year is predicted to be 4.7% of GDP, still too high, but far better than the two previous years.

    He was wrong to accept Trump’s surrender to the Taliban, but he is, so far, handling the Ukraine crisis reasonably well. (And getting bipartisan support for his efforts.)

    And so on.

    Jim Miller (edcec1)

  65. “Got The Big Dick elected.”

    DRINK!

    AJ_Liberty (3cb02f)

  66. “George Wallace. Got The Big Dick elected.”

    What was that famous Duke of Wellington reply? Ah, yes: “If you believe that, you will believe anything.”

    Jim Miller (edcec1)

  67. I never assured anyone, not even myself, that Biden would be anything other than not an orange dingleberry on Lady Liberty’s underdrawers.

    nk (1d9030) — 2/1/2022 @ 6:55 pm

    Not to pick a dingleberry nit, but aren’t dingleberries attached to the person as opposed to the garment? 😁

    norcal (d4ed1d)

  68. Some things we don’t want to get too clinical about, norcal. But, by all means, go ahead and blue pencil it to “in Lady Liberty’s underdrawers”.

    nk (1d9030)

  69. I would say, in actual actions, Biden is not doing too badly. He has not done a lot of what the radical left wanted, like try to expand and pack the supreme court or dismiss all student loans. The withdrawl from Afghanistan is something that I think needed to happen, and Americans in general were ready to have happen, and despite the optics, I think all and all it went about as well as it was ever going to go under any president. The bipartisan infrastructure plan looks like legislation that will benefit the American people, even though it contains a fair amount of stuff that probably should’ve been taken care of locally, but just wasn’t. Generally speaking, he did a good job of getting the vaccine rolled out, even if he’s been overly enthusiastic about making people get it. As far as the racial stuff is concerned, and this is just my cynicism showing, all Presidents have a specific “look” and viewpoint they are going for in their judges and political appointees. Mostly they don’t talk about it. Biden has a big mouth. He should’ve made his choice and then blandly presented the person to the public as the person best for the job, but he wanted to make sure the right people were giving him political points for it, so he has been super obvious about what he’s doing, which is silly. I am not an economist, but as far as I can tell, the only direct way government can impact inflation is by raising interest rates, which creates it’s own set of problems, though IMO, having them so very low for a decade has also created problems. The border problem is the same border problem that it has been for my lifetime.

    I’d say that Biden has been average among presidents so far. (if you look at our presidents historically, average is not a very big reach)

    Nic (896fdf)

  70. ‘@69. I would say, in actual actions, Biden is not doing too badly.’

    ROFLMAOPIP

    Leaked documents show the Biden administration was still discussing basic mass civilian evacuation plans hours before the Taliban took over Kabul

    * Biden officials were making decisions on Afghanistan evacuations hours before the Taliban takeover.

    * Axios reported that leaked documents showed basic decisions had not been made as of August 14.

    * The Taliban took over Afghanistan on August 15, 2021, and US troops withdrew by the end of that month.

    https://www.businessinsider.com/biden-did-not-treat-evacuation-afghans-who-helped-us-urgency-2022-2

    “… stay out of B-29s, Frank, my boy.” – Doc [Willliam Powell] ‘Mister Roberts’ 1955

    DCSCA (f4c5e5)

  71. US citizens and US green card holders had months to get out. Anyone who was still there would have been a problem for any president and since the bad intel regarding how long it would take Kabul to fall came through normal military and intelligence channels, the same bad intel would’ve gone to any president. Theoretically the withdrawl could have been run better, but functionally, it wouldn’t have been.

    Nic (896fdf)

  72. put the bong down

    mg (8cbc69)

  73. US citizens and US green card holders had months to get out.

    With the US telling them “don’t worry, there will be months more.”

    Kevin M (38e250)

  74. Ahd no, don’t blame it on “bad intel” blame it on “not listening to the intel”

    The reason that you didn’t hear much about how upset the military was, was because the ones that spoke out got tossed in the brig.

    Kevin M (38e250)

  75. Same thing happened in april 1975 in vietnam. It was called vietnamisation. Now its called afganisation.

    asset (0f9e51)

  76. “George Wallace. Got The Big Dick elected.”

    Yeah, those Wallace voters were torn: “Wallace or Humphrey?” Quite a difficult choice for them.

    Kevin M (38e250)

  77. @Kevin@73, 74 Nobody told the civilians that there would be months before the US forces were withdrawn and the original date was in fact months earlier. Once the forces were out, any civilians left were there at their own risk, they lost that bet sooner rather than later.

    My understanding of the original intel in the spring when the pullout started was that the various intelligence services knew Kabul would eventually fall but that they had at least a year or more. By summer the predictions were fuzzier, but still thought Kabul would probably hold out for a while and withdrawl was well underway.

    Now, looking back, it’s easy to say that of course the Afghan forces would just disappear into the fog at the first sign of conflict, but that wasn’t the information at the time.

    So basically there were two options in the spring, at the point at which the intel was that Kabul would eventually fall but it would take a while, to continue to stay for an indefinite amount of time and prop up the Afghani government or to continue with the planned withdrawl.

    Obviously everyone has their own opinion over whether we should have stayed or not and my personal beef with the withdrawl is that we didn’t get green cards to the people who had helped us and their families and get them out quickly enough, which was an ongoing problem all the way through from the very beginning, but ultimately the withdrawl was going to be a mess for whoever did it, which is why everyone kept passing the buck to the next administration.

    Nic (896fdf)

  78. I agree with Patterico that Trump supporters who invite Trump/Biden comparisons can’t complain when it’s pointed out to them how much worse Trump was. I also agree that when that doesn’t happen, Biden should be judged on his own merits. (FWIW I think he’s awful.) Biden supporters who gratuitously drag Trump into the discussion are usually whatabouting.

    But there’s another subject which can look confusingly like the above, yet is orthogonal. It’s the credibility of the person making the criticism or defense. When the topic is Biden, I want to know where my interlocutor stands on Trump, not because it’s relevant to Biden — it isn’t — but because it’s key for determining whether that person’s judgment and credibility make them worth spending more than a few moments arguing with about anything. I long ago concluded that anyone who improbably and with a straight face defended or even outright denied Trump’s unprecedented smorgasbord of malignant narcissism, lying, deranged conspiracy mongering, contempt for the rule of law, proud pig ignorance, indecency, etc., isn’t.

    That’s no commentary on their character. I know many of them to be good people. It’s just that the sky in their world is a different color than in mine. With so little shared reality, there’s little point trying to resolve what by comparison are quibbles.

    lurker (59504c)

  79. Just step back from it all.

    Biden is the caboose at the end of the gravy train to the world that was the ‘American Century.’ We just can’t pay the freight anymore to haul the likes of him around anymore. He’s just a swampy, mediocre politician from the Starsky & Hutch days minted as cheap, clad-coinage, circa 1975, who babbles on about lunch buckets, unions, old Corvettes and choo-choos.

    DCSCA (f4c5e5)

  80. biden needs to be put in a old folks home, bring on kamalalala she has 81 million up votes.
    I want me some kamalalala.

    mg (8cbc69)

  81. frosty, remember when Trump warned that Biden would destroy the suburbs? Seen any such destruction?

    Paul Montagu (5de684) — 2/1/2022 @ 6:29 pm

    No, I don’t remember that. I think you’d win the “Things Trump Said” column if you and I were playing Jeopardy. It sounds like Trump doesn’t occupy as much of my time as he does yours.

    So, you’re voting for judging Biden by what Trump said he would do?

    frosty (f27e97)

  82. It’s just that the sky in their world is a different color than in mine. With so little shared reality, there’s little point trying to resolve what by comparison are quibbles.

    Flatland: A Romance of Many Dimensions, by Edwin A. Abbott. Similarly, Trumpland beings are not aware of, and capable of relating to, any other dimensions.

    nk (1d9030)

  83. No, I don’t remember that.

    Funny, he said that a lot.
    I’m not judging Biden, I’m judging the words Trump exclaimed, frequently.

    Paul Montagu (5de684)

  84. frosty, remember when Trump warned that Biden would destroy the suburbs? Seen any such destruction?

    Paul Montagu (5de684) — 2/1/2022 @ 6:29 pm

    That was based on the idea of scattersite low income hosing. It;s more of a judicial thing, but Trump conflates that with someone whom people can vote for or not.

    Sammy Finkelman (c49738)

  85. I’m not judging Biden, I’m judging the words Trump exclaimed, frequently.

    Paul Montagu (5de684) — 2/2/2022 @ 6:11 am

    And the topic subject is

    By What Standard Ought We Judge Joe Biden?

    I keep hearing that if Trump would just go away we’d get back to having real discussions about real things and everything wouldn’t be about Trump because it’s Trump that is making everything about him. I think this thread is another testament to that wishful thinking.

    frosty (f27e97)

  86. With the US telling them “don’t worry, there will be months more.”

    Kevin M (38e250) — 2/2/2022 @ 12:35 am

    And that maybe it won’t happen or could take years.

    Sammy Finkelman (c49738)

  87. That was based on the idea of scattersite low income hosing. It;s more of a judicial thing, but Trump conflates that with someone whom people can vote for or not.

    You’re projecting your thoughts onto Trump’s, Sammy.
    Trump never made such distinctions.

    Paul Montagu (5de684)

  88. Quoting Paul, frosty, does indeed circumvent the blocking script that has worked so well for me.

    Destruction of the suburbs was signed into law in March of 2021 by Biden. Here is the Whitehouse fact sheet excerpt:

    …Eliminate exclusionary zoning and harmful land use policies. For decades, exclusionary zoning laws – like minimum lot sizes, mandatory parking requirements, and prohibitions on multifamily housing – have inflated housing and construction costs and locked families out of areas with more opportunities. President Biden is calling on Congress to enact an innovative, new competitive grant program that awards flexible and attractive funding to jurisdictions that take concrete steps to eliminate such needless barriers to producing affordable housing….

    https://www.whitehouse.gov/briefing-room/statements-releases/2021/03/31/fact-sheet-the-american-jobs-plan/

    Try doing a deep dive into the actual changes to local Accessory Dwelling Unit zoning ordinances and see what can now be built where a single family residence once stood. In addition to that look at the fee waivers given to construct these monstrosities. Additionally look into the infrastructure exemptions that are in place for ADUs. Parking requirements are gone, sewer and water capacity doesn’t need to be upgraded and much more.

    It is much easier and way cheaper for developers to acquire SFRs and go crazy than it is to build a new complex in an area that has appropriate infrastructure. Now that Biden Bucks are trickling down to the state and local governments coffers to facilitate more of this nonsense, what do you think will happen?

    I used to be surprised that people had no idea what was going on in their own backyards. I blocked Paul’s comments because he reinforced that I shouldn’t be shocked at this carelessness.

    BuDuh (4a7846)

  89. And the topic subject is By What Standard Ought We Judge Joe Biden?

    That’s the title, not the topic, frosty, and it’s not even the full title. The subhead says, “Trump was worse” is a poor standard . . . unless someone tries to argue Trump was better.”
    Giving you the benefit of the doubt, I’ll assume you didn’t read Patterico’s full Substack link.
    You’re also making the strange assumption that Trump has gone away, which is laughable.
    Question: Did you vote for Trump?

    Paul Montagu (5de684)

  90. Big technical mistake on my part. The Jobs Plan has not been signed into law that I know of. I mistook the timeline of the fact sheet with a similarly named “American Rescue plan.” Please dunk all over that because it would be more fun than sticking with Biden’s intentions which are accurately portrayed in the fact sheet I linked.

    BuDuh (4a7846)

  91. Destruction of the suburbs was signed into law in March of 2021 by Biden.

    BuDuh once again fails to comprehend that his personal opinions are not facts, and that he’s talking to a person who’s an expert witness in real estate matters.
    Zoning and land use are inherently local matters, and any jurisdictions who would accept that kind of grant money are not suburbs. In my area, the only folks who are talking about canceling minimum lot sizes and single family zoning and minimum on-site parking requirements are the fringier nutters in Seattle and nowhere else.

    Paul Montagu (5de684)

  92. Nic (896fdf) — 2/1/2022 @ 8:47 pm

    …all Presidents have a specific “look” and viewpoint they are going for in their judges and political appointees. Mostly they don’t talk about it. Biden has a big mouth. He should’ve made his choice and then blandly presented the person to the public as the person best for the job,

    That’s what George Bush the Elder did when he nominated Clarence Thomas for the Supreme Court in 1991. (he felt he couldn’t say anything else other than he picked the very best person for the job)

    Nobody believed him but it was a 1 or 2 day cynicism story. Then they just forgot or ignored what he claimed and never mentioned it again.

    In 2008, it lasted longer when John McCain named Sarah Palin as his vice presidential choice, although she really was his preferred candidate of the 6 or so he had narrowed it down to. No other people had gone through the post-Eagleton vetting, so he was limited in his choices, but the press mainly treated it still like it was 1972 or earlier. McCain wanted political independence (McCain really wanted Joe Lieberman, and had chosen the runners-up with an eye toward political balance, but his advisers convinced him he couldn’t do that)

    but he wanted to make sure the right people were giving him political points for it, so he has been super obvious about what he’s doing, which is silly.

    There would be no point to it, in his eyes, if people didn’t notice.

    I am not an economist, but as far as I can tell, the only direct way government can impact inflation is by raising interest rates,

    The power is not exercised directly by the president but they often can effect it, at least by appointments.

    which creates it’s own set of problems,

    And actually makes inflation worse. I studied it, month by month. Only they don’t think it acts so fast and so they always say they waitedjust a little bit too long to raise interest rates.

    The only reason inflation may drop is that higher interest rates depress economic activity, and if it takes businesses by surprise there may be a breakdown in inventory control. Inventory control doesn’t break down in a recession nowadays and hasn’t since the 1930s and it took some doing then, but it can break down in an expansion, as happened in 1948.

    Sometimes some random factor may cause inflation to decline and the Federal Reserve Board may ease up or it will ease up because they realize they are causing a big recession and they don’t want that even at the expense, they think, of more inflation, except that reducing interest rates reduces inflation.

    We are at extreme risk of stagflation, and, if the Fed does not retreat, of spiraling into hyperinflation.. It’s not beyond the bounds of possibility. With a $30 trillion debt they dare not raise interest rates. They are threatening, at any rate, to repeat what happened in 1980 with Carter.

    though IMO, having them so very low for a decade has also created problems.

    Limited problems.

    Sammy Finkelman (c49738)

  93. Maybe today will be a fun day to leave Paul unblocked.

    Parking is not required for ADUs. However, you cannot remove existing required off-street parking space(s) unless replaced elsewhere on the property in a location that is allowed under the code.

    https://www.seattle.gov/sdci/permits/common-projects/accessory-dwelling-units

    BuDuh (4a7846)

  94. The border problem is the same border problem that it has been for my lifetime.

    An unenforecable law, even at the cost of many people losing their loves at the rate they are willing to tolerate.

    I’d say that Biden has been average among presidents so far. (if you look at our presidents historically, average is not a very big reach)

    That’s right. Average is not a big reach, so there’s always a good number of things to criticize.

    Sammy Finkelman (c49738)

  95. * their lives.

    Almost everywhere in the world where it is possible for an ordinary person to reach a substantially more developed country.

    Sammy Finkelman (c49738)

  96. I wonder if this ex-KGB person is himself the victim of (Chinese?) disinformation and really thinks something may be up with NATO or the USA.

    Sammy Finkelman (c49738)

  97. The City proposes to remove regulatory barriers in the Land Use Code to make it easier for property owners to create accessory dwelling units (ADUs) and increase the number and variety of housing choices in Seattle’s single-family zones. Based on a decision from the City’s Hearing Examiner in December 2016, we have prepared an Environmental Impact Statement (EIS) that analyzes how the proposed Land Use Code changes could affect the environment.

    Published on October 4, 2018, our Final EIS includes a Preferred Alternative for Land Use Code changes to remove barriers to the creation of ADUs. The Preferred Alternative resembles legislation that the City Council will review and consider for adoption. Its key features include:

    •Allowing two ADUs on one lot
    •Removing the off-street parking requirement
    •Removing the owner-occupancy requirement and requiring one year of ownership when creating a second ADU
    •Modifying development standards that regulate the size, height, and location of DADUs
    •Increasing the household size limit for a lot with two ADUs
    •Establishing a new limit on the maximum size of single-family dwellings

    http://www.seattle.gov/council/adu-eis

    Wild.

    BuDuh (4a7846)

  98. I heaard that you sed to find homeless people only in San Francisco or Anaheim, California but now they are in many more places even the Poconos.

    Sammy Finkelman (c49738)

  99. Question, BuDuh: Is Seattle a suburb?

    Paul Montagu (5de684)

  100. I see. The destruction of SFRs in the city should not be considered because of cleverness.

    Here are the rules for the county:
    https://kingcounty.gov/~/media/depts/permitting-environmental-review/dper/documents/forms/Residential-Accessory-Dwelling-Units-Information.ashx?la=en

    In addition here is the state funding of this destruction:

    https://app.leg.wa.gov/billsummary?BillNumber=5235&Initiative=false&Year=2021

    Back to the blocking script.

    BuDuh (1488ce)

  101. The suburbs! The suburbs! A firkin for your suburbs! Biden wants to abolish God!

    “The sleepy campaign has joined forces with those trying to tear down America and our way of life,” Trump said. “He comes out with a platform…There will be no oil. There will be no God. There will be no guns.”

    nk (1d9030)

  102. Thank you BuDuh, for the lame argument that ADUs are destroying the suburbs. You should keep with the blocking so as not to embarrass yourself further.
    I’ll also take your non-answer as “no”, that Seattle is not a suburb.

    Paul Montagu (5de684)

  103. after just one year, if you think a case needs to be made that biden isn’t as bad as trump, you’ve already lost the argument — JF

    I usually don’t agree with JF, but he’s not wrong here. — Kevin M

    Uh, yeah he is. Let’s make it simple:

    Some guy: Heh, look, Biden’s bad. That means Trump is better!

    Me: Uh, no it doesn’t!

    JF: The fact that you deny it makes it true!

    Kevin M: Hey, that comment is totally correct!

    Patterico (7e54d1)

  104. Biden was an unquestionable mediocrity back when he first had presidential aspirtions. Obama dusted him off because he needed someone who looked like the adult in the room. But the reality is that Biden has been wrong on most major foreign policy questions over his tenure in the Senate….and tends to not be especially articulate or persuasive.

    Fast forward….the President needs to lead…and he needs to lead the entire country. Obama and Trump failed to breech the divide….and it’s no small task…..but where has he even tried. He had serious opportunities with his domestic agenda….carving out smaller initiatives that have broader support…..but he instead fell into the usual liberal playbook….and failed. He’s not the adult in the room.

    Afghanistan may have always been a difficult logistic nut….but how could no one get fired or demoted for that catastrophe. My fear is because the WH may have steered it. There’s no great answers for inflation given it is expected when the economy is coming back on-line. But there’s also not a lot of effective messaging. The same kinda goes for Covid, where it drifted off. Again there’s nothing easy about being out front in a dynamic pandemic….but his mandate on big businesses was poorly reasoned and just gave people a reason to batter him. The race-stuff is just typical DEM policy….and wanting a black justice is what it is. It looks bad but we are exaggerating that the best person always gets that job. The best people frequently have too long of paper trails to any longer win broad support. The deep thinkers have probably offended someone.

    The 2020 DEM field was historically weak….Warren, Bloomberg, Bernie? Yikes….and it’s not geting better for 2024. They need to stop and recalibrate. But I’m not a Democrat….my priorities and things I value are a bit different. So me saying that Biden is unacceptable means too little. Most DEMs are unacceptable…it’s just a matter of degree.

    AJ_Liberty (3cb02f)

  105. Joe deploys 3,000 U.S. troops to Europe: Poland, Germany and Romania.

    ‘Temporary.’ Where have we heard that before?

    And who pays for this crap?

    … and the Military Industrial Complex smiled.

    DCSCA (f4c5e5)

  106. OT- Zucker get Zucked.

    Finally.

    Glorious.

    DCSCA (f4c5e5)

  107. Patterico, I think you have it right;

    Biden is objectively delivering bad results. Not only are his policy preferences mostly bad he’s not very successful at achieving them. If you dislike his policy preferences that’s not entirely bad but in many cases, such as the Afghanistan withdrawal, his administrations lack of accomplishment makes a bad policy worse.

    On a comparative level Biden was (and is) the superior alternative in the last election, and remains a superior choice to the current GOP front runner.

    It’s worth repeating: Biden is a horrible choice that no one wanted to vote for. People were (rightly) eager to vote against Trump and Trump’s behavior since losing the election only makes that choice seem better. But had Biden run unopposed he would have lost.

    Time123 (9f42ee)

  108. On a comparative level Biden was (and is) the superior alternative in the last election, and remains a superior choice to the current GOP front runner.

    No. The superior alternative was- and remains- to continue rejecting the bogus malarkey peddled and packaged as a ‘return to normalcy.’ That era is dead; its time passed.

    DCSCA (f4c5e5)

  109. #70 I learned from George Orwell to visualize metaphors, like the extended one that commenter keeps inflicting on us. It’s not a pretty picture.

    And I would advise him not to do that in public — and remind him that, if he stops doing it, his cleaning bills will decrease.

    (Of course I understand that he uses the metaphor because he doesn’t have a rational argument, with evidence, to present. So we can think of it as a sort of crude confession.)

    Jim Miller (edcec1)

  110. no matter what biden does, trump will always be worse

    just like anything gets worse without coffee

    JF (e1156d)

  111. Most of the objections to Trump boil down to personal not policy.

    Biden is 100% ineffective at policy because he is not mentally capable and the policies that are formed are not Biden’s.

    Trump was less than 50% effective in policy because his personality got in the way. For example, his policies on the border worked but his fat mouth made it sound racist.

    Trump ran against a Clinton who was clearly peddling influence through their foundation, Biden was clearly peddling infuence through his brother and son. Granted, brother and son are inept and drug addled at it, but that doesn’t excuse it.
    The Trumps are not better, but on policy Trump gave me more of what I wanted than Clinton would have or that Biden is giving me now

    steveg (e81d76)

  112. ‘By What Standard Ought We Judge Joe Biden?’

    Competence.

    DCSCA (f4c5e5)

  113. JF, no, it’s just that Biden hasn’t done anything worse yet. He still has 2 years left in his first term. Maybe you’ll get lucky and your support of an incompetent, treasonous, and dishonest person like Trump will be validated. I hope not, because that would mean the current president had done something worse then fire the head of the FBI to stop a properly predicated investigation, extorted an ally by withholding congressionally authorized military aid unless they publicly implicated a political rival in a baseless criminal investigation, or tried to steal the presidential election.

    I hope Biden doesn’t do anything that bad.

    Time123 (9f42ee)

  114. Kevin M: Hey, that comment is totally correct!

    Well, Pat, that’s not what he said, or what I said. But otherwise, you’re right.

    All he said was that it should be embarrassing to even have to broach the argument. Trump should have been an easy act to follow, but Biden isn’t OBVIOUSLY doing better. So, in that sense, the argument starts off lost.

    Compare their first years, not Biden’s mere one year of F-ups to Trump’s 4. And if all you can see is Jan 6th, Biden is already preparing the battlespace for his own rejection of election results later this year, so even that isn’t a clear advantage to him.

    Kevin M (38e250)

  115. @111, that’s actually pretty defensible. It’s when people move from “I picked Trump for conservative SCJ and Hillary was too corrupt” to trying to excuse and justify Trump’s criminal acts that I think they’ve lost the point.

    Time123 (9f42ee)

  116. I have explained earlier that I agree with the British bettors, who, collectively, think the odds are against him winning the nomination.

    So, do you think you have a good handle on British politics? If not, why should they have any clear understanding of ours? Talk to them about the 2nd Amendment if you need some clarity on the subject.

    Kevin M (38e250)

  117. Nic, I really didn’t want to get into this earlier, but you are also doing some heavy goalpost moving wrt the Afghanistan withdrawal. We put an awful lot of Afghanis in harm’s way, offering our protection, and now they are being hunted down like dogs. Not only did we fail with American citizens, we failed with allies and friends.

    The sum total of our efforts there have been to tell the Taliban whom to kill. All so Biden could celebrate 9/11 with our surrender.

    Kevin M (38e250)

  118. If I ignore Jan 6th and Trump’s post-election treason, which I will do only for the moment, I have to point out that Joe Biden has done several things in his first year that Joe Biden had said were unconstitutional on their face. Not “as applied”, but plain old unconstitutional. Such as the eviction moratorium and the vaccine mandate.

    His aiding and abetting of illegal immigration, done with secrecy and stealth is another (immigration rules are a power reserved to Congress under Article I, and Congress has established rules Biden is evading).

    Now (again, other than 1/6 etc) did Trump do that was, on its face, unconstitutional? Not as some judge ascribed his motives, or ruled “as applied”, but just flat unconstitutional?

    Kevin M (38e250)

  119. Shorter: Joe Biden has done things that he knew were wrong and deprived real people of their civil rights, use of their property, and control of their own persons. It is unclear if a lawsuit would be dismissed because of qualified immunity, as Joe Biden had said that he, too, thought such actions were wrong.

    Kevin M (38e250)

  120. “he knew were wrong”

    Is this true? Did he state unequivocally that an OSHA directed business mandate would be unconstitutional? I just don’t recall him locking himself into a corner like that….and his intent here….I believe….was to cynically get as many people vaccinated as possible…before the Court would intervene. Probably the same was true with the rent moratorium. His base is the tennants not the landlords. In DEM circles, he’s advocating for the right people….and there’s always the possibility of squish in emergency powers.

    AJ_Liberty (3cb02f)

  121. > I blame Democrats who looked into the mirror and saw Biden as the right man for the job.

    there was a robust debate within the party, and Biden wasn’t really doing terribly well but support was split in multiple ways — and then everything froze in place because of the start of the pandemic, and everyone hunkered down and somewhat rallied to a known name.

    aphrael (4c4719)

  122. > Trump’s lawlessness is limited by time.

    Trump’s lawlessness will bring about the end of the Republic for our lifetimes.

    aphrael (4c4719)

  123. The swearing in of Kamalalala becoming leader of the free world will be constitutional. Love it.

    mg (8cbc69)

  124. Shorter: Joe Biden has done things that he knew were wrong and deprived real people of their civil rights, use of their property, and control of their own persons. It is unclear if a lawsuit would be dismissed because of qualified immunity, as Joe Biden had said that he, too, thought such actions were wrong.

    Kevin M (38e250) — 2/2/2022 @ 10:18 am

    It wasn’t just Biden. Several things that Biden has done were criticized here when it was rumored that Trump might be thinking of doing them. Some of those same people are now opining about the credibility of others.

    his intent here….I believe….was to cynically get as many people vaccinated as possible…before the Court would intervene.

    AJ_Liberty (3cb02f) — 2/2/2022 @ 10:44 am

    And why would the courts intervene if it’s constitutional? This need to get it in before the courts stopped him gives the game away. That he didn’t unequivocally state that he knew it was unconstitutional doesn’t save him. Doing so would have been immediately impeachable. For some reason this standard is never applied to people you disagree with. Why is that?

    frosty (f27e97)

  125. @123 jeez, it’s just coffee

    JF (e1156d)

  126. That’s the title, not the topic, frosty, and it’s not even the full title. The subhead says, “Trump was worse” is a poor standard . . . unless someone tries to argue Trump was better.”

    My comment in @55 wasn’t trying to argue that Trump was better or worse. My standard didn’t involve Trump at all. You brought Trump in with a whatabout.

    You’re also making the strange assumption that Trump has gone away, which is laughable.

    Where did I do that? I’m not doing that @85.

    Paul Montagu (5de684) — 2/2/2022 @ 7:06 am

    So, basically, the argument is you should be able to critique Biden by some other standard than comparing to Trump unless someone wants to say Trump was better or unless you’ve realized that Biden is terrible and you need to keep up the orange man bad to avoid talking about it.

    frosty (f27e97)

  127. You brought Trump in with a whatabout.

    I understand that it’s your feeling that the topic of Patterico’s post isn’t about Trump, but it’s also about Trump, by content and by word count (42 Trumps and 31 Bidens).

    Where did I do that? I’m not doing that @85.

    I’m not interested in again cutting and pasting your own words, frosty. I’m confident in my understanding of plain English.

    Paul Montagu (5de684)

  128. BTW, frosty, perhaps you’ve answered others before, so I’m guessing that’s why you ignored mine, but I’m asking again: Did you vote for Trump? And here’s a follow-up: If yes, which times?

    Paul Montagu (5de684)

  129. Ask these dudes if it’s just coffee, coincidentally California’s inflection point.

    urbanleftbehind (c2e573)

  130. #116 “So, do you think you have a good handle on British politics?” Kevin, if I were under oath, I would have to answer yes.

    But to answer your main question: I think the British bettors who bet successfully on American politics do understand our politics. (You can find some of them at the popular Political Betting site, where they often discuss American politics, and sometimes place bets on our elections.)

    As I have explained before, I think the track record of prediction markets is better than polls this far out from an election.

    Please look at the evidence. You can find some of it in that Wikipedia article.

    (Those interested in prediction generally may want to read Nate Silver’s The Signal and the Noise.)

    Jim Miller (edcec1)

  131. Some guy: Heh, look, Biden’s bad on some things and good on other things. The things he’s bad at are my priorities. The things he’s good at aren’t terribly important to me. The things that Trump was good at WERE important to me. That means Trump was, for me, better!

    P: Uh, no it doesn’t!

    Energy. Can somebody explain to me how closing a few Canadian pipelines and shutting down oil exploration in the Gulf of Mexico, then offsetting the reductions in oil production by increasing imports from Saudi Arabia and other middle eastern nations, somehow reduces Global Warming? When Russian threatens EU nations with closing natural gas pipelines there, how does it benefit the US to go bet Qatar to increase production? How does it prepare the US for winter “oil shocks” to authorize autumn releases from the Strategic Oil Reserve? Does diverting natural gas from making fertilizer to stockpiles backing up electric windmills and solar panels drive the costs of farming higher and worsen inflation? If farms are less productive due to expense or shortage of fertilizer, and corn supplies plummet, will federal “Gasohol” programs stop — and if so what does the change in gasoline chemistry do to air pollution? Is there anything at all in Biden’s history or current job performance that suggests he understands the interplay between energy, the environment, and the economy? On this particular issue, what is the evidence that Trump is worse?

    Race: If the problem of “Jim Crow” persists, can somebody explain how appointing a person of color who has no ancestors among Confederate slaves sets any kind of example about our progress since the Civil War? Does selecting a Supreme Court judge based on skin color help? On CRT, or ANY “theory” in public schools — has federal funding for “No Child Left Behind” helped reading results; or “Race to the Top” and “Common Core” assisted in standardizing America’s curricula? Does an overlay of ANOTHER great idea into our schools have any better promise of helping our kids? If benign neglect is an improvement, then for me, Trump’s record on public schools is better.

    Now, if the contest is who stands higher in the esteem of Saint Peter at the Pearly Gates, I’m sure I wouldn’t know. But as representatives of policy and priority, for me, there is no contest.

    pouncer (6c33cf)

  132. Just to throw gasoline to the fire…
    https://twitter.com/TomBevanRCP/status/1488966592046280706
    It’s official: for the first time, Trump’s approval rating is higher than Biden’s at this point in office, 41.9% to 41.3%

    whembly (7e0293)

  133. pouncer, I think people are drawing too much from the upcoming scotus pick….including Patterico. If Biden hadn’t telegraphed his intetion, would we care if he picked a black woman…..especially if she is qualified? Again it’s the ham-handedness of left wingers where they have to virtue signal and earn points with their base. And the qualifications are not exactly etched in stone. Do they HAVE TO come from the DC circuit? Why? Do they HAVE TO be Harvard or Yale grads? Do they have to be Law Journal editor? Can they add specialization in one area of the law? Can they bring a diversity of life experience? As I said upthread….the “most qualified” in terms of articles and books might not make the most sense. It’s why we didn’t have a Justice Bork or a Justice Tribe. And it’s not like Clarence Thomas’ qualifications and experience wow’ed anyone. But justices can grow into a job…and some who looked destined to be rock stars were ho-hummers. You don’t know….and it’s certainly expected that Biden wanted a liberal…so what does it matter the color?

    AJ_Liberty (3cb02f)

  134. nk,

    Ramous and Compean were convicted of basically crossing several hundred yards into Mexico and shooting in the back an unarmed handcuffed son of a US consulate employee and lying about it in their official statements. In fact there was a stupid rumor that the transcripts were hidden, I personally sent Mitch the transcripts provided by Judge sutton’s office. When the Republican senators read the transcripts, they halted their inquiry into the matter. So overwhelming was their guilt. Ramous, was on court ordered anger management and possibly substance abuse counseling if I remember right at the time of the shooting.

    EPWJ (0fbe92)

  135. Biden is repulsive and has failed by all standards.

    If you think anything other than he’s done a terrible job, that says everything about your partisan politics and zero about your understanding of politics.

    NJRob (cc7e2d)

  136. BuDuh — the cost of housing, particularly in the cities, is skyrocketing *well* above the rate of inflation. In California, a *huge* part of that is that the cities basically don’t allow construction of new housing sufficient to meet increases in demand, which inevitably drives the price up. Everyone relies on someone else to do it and it doesn’t happen.

    The only way to solve the problem is by building more. State and federal policies aimed at forcing localities to allow that are helpful.

    aphrael (4c4719)

  137. Trump’s lawlessness will bring about the end of the Republic for our lifetimes.

    The “Republic” ended some time ago, as the two parties became the only choices available. If you really care about restoring the Republic, and dismantling the duopoly on government, you have to look at ways to destroy party control of elections. It is that party control that allows people like Trump to hold power.

    Kevin M (38e250)

  138. Today I argue that comparing Biden to Trump is the wrong standard, because Biden is president now.

    This is absolutely right. Biden has attempted to do several things that are quite clearly not within his remit, and the Court has smacked him down.

    He has attempted to ram through costly, divisive and revolutionary legislation and has failed utterly.

    His Afghanistan collapse was ugly and terrible and also very bad.

    His 51-50 “mandate” doesn’t work, and now it’s 49-50 with Senator Lujan’s illness.

    His party is facing an existential defeat at the polls in November.

    His Vice-President is notable only for being vacuous and incompetent, even by the Biden standard.

    He is facing down Putin, and maybe this will give him some cred, or maybe he gets us in a shooting war in Europe. And then there’s the Chinese, who have got to be seeing opportunities.

    So, how well is Biden doing? Somewhere around a 3 on the 10-point scale. Maybe a 2, not a 4. Pretty much in line with the expectations, where the last election was a 3 versus a 2.

    Kevin M (38e250)

  139. “This is absolutely right”

    Except you need to replace Biden with something….heck the GOP didn’t even bother to have a platform in 2020. The party right now is focused on election conspiracies…Covid conspiracies…and an ecosystem that is only producing Trump sycophants.

    We conservatives can complain about Biden all we want…..and of course we’re going to hate his liberal domestic agenda…..but one could objectively argue that college tuition costs, family leave, child care costs, and health care costs at least resonate with some people. What ideas are the Republicans producing? What, the 70th iteration of repealing Obamacare……it’s like one more Jason slasher sequel. Build that wall? Doesn’t address the root problem and how most illegals get here. Spend more on the military? More tax cuts? What, now we can suddenly afford those things?! It’s incoherent.

    The party is ideologically in disarray….and appears to only be running to have power….not especially aspiring to do much with it. That’s why people belly-aching about keeping this only about Biden are deluded. He’s awful…and heck….he might not run again. At some point you have to run on coherent ideas….and that’s not Trump’s strong suit….

    AJ_Liberty (3cb02f)

  140. > not especially aspiring to do much with it.

    stick it to the libtards, and nothing really beyond that.

    aphrael (4c4719)

  141. @138. The “Republic” ended some time ago, as the two parties became the only choices available.

    Essentially, yep.

    Parties fewer and fewer citizens are affiliated with…

    “Who are those guys?” – Butch Cassidy [Paul Newman] ‘Butch Cassidy and The Sundance Kid’ 1969

    DCSCA (f4c5e5)

  142. Except you need to replace Biden with something….heck the GOP didn’t even bother to have a platform in 2020.

    I’d say you need to replace Trump with something. The ironic thing is that the Democrats are poised for a big fall, and all the GOP has to do to reach long-sought goals is to run a candidate who knows how get things done. But all the people with their pent up rage are going to put Mister Big Hat No Cattle in instead. And we’ll have 4 more years of incompetence and cluster-f**ks.

    “But he fights!” — fu**ing dolts everywhere.

    Kevin M (38e250)

  143. AJ, I don’t see the GOP as being in disarray as per policy so much as to leadership.

    We all got up to dance
    Oh, but we never got the chance
    ‘Cause the players tried to take the field
    The marching band refused to yield

    Kevin M (38e250)

  144. I’d say you need to replace Trump with something

    ROFLMAOPIP! He was: with ’50 years of government experience and a return to “normalcy.”‘

    DCSCA (f4c5e5)

  145. 81 million wanted kamalalala as v.p. We deserve her.

    mg (8cbc69)

  146. “ROFLMAOPIP!”

    Sounds like Depends is just around the corner….oh and thanks for not reading beyond my first 10 words. I was discussing the lack of substance from the GOP…and the fact that after detailing Biden’s gaffes, incoherence, and reflexive liberalism….you should offer more than corruption, deception, incompetence, and a faux tough guy. You win offering “not Biden”…..but can you govern? Can you accomplish anything other than marketing Trump tchotchke….

    https://patriotscave.com/products/wine-glass-trump-2024-flip-finger-color?variant=39612887203991&currency=USD&utm_medium=product_sync&utm_source=google&utm_content=sag_organic&utm_campaign=sag_organic&utm_campaign=gs-2021-11-03&utm_source=google&utm_medium=smart_campaign&gclid=CjwKCAiAl-6PBhBCEiwAc2GOVLzhxyQ2JLvL0_DtDyAAPubHaVSrJJazVGmR6zKbpb1FCrlY-e_9rRoCCBEQAvD_BwE

    AJ_Liberty (3cb02f)

  147. 136. NJRob (cc7e2d) — 2/2/2022 @ 2:16 pm

    If you think anything other than he’s done a terrible job,

    Where he’s done a terrrible job is in forecasting what is going to happen, or what can happen, and anticipating it, and taking countermeasures. He regularly expects thinks to work that do not. That wopuld be because he’s never run anything, or if he did, (like a campaign) he usually didn’t run it well, in any situation where there was not smooth sailing)

    And as an observer, he’s never gotten things right and he;s never had to face up not getting things right.

    I would not include his faikure to get legislation passed in this category. I don’t think he cared about passing things – he only cared about not dividing the Democratic Party. He let others set the agenda and endorsed most of anything. (there may be a few things he wants or wants to stop.)

    As far as accomplishing things goes, he may have the idea of accomplishing something big, without much, if any, understanding of the details or what works or doesn’t work. Mainly he likes if it is big. He’ll count on others to come up with things.)

    More recently, he’s become concerned about failing at a few things, and has consulted other people than usual. He’s relying on what are considered the best people on Ukraine. On Covid – the most interesting thing that happened ifs that the FDA contacted Pfizer and asked them to please apply for a vaccine for 6 months to 4 year olds. Phizer had expected any application to be rejected. It worked well, by the way for 6 months to 2 years but not for 2 to 4 (because the dise relative to body size was too small. Not much innovation going on here and the pharmaceutical cmpanies try to limit any mid course corrections as much as possible because usually the FDA would demand they stat all over. That’s why there’s never been a vaccine approved that is targeted as variants. Ot doesn’t matter that the effectiveness data is now all wrong and out of date. It was approved and it still works 50% as well or something. New monoclonal antibodies are slow going.

    When the Biden Administration decided they needed a vaccine for those under 5 the FDA didn’t ask them to apply for the lower age group. (now it’s only the very youngest who might need it)

    Pfizer, on its own, had been planning to make it a 3 dose regimen.

    Sammy Finkelman (c49738)

  148. If you want to blame someone for not passing much legislation, the blame should go to Chuck Schumer and Nancy Pelpsi, who may be most concerned with not losing their positions, so they let the “progressives” try to pass nearly all they want. They don’t want them complaining about their leadership. They’ll give them every chance. If nothing goes through, let them blame the Republicans, bu the “progressives” won;t be ale to say anything against them..

    Sammy Finkelman (c49738)

  149. The last thing we need is more legislation. Every time a bill fails, an angel gets his wings.

    nk (1d9030)

  150. * If nothing goes through, let them blame the Republicans, or Senator Manchin, but the “progressives” won’t be able to say anything against them. They may be frustrated, but they won’t be unhappy with their Congressional leadership. (There may be a bit more nuance involved here.)

    Sammy Finkelman (c49738)

  151. aphrael (4c4719) — 2/2/2022 @ 2:57 pm

    BuDuh — the cost of housing, particularly in the cities, is skyrocketing *well* above the rate of inflation. In California, a *huge* part of that is that the cities basically don’t allow construction of new housing sufficient to meet increases in demand, which inevitably drives the price up.

    It’s not just zoning, it’s building codes and other things driving up the cost of new housing.

    Every person who owns real estate has a stake in prices just going up and up.

    The only way to solve the problem is by building more. State and federal policies aimed at forcing localities to allow that are helpful.

    But at the same time state and federal policies are aimed at increasing the cost of construction, Good union jobs. It’s all just taking stabs at dealing with the price of housing and they can;;t do more because the math doesn’t work.

    Rent control and Proposition 13 can shield old voters (and those are the best kind of voters for them) from a rise in the market price of housing.

    Sammy Finkelman (c49738)

  152. Breaking-

    Islamic State’s leader blows himself up during raid, U.S. says.
    ………
    Mr. Biden said in a statement that the terrorist leader, identified by ISIS as Abu Ibrahim al-Hashimi al-Qurayshi, was killed. A senior administration official said Mr. al-Qurayshi died at the beginning of the operation when he exploded a bomb that killed him and members of his own family, including women and children.

    “Thanks to the skill and bravery of our armed forces, we have taken off the battlefield Abu Ibrahim al-Hashimi al-Qurayshi — the leader of ISIS,” Mr. Biden said in a statement. “All Americans have returned safely from the operation.”

    The helicopter-borne assault carried out by about two dozen American commandos, backed by helicopter gunships, armed Reaper drones and attack jets, resembled the raid in October 2019 in which Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi, the previous leader of the Islamic State, died when he detonated a suicide vest as U.S. forces raided a hide-out not far from where Thursday’s operation took place.
    ………..

    Rip Murdock (d93e1f)

  153. More:

    American helicopters ferried the commandos into position after midnight, surrounding a house in Atmeh, a town close to the border with Turkey in rebel-held Idlib Province, according to eyewitnesses, social media reports and the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights, a conflict monitor based in Britain.

    A tense standoff briefly ensued, with loudspeakers blaring warnings in Arabic for everyone in the house to surrender, neighbors said. Then an explosion rocked the building. After that, some of the house’s occupants had not emerged and a major battle erupted, with heavy machine gun fire and apparent missile strikes.

    During the operation, one of the American helicopters suffered a mechanical problem, was forced to land and was later destroyed by American attack aircraft. After about three hours, the American commandos and their remaining helicopters flew off, witnesses said.

    Rip Murdock (d93e1f)

  154. Good on them, he’s beating Jimmah on one important metric.

    urbanleftbehind (6a53bd)

  155. The last thing we need is more legislation. Every time a bill fails, an angel gets his wings.
    nk (1d9030) — 2/3/2022 @ 7:10 am

    What have you got against Ang- wait, are wings bought with our taxes?

    felipe (484255)


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