“he and his aides believe the political fallout at home will be limited, according to White House allies and administration officials”
Biden’s withdrawal of U.S. troops from Afghanistan has been a disaster, in both a humanitarian and political sense. Americans are watching horrific images coming out of Kabul on their TVs, computers and phones, while Biden seems frozen, unable to respond in any meaningful way.
While we still don’t know what the plan is for the humanitarian side of the crisis, we do know how the Biden team is planning to deal with the political fallout.
They’re going to try to ride it out. The Biden team seems to think this is just a bad news cycle or a Twitter mob which will subside after a matter of days. They are so mistaken.
Biden Afghanistan policy counts on war weary Americans to lose interest
President Joe Biden is brushing off criticism of his administration’s chaotic Afghanistan withdrawal because he and his aides believe the political fallout at home will be limited, according to White House allies and administration officials.
Biden and his top aides argue they are managing an evacuation mission as well as could be expected given the faster-than-anticipated takeover of the country by Taliban insurgents, and are seeking to draw attention back to the choice to get U.S. troops out of the country.
The strategy is based on internal and public polling that shows the Afghanistan withdrawal had been by far the most popular decision Biden has made, even though the issue was not central for most voters.
“The public opinion is pretty damn clear that Americans wanted out of the ongoing war and don’t want to get back in. It’s true today and it’s going to be true in six months,” said one Biden ally. “It isn’t about not caring or being empathetic about what’s going on over there, but worrying about what’s happening in America.”
The Biden administration is making the same mistake many of his supporters are making on social media. They are conflating the withdrawal from Afghanistan, which most Americans support, with the way it was handled, which has been a living nightmare.
W. James Antle III of the Washington Examiner says this could be the moment that ends up defining Biden:
Biden risks being defined by Afghanistan crisis
Throughout last year’s campaign for the White House, all the way through the beginning of President Joe Biden’s term, it was a common refrain: Republicans couldn’t find a line of attack that stuck to him .
That may change following the collapse of Afghanistan’s U.S.-backed government at the hands of the Taliban weeks before the 20th anniversary of the 2001 terrorist attacks on the United States. Republicans have no shortage of Biden criticisms that finally seem to be landing.
I think Biden has already been defined by this. It is the culmination of a 50 year career spent being wrong about pretty much every foreign policy issue, as Robert Gates famously said.
Americans are starting to understand why Obama’s Defense Secretary said this:
“[Biden] has been wrong on nearly every major foreign policy and national security issue over the past 4 decades.”pic.twitter.com/rTu36B5Fdq
— RNC Research (@RNCResearch) August 16, 2021
Whether his team realizes it or not, Biden has also been defined by the image at the top of this post. Twice during the last week, Biden has turned his back on the press, and by extension the country, as this disaster has unfolded.
Do the people around the president think this matter will be resolved in a couple of weeks? Can you imagine a scenario in which Biden is offering remarks on the 20th anniversary of 9/11 while Americans are still trapped in Afghanistan?
This is not going to blow over like a bad news cycle. It is naive and dangerous to think it will.DONATE
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