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Washington Post opinion columnist Perry Bacon Jr. doubled down on his recent criticism of President Biden in a scathing column Monday, where he dismissed the presidency as a “disappointment,” and put a harsh spotlight on the president’s dismal approval ratings, which, he argued, raise “real questions” about Biden’s political acumen.
Bacon opened his piece blaming Biden and his “prominent supporters” for convincing themselves that Biden’s 2020 victory was due to his political savvy and experience.
DEMOCRATS, LIBERAL MEDIA PIVOT FROM UNPOPULAR BIDEN AHEAD OF MIDTERMS
“President Biden, his team and some of his most prominent supporters convinced themselves of a fairy tale — that a major part of Biden’s 2020 victory was the political skill of the former vice president and his top advisers,” Bacon wrote. “Believing that hype and clinging to it are one of the main reasons that Biden’s presidency is, in my view, a disappointment right now.”
“Biden’s victories in 2020 were not due to a brilliant strategy,” Bacon continued. “He won the Democratic primary because of his support from two blocs: Black Democrats, who backed him because of his alliance with former president Barack Obama…and White Democrats, who rallied to Biden at the urging of the party establishment, which was convinced that his strongest rival, Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.), would lose to Trump.”
Bacon joins several columnists from other prominent liberal newspapers who’ve spotlighted Biden’s struggles in recent days as Democrats and their allies in the mainstream media rapidly move away from their longtime defense of the administration with the midterms just months away.
In a piece earlier in the month, Bacon acknowledged that “Bidenism is failing,” adding that “we don’t know exactly why or what it portends for the future.” In his subsequent column, Bacon assumes a harsher tone, rebuking those in the media and the White House for falling for their own “hype” that Biden was a “political genius” when in fact, his policies and gaffes were fast “approaching political idiocy.”
“In reality, August was when it became clear that Biden’s approach had real shortcomings — the administration wasn’t that competent in dealing with the withdrawal of U.S. troops from Afghanistan or the delta variant; couldn’t navigate the dynamics on Capitol Hill to get Biden’s agenda through; and didn’t have the pulse of the public, which started turning on the president,” Bacon wrote.
“But with the president, his team and their allies in the media having created a mythology of Team Biden’s political savvy, the Biden White House was slow to react to the collapse happening around them,” he explained. “Biden’s poll numbers were dropping, even among Democrats and Black Americans; the Build Back Better Act stalled; the Democratic Party started fracturing; and Republicans in state houses were passing aggressive legislation to disadvantage Democratic-leaning voters.”
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Biden is desperately trying to recover ahead of the upcoming midterms, writes Bacon, “but even if the pivot succeeds, real questions would remain about the political acumen of Biden and the people around him.”
“Biden and his team bet on their political genius — Biden could be both moderate and progressive, beloved by the Democratic base and by swing voters, a friend of congressional Democrats and also Republicans. It was magical thinking. It was believing their own hype,” he concluded, “and it is failing.”