Today, Nate Cohn noted in the New York Times that the policies President Joe Biden and the Democrats are putting in place are hugely popular, and yet Biden’s own popularity numbers have dropped into the low 40s. It’s a weird disconnect that Cohn explains by suggesting that, above all, voters want “normalcy.”
Why not submit this piece as a letter to the Editor or Opinion Piece in the NYT? You have a wide following and we need to make it ever WIDER!
Thank you for this account of Biden’s accomplishments. They are many, starting with the simple fact that he had the resume for the job of US President, unlike his predecessor who purposely left our country in disaray in part to cover his incompetence. Second, Biden truly believes in this country, it’s founding ideals, and democracy. By both action & inaction, the Republicans of today are proving they do not.
Finally, Biden knows how our political system works and understands the rule of law. His fierce commitment to negotiation & compromise is evidence that he walks the talk of a true American President, one who sees his leadership as a service to the country, not a personal power grab.
We must all do a better job supporting this man. Our goal must be to talk about his accomplishments until his strengths & positive impact for regular Americans reach critical mass and are undeniable in the minds of America and inescapable for the media.
In February 1952 President Truman has a 22% positive rating in a national poll. Historians and political scientists, in the highly credible CSpan poll ranking American presidents have ranked Truman 6th greatest in their most recent polls in 2017 and 2021.
I am appalled, though not surprised, that President Biden is polling so low these days. Asking present-day Americans what they think of President Biden is akin to asking them to rate an excellent teacher who is pulling them out of their educational and sloppy work habit funks.
President Biden inherited a country in the worst shape of an incoming president in my 88 years. The pandemic had been dreadfully handled by Trump and his unscientific sycophants. Our economy was in a tail spin. The phrase ‘climate change’ had been banned from all government documents. The outgoing president, refusing to accept the electorate’s vote, triggered a Capitol Building insurrection in an effort to block the constitutional vote in favor of if incoming President Biden. FALSE FACTS was the staccato chant by a president who had the first ongoing tally of his lies and false facts (over 40,000 according to the documented Washington Post scorecard. The corruption and mismanagement of Trump and his minions made President Harding look rather admirable by comparison.
As a Foreign Service Officer, I am appalled by how Trump dissed American strategic interests internationally. His bromance with Putin I found treasonous. His withdrawal from international climate-change agreements, his high-handed withdrawal from the 6-power Iranian nuclear monitoring agreement endangered the Middle East, his egotistical ‘love affair’ with North Korea’s Kim was revolting and ineffective, his bromance with Mohamed bin Salman, Netanyahu and others undermined America’s core national interests. As for China, Trump got into an escalating tariff fight that damaged our economy and prompted him to shovel out tens of billions of dollars to farmers who were hurt by his barnyard bully tantrums.
In less than a year President Biden, with a razor-thin majority in the House and a 50/50 split in the senate (with two fence-sitting Democratic senators) has steered Trump’s Titanic deftly away from the ice berg and on a positive course nationally and internationally. Despite his heroic efforts to vax and mask the nation, the Delta virus and and scurrilous, Republican-hailed effort to sabotage such policies have seriously impeded science-backed efforts to render America more healthy.
With his passed-and pending physical and social infrastructure legislation (both widely favored in public polls), President Biden is providing for much-needed investments of a New Deal and Great Society magnitude designed to equip America and the great majority of American people to flourish in the 21st century. He has restored professionalism, integrity and humanity to American government.
Internationally, President Biden has restored our relationships with our traditional allies and is treating authoritarian governments with professional firmness. NATO has welcomed back an American president who respects and supports NATO’s core mission. Climate-change policies have once again become a national American policy. In Afghanistan, after a failing 20-year-war, President Biden had the guts to withdraw our troops. No such end-of-a-failing-war goes smoothly, as we learned in Vietnam. Despite ‘precipitous collapse, the United States was able to evacuate over 120,000 human beings, including about 7,000 Americans, during a frenetic six weeks.
Thanks in good part to President Biden and his professional team, our economy has rebounded considerably during less-than-year in office. All this despite worldwide disruptions caused by the pandemic, with the exacerbation by the Delta virus, global supply disruptions, and the affect all of this has had on daily life. The media feeds on daily screaming headlines. Republicans are bleating naysayers, despite leaving such a mess for President Biden. Many Americans are distressed that the pandemic has disrupted their normal lives and seek someone to blame for the most deadly global pandemic since, perhaps, the Great Plague of the 14th century.
The American public is far more self-centered than what I experienced during World War II. Then shortages were related to a concerted war effort. Today, side efforts of President Biden’s massive rescue initiatives—including a temporary rise in inflation sparked, in part, by the massive financial assistance that the Biden administration has provided to citizens and corporations—that cannot avoid the massive global impacts of the pandemic on our daily life.
I doubt, over the coming weeks and months, that President Biden can avoid being the target of an American public ‘blame game.’ Many are being ‘discomforted’ by the broad and sustained impact of this multiple pandemic. Instead of applauding the accomplishments of their new quarterback, who already has racked up some impressive wins, they are in a bitchy mood. My hope (and expectation) is that quarterback Biden will have a good to-excellent 2022 season. The pandemic will be under control, despite the anti-vaxers and anti-maskers, the economy will rebound robustly as will the economy, the impacts of President Biden’s game-changing legislation will begin to reach the American people, and Americans will once again have reason to be proud of America’s role in the international community.
I look forward to when the current presidential booing of President Biden turns increasingly into cheers, no thanks to the media or the Trumpites.
For quite a while now, I've been wondering why the Democrats have been so inept at getting their message across, while the distortions and outright lies from the GOP seem to hit home every single time. As I was reading this piece, the reason suddenly jumped into clear focus for me.
Memes, sound bites and slogans are the Doritos, candy, cake and ice cream of our society; actual governance is the broccoli and peas.
While the Republicans have been serving up massive helpings of Doritos, candy, cake and ice cream (Sleepy Joe, "own the libs," "my freedoms!," "socialism!," etc.), the Democrats have been all about the broccoli and peas of actually governing.
And unfortunately for the Democrats, the lure of those junk food items is extremely strong, so the ignorant among us, led by the far right, will continue to gorge on them -- until finally, like a kindergartner after a birthday party, they get the inevitable tummyache (or worse).
Also unfortunately, a country-level "tummyache" is likely to have far-reaching and deadly consequences.
When you think of what the Biden Admn. has accomplished while facing so many head winds, it is pretty amazing. This letter and the positives it summarizes should be read out loud on every media outlet every day! And, what have the republicans accomplished . . . negativity, chaos, hatred, domestic and international instability, and not a single goddamned policy that has benefitted anyone other than a few who are hell bent to line their own pockets while they tear down everything around them.
Thank you for the analysis about the accomplishments of the Biden administration. No President has been tested to the degree that Biden has; I feel he is passing with flying colors.
So... You have uneducated, maybe uneducable, voters and they aren't remotely up to the task incumbent on them as the world's most powerful, most influential electorate. Add to that media whose sole conception of their role is to make the most money possible by selling entertainment -- and everybody knows that good news doesn't sell, nothing sells like bad news and scandal, so bad news and scandal are what's sold to the world's most influential electorate, keeping them ignorant and stupid, able only to answer the question: "Are you happy/unhappy with what you see on TV?"
Answer: "Of course we're not happy, people are still sick and dying, there's a migrant infestation at our southern border, God isn't in Washington where He's meant to be, doing His job making rain and shining us our Great American Dream. 'Cos Joe Biden's President that means he's Gawd and he's failing to control the Universe like he's supposed to America can't get things wrong Waaaaaaaaiiiihhhh!!!!! Mom Pass the Popcorn..."
Then, how do you compete with a system in which one man DOES play God, going with chaos, stirring it, stirring it? Consider this:
And yes, how do you compete with this? No one's asking the people if they're happy with God or His Tsar, they're not supposed to be happy, they're supposed to fear and adore them.
Unfortunately, HCR can't make up for this, she can't educate the American people single-handed.
But Drumpf and the Drumpfista Party know very well how to keep the American people in their place, ignorant, stupid, powerless, how to keep screwing the people and wrecking the world while making trillions out of the Game...
The problem is the polling. They should just stop doing it. They keep coming out with all these polls that reinforce negative thinking instead of just focusing on the actual progress, a negative feedback loop.
Your discussion of media responsibility for Biden’s popularity is spot on. The withdrawal from Afghanistan was certainly a low point for fair news coverage. And for me, I remember the fall of Saigon (I was in my 20s). So what will surely be seen as a success over time was portrayed as a nightmare - which it surely was not. After all the US forces had to rely on “good will” such as it was from the Taliban. And the only solution posed by “experts” would have been to rebuild our numbers and assets - but this would have created more of the same dilemma, which is how to get the folks out of Afghanistan who helped up. An expansion of US forces would have caused us to engage more Afghans from translators to common laborers - and so we would have made our problem larger. To get out would always get us to a point where a small number of Americans were defending our last bastion.
Similar press coverage holds for inflation. An international problem and one that seems to all authorities to be at least partly related to mismatches between supply and demand due to COVID is greeted by laments nearly every day about what is Biden going to do about inflation. Yet the crude oil is dropping, and plywood (key to construction and to building furniture) is dropping as well. The president was nagged into releasing oil from the strategic reserves - a move that may accomplish something but may not. But even when Biden acts, we are seeing Right Wing Media talk about having to replace the cheaper oil in the reserve with high priced oil.
Biden is hardly a man without flaws but if we looks at the challenges, we see a man whose administration is being honest with the American people and is dedicated to upholding the rule of law and reestablishing norms gleefully abandoned under Trump.
This is one of the best letters you've done Heather... And, one of the most needed to be read by everyone to show what President Biden has been able to do despite the Republican obstructionism.
Yes Yes Yes and then some. I have been astonished at Biden's low approval ratings and the amnesia that prevents Americans from appreciating the difference between a presidency based on service to the public from one based on self-aggrandizement, self enrichment, and mendacity. On Joe Biden's shoulders rest the tasks of restoring faith in American democracy, ending the pandemic after his predecessor's abysmal failure, and helping the millions of disadvantaged Americans ignored by Trump and his minions. Biden doesn't have a major network devoted to spinning lies on his behalf- nor is he willing to use the shock tactics of the Republicans to terrify their members into submission. Thanks so much Heather for trying to set the record straight.
With the over-educated, under-intelligent, otherwise-unemployable "gems" of the American media around, you don't need an enemy. They'll push anything that gets them clicks. The media wears running sneakers with velcro snaps; the truth wears high-top lace-up combat boondockers. By the time truth gets its boots on, the media is around the world 60 times. And trust me, it's nothing new. If you're an historian doing research, the one thing you will discover is that 90% of the time, whatever period you want to look at, the press got it wrong - and very rarely issued a retraction and correction.
“focused on negative information (negotiations are portrayed as “disarray,” for example), and ignored that Republicans have refused to participate in any lawmaking, choosing instead simply to be obstructionist”
I would like to help chip away at some of the GOP BS. Those that “negotiate” unfaithfully, never intending to come to a compromise are in fact doing more damage than just “obstructing”. They are helping to reinforce their narrative that “Governent is the problem”. It is not. Their obstruction to compromise is the problem.
Economically it is true that here in the US, consumers are spending a lot more on hard goods, not services. This has put a huge strain on factories to grow production, only made worse by the pandemic. How can any human resource manager and production manager grow inventories, hire new and train the workforce to increase factory output during a pandemic, amidst shut downs, while moroging production lines with social distancing, during continuing sequential outbreaks, as demand continues surging, and everyone’s supply chain has tightened and disruption rules? That is complexity people.
This can not be blamed on one President of the United States! It is way to far a complex and presents a set and series of global problems here and in far off supplier countries. Many of the supply chains involve multiple countries for a single product. Multiply that by many products per brand or company, and you can begin to understand complexity at hand.
This complexity was made far worse by TFG’s tariffs, that caused less buying by China, and a surplus of containers here piled up at US ports ( this has been under reported). Surplus containers here equals a shortage of containers in Asia. US manufactures are having to PAY for the shipping of empty containers back to China. If not, the shippers can jack up shipping prices anyway. Thanks former guy.
I’ve heard and read the right wing nut pundits blame the current President for the above, and for the Port delays and shipping bottle necks as well. As if Biden both moved all the factories and production off shore in the first place starting 40 years ago. Really? And then it’s the Presidents fault for how inadequate the Port capacity is in dealing with bottlenecks, how few deep water ports there are, how few docks there are for ships to unload, how few cranes there are per dock, and that there are not enough port workers and truck drivers? Really?
Now if you follow that logic… if bigger Government and government interference is the problem, and all the problems can be solved by the private sector alone (even in foreign supplier countries)… then shouldn’t the blame for these current problems be on the private sector too and not government? And certainly not on one person in one office of government?
These are all complex multi faceted problems with no easy answers. The answers are well beyond the scope of just the private sector. Apple, Ford, intel, etc can not independently negotiate alone, by themselves, with the worlds largest supplier country that owns the Majority of US debt, that happens to be a one party authoritarian communist state. There is no way that the private sector can alone build more ports where no more deep water port locations exist. Even if the private sector could manage all the surging demand at the ports, they can not add capacity to ports that are constrained by mega cities that have crowded them in.
These right wing nut critics are both ignorant, misinformed, and delusional of global supply chains, shipping complexity, and basic coastal geography. Leaving the problems to the private sector only leaves them unresolved, and only makes a bad situation worse.
No argument with any of this -- but at root, people are pissy because the pandemic isn't over. GOPers are doing their best to keep it that way by coddling anti-vaxxers and opposing public health measures. You've given a fair summary of the Biden administration's accomplishments here -- and we need to keep reminding folks. But it's hard to break through when everyday life is constrained and people keep getting sick. We can but keep repeating ourselves.
I wish the Democrats could spread this message more widely. It feels Orwellian at times to read all the negative media coverage (and Republican attacks, of course) when so much of what Biden has done is positive, especially given what he inherited. Thank you for this reminder of what we should be thankful for this Thanksgiving.
Heather! Thankfully you have the skill to share the FACT of the sea change the Biden administration has brought. Done with grace and skill and courage.
I ask you. Can you speak to why, why, why the Democratic Party is so hobbled and unable to get your clear message out to Americans?
How this Administration combat the media?
What is the missing link has Dems constantly cleaning up the mess of the right and then lose to the right.
Would you please consider a commentary on this?
Ever grateful for you voice, your brilliantly applied skills and your dedication to America.