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In Losing Control of Afghanistan, Biden May Lose His Domestic Agenda

AP Photo/Susan Walsh

As I’ve said before, I’m not expecting Joe Biden to be removed from office over Afghanistan. While he certainly deserves it, Democrats won’t give him the boot. Biden ran on the promise of character and competence, and removing Biden for a gross display of incompetence would be devastating to their party. So Biden will serve as long as he wants to. Make no mistake about that.

Biden’s agenda, however, is another story.

Every president takes office assuming a mandate to implement his agenda. And Joe Biden, despite the controversy surrounding the 2020 election and accusations of fraud, assumed a mandate to erase as much of Trump’s legacy as he could via executive action and pursue a radical agenda in Congress. That has already been a tough proposition due to the razor-thin majority the Democrats have in both Houses. Still, Biden’s radical agenda is now in serious jeopardy as moderate Democrats in the House and Senate are standing in his way.

According to a report from Epoch Times, moderate House Democrats have already been causing problems and are trying to pull the party toward the center, imperiling the $3.5 trillion Bernie Sanders budget proposal.

As Joe Biden’s approval craters in the polls, the mandate he claimed to have upon taking office starts to die and he loses the bully pulpit of the presidency. As such, the normally reliable Democrat votes (particularly in the House) start to waver as they consider the implications for their upcoming elections in 2022.

As Biden’s popularity declines, so does the influence of the presidential bully pulpit. Moderate Democrats who felt safe supporting the president’s agenda with a healthy 55 percent approval may not feel so safe supporting the agenda of a president underwater in the polls. On top of that, history informs us that 2022 will be hard enough on Democrats. Experts believe that Biden’s botched Afghanistan withdrawal could cause a new hostage crisis, which would mean potentially weeks and months of devastating media coverage—if the media doesn’t lose interest in the story.

Joe Biden could become political poison long before the midterms. And that means moderate Democrats have no political incentive to blindly back Biden’s agenda. The situation in Afghanistan has gotten so bad that even Biden’s most loyal admirers in the media have called him out for his incompetence. Yes, some are still defending him, blaming Trump, and regurgitating White House talking points—that’s expected. But there’s been an undeniable shift in media coverage against Biden in just a few days, which seems unprecedented for a Democrat president to endure. Throughout his eight years in office, the media remained loyal to Barack Obama through every scandal, every failure, every broken promise. Joe Biden was never going to get it that easy, but it’s clear that being “Not Trump” can only get you so far when you screw something up so badly that it has worldwide implications. You can use skewed statistics to spin a bad economy. You can claim inflation will be temporary. You can even blame guns for crime. But you can’t spin the footage of the rushed evacuations, the mother handing her infant to an American soldier, or the Taliban committing executions in the streets. That’s all happening because of Joe Biden. When his political allies in the media find it impossible to cover for him, moderates will see no benefit in aiding and abetting his left-wing agenda.