How much havoc will a desperate Biden wreak before November? Just ask Israel | Opinion

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Each week brings bad political news for President Joe Biden — and that could mean more misery for the rest of us.

This week, it’s another set of polls showing Biden firmly trailing former President Donald Trump in nearly every crucial swing state. The New York Times/Siena University/Philadelphia Inquirer results are not particularly new, but that’s the point. They confirm a bad trend for Biden.

Several caveats are needed here: It’s nearly six months until Election Day. Plenty of news to come could shake the electorate, including Trump’s criminal trial in New York and other cases hanging over him. Polls can be wrong, as Biden and his team like to note. Trump is capable of imploding at any moment, saying something that frightens independents into giving Biden a new look. And never forget that Trump isn’t exactly popular beyond his fervent base of support.

But this is a contest between two well-known figures, and there’s only so much room for voters’ views of them to shift. That’s bad news for Biden; voters clearly judge him as an ineffective president and do not trust him on the biggest issues they care about, especially the economy and immigration.

If you’ve portrayed the other guy as representing the end of America, as Democrats have, no flip-flop or hypocrisy is too big a reach. So, get ready for a series of desperate lunges to amp up Democrats’ base voters or satisfy swing voters.

No policy is safe. Coherence and principles are out the door. Just look at Israel.

Inside of a week, Biden threatened to deprive one of America’s most important allies of weapons to fight a terrorist regime bent on destroying it. Biden is trying to satisfy young voters he thinks he badly needs. The problem, however, is that outside of elite college campuses, most Americans — including most Democrats — side with Israel over Hamas. No sane person wants wanton destruction of Palestinian’s lives, but most understand that if you don’t root out a regime that publicly states it wants to eliminate Israel, it will keep trying to slaughter Jewish people.

The delay of aid flopped, and his administration announced late Tuesday it would send a robust shipment of arms to Israel. The fallout was costly. A steadfast ally was shaken; a terrorist power was emboldened; and America’s friends and enemies alike noticed that a relatively small political ripple could shake Biden.

And for what? A sliver of voters was briefly mollified on the issue, while others in Biden’s coalition were angered and exasperated. Most voters, not following the ins and outs all that closely, saw that Biden was weak and indecisive.

All drama, no gain. The very opposite of what a campaign wants at this stage of the race.

Biden will do it again. After all, this wasn’t the first time. Look at his indefatigable pursuit of student loan forgiveness. The president tried to wipe away billions in debt, but the Supreme Court rebuked the administration for a laughable interpretation of a law meant to help people affected by the 9/11 attacks.

Biden and his merry band of academic-credential junkies, chasing the youth vote, keep scouring the law books for ways to help mostly people who will make some of the top incomes in America in their lifetimes. But even he realizes that without Congress, he can at best do it only piecemeal, so the frustration mounts for the very voters he wants to please.

Meanwhile, working-class families struggling to buy eggs and ground beef must wonder why the president is so hellbent on helping the affluent. Inflation increased “only” 3.4% in April over the previous year, the government announced Tuesday. It’s a sign of how hard the Biden years have been that markets took that number as great news.

Former President Donald Trump gives end of the day remarks May 14 after exiting the courtroom during his trial in New York City.
Former President Donald Trump gives end of the day remarks May 14 after exiting the courtroom during his trial in New York City.

Biden could actually stumble into some decent policies, too, as he tries to woo voters. Democrats reportedly want to act on immigration, after three and a half years of allowing (if not encouraging) unprecedented illegal movement into the country. Biden is considering toughening rules for asylum and capping the number of people allowed in — after a healthy daily minimum comes across the border, of course.

These are policies he and his party denounced as cruel under Trump. These are executive actions that Biden said he couldn’t undertake without new approval from Congress. But hey, look at those polls; Biden is getting crushed on immigration, not on hypocrisy.

That points to the real fix that the president is in. He cannot change his main challenges — inflation, his age and the general sense that our political institutions are broken and adrift. Opinions are set on an 80-year-old man who’s been on the scene for 50 years and in the White House during a time of frustration and malaise.

It’s still a closely divided country, and running against Trump and with Robert F. Kennedy as a wild card, Biden could still eke out a win.

But how much damage will he do along the way?

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