Bret Stephens’ column is the latest in a wave of pieces from liberal outlets criticizing Biden’s performance
New York Times columnist Bret Stephens accused President Biden of being a “failing president” who is so weak that the western world has been left effectively leaderless.
Pulling no punches, Stephens also advised that the “best thing” Biden could do is announce immediately that he will not run again in 2024.
The author began his blistering criticism of Biden by declaring that “the democratic world today is leaderless.” He brought up world leadership under the U.S. in the past to illustrate his point, writing, “Twenty-five years ago, we had the confident presences of Bill Clinton, Helmut Kohl and Tony Blair — and Alan Greenspan. Now we have a failing American president, a timorous German chancellor, a British prime minister about to skulk out of office in ignominy.”
“This is bad in normal times. It is catastrophic in bad ones,” Stephens added, before attacking Biden’s credibility on the world stage. He claimed Biden’s lack of leadership has put holes in U.S. “international credibility.” He mentioned how the withdrawal from Afghanistan “telegraphed incompetence and weakness” and dinged Biden’s handling of the Ukraine conflict.
He described the latter as a situation “in which President Biden has committed enough support to prevent outright defeat but not to secure a clear victory.”
The author also expressed high doubt in Biden being able to deal with “an imminent nuclear crisis with Iran, in which the president seems to have no policy other than negotiations that are on the cusp of failure.” There is also the “looming crisis over Taiwan” on which Stephens saw Biden being shaky.
Summing up Biden’s weakness, Stephens wrote, “Talented leaders turn proverbial lemons into lemonade. Biden seems to be mastering the trick of turning lemonade into lemons.”
He then slammed Biden for butchering American “economic credibility,” stating, “The credibility crisis occurs when leaders make confident predictions, in the face of abundant contrary evidence, that turn out to be catastrophically wrong. Insisting that inflation was ‘temporary,’ as Biden did last year, was one such prediction.”
The columnist expressed fear that Biden’s “insistence on Monday that ‘God willing, I don’t think we’re going to see a recession’ may be the next.” In addition, Biden hasn’t made changes to face the economic problems head on. “At least Jimmy Carter had the guts to nominate Paul Volcker. Where is a similar confidence-inspiring move from Biden, who, remarkably, retains the same inept economic team that helped lead us into this mess?” he asked.
Stephens expressed fear about a potential “global recession” and imminent collapse of other nations around the world, implying that’s going to be a tall order for Biden and the U.S. to deal with a geopolitical situation that’s probably going to become much worse.
He also severely doubted Biden’s ability to handle the crisis facing “liberal democracy” throughout the world, writing that the rise of “effective autocracies” is a “challenge” for even the most inspired leaders. Except for Volodymyr Zelensky, there are none.”
Thus, according to the columnist, Biden might as well step aside in 2024 and let his party find new leadership that can handle the fraught moment he described. He urged Biden to announce he will not be running for president, as soon as possible. “The best thing Biden could do for the country is announce he won’t run for re-election — now, not after the midterms. Let his party sort out its own future,” Stephens wrote.