Biden approval rating tumbles again

He’s still running ahead of Trump, but it’s getting close.

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The really telling stat in the new WaPo poll is the percentage of voters who “strongly” approve and disapprove. In late April, 34% “strongly approved” of his performance, while 35% strongly disapproved, simply reflecting the divided nature of our nation. As of now, only 19% strongly approve and a whopping 44% strongly disapprove. His support is disintegrating because those who had given him the benefit of the doubt are disenchanted and deserting.

If you study the numbers, you’ll see that there is still widespread support for his policies. The infrastructure bill has overwhelming approval, and even the framework of the expensive Build Back Better bill is widely popular in theory (58 yea, 37 nay). In short, people seem to like his ideas, but don’t think he’s the guy to pull them off.

The combination of supply chain bottlenecks, inflation and strikes is drowning out any good news he might claim in other arenas. Yes, he has problems at the border and with government gridlock and the botched withdrawal from Afghanistan, but the economy is the big enchilada. Only 29% of adults say they have a positive view of the economy. Biden could single-handedly cure COVID, re-build all of America’s bridges with his bare hands, stop global warming, and get a full-throated endorsement from Jesus in his second coming, but if 70% of Americans view the economy negatively, he’s still in one-term Carter Country.

27 thoughts on “Biden approval rating tumbles again

  1. I agree with @US re: Biden tanking with the economy. Our pandemic fallout is bad because we were unprepared from the start & not just Trump but our supposed best, the policy wing of our science community, made many bad choices. We never followed our own playbook… that we wrote. Numerous countries who did follow it, had far better outcomes, long before vaccines. Some of us say thank goodness for our miracle vaccines. I say, when did we start fighting a pandemic by waiting for a vaccine? Why did we only get 2 vaccines? Why is the whole world still stuck with PCR tests with its many faults? If we’d gotten the spread under control, we wouldn’t have needed wide shutdowns or sweeping mandates. We didn’t have the gumption that in the past Americans were famous for. We lost half a million American lives for little more reason than our personal vanities.

    1. The U.S has lost over 700,000 lives in part because many Republicans are willing to die in order to ‘own the libs.’

      1. How is “owning the libs” not vanity? Our top health officials initial fear & denial was CYA crap. Willful refusal to understand the implications, eg., of just China’s closing off Wuhan, on the grounds that we didn’t have scientific certainty or official words admitting to what thinking people everywhere were thinking, was an official’s excuse not to stick their neck out by taking any action & the blame for it. Their inaction saved their jobs. That, too, I would claim, is putting themselves above the public good. Vanity, as I take it. And yes, they did contribute to a gestalt that the GOP eventually capitalized on.

  2. In other words, we should have stayed there until either the Afghans could hold the fort or the Taliban ceased acting like scumballs. There’s a common English term for that. It’s called “forever”.
    There is no argument that Biden spectacularly fucked up the withdrawal especially in regard to taking care of our friends and doing any degree of serious planning whatsoever. What Trump did was notify all parties in Afghanistan that the clock was running on our presence. What he and Biden did not recognize (and it wasn’t like they they weren’t told) was that the Afghan Security Force was a hollow shell with 100,000 ghost soldiers out of an official 300,000 only sustained by airpower which would leave or be grounded for lack of parts and maintenance. All the regional and local leaders knew they had two choices: fight and be overrun or cut deals with the T-Ban. Guess what they did.
    There is not one President of the four who looks good in regard here. Biden is just the last of the four fuckups.

    1. Yup. Trump himself said that the government of Afghanistan would fall as soon as we withdrew. He hasn’t been right about much, but he nailed that one. The only question was whether that was going to happen now or later. If it happened later, we’d be pouring more money and American lives into that ultimately hopeless cause. We were certainly right to exit ASAP. The problem was the way we mismanaged that exit.

      1. As I said below, there was no way not to mismanage our exit. Had we been anything but passive earlier on, we get into that uncontrollable endgame instantly. Sorry, shit happens. I regret the pullout. But I realize that my alternative only amounts to the “forever” option. Indefinite extension of our final years there. Which I allow was not working for Afghans. Either way, they fear for their lives. I expect their violent deaths count to be less right now & continue to decrease vs. us helping good Afghans resist the bad guys. IOW, what I think is immaterial, and I’m probably wrong too.

    2. You self described “intellectuals” continue to always assume there are two solutions for every decision. What they can never teach you in school is that there is one option that is always obtainable: victory. Victory is not a John Kerry with a bunch of Harvard educated staffers negotiating a 10 year delay with Iran for their nuclear program. Victory is not leaving Afghanistan incompetently, with Americans losing lives. Victory is not pulling out of Iraq and allowing the birth of isis. Victory is not cutting down our economy citing climate change while china pollutes the world without accountability.

      The biggest frustration is that the world is full of opinionated people who were educated far beyond their intelligence. However, thankfully, because of the narrow minded, small picture people, victory is easily attainable. Some see two sides to a debate while others have the ability to win. I prefer people in positions of responsibility to have the latter. Granted they won’t be interested in your opinion, or your paragraphs of “thoughtfulness”, but I’ll take the results no matter how unimportant you feel. When I see kids right out of college, or even older employees with this “well what other option did he have” mentality, I know they will accomplish nothing in life and they never do. Unfortunately, those people then elect people like them to run the country. It’s a sad truth.

      1. Thank you General MacArthur. Last seen having his ass kicked from the Yalu all the way back to south of Seoul.

      2. It’s the Return of the Son of Truthiness. “I don’t cotton to no fancy book-learnin’ and facts and expertise. I listen to my GUT! It always tells me what I want to hear.” Jesus, we got more than enough of that with Sonny Bush, who got us in to that mess. Finally it falls to someone with enough of a clue to rip the bandaid off and jags like you gotta whine.

  3. Neither created it. Bush helped make it possible with the Chaney/Rumsfeld War. Obama’s don’t bother me with foreign affairs or the military schtick certainly helped their “sneak up factor”.
    But some very nasty local Sunnis did the creating, with their specific incitement being the dominance of the Iranian-supported Shiites inadvertently caused by the Bush bumble. We always want to think that it’s all about us. It isn’t.
    Just like Hanoi didn’t create “them Cong”. There were plenty of locals po’ed by the govt. more or less installed by us. To them it was a case of “meet the new boss…” and Diem was just the newest version of Bao Dai.
    Ike and Ridgway smelled a trap. Too bad you can’t say that for Kennedy/LBJ or Maxwell Taylor. Though we’ll never really know with JFK – there were signs of him and Bobby both getting skeptical about what our Saigon people and the Pentagon were telling him during his last few months.
    “Losing China”, VeetNaaam, Iraq, Afghanistan. We just don’t seem to learn, do we?

    1. My god, you are so lost in the fumes of smugness….. You actually believe any of what you wrote matters? Great, you read a history book. I’m sure you’re a great middle school teacher. All of that information about the Kennedys plus 2.50 will get you a ride on the NYC subway. Hint: no matter now much you study the past, it will never allow you to change the future. But someone has to educate my 12 year old, so thanks for that.

      1. We do have a middle school teacher here but it’s not me. Try retired after 30 years at Treasury. And with all your Ivy League degrees combined with the imbecility you routinely display here, you would have to rate as one of the worst examples of “opinionated people who were educated far beyond their intelligence” ever.

  4. I’m a Republican, so it is unlikely that I would have a particularly favorable impression of a Democratic president. But Biden cemented a very unfavorable opinion after his disastrous Afghanistan pull out. I disagreed with abandoning the Afghan people to the Taliban. But I understand why so many people felt 20 years was long enough for us to be there. But the way we left! Biden kept insisting that we would stay until we got out every U.S. citizen, green card holder, and translator that wanted to leave. But ultimately that became we would get out everyone we could get out by his deadline. We abandoned people who had helped our troops and whom we had promised save. Politicians lie all the time.
    If you like your doctor you can keep your doctor. Or he won’t raise your taxes. But some lies are heinous. Some lies can cause the death of people who rely on them. Worse, it can cause the death of their families. President Biden made me ashamed for my country. Ideological differences and the condition of our economy aside, it will a very long time before I forgive him for that.

    1. I’m not going to blame Biden for Afghanistan. Trump was the one who set the deadlines and did almost nothing to prepare for withdrawal. Stephen Miller even spent time fucking over visa applications.

      The best way to describe the problem was Biden was handed a giant bowl of shit to eat. He could’ve dumped some of it out or covered up the taste with some hot sauce. What he did instead was pulled down his pants and added some extra shit to the bowl before tucking in.

      1. That’s a nice fairytale to make yourself feel better. Kind of like how Obama blamed bush for the SOFA agreement when Obama created Isis. Interesting how new presidents are perfectly fine tearing down everything their predecessor did, including not honoring Trumps original timetable for withdrawal, but when it doesn’t work out, they were “just handed a big bowl of sh*t.” That’s the difference between politics and the private sector…. We don’t have the luxury of blaming others for our failures. We need to actually succeed.

        Very similar to the Iran deal when the liberals made it black and white. There was a 3rd option. In the words of Netanyahu, “a better deal”. I expect our politicians to be competent, capable, and willing. Liberals expect their politicians to promise free stuff and grand plans that will never happen.

        1. Bush created ISIS. Obama inherited his mess.

          Trump had no intention of doing any of the work because he never does any work besides cheat at golf.

          The only thing you expect from your politicians is to hand over more public money to the already wealthy. Nothing is more entitled than a rich man who wants more riches.

      2. President Biden argued that he was bound by the terms Doha Agreement negotiated by the Trump administration. But United States was not obligated to withdraw under those terms because the Taliban did not meet its obligations under that agreement. The U.S. promised to withdraw from Afghanistan by May 1, 2021, but only if the Taliban participated in an “intra-Afghan dialogue,” to achieve a “permanent and comprehensive ceasefire” and to agree upon a “political roadmap” for Afghanistan’s future. As Defense Secretary Esper said when the deal was announced, if the Taliban didn’t honor this commitment, the U.S. had no obligation to withdraw. Instead of negotiating they conquered Afghanistan by force, therefore there was no obligation to withdraw.

        Biden claimed his military advisors recommended abandoning the Bagram air base because it wasn’t necessary to keep it. In reality, they only recommended abandoning Bagram because Biden wouldn’t let them keep enough troops to both hold the base and protect our embassy. If we had held Bagram we would have been in better position to handle the evacuations. We would have also been able keep Biden’s promise to stay until we got everyone out we promised to get out. Bagram was defensible and whatever the Taliban was threatening it seems unlikely they would attack us for staying a few more days and risk us deciding not to withdraw at all.

        But in the real world, Joe Biden made promises to people who helped our troops and were deathly afraid of what might happen to their families because of the help they provided. Biden reiterated that promise right up until the point we left without them. There is a doctrine in the law called detrimental reliance. Promises that would not otherwise be enforceable become enforceable if someone relies on that promise to their detriment. I can’t help wondering how many of those translators decided to keep their families in Kabul instead of trying to get over the border on their own because they believed Biden wouldn’t abandon them.

        1. To me the only important thing was this:

          Let’s assume he was going to adhere to the Trump deadline, no matter what. I’m OK with that, even if the Taliban did fail to comply with the original terms. It was time to get out.

          What I’m not OK with is that he knew the deadline and had many months to evacuate all of America’s friends, and yet postponed everything until the Taliban could gain control of so many areas that our Afghan partners were trapped inside their towns and neighborhoods. We should have been removing all those people systematically for months. Of course the Republicans would have whined and sniveled about bringing all those foreigners onto American soil extra-legally, to which a President with any cojones would have bellied up to the bar and said this to the nation on TV: “These are our friends. These people saved American lives. They are here. Their comrades in the American military want them here. Now that they are here, Congress needs to find a way to make them legal. I will not be taking any questions because I’ve already said what needs to be said.”

          1. Broadly agree. But there’s a tinge of wishful thinking in our take. I heard from a special forces vet that the WH knew, once Afghans (let alone our puppet govt) sniffed out our commitment to abandon them, the whole shebang, always a house of cards, would collapse before we got far into it. The number we could’ve rescued was inescapably limited by that reality.

          2. 1.It wasn’t clear at the time that the Afghan military would collapse as quickly as it did. The foreign policy establishment that showed it had sent reports to Biden stating that the Afghan military would collapse is the same foreign policy establishment that, prior to the pullout, was saying the training of Afghan soldiers was going well and that they could defend Afghanistan for many months if needed.

            2.The U.S should have started getting more Afghans out sooner but it seems no nation in the world that had people over there did, this wasn’t just an American failing. I’m not sure why there was this lack of response all over the world, but it seems many governments fail to respond until having to deal with a crisis, as well as…

            3.It was Trump who left the U.S with just 2,500 troops in Afghanistan. Biden eventually did send several additional thousands of troops just to defend the Kabul airport. The foreign policy establishment was clearly hoping for Biden to send more troops earlier in order to remain in Afghanistan permanently. However much the pullout was a mess, I don’t think there is any question that the foreign policy establishment resisted Biden’s efforts to pull out and sabotaged the efforts in order to try to stop it. Heads need to roll at both Defense and State but I’m not sure any of the new heads would be any different. Still, at least Biden had the guts to stand up to the foreign policy establishment.

          3. As I said earlier, the economy is the whole enchilada. The American public doesn’t really give a shit about Biden bungling Afghanistan, and they have very short memories. That’s just a purely political noose that the opposition will try to hang around his neck. The same people who criticize Biden’s actions would have praised those actions if they had been Trump’s. And vice-versa.

            The public does care, however, about the economy, and he had better either turn it around, or turn around people’s perception of it. If he does not, he will soon be hammering the next board down from Jimmy Carter.

            Truth be told, I don’t see a second term for him in any case. If he doesn’t step down voluntarily, I can’t foresee a scenario in which he wins the election. And I don’t see any other Democrat who could win in 2024. The GOP has a brilliant, if evil, plan. (1. Gerrymander; 2. Suppress; 3. Control the election certification; 4. If all else fails, give legislatures the right to choose a slate of electors.) The Democrats don’t have any practical counter-plan. They could win the popular vote by a mile and still lose the electoral college. And they’ll be lucky to win the popular vote at all, the way things are going.

          4. @Adam, by “the WH”, I did not mean Biden, State, Defense or any “establishment”. I meant staff, reportedly, who had Biden’s ear & may or may not have so advised. But it’s just an obvious fact that if the U.S. in any way expressed doubt in a peaceful resolution between the Afghan status quo & its Talib antagonists, that it would be self-fulfilling. I think it was knowable what preparations the enemy had been making. You’re right that the establishment view was willfully ignorant of this tactical surprise. It did dictate how fast the dominoes fell. I still feel the U.S. publicly failing to show confidence in gradual transition to a peace would be widely taken by Afghans as an existential crisis. It didn’t take intelligence reports to figure that out.

          5. @Adam, tactically, what troops would’ve been needed was more than Trump’s number, but not by that much. I really believe the cost of ongoing air strikes, I mean, the missiles alone, was the irritant—the perpetual thorn in our side—that would eventually force us to withdraw. That’s truly our ceteris non paribus.

            I think similarly of our no-fly zone over Iraq, but the U.S. did want to control their oil, too.

          6. I wish I could say that Republicans wouldn’t be critical of evacuating Afghan translators and their families to the U.S. but far too many Republicans have demonstrated they only care what’s politically advantageous and couldn’t care less about what’s right or wrong. That said, the translators and their families do need to be vetted before being released into the U.S. because Isis or Al Qaeda might try to use the evacuation to sneak people into the U.S. But that vetting can take place once they are out of harms way.

            I saw a report last week about Afghan commandos that had been extensively trained by our special forces and are now in danger from the Taliban. Evacuating them isn’t just a humanitarian issue, it is also a national security issue, for a couple of reasons. First, because of their training they are well versed in U.S. military tactics, information extremely valuable to groups like Isis and Al Qaeda. Not that evacuating most of them would help with that because second, some of these commandos have volunteered to join Isis and Al Qaeda. This was described as something they felt they needed to do buy protection for their families.

            There are veterans groups and at least some government officials trying to get them out. Presumably not the ones that signed up as terrorists. But instead of evacuating them directly to the U.S. mainland, it has been suggested that they be evacuated to Guam. Apparently that was done with Vietnamese allies during/following the fall of Saigon. I brought this enormously depressing story up to get to that last point. Guam would have worked as a place to bring Afghan partners that still required vetting before entering the U.S. proper.

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