Joe Biden's Growing List of Failures | Opinion

For many, electing Joe Biden represented a return to normality, moderation, unity and competence. Unfortunately, his presidency has only ushered in hyper-divisiveness, immoderate policy, venality and staggering incompetence. The list of Biden's failures is long, and it grows daily. But here are the highlights of that list.

First, of course, is the disastrous withdrawal from Afghanistan. Biden pulled out our troops before getting out our civilians, green card holders and allies, then had to send troops back in to help them get out. Yet even then, Biden failed to get everyone out, despite promising to do so. And in addition to stranding people, the evacuation left billions of dollars' worth of arms, vehicles and equipment in the hands of the Taliban, abandoned a strategic base in the fight against terrorism and allowed the release of imprisoned hard-core terrorists.

Another Biden disaster happened at the southern border. The number of illegal immigrants that streamed into the country this year, all because of Biden's refusal to enforce our immigration laws, is stunning. That number includes thousands of so-called amnesty seekers, who are generally released into the country with an order that they show up for a hearing in the distant future—an order that often goes ignored. It also includes people who are unvaccinated or infected with COVID-19, as well as gang members, drug traffickers, sex traffickers and even individuals on terrorism watchlists. The president's primary duty is to "take care that the laws be faithfully executed." Biden has willfully failed to do so. That is an impeachable offense.

Right up with these two disasters is that of inflation. Prices are rising steeply, with no end in sight. On top of what already amounts to a cruel tax on the poor and those on fixed incomes, Biden wants to spend trillions more, which will just make inflation even worse. Moreover, the economy is suffering from massive supply chain bottlenecks, with ships waiting weeks to get into ports, and a shortage of workers and truck drivers to deal with them once they get in.

A principal cause of the current inflation is high energy prices—the product of Biden's energy policies. Upon assuming office, Biden immediately canceled the Keystone XL pipeline, which would have employed some 11,000 people. The oil that would have come through the pipeline will still come in, though by costlier and more polluting means (trucks and rail). At the same time, Biden gave his approval for the Nord Stream pipeline from Russia to Germany. At the same time he was restricting domestic oil and gas production, leading to higher gas and heating prices, Biden called on OPEC and Russia to supply more oil and gas in order to reduce those prices.

Joe Biden
WASHINGTON, DC - NOVEMBER 29: U.S. President Joe Biden delivers remarks at the start of a hybrid virtual roundtable with CEOs and leaders of retail, consumer products firms, and grocery store chains in the Eisenhower Executive Office Building on November 29, 2021 in Washington, DC. President Biden spoke on his administration’s plans to keep stores supplied ahead of the holiday season. Anna Moneymaker/Getty Images

Biden has fully embraced identity politics in the federal bureaucracy. Many of his appointees have been selected based on their race, sex, LGBT status and so on, and not because they were the most qualified persons available. Biden has also reinstated critical race theory training for federal employees. His administration thus reinforces rather than rebuts the poisonous lies now spread throughout our educational system and in the body politic.

Another Biden failure has been his mishandling of the COVID-19 pandemic. Biden inherited the enormous benefit of coronavirus vaccines produced by the Trump administration's Operation Warp Speed. His response to the COVID pandemic thereafter has been characterized by frequent policy reversals. The most recent of which is the unconstitutional ordering of vaccine mandates—a move that, previously, the president said he would never make. As a result, the country is faced with the resignation and firing of police officers, firefighters, health care workers and armed forces personnel. Even worse is that, despite the availability of vaccines, more people have died of COVID-19 during Biden's presidency than during Trump's.

Biden has thoroughly politicized the enforcement of federal law. His Justice Department fails to treat equal offenders equally. It meted out harsh punishments and lengthy pre-trial detentions to those who on January 6 broke into the Capitol, few of whom engaged in any violence or destruction of property. They were, at most, guilty of trespass and obstructing a governmental proceeding, offenses which have been frequently committed by left-wing groups (recall, for example, the Kavanaugh hearings). Contrast the treatment of the January 6 defendants with, for example, the DOJ's treatment of Antifa and BLM rioters who tried to burn down a federal courthouse in Portland, a much more serious federal crime. And now the DOJ has turned its attention to parents complaining about schools' racializing and sexualizing their children.

The military has been similarly politicized under the Biden administration. Its function is to be a lethal threat to foreign adversaries, not a political partisan or a social experiment in woke ideas. But the generals and admirals in charge know that the Biden administration is in thrall to identity politics; so, to further their careers, they bring woke concepts into the military at the expense of its basic function. And with respect to that basic function, Biden—while backing major spending increases in many domestic programs—has left the military with a reduced budget, in terms of purchasing power. At the same time, our adversaries are rattling their sabers.

Finally, it is worth commenting on Biden's character. Biden is prone not just to embellishing the truth, but to outright lying. His campaign lied about his son Hunter's laptop—saying that well-substantiated reports of its contents was Russian disinformation. He lied about Hunter's business dealings, including possible influence peddling, with the Chinese. He lied about what Donald Trump said regarding the Charlottesville protests. He lied about Kyle Rittenhouse, claiming the teenager was a white supremacist before his trial even began. Throughout his political career, he has plagiarized and told whoppers about things he is supposed to have done (but didn't do).

Biden has attained virtually no successes as president. But as the above list attests, he has produced a lifetime's worth of major failures in less than a year.

Lawrence Alexander is Warren distinguished professor of law and executive co-director of the Institute for Law and Philosophy at the University of San Diego.

The views expressed in this article are the writer's own.