CNN's Kirsten Powers argues that Biden is doing pretty well given the fact we're in some of the worst multiple messes in history right now.
Here's an apparently unpopular opinion: Joe Biden is not failing or flailing. His presidency is not in peril.
It's hard to see this through the blizzard of over-the-top headlines such as, "Biden Can Still Rescue His Presidency," "How the Biden Administration Lost Its Way" and "Biden's Epic Failures."
Everyone needs to take a breath: It's been one year. These headlines could just as easily read, "Joe Biden Fails to Fix Every Problem in the World in 365 days."
What drives much of the "presidency in peril" coverage is Biden's approval ratings. CNN's poll of polls, released Thursday, found that 41% of Americans approve of the way Joe Biden is handling his job while 54% disapprove.
Low approval ratings are used as a proxy by various political and ideological factions to argue that the president needs to do more of what they want and if he doesn't, he won't get reelected. (Spoiler alert: nobody will cast their vote in three years based on how they feel today about Biden). Progressives argue ratings are low because Biden is not progressive enough and moderates and "Never Trump" Republicans argue it's because Biden is too liberal. It's become conventional wisdom in the media that Biden's approval ratings started dropping because of how he handled the Afghanistan withdrawal. But Gallup's senior editor Jeff Jones told Politico in November that his declining poll numbers began before that, during the Delta Covid-19 variant surge.
The fact is, approval ratings are most closely tied to how people feel about their day-to-day lives. Americans are understandably fatigued as we enter the third year of the pandemic and, until the US gets back to some semblance of normal, we should expect Biden's approval ratings to reflect that frustration. Moreover, gas prices are high and research has shown that presidential approval ratings often track with gas prices, even though the president's power over these prices is limited. The economic news is mostly good for Biden -- unemployment is down and wages are up -- but inflation is high and rising. Taken together, this means the day-to-day life of many Americans feels really hard.
It doesn't help that the media reinforce the idea that Biden is somehow failing because he hasn't solved issues that have bedeviled his predecessors over longer periods of time. The New York Times dinged Biden this week, noting that, "The president has not yet succeeded in meeting his own goals for combating climate change,...[hasn't] delivered on his broader promise for a pathway to citizenship for millions of undocumented Americans" and has failed "on the central promise he made during the 2020 campaign -- to 'shut down' the pandemic..."
This is bananas, but it's a fairly typical roundup of the disconnected-from-reality analysis of Biden's first year.
No president has been able to achieve a pathway to citizenship for undocumented immigrants, including presidents Barack Obama and George W. Bush, who were not able to accomplish immigration reform over an eight-year period each. Biden should not be expected to do what they couldn't, in a single year, in the middle of a global pandemic.
She's right. Biden is doing pretty well given the circumstances, with an entire political party and six Supreme Court justices determined to sabotage his every move.
Give him a break, folks.