Mizuno: Rating the Biden Presidency so far

Biden must do better

Dane Mizuno, Staff Writer

A couple of weeks ago, I stumbled upon an article in the New York Times. At first glance, it did not seem like much: just another militaristic means meant to deter the Chinese and their increasingly imperialistic ambitions. Little did I know the floodgates of emotions this would open for me about how disillusioned I have become to the Biden administration. Yes, what I am talking about is the now infamous trilateral security pact between Australia, the United Kingdom and the United States, referred to as AUKUS. The whole purpose of the deal is to supply the Australians with British and American state-of-the-art nuclear submarines so that Australia can rival the increasing maritime Chinese presence in the Pacific, a move that is tactically astute yet strategically abhorrent.

After all, the deal incurred the wrath of the French and, rightly so—given the breach of trust by the U.S. and Australia—it was negotiated without France’s knowledge mere hours before it went public. The French have been our oldest allies since the Revolutionary War, yet this deal has cast aside the French as useless in this geopolitical order of the Pacific. To further add salt to the wound, if it were not for the U.S. and British intervention, this would have been the largest defense contract in the history of France. In addition to Afghanistan, this is a continuation of a worrying trend of the Biden administration rejecting multilateral diplomacy and instead acting single-handedly. Even if he lacks the charisma of former President Barack Obama, Joe Biden was elected on the notion of being a beacon of stability and normalcy; however, the first several months have shown that he is anything but that.

Regarding domestic policy, the current migrant crisis at the southern border is proof of this chaos that Biden’s policies are a hallmark. The deportation of Haitians to Haiti—which is effectively a failed state due to the ensuing chaos following the assassination of President Jovenel Moïse—clearly could have had a better, more humane solution. As a champion of liberalism in the free world, this action makes the U.S. the judge, jury and executioner all at once, as these deported Haitians for the most part came from South America and have not been to Haiti for years.

Additionally, Biden’s poll numbers have not fared any better. According to numbers from Gallup, Biden’s job approval is at 43%, while 53% disapprove of what Biden has done so far—a figure close to the average 41% job approval rating of former President Donald Trump, just to put things in perspective. These torrid approval ratings reflect just how bad the status quo is. 

Economically, Bidenomics did not get off to a good start, with the August job report a couple of months ago being purely abysmal. Although economists predicted the addition of 720,000 jobs, the U.S. only created 235,000 jobs during that month. Alongside rising inflation, the global economy is in peril with all levels of the supply chain—including but not limited to increasing shipping costs and container prices—in dire circumstances. The fiscal stimulus earlier this year papered over these cracks, but at this rate, many Americans do not realize that this could be a long winter for many.

The whole situation with the economy is bleak, and it could worsen if something does not change.

Passing Biden’s infrastructure plan and legislative packages will go a long way to buoy the public with confidence and optimism in his administration and bring a glimmer of hope. Yet currently, nine moderate Democrats are holding out in the House as an increasing divide within the Democratic Party is becoming apparent in a closely contested House. That is not to mention the need for Biden to cajole key Democratic Sens. Joe Manchin and Kyrsten Sinema to follow the progressive caucus, given that the Senate is also barely blue. Historically, the president’s party does not perform that well, with the average midterm loss for the president’s party at 25 seats.

With Biden’s poll numbers not looking good and midterm elections next year, it is now or never for Biden to truly cement his legacy and deliver on his campaign promises. If historic trends prevail, then there will be partisan gridlock for the foreseeable future starting next year.

As someone who aligns with the ideology of the Rockefeller Republicans, the current state of the Grand Old Party (GOP) has drifted astray from its original path of decency. As such, a midterm election victory for the GOP would not be favorable. 

Even though the Biden administration has done horrendously in the policies mentioned earlier—not to mention many others—I hope Uncle Joe engages in serious discourse and unites the divided Democratic Party to bring change to the status quo.