After, yes, the most disastrous week for American foreign policy since Saigon, instead of getting briefings in Washington, instead of being in the room as 10,000 American brothers, nieces, and parents were swallowed into a geopolitical fault line — two of the most important elected officials in America were continuing on as usual. There was Nancy Pelosi toasting a dapper crowd of maskless white multimillionaires in the tempered San Francisco sunshine at a $30,000-a-plate fundraiser. There was Chuck Schumer dancing down Broadway — proverbially speaking — with celebrity late night commentator Stephen Colbert, one of his constituents.
What a video.
Nancy “performative opposition” Pelosi talking to rich white donors at a weekend Napa retreat.pic.twitter.com/hFljtUqdtd
— Peter Daou (@peterdaou) August 22, 2021
If last week offered the worst visual of America since our military was chased off the roofs of Saigon in 1975, the sight of Pelosi droning on to a maskless crowd of wealthy Caucasians and Schumer boogying down with a progressive celebrity may have been the worst political image. At least Schumer kept his mask on.
It does strike the casual observer as somewhat reminiscent of pre-revolutionary France, where discontent and starvation stalked the countryside as the aristocracy hosted lavish parties at Versailles, unaware of the rising tide of anger about to wash them away.
There are many among us who, up until this point, had not harbored serious doubts about the Biden administration. Many were protected from his consistent verbal gaffes, which do clearly point to cognitive decline, by a press corps that wanted to sink former President Donald Trump, and thus had a vested interest in suppressing concerns about Biden’s fitness or decision-making skills. Many of us didn’t really know how little Biden has had to answer to the press compared to Presidents Obama and Trump after a legendary “basement campaign” landed him in the White House. Biden hasn’t gone off the teleprompter much since ceding a country we controlled to a stone-aged terrorist group, which makes sense because what he has said has been churlish (blaming the Afghan army), demeaning (“that was 4, 5 days ago,” of Afghans who had fallen to their deaths two days before), and contradictory to his own senior officials’ statements time and time again.
People could be forgiven for not having doubts about the Biden administration — up until now. No longer. We were relieved of all doubts by scenes that will be forever emblazoned into many of our memories: top officials claiming that evacuations were on pace as American citizens shared harrowing experiences of trying to gain access to the Hamid Karzai International Airport in real-time. Desperate Afghans, who days earlier had been subjects of our protection, falling to their deaths and throwing their infants over military lines in desperation. Our closest allies excoriating us in their houses of parliament and their media.
The Biden wing of the Democratic Party was supposed to be the reasonable one (contrasted with the Woke Democratic Party, who should be nowhere near the levers of power). It turns out that, while they are less ideologically radical than the fringe Left, they are just as dangerous — in their naivete and their incompetence.
This all is bad news, by the way, for Democrats in 2022, who are already facing tough re-election prospects due to an overheating economy (in the form of inflation) and an essentially open southern border that is spilling traffickers, migrants, and, yes, COVID across a great swath of the south and southwest — another political disaster of Biden’s own making. The Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee chief, Rep. Sean Maloney, whose job it is to keep the Democrats in the majority in the U.S. House, recently advised members running in tight races to label themselves “Biden Democrats.”
Democratic candidates from New Jersey to Arizona might hesitate before printing that moniker on too many press releases.
For now, the news keeps coming, and the shock remains — how did all of this blood and treasure vanish into the sand in just a week? How, and when, will the newly emboldened Taliban forces take their revenge on American citizens? How many Americans will still be stuck in Afghanistan on August 31 — and what will Team Biden do when it becomes clear we must violate the Taliban’s “red line” in order to protect American lives?
The term that has come to mind over and over again while watching the debacle play out and taking in the utter idiocy of the Biden administration at ruining so much so quickly is “ship of fools.” We are aboard a ship of fools.
And partying on the deck of this ship are Nancy Pelosi and Chuck Schumer, unaware that we are sinking. Unaware of the political catastrophe that is about to, I believe, engulf them and their entire party.
Without a moment’s notice, in the most dramatic fashion possible, the Biden administration has eviscerated its most compelling strength: a perceived steady hand after four years of constant flare-ups. Democratic Party leaders are oblivious.
One is shaking his hips. One is downing champagne and munching pain grillé. And one is holed up, shell-shocked, and by some reports not even receiving news of the political catastrophe he himself has created for his administration domestically, as well as for our entire country and the security of our citizens across the globe.