On Not Saying ‘I Told You So’

July 20, 2022 Updated: July 27, 2022

Commentary

Don’t you hate it when people say, “I told you so”?

It’s especially galling when they’re right.

So, I won’t say “I told you so” to the anti-Donald Trump sorority who had their knickers in a twist over Trump’s “character” (and here) while Joe Biden sat in his basement gibbering vacantly while counting the pelf he and his family had raked in from the Chinese and other influence seekers.

“Oh, but at least Biden acts like an adult. At least he will reestablish an atmosphere of normality in the White House.”

Did you think so? I didn’t.

The problem with trying to assess the Biden administration is that none of our usual metrics work any longer.

Biden’s poll numbers are panic-inducing.

The last I checked, his approval rating was 30 percent. Thirty.

Still, the free fall we are witnessing is too rapid for our usual instruments to register accurately.

Signs were there from the beginning—from before the beginning, as some of us were pointing out.

But I suppose the signs became incontrovertible when Biden presided over our disastrous leave-taking in Afghanistan last summer about this time.

Overnight, we made the Taliban the best-armed terrorist group in the world, bequeathing them billions in state-of-the-art U.S. weaponry.

We also stood by and did nothing after 13 U.S. servicemen were murdered by irate locals.

“Never,” writes one commentator at the time, “have I witnessed a greater, swifter collapse of competence than what I have seen with the U.S. evacuation of Afghanistan.”

Afghanistan was a line in the sand.

Since then it has been one disaster after the next.

So many, it’s hard to keep track.

Our southern border? Essentially gone.

Inflation? At a 40-year high.

Gas prices? At historic highs.

The economy? Stuttering to a standstill or worse. We just had two quarters of negative growth; i.e., we’re in a recession.

Our foreign policy? A joke.

And the punchline to that joke?

The most recent one involves Biden’s affectionate little fist bump with Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman (MBS) on his recent visit.

It wasn’t so long ago that Biden described MBS as a “pariah.”

Even a few weeks ago, he said he wouldn’t meet with the smooth but deadly de facto ruler of Saudi Arabia.

But that was before the reality of high gas prices in the United States swam into the consciousness of the leader of the free world.

Biden came away from that tour with—nothing.

He was supposed to ask MBS about the gruesome murder in 2018 of Jamal Khashoggi.

Biden said he did. A Saudi official disputed that.

But Biden’s real reason for going to Saudi Arabia was to rattle his tin gas can.

Wouldn’t the Saudis please, please, please pump more oil so Biden could seem to be trying to do something about gas prices?

The answer was no.

Here’s a suggestion: The next time Biden wants more oil, forget about the Saudis, the Iranians, and the Venezuelans.

Save on airfare and go to Texas and Oklahoma.

Open the Keystone pipeline.

Renew the drilling leases in Alaska and the Gulf of Mexico.

Energy independence is a “Made in the USA” product.

It can’t be found among pariah states (if I may reuse that useful adjective) of the world.

But this sad tale is merely a prolegomenon to the big question facing the Democrats and the entire country (and hence the world).

I almost feel sorry for the Democrats (emphasis on the adverb).

They are saddled—rather, they have saddled themselves—with a disaster.

They pushed this corrupt, incompetent, senile fool on us.

Now they must pay the price.

As the commentator Glenn Reynolds put it back in December, “The ‘cabal’ that bragged of foisting Joe Biden on us must answer for his failed presidency.”

“America now faces a dangerous time, internationally, domestically and economically,” Reynolds wrote, “with obviously inadequate leadership at the top.”

“If disaster ensues, the people who openly bragged about their efforts to install the Biden administration may wish they had kept quiet.”

Indeed. But that’s for later. For now, what are the Democrats going to do?

At least since January, I have been predicting that the clock is ticking on the Biden administration.

In March, when The New York Times finally got around to admitting what the rest of us already knew, videlicet that Hunter Biden’s “laptop from hell” wasn’t Russian disinformation, but rather was exactly what it seemed to be, namely, a trove of evidence that incriminated Biden père et fils, I suggested that what Reynolds called the “cabal” that elected Biden would now move to remove him.

With every passing day, that becomes more likely.

The question is, how will they do it?

It’s a knotty problem, because at issue is not just Biden.

There’s also Kamala Harris to think about.

Biden has shown himself to be a disaster.

Harris was always known to be impossible. And her performance in office has been shockingly incompetent.

Unlike Britain, we can’t have a vote of no confidence.

If the president must go, the vice president takes over. If the vice president must go, the speaker of the House takes over.

If that prospect frightens you—the speaker, remember, is Nancy Pelosi—you won’t want to contemplate the rest of the line of succession.

This sobering reality, I suppose, is why we’re hearing rumors about California Gov. Gavin Newsom (Nancy Pelosi’s nephew, by the way) visiting the White House while Biden was off with his new pal MBS.

What could it mean?

The rumor mill is churning.

The Democrats hope they can somehow lay the disaster they have created at Biden’s feet—and his alone.

Only thus might they salvage something—not much, but something—in the midterms.

I don’t think they will be successful in their efforts to drive a wedge between the man they moved heaven and earth—well, many truckloads of ballots, anyway—to install as president and their own radical program, full of climate change nonsense, sexual perversion, and anti-American animus.

Biden is the drooling, incoherent face of the Democratic Party.

Rip that off, and there’s another one underneath just like it.

I won’t say, “I told you so.”

But, please, pardon me if I think it to myself.

Views expressed in this article are the opinions of the author and do not necessarily reflect the views of The Epoch Times.

Roger Kimball is the editor and publisher of The New Criterion and publisher of Encounter Books. His most recent book is “The Critical Temper: Interventions from The New Criterion at 40.”