(UnitedVoice.com) – In politics, optics are everything. In the 1988 presidential election, Democratic presidential nominee Gov. Michael Dukakis (D-MA) learned that the hard way. The George H.W. Bush campaign ridiculed the former Massachusetts governor as soft on defense. Then it happened. Dukakis threw him a gift. He got in a tank, stood behind a machine gun, and took a picture with a grin from ear to ear. Instead of looking tough, Dukakis looked weak. The Bush campaign seized upon it in commercials. The Wall Street Journal called it the “worst photo op in the history of presidential campaigning.”
Oh, and let’s not forget the John Kerry moment. After Kerry got caught wind sailing, the GOP smartly turned that into questions about what direction he would go. The answer: “John Kerry. Whichever way the wind blows.”
That alone might be responsible for Kerry’s loss to George W. Bush in 2004. Now, it’s Joe Biden’s moment. This administration made a lot of messes in just six months. However, they could be hard to reduce into just a one-minute visual. The newest gift from the Left may be all that’s needed to tag Biden and all the Democrats moving forward. The GOP politically played this one right. They stayed quiet and waited for the moment when Biden would screw up. His incompetency created a predictable mess for Democrats and a gift to the GOP.
Biden Blows It Up — But He Wasn’t Alone
On Friday, June 25, Biden spoke to the press with 10 Senators from both parties outside the White House. He proudly announced a bipartisan infrastructure deal with Republicans. Hours later, the president managed to nearly blow it up when he stated he wouldn’t sign the bipartisan agreement unless a partisan “human” infrastructure reconciliation bill accompanied it.
It was never going to happen, and it’s not going to happen. A $6 trillion “human” infrastructure passage isn’t possible. First, Democrats jacked up their narrative, allowing the public to see the mess the Democrats are making of America. If any issue paints the picture right now, it’s the Democrat’s failed infrastructure two-track proposal process. After agreeing to a bipartisan infrastructure compromise, Biden shot it down a few hours later. Then, he reincarnated it — walking back on his veto threat. Second, Democrats don’t have the votes for a $6 trillion reconciliation bill. Moderate Democratic Sens. Joe Manchin (D-WV) and Kyrsten Sinema (D-AZ) aren’t budging.
So, Biden stepped in it big time. He’s for the bipartisan deal, then he’s not, but then he is. The reality is Biden isn’t in charge. Pelosi is the leader of the Democratic Party. Biden did her bidding, but he screwed it up. On Thursday, the House Speaker warned Biden that the House wouldn’t pass a bipartisan traditional infrastructure bill if the Senate didn’t pass a human infrastructure reconciliation bill and bypass the GOP.
McConnell Steps Into Picture to Set Democrats Straight
On Monday, Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY) stepped in to add some clarification. He said what many reasonable people thought when they heard about Biden’s gaffe. The two-track infrastructure proposal is a partisan attempt to “hold a bipartisan bill hostage over a separate and partisan process.” He warned Pelosi. Subtly, he said if the Democrats take this route, he’ll ensure the bipartisan deal is dead.
What’s Are the Optics Here?
Biden may be president, but he isn’t acting like one. He’s a pawn for the far-left. The obvious imagery is powerful and damning in its simplicity. First, Biden patted the shoulder of Sen. Rob Portman (R-OH) over their bipartisan deal while exclaiming, “we got it done.” Then the president says hours later he won’t sign the bipartisan agreement. The next day, he writes a 600-word apology letter. Biden is confused, dazed, and not in control. He and the Democrats leading him are making a mess of things.
America doesn’t like weak leaders. Ask former Democratic President Jimmy Carter. Ask Dukakis or Kerry. They experienced firsthand how voters turned on them. It’s one thing to call someone weak. It’s another thing to show it in short, simple, and powerful terms. TV commercials and internet memes can kill a plan and hurt re-election chances.
In just six months, this presidency has gone off the rails. In just days, Biden and the Democrats offered the imagery to prove it.
Don Purdum, Independent Political Analyst
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