“The High Cost of Underestimating Joe Biden”


By David Rothkopf

November 13, 2022

In 2020, @JoeBiden was second guessed by many (me included). He wasn’t exciting. Too old school. Talked about healing. Talked about a clear agenda when the other side had little to offer but hate and good TV ratings. And he won decisively despite the skepticism of the “smart money.”

For two years, he was derided for reaching out to the other side, for his compromises with the left or with the centrists in his own party, for not be exciting enough. He ignored the Beltway buzz. He did the dullest thing imaginable: he governed.

The American Rescue Plan lifted millions out of poverty and helped stimulate a job boom that now has produced 10 million jobs, a record, more than the last three GOP administrations added up. Record number of quality judges were appointed. Executive orders undid Trump’s damage.

He made the bold decision to end America’s longest war. He passed the largest piece of infrastructure legislation in half a century. He helped tame a pandemic. Critics, even within his own party said, “Don’t do too much, don’t spend too much, the bond markets won’t like it.”

But the jobs kept being created. When Putin challenged the decency and the West in Ukraine, Biden led and has been central to NATO and global support for Kyiv which has produced extraordinary results and made all safer. It was all part of restoring American standing worldwide.

He and a disciplined Democratic Congress passed the Inflation Reduction Act that also was the biggest piece of environmental legislation in US history. He took steps to reduce healthcare costs for Americans even when zero Republicans supported it.

In fact, with few exceptions, the Democrats passed a rich agenda, that also included the important Chips and Science Act that will help the country compete and create more and better jobs in the future, in the face of constant GOP obstruction.

Still, the savants and pundits said the Democrats would be crushed in the 2022 elections. The GOP had momentum. Inflation would do Dems in–even though it was a global phenomenon and the GOP was closely linked to its causes from Putin to corporate profiteering.

There would be a Red Wave. Biden was too busy focusing on democracy and protecting the fundamental rights of women and voters while the GOP talking heads and the bogus polls said what was front and center was inflation and the Dems were doomed.

But Biden stayed laser focused. He said his first act in the new Congress would be to guarantee a woman’s reproductive freedom. He made moving, heartfelt speeches about why it is essential to reject the lies, the election deniers, the coup plotters.

The result was the best result for a new president in a midterm election in sixty years, maybe longer. The Democrats held the Senate. It is still unclear how many seats they will lose in the House. But it won’t be what was predicted.

In fact, it is still possible that the Dems could hold the House, still possible the Dem margin in the Senate could be better than it was. Election deniers running for top posts were rejected. Legislatures were flipped. The Republican leadership is turning on itself.

And Biden’s first comments after the election were about the work to come, the governing ahead. Joe’s too old. Joe’s too boring. Joe’s too quick to compromise. Joe’s too stubborn. Joe’s out of touch. Joe’s…just off to the best start of any POTUS in more than half a century.

Left in his wake, defeated by his experience and his wisdom and his determination and his truly exceptional world class team, are the media favorites, the highly rated pundits, the best-selling columnists, the know-it-alls, the fancy insiders.

I could write the same thing about @SpeakerPelosi or @SenSchumer, co-authors of this remarkable record. You could say it about so many members of the united, mobilized Democratic team that this time around weathered the GOP efforts at suppression, ignored their lies and showed up.

You could say it about the Gen Z voters and the women and people of color who saw the threat and made the effort to fight for democracy. You could say it about all of you who have participated in the wholesale rejection of the greatest threat to our system we’ve seen since WWII.

Common sense is not exciting. But what we just saw was a victory for common sense. Decency doesn’t drive clicks. But what you just saw was a victory for decency. Governing is tedious, incremental, arcane. But what you have seen for two years are the benefits of governing.

The conventional wisdom has been wrong about @POTUS@VP@SpeakerPelosi,@SenSchumer@WHCOS, the president’s cabinet, @TheDemocrats and their team from day one. Maybe we will learn. Probably we won’t.

But we can be grateful that they will ignore all that. We can be grateful that at a perilous moment in US history, they will focus on the work that needs to be done, on the threats we face at home and abroad, and on what matters. And if the past is any indication, they will continue to succeed…against the odds, on behalf of us all. 

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©2021, Deep State Radio. All Rights Reserved


NOTE: David Rothkopf is an analyst and commentator on politics, national security, and foreign affairs. His most recent book is American Resistance: The Inside Story of How the Deep State Saved the Nation.

The above essay includes Twitter “handles” for the officials because it first appeared as a Twitter thread.

When I watched President Biden with Chinese President Xi after their three-hour meeting, I concluded there is no one currently on the political scene who can match his abilities in the international arena. Biden managed to negotiate a reduction in hostilities while holding firm to US positions. Here’s the readout of that meeting.

And after the explosion in Poland, whose circumstances aren’t yet clear, his measured response won praise even from the Russians he is helping thwart in Ukraine.

As David Rothkopf writes, President Biden just keeps governing–and governing well.

The American people spoke out against “the crazies” in this election, but the House Republicans have already announced that they’re revving up to fit that description with revenge politics and dangerous pro-Putin talk about Ukraine.

Our responsibility will be to continually inform our elected officials and the media that we side with responsible governing–nothing less.


40 thoughts on ““The High Cost of Underestimating Joe Biden”

  1. Something similar happened during the Wilson administration. Wilson advocated good government; his administration passed many reforms, which Republican’s hated and worked to undo. Their bitter opposition paid off when Wilson was succeeded by Harding.

    Liked by 2 people

  2. Check out the ages of those who claim Joe is too old. My friend Ray drives from Dayton to San Francisco to visit family every year since I’ve known him. He was eleven when he watch the Zeros fly over his house to bomb Hickam Air Base. It is always best to be underestimated.

    Liked by 3 people

  3. BRAVO!!! Well said. President Biden is much like what I always say about those I feature in my ‘good people’ posts — instead of tooting his horn and making a lot of noise, he is quietly going about the business of good governance, of getting things done for the PEOPLE. If that’s boring to some, then I’m all in favour of boring in government!

    Liked by 5 people

    1. Yes, Jill, we must definitely hope that a preference for “boring in government” becomes fashionable. Just a few days of the House Republicans’ posturing and preening—and showcasing the young killer Kyle Rittenhouse, who’s already measuring the drapes for the Congressional office to which he aspires—should convince all those who voted against the crazies that their votes are growing increasingly important.

      Liked by 4 people

      1. There will always be those who are more entertainers than serious lawmakers, but hopefully there will be fewer of them as some of them lost their election bids this time around. Kyle Rittenhouse AND his mother should be sitting in a prison cell, and if the Republicans would elevate him to a seat in the House at some point, then that speaks volumes about the complete destruction of the Republican Party. Grrrrrrrrrrrrrrrr.

        Liked by 4 people

      2. I think the mere fact no one stopped the Insurrectionist Caucus of the House Republicans—or even suggested that inviting Rittenhouse into The People’s House was not very cool—shows that this Republican Party is beyond the beyond. Grrrrrrrrrrrrrrr, for sure.

        Liked by 2 people

      3. Along similar lines, I was amazed that a number of people who actively took part in the insurrection on January 6th were allowed to be on the ballot on November 8th. Does it no longer matter? I’ve thought the Republican Party was beyond the beyond for some time now, but they keep proving it again and again.

        Liked by 1 person

  4. I was most impressed with Biden’s dealings with China’s President Xi at the G20 summit, but then he has decades of diplomacy behind him. Meanwhile Trudeau acted like a jerk again – and Xi called him out on it. I see the GOP is already gearing up their investigative committees – what exactly do they think they are going to get on Biden’s honorable and spotless career, and what a complete waste of an elected officials time.

    Liked by 5 people

    1. Thank you, Joni. I read about the Trudeau-Xi contretemps. It does sound like he was engaging in a little grandstanding, rather than diplomacy.

      The answer to your query about what the GOP is preparing to do is, I expect: exaggerate, lie, and pass along the most vile conspiracy theories that come from the minds of their basest, most unstable base.

      Liked by 4 people

      1. Well Trudeau isn’t exactly known for his tact. Oh, I expect them to fabricate stuff but eventually it will come to nothing, and what a waste of time. I just don’t understand the appeal of the Republican party to so many people – they seem to stand for hate and division. I guess I was hoping for more civility, working together and turning over a new leaf.

        Liked by 2 people

      2. I am a hopeful person, Joni, but I expect nothing good from this GOP. The old Tea Party chaos creators are now the “Freedom Caucus.” Hate and division—the cruelty is most distressing.

        Liked by 2 people

  5. Reblogged this on Filosofa's Word and commented:
    President Joe Biden is the subject of criticism from within and without his party. He’s called boring, too old, incompetent. But the reality is that he is working behind the scenes and getting things done. Our friend Annie shares with us today the words of David Rothkopf who fully understands the greatness that is the Biden presidency and the accomplishments he’s made, but received very little credit for. Thank you, Annie! Wonderful piece!

    Liked by 5 people

      1. As many as possible need to hear this message, to realize what he has accomplished in a short two years. I’m sick of the ‘Biden-bashing’ from both sides of the aisle! This was a great piece!

        Liked by 2 people

  6. I think what sums it up is “Decency doesn’t drive clicks.” Sadly, in the age of social media, consistent hard work is not what goes viral. So, the Former Guy’s latest insulting Tweet or Truth or whatever will be dissected for hours by the pundits, while concrete achievements go unnoticed. I do think that someday, historians will appreciate Biden as one of our better Presidents.

    Liked by 3 people

    1. Thank you for your comment, eurobrat. I’ve written several posts saying that I believe history will be kinder to Joe Biden than the voters seem to be. And several historians have already weighed in favorably.

      Liked by 1 person

  7. He has no one to blame but himself. The voters wanted an end to the insanity. Joe has given them that and he was rewarded by those voters and a whole lot of new ones that want sanity to continue.
    He has a good shot in 24 because it looks like the kooks are going to double down. He is not going to cave on SSI. They won’t learn but often a quiet man is a dangerous man.

    Liked by 2 people

      1. They have been trained to see politicians as television for ugly people. Oz is mesmerizing and dominating. Attempts to pull back the curtain have all been derailed since the corporate buyout of ALL media.
        Once you have convinced the mark that the truth is a lie you have won the liars game.
        Then it is not theft when he gives you his wallet, you have no investment in hardware like big scary guns and when you show up later he is happy to see you to again lighten the load of a full wallet.
        I once was a professional trespasser. I never failed to escape scrutiny With a simple question. “Did you see the white fox”?
        This MUST be said with appropriate wonder and awe and they join you in trespass.

        Liked by 1 person

      2. The magicians trick is to make you look here while the action takes place over there.
        His rep is a million dollar snake oil salesman. He hides in plain sight like his mentor. Even NASCAR fans will admit that they go to see the carnage. But I was referencing the “Great and Powerful Oz” not the frail man behind the curtain. 🙂
        It is probably anecdotal but I have found that the people who seem happy also have a firm grasp on what enough is and what to do with the rest.

        Liked by 1 person

  8. Well said, as always. I’m not looking forward to the slugfest that may evolve with Trump’s announcement and Elon’s re-admittance of him to Twitter, but here we go. Another fraught political season upon us. Thanks for the facts, as always, and the perspective. I agree with you. Am passing this along.

    Liked by 3 people

  9. “Election deniers running ” is nuts on the face of it.
    If the elections are all rigged, why run?
    The whole “heads I win, tails you lose” vibe of their election commentary and predictions is school yard recess stuff, the primary years.

    Liked by 3 people

  10. annie:

    This is a marvelous commentary to Biden. What he has done economically is rescue a nation from another 2008 and years of a economic recovery. I can not fault him on this. I can fault him on his crusade against student loan justice. Every act passes since 1990 till 2005, he has played a part in the denial of bankruptcy.

    Yet critters like trump can go bankrupt multiple times with little said to them. We have roughly 40 million people holding student loans. A large percentage of them are 50 years and older who will never be able to pay off their loans if the percentage was 2.5% and the payment was $250 monthly in 15 years.

    There is no escape from these loans. And yet a former president scammed the system. Biden owes these people more than whtat he has done to date.

    Liked by 1 person

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