If you’ve watched the Left as long as I have, first off, I’m sorry. Second, there are some cues when they’re going to try to advance/distort a word, idea, or concept by what phrasing they use.
This past week, the word “competent” has been thrown around like Tom Brady throwing footballs at training camp. The Left and the media (but I repeat myself) have expressed everything from not-so-subtle exhaling to sycophantic gushing over their perception of the Biden Administration as being head and shoulders above the Trump Administration. They seem pleasantly surprised at how the Biden Administration seems to know what it’s doing.
But, as we’ve seen previously, the Left loves to play with the language to make themselves look smarter, faster, and better.
What the Left thinks it means – mature, intelligent, and empathic leadership shown by political leaders
What it really means – a phrase that should rarely, if ever, used to describe any Presidency
Why, yes, my general cynicism about government is coming through! How could you tell?
Seriously, though, competence isn’t normally associated with government as a whole because we’re dealing with human beings in power. The chance we’re going to get a savant in a Cabinet role is less likely than Donald Trump marrying Rosie O’Donnell. Even when we get someone reasonably intelligent in a role (see Dr. Ben Carson), the fit might not be there, which will result in a litany of mistakes.
Now, imagine that same work being done by stereotypical WalMart shoppers. That’s closer to how competent government is these days. Frightening, isn’t it? Add to that the immense number of regulations, policies, procedures, legalese, and general ideologically-driven goals, and you have a situation where even the best of intentions gets turned into the worst of bureaucracies.
In spite of the media’s best attempts to prop up Joe Biden as a good President, most people just aren’t buying it. The policy wonks, like your humble correspondent, see an Administration tackling problems like Pee Wee Herman while making somewhat manageable problems worse. And a lot of these are unforced errors, meaning they could have been prevented if someone had just taken the President aside and said, “I know what you want to do here, but it’s like letting Hunter have Charlie Sheen as his rehab partner.”
Take the border crisis, for example. Before he came into office, Joe Biden laid out a pretty clear invitation for illegal immigrants from Mexico to come on in! Then, when people took him up on his offer, the Administration was caught off-guard. I mean, how were they to know an open invitation to come here would be accepted so readily? It’s not like the President was in office for nearly half a century or anything, right?
One of the legitimate knocks against the Trump Administration was the lack of experience in important roles within the government. It seemed like President Trump handed out these roles like Planned Parenthood hands out…well, whatever it is they hand out. Now, with a new Administration, we see…exactly the same problems as the Trump Administration, but with a lot more tolerance from the Left. Seriously, who was the genius to made Pete Buttigieg Secretary of Transportation because he likes trains? I liked trains when I was 7 or 8, but I don’t put that on my resume so someone in a future Administration would put me on a short list for the Department of Transportation, or any Cabinet post for that matter. Given the nozzleheads in charge, I’m surprised Hunter Biden wasn’t put in charge of the DEA.
It’s because of the unforced errors that the Left is talking about competence with regards to the Biden Administration. The idea is to persuade you with multitude (i.e. an appeal to popularity) than to get you to think whether the Administration fits the definition. As you might have guessed, I’m pretty sure it doesn’t, if only because Obama Administration failures…I mean holdovers like Anita Dunn, John Kerry, and Jen Psaki managed to find work again after screwing up so badly.
But at least there aren’t any mean Tweets, right?
Even if you set the lowest possible bar for competence, government finds a way to limbo under it with room to spare because there is no punishment for failure. If anything, people tend to fail upward. Want proof? Who is President and Vice President right now? A two-time Presidential candidate whose mental faculties are on the decline and a Presidential candidate who dropped out before the Iowa Caucuses due to a lack of support. And people expect competence out of these two?
I mean, aside from Leftists.
I have a saying that applies in this situation: “If you have to say it, you ain’t it.” If the Biden Administration or its stenographers in the media have to keep telling us the Administration is competent, it’s a clear sign it’s not (oh, and that the media are hacks). But don’t just take my word for it. Watch the Administration carefully and see if they perform at even basic levels of competency. Or you can do the DMV Test. If your local DMV works more efficiently and effectively than the federal government, there’s a problem, and Spoiler Alert it’s not a local one.
I know the Left wants to create a clear difference between the Trump Administration and the Biden Administration, but you can’t just slap a descriptor on the latter and call it a day. Government by its very nature doesn’t solve problems and expecting people who have spent a good chunk of their lives proving it and/or covering up for it to suddenly get it stretches reality like Mr. Fantastic, only less believable. When the Biden Administration does something right, I will be among the first to call it out because I’m good like that. Given what I’ve seen so far, though, I may be waiting a while. Good thing I packed a lunch!