There’s a CNN piece going around about the internal troubles of the Biden administration. Most of it reads like an article that should be titled ‘All of the stuff people cranky with Biden told us’, but there is one disturbing part that fits with other reports and is worth taking seriously (boldface mine):
The call, three days after the decision eliminating federal abortion rights, encapsulates the overwhelming sense of frustration among Democrats with Biden. It offers a new window into what many in the President’s party describe as a mismanagement permeating the White House….
Two dozen leading Democratic politicians and operatives, as well as several within the West Wing, tell CNN they feel this goes deeper than questions of ideology and posture. Instead, they say, it gets to questions of basic management.
More than a week after the abortion decision, top Biden aides are still wrangling over releasing new actions in response, despite the draft decision leaking six weeks earlier.
White House counsel Dana Remus had assured senior aides the Supreme Court wouldn’t rule on abortion that day. A White House press aide assigned to the issue was walking to get coffee when the alert hit. Several Democratic leaders privately mocked how the President stood in the foyer of the White House, squinting through his remarks from a teleprompter as demonstrators poured into the streets, making only vague promises of action because he and aides hadn’t decided on more.
Then, Biden’s July 1 meeting with governors to talk about their efforts to protect abortion rights was planned so last minute that none of those who attended came in person, and several of those invited declined to rearrange their schedules to appear virtually.
Multiple Democratic politicians who have reached out to work with Biden — whether it’s on specific bills, brainstorming or outreach — often don’t hear anything back at all. Potential appointees have languished for months waiting to hear if they’ll get jobs, or when they’ll be done with vetting. Invitations to events are scarce, thank you calls barely happen. Even some aides within the White House wonder why Biden didn’t fire anyone, from the West Wing or at the Food and Drug Administration, to demonstrate some accountability or at least anger over the baby formula debacle.
I’m sure they’re working hard and long hours. But one of the key arguments for the Serious Moderates, as opposed to the Dirty Fucking Hippies, is that the moderates supposedly get shit done. Well, they’re not. There is a lot of executive branch governance that can happen and make a real difference, but only if the executive branch governs competently. There are opportunities–unprecedented but predictable ones–yet they seem to be letting them slip away.