Biden’s New Slogan: Lower Your Expectations

BUCK: I want to start with something that you’re probably seeing and feeling all across the country right now, and it is the people that were supposed to have a way of telling you how good things are because it’s in their interests — because they’re in power; they are in close proximity to the Biden White House in terms of their ideology or perhaps even just the Washington, D.C., press corps so they’re in true proximity.

They’re supposed to go telling, you in their minds, how great a job Joe Biden is doing. And they’re not able to, ’cause things don’t look very good right now. It’s very hard to make the case that the country is more prosperous, more optimistic, more unified, all these things they told us that there would be if only we would allow Joe Biden to save us from the scourge of Orange Man Bad, Donald Trump. Right?

That was the promise they made. I don’t think you went along with that promise. But some, maybe. There are independents who are having voter’s remorse to be sure, and there are some who are having to get some honesty on the topic that perhaps weren’t planning to do so before. The Washington Post has an editorial — and Clay, I love this one — “Don’t rant about short-staffed stores and supply chain woes.”

CLAY: Crazy.

BUCK: It’s an entirely editorial devoted to (summarized), “Americans, you’re so used to ordering your pizza and having it come so quickly and having there be plenty of toilet paper on the shelf and being able to get 50 different kinds of milk — oat milk, almond milk, hazelnut milk, whatever. You’re used to all this. You’re basically spoiled!” This is the Washington Post. “Lower your expectations!” This is what they have been relegated to as defenders of Biden. Ask for — and expect — less, Clay.

CLAY: Ask for and expect less, and also, expect that you’re going back in time, because Jimmy Carter has lived to see a president who is more ineffectual than he was. And this is, I believe, where we are headed rapidly. Buck, we talk a lot about what’s next, right, trying to not only analyze what’s going on right now in the country but thinking about where we are headed. I just…

I look out on the horizon, and aside from covid — which I think everybody out there hopes is going to kind of follow the natural course of a virus and start to diminish, as we’ve said for some time. That’s not because of something that Biden is doing. But aside from covid — which I think in the next year and the year after that will continue to diminish as a major story in this country — can you think of anything, Buck, you’re remotely optimistic about getting better?

I think that’s where a lot of Americans are right now as we get ready for this Virginia election, and we start to pivot towards next year. You’re not only, as the president, selling a better reality, you’re selling a better future. Does anyone out there…? Just anyone listening right now, can you even think and spin an optimistic story in anything that the president is involved in, other than — again, covid is as unlikely to be as bad in 2022 as it was in 2021 — the natural evolution of that virus?

But the border, inflation, the overall economic malaise in this country. To me, there is no reason to believe that Biden or this administration is going to make any of that better. Do you have any optimism? Is there any optimism in your mind right now, Buck? Because we try to be happy warriors on the show. I’m optimistic that covid is not going to be as bad next year as it is this year. But other than that which has nothing to do with the president, is there anything you’re optimistic about at all?

BUCK: No, but I can see where the narrative will go. Right now, they’re just out of gas, man. High gas prices, too.

CLAY: Yeah.

BUCK: But they don’t have maneuverability because it’s so apparent that what they said would happen this year has not happened. I mean, the border which… It’s so interesting. This is one of those places where there’s tremendous separation between elite opinion, journo opinion, and the opinion of the American people.

Immigration as an issue in all the polling is top three, top four you’ll see nationwide as a concern of the American people. It’s always right around the top. It’s basically the economy, health care, immigration, right? Those things are always at the top of concerns — month in, month out, year in, year out — and the border is worse than it’s ever been.

They’re gonna have for the fiscal year, the official numbers for illegal crossings and migrant encounters and all of this, and it may be an all-time record. That’s what we’re looking right now. That’s just one example of a place that it’s impossible to spin that as anything other than they are failing. They can try the usual teary-eyed, “We’re a nation of immigrants,” and all this stuff; they’ll do the emotional manipulation.

My concern is, as you know, I’ve been worried that there will be a sense of momentum in the next year because covid, natural immunity alone, I think is going to be not as bad as it was last winter. That’s kind of what I’m starting to think now. It will be bad but not what we saw before, I think. I don’t know. But once we get into the spring, Clay, we get into the summertime, if they get a big spending package through, what are they gonna do?

They’re gonna say, “Judge us not by what you have seen so far but by all the ‘free,'” quote-unquote, “goodies that we will be distributing to you in the months and years he’d ahead, and the rich are the only ones who pay for it!” And they then hope that people don’t recognize — ’cause the media’s in their back pocket — the way that the day-to-day expenses of their lives have gone up, the way that their business is not thriving the way that it was beforehand.

All those are very tangible things, obviously. Gas prices, as I mentioned before — all those tangible things — they’re hoping to overcome that with a narrative of, “We are going to give you lots and lots of stuff that we’ll just conjure out of thin air/take from the rich people.” That’s what they’re gonna say.

CLAY: And they’re trying to get that done, by the way, by the end of October. That’s the deadline on this budget reconciliation on this infrastructure bill, and I do think that covid is going to trend positive no matter who’s in office because we can’t continue at the same level of infection that we’ve had before. But I just think that things are going to continue to spiral more and more out of control, Buck.

And we’re not even talking… I mean, we know what the disaster happened in Afghanistan, but you and I were talking ’cause as we say a lot of times or conversation just continues to roll during commercial breaks. I am increasingly afraid that something is gonna come to a head in Taiwan. And so as we are arguing about the disasters that are going on with the Biden administration, we’re not even talking about anything that’s unexpected and could be negative, right?

We can say, “Hey, supply chain’s gonna be a major issue.” That’s easy to forecast. We can say the border is gonna be a disaster. That’s easy to forecast. We can say, “Hey, defunding the police has become such a disaster.” Having thousands of police officers who are not gonna be on the streets because they’re either retiring or refusing to get the covid vaccine, all of that’s eminently predictable. We haven’t really had an unexpected negative story for Biden administration. They’ve caused all of their own disasters so far.

BUCK: As anyone who’s been in enough scraps will tell you, it’s the punch in the bar fight you don’t see coming that’s often the most dangerous. And certainly, the Biden administration is playing heavy defense right now because of all those things we’ve been talking about laying out. And it’s Year One too. You would think that with vaccinations out there and with all these different things that you were led to believe — we were all led to believe — were gonna make things so much better, they’d be in a much stronger position than they are.

But I have to say, I think that the Biden administration is even a little surprised themselves at how inept they are. That’s what I really think. I think they believed they’d be in a better place with a lot of this. A lot of stuff is the socialism and the tradeoffs and “the rich.” The class warfare and the social justice nonsense they talk about, yeah, they know that’s ideological stuff; that’s for the base.

I don’t think, Clay, they believe that they would be in a place where they would have so many things going against them — inflation, millions and millions of unfilled jobs, a lot of people so freaked out still about covid beyond what is rational. I think they can’t undo that. I think they’ve created a sort of monster of psychology here in a way and now they don’t know what to do about it.

So what are we seeing? A Biden administration that’s floundering and that’s looking for excuses. Just, what was it, couple of days ago we had Pete Buttigieg out there, the transportation secretary, saying, “Things are great! Look at all the people that to want buy stuff. So many people to want buy stuff.” It’s like, well, yeah, but if it’s not on the shelf and that commerce isn’t getting done and the prices are all rising because of inflation. That’s not something that people celebrate. And so now it’s moved to, “Hey, we’re in a tough time, folks. Don’t worry. Biden will get us better.” His slogan has been Build Back Better. It should really be Lower Your Expectations.

CLAY: That’s good. Also, what is gonna be a reality, I think, Buck, how often do you go shopping?

BUCK: I get everything online pretty much.

CLAY: Something other… Yeah, right. Something other than groceries or something like that. The reason why I bring it up is, I don’t go out shopping very much. What I think is going to be really interesting about the Washington Post article that you were referencing about, “Hey, you just have to get used to there being supply shortages,” a lot of people like me go into a store relatively irregularly, right?

Maybe once a month I really walk into a store to buy something. I think that’s gonna happen for a lot of people around Thanksgiving and Christmas. And that’s gonna crystallize it for them, who may not spend a lot of time going into stores and buying things, guys like me who may go out and buy two or three Christmas presents a year.

We go into a store Christmas Eve sometimes. We go into a store in November; we’re gonna be looking around saying, “Wait a minute!” This is crystallizing the failure of the Biden administration in a way that a lot of people don’t have that exposure on a day-to-day basis, right? You can see the price of gas rising.

You can see whether or not there’s toilet paper on the shelves. But when you walk into a Target ’cause you gotta go buy a gift for your niece or your nephew and all of a sudden there’s nothing there, you’re gonna be like, “Hold on. What’s actually taking place? This is an unmitigated disaster,” and I think that’s where we’re headed.

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