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Fulcher on Biden

malloy

There’s nothing unusual about Republicans or Democrats in Congress disagreeing with presidents from opposing parties.

But these days, GOP members are taking their criticisms of President Biden to a different level, hinting that the old man in the White House may not be up for the job. Recently, Sen. Jim Risch nibbled at the edges when grilling Secretary of State Antony Blinken recently about the use of microphone mute buttons to silence the president.

Talking the other day with Congressman Russ Fulcher, he’s taking a more direct approach.
“I personally believe that the president is struggling with some form of dementia,” Fulcher says. “He goes in, and he goes out. The decisions he makes simply don’t have the depth to show there is significant depth of thought.”

Fulcher points to Afghanistan – moving troops out before people – as Exhibit A. A second piece of evidence is “his intent to appease this noisy progressive, socialist, Democrat leadership and (Sen.) Bernie Sanders’ approach. He’s simply overlooking common sense.”

Hold on a minute … let’s not suggest that the entire Democratic Party is afflicted with dementia. Vice President Kamala Harris, who is 20 years younger than Biden, backs the same policies. No one (including Fulcher) will suggest she is losing her marbles. But when a president is knocking on the door of 80, as Biden is, and has the look (and walk) of someone ready for assisted living, little things come into focus – and Republicans are ready to pounce.

“Jim (Risch) was very appropriate in asking those questions,” Fulcher said. “It’s sad on a personal level, because we’re talking about the president of the United States. He simply, I don’t think, has the capacity to do this job on the level that it needs to be done. As we see with some of the people we know and love, there are times when he seems to be OK – just enough to throw you off.”

And, according to Fulcher, it’s not just Republicans who think the president’s mind is slipping.

“Behind the scenes, I see Democratic colleagues rolling their eyes,” Fulcher says. “They know. You can tell by their body language and conversations. It’s there.”

Of course, Republicans had a similar kind of “body language” at times during the Trump presidency. Outwardly, they defended even the most egregious actions by Trump – including that pep talk to rioters before storming the Capitol on Jan. 6. Fulcher, a strong Trump supporter, acknowledges that Republicans had more than a few eye-rolling moments during his administration.

Such are the perils that go with people in their mid-to-late 70s serving in the nation’s highest office. It’s not a job for fading minds and bodies. In this case, Fulcher says, Biden is not inspiring confidence in leadership.

Bad policies, labor and supply shortages are part of what’s happening, he says.
“Democrats are self-destructing and doing a tremendous amount of damage in the process. They are re-defining what infrastructure is. It used to be a debate about roads, bridges and airports. Now it’s things like free day care, free college and amnesty,” the congressman said.

“Democrats know they are going to lose power, at least in Congress in 2022. So, it’s now or never for them. They are not able to recruit Republicans or independents to their party, so they are going to do something else. Give people free stuff and make them addicted to the programs. Build loyalty that way.”

As I see it, the Democrats’ strategy might work … if Republicans refuse to move on from Donald Trump in 2024. Replacing one old coot with another will not restore the public’s confidence in the White House.

In the meantime, Democrats are likely to get much of what they want – a fat infrastructure bill to go along with an even fatter bill for social spending (price tag to be determined). And Republicans such as Fulcher can’t do much about it, beyond writing letters to the president that go to the shredder, sending out press releases that are ignored and drawing attention to the president’s age.

Republicans in Washington are like Democrats in the Idaho Legislature. They simply don’t have the votes to do more.
 

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