Who can blame President Biden for nodding off at the COP26 summit on Monday? It was an astronomically boring session — opening statement after opening statement, pompous speaker after pompous speaker, insisting that the time for words on climate change is over. Now is the time for… zzzzzzzzzzzz. It’s a miracle the jet-lagged, 78-year-old leader kept his eyes open for as long as he did.
Poor Joe. He has a lot on his addled mind. He’s been in office for less than a year and his presidency is already a catalogue of crises. On Tuesday, as the President stood on the COP stage in Glasgow, impotently lecturing China and Russia about their absence, another disaster was happening back home. His Democratic party lost the governorship of Virginia, an election widely seen as the first big test of the political temperature in the Biden era. Virginia is increasingly thought of as Democratic territory. This time last year, Biden beat Donald Trump by ten points in the state — so the result looks damning.
Last month, as the polls tightened, Biden decided to invest his own political capital in the race. He joined the Democratic candidate Terry McAuliffe on the campaign trail and tried to brand the Republican challenger, Glenn Youngkin, as a Trumpkin wolf in sheep’s clothing — ‘extremism… can come in a smile and a fleece vest,’ he said.
Biden’s intervention only made a bad situation for the Democrats worse. The fleece-wearing Youngkin was clearly not an extremist. He successfully disassociated himself from red-raw Trumpism. He also picked a culture-war fight and won. He turned education, and the Democrats’ apparent eagerness to brainwash children with critical race theory in schools, into a rallying cause. His opponent moronically said that teachers, not parents, should decide what children learn. Showing even less nous, the National School Boards Association then demanded that protesting parents should be investigated for ‘domestic terrorism’.