A Cabinency of Dunces

Victor Davis Hanson
American Greatness

As the nation sinks inexplicably into self-created crisis after crisis, debate rages whether Joe Biden is incompetent, mean-spirited, or an ideologue who feels the country’s mess is his success.

A second national discussion revolves around who actually is overseeing the current national catastrophe, given Joe Biden’s frequent bewilderment and cognitive challenges.

But one area of agreement is the sheer craziness of Biden’s cabinet appointments, who have translated his incoherent ideology into catastrophic governance.

Secretary of Homeland Security Alejandro Mayorkas has essentially nullified federal immigration law. Over 2 million foreign nationals have illegally crossed the southern border without audit—and without COVID vaccinations and tests during a pandemic.

Mayorkas either cannot or will not follow federal law.

But he did create a new Disinformation Governance Board. To head his new Orwellian Ministry of Truth, he appointed Nina Jankowicz—an arch disinformationist who helped peddle the Russian collusion, Steele dossier, and Alfa Bank hoaxes.

While Jankowicz’s adolescent videos and past tweets finally forced her resignation, Mayorkas promises that his board will carry on.

In the days before the recent Virginia election, grassroots parent groups challenged critical race theory taught in the schools.

In reaction and under prompts from teachers’ unions, Attorney General Merrick Garland directed both the FBI and the Justice Department to establish a special task force apparently to “investigate threats” from parents against school board members.

The FBI recently has been knee-deep in political controversies. It illegally doctored a FISA application to entrap an American citizen. Its former directors, under oath before Congress, either claimed faulty memory or admitted lying to federal investigators.

The last thing a scandal-plagued FBI needed was to go undercover at school board meetings to investigate parents worried over their childrens’ education.

We are in a fuel price spiral that is destroying the middle class.

Yet when Energy Secretary Jennifer Granholm was asked about plans to lower gas prices, she laughed off the idea as “hilarious.”

Later Granholm preposterously claimed, “It is not the administration policies that have affected supply and demand.”

Apparently haranguing those who finance fossil fuel production, canceling the Keystone Pipeline, suspending new federal oil and gas leases, and stopping production in the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge all had nothing to do with high fuel prices.

Currently, supply chain disruptions are paralyzing the U.S. economy.

The huge Port of Los Angeles has been a mess for over a year. Since last fall dozens of cargo ships have been backed up to the horizon. Thousands of trucks are bottlenecked at the port.

During the mess, Transportation Secretary Pete Buttigieg was not at work. Instead at the height of the crisis, he took a two-month paternity leave to help out his husband and two newborn babies.

Such paternal concern is a noble thing.

But Buttigieg is supposed to ensure that life-or-death supplies reach millions of strapped Americans.

This winter, trains entering and leaving Los Angeles were routinely looted in the Old-West style of train robbing—without much of a response from Buttigieg’s transpiration bureau.

In Senate testimony Secretary of the Interior Secretary Deb Haaland refused to explain why her department is slow walking federal oil and gas leases at a time Americans are paying between $5 and $6 a gallon for gas.

Haaland was unable to provide simple answers about when new leases will result in more supplies of oil and gas. Her panicked aides slid talking points to her—given that in deer-in-the-headlights fashion, she seemed incapable of providing senators with basic information about U.S. energy production on federal lands.

The United States is sending many billions of dollars worth of sophisticated weapons to Ukraine to combat Russian aggression. We rightly claim it is not a proxy war against Russia but instead an effort to help stop a brutal Russian invasion.

Why then did Secretary of Defense Lloyd Austin tell the world the very opposite in a fashion that could only convince Russians that our real aim in Ukraine is to destroy Russia as a superpower?

As Austin put it publicly, “We want to see Russia weakened to the degree that it can’t do the kinds of things that it has done in invading Ukraine.”

Even if that description of the agenda is true, why broadcast it—given Russia has over 6,000 nuclear weapons and its President Vladimir Putin is increasingly erratic and paranoid?

The common denominator to these Biden appointees is ideological rigidity, nonchalance, and sheer incompetence.

They seem indifferent to the current border, inflation, energy, and crime disasters. When confronted, they are unable to answer simple questions from Congress, or they mock anyone asking for answers on behalf of the strapped American people.

We don’t know why or how such an unimpressive cadre ended up running the government, only that they are here and the American people are suffering from their presence.

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24 thoughts on “A Cabinency of Dunces”

  1. Charles Vermont

    This is all truly dangerous. Putin talks about using nuclear weapons and Austin wants “woke” armed forces.
    For a 78 year old man the President is doing well but not well enough to take the 3AM phone call. There are reasons why in some occupations there is a mandatory age for retirement. With age is supposed to come wisdom but age can also be obsolescence.

  2. Depressingly on point as usual

    Regarding the alternative posed in the first paragraph; I suggest the answer is ” both are correct”

  3. Theodore Salgado

    Dr. Hanson, as I type this, I am at our “bug out location” tidying things up and doing routine maintenance. We hem and haw at whether to purchase a generator and all of this seems to mirror the narrative of the novel “Atlas Shrugged.” Safe Travels.
    Ted in Central Wisconsin

  4. Stephen William Mc Dougall

    Hi VDH,

    Love your analysis of US politics and social warfare but you may want to do further research on your Ukraine/Russia position.

    You are fighting a proxy war in the Ukraine, the Russians are winning the ground war and the economic war, so far.

    A Canadian Fan.

  5. Kenneth C Anderson

    When the smartest person on the planet tells me that “we don’t know why or how” this evil madness is happening – I dispair. If we cannot destroy the source: our civilization is certainly quickly lost. I am 86 and soon to leave. And I leave you to figure it out for my grandkids.

    1. Hey young fella, do not despair. This too shall pass. No smart person has all the answers. Keep the faith. Americans have always come through better and stronger everytime we are in a crisis. No difference this time. Go to your local church or temple. You’ll be glad you did. I always feel better after attending my church, not because the sermon is great, but it reminds me we are still free.

      1. I agree – do not lose faith, Kenneth, the fools are much louder because they never stop yelling and they control the media, but this crazy Marxist movement is losing regular people, and regular people built this country and will keep it safe for your grandchildren.

  6. Charles Allan Vermont

    Just to let you know. I posted a comment this AM which agreed with you. However it seems to have disappeared from my inbox.

  7. It may sound snarky, but this is a cabinet of affirmative action hires. This is what you get when merit means nothing and skin color or sexual preference are the primary requirements for securing a place at the table. Musk was right: Biden’s people do not know how to get things done. T’s people were always getting things done, as you would expect in a merit-based business with management that monitors your progress and expects great results. Finally, I wonder if the Ukraine war would have happened if Trump were president. Oh, that’s right. He WAS president for four years and it didn’t happen during that time. Same Ukraine, same Putin, same toothless NATO allies, but no war. Hmmm. I guess we don’t need to wonder about that one. Joe is the difference maker. I hope you are fully recovered from covid.

  8. What a sorry bunch. And who could forget Yellen calling for black abortions as an economic stimulus or Blinken managing the Afghanistan withdrawal or the HHS Secretary – everybody including him, I guess. Is it conceivable to have a team impeachment? Or at least a twofer?

    Let me suggest a future piece to you exploring who the replacements could be. As you search for names you may appreciate Biden more and the enormity of the challenge he has undertaken. He is presiding over a totally talentless party with literally no one to advise him through his dotage. Things may open up a bit after November, though. A few possibilities …
    Hassan to HHS
    Warnock to DOE
    Kelly to DOD
    Schiff to DOJ
    Nadler to CIA
    Feinstein to State

    VDH, you are a must read.

  9. Question for millennials and all xiden voters: so, you can’t afford food, fuel, electricity and your infants are starving because formula is no longer available? Loving the brave new world that you lusted over and imposed on the rest of us?

    Looking for sympathy I’d guess…you’ll find it between s..t and syphillis in the dictionary.

    1. I read something in the aftermath of the 2020 election that the operative phrase our intelligence services were encountering during intercepted enemy communications was about us being in “terminal decline”, as in no serious people would elect a man who introduced his granddaughter as his deceased son while confusing the state he was in, and here we are, being led by a real life Sisyphus, farting, falling and forgetting his way through his presidency. As I watched him boast of his performance as CIC a while back, I thought to myself that he could finish 46th in a ranking of the presidents from best to worst and think he won, because 46 is the biggest number.

  10. Stephen D Leonard

    Perfectly spot on, as always, sir. The only disagreement I have is that it is not at all inexplicable that we are sinking into crisis after crisis. The moment Joe Biden was proclaimed the “winner” of the 2020 election, it was predictable and inevitable that we were in for four horrific years, though Biden has surpassed even the most pessimistic expectations. Biden is the most corrupt, venal, mean-spirited, dishonest, stupid politicians ever to infest Washington. Bob Gates’ famous observation that Biden has been wrong about every foreign policy and national security for forty (now fifty) years holds true. As to why and how the preposterous collection of fools running federal agencies got there, not one of them was chosen for any experience or expertise in their respective areas of responsibility; all were chosen to satisfy a checklist of gender and racial requirements, with a dash of perversion thrown in.

    The damage may well be irreversible by January, 2020.

    1. Because American “conservatives” know only submission, appeasement and “bipartisanship”.

  11. I think we do know why and how. First of all, a large part of the American electorate is either stupid, apathetic, ignorant of facts or ideologically motivated. Second of all, the last presidential election was in no way conducted honestly, and Trump was denied a deserved second term by criminals working behind the scenes. So we ended up with a lying moron as President, who has proved his duplicity and incompetence over and over, not just in the last two years, but over a lifetime in government. At age 78, I have never seen such a bloody mess calling itself a government.

    1. Mr Meyer:

      “At age 78, I have never seen such a bloody mess calling itself a government”.

      With all respect, of course you have; Zimbabwe, Venezuela, communist china, Cambodia under Pol Pot and the “united” states.

  12. Paul Hoesterey

    Thank you Professor for your steady, reasoned, accurate commentary on our nation’s affairs.
    I might add the problem with this Cabinet of Dunces is further understood when we realize each of these people were affirmed by majority vote of the Senate. Our Congress is massively failing in its duties as well.

  13. As Jim Reynolds says, 80% of these people are “diverse”: chosen on the basis of gender, skin color, and sexual orientation. In the Biden administration, Ideology and/or diversity > competence.

  14. They are picked because they are stupid or really good at playing stupid and that stupidity combined with the inertia of the bureaucracy will delay any America positive actions long enough for other actors to complete their plans. The Davos CMC* crowd is just biding their time. Don’t be surprised if there are layered crises until 2030 at least.

    *Child Molester Class

  15. thebaron@enter.net

    “Adolescent” is exactly the right word. Progressivism is immaturity expressed as a political philosophy.

  16. Dr. Hanson, it’s worse than you describe re the dunces driving up energy costs. It’s the National PETROLEUM Reserve-Alaska (NPR-A) that is being incrementally shut down, not ANWR. On April 22, the Dept. of Interior-overseen Bureau of Land Management announced that it had filed a new Record of Decision for the National Petroleum Reserve–Alaska (NPR-A), locking up more than seven million acres (almost 1/3 of the reserve) that had previously been designated for potential development by Congress and been given a go-ahead via regulatory review.

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