“Improper handling”: Afghan chaos weakens Biden’s popularity


Joe Biden responded with the bravest appearance to the blood and chaos of the U.S. withdrawal from Afghanistan and defended his move to end the 20-year conflict that plagued his three predecessors. This is a kind of politics. courage.

“I believe this is the right decision, a wise decision, and the best decision for the United States,” the President of the United States said at the end of the White House. speech Withdrawal on Tuesday.

But the withdrawal situation has become an unexpected political burden for Biden. With the Taliban conquer Country, a deadly Terrorist attacks In Kabul this week, tens of thousands of people were evacuated frantically before his August 31 deadline.

Republicans have been intensifying criticism of Biden’s handling of the crisis, hoping that they will use it as a weapon to try to retake Congress in the midterm elections next year. At the same time, some moderate Democrats in battlefield states and regions are anxious about their prospects and try to distance themselves from the president.

Political science professor Mark Rohm said: “In general, elections will depend on the economy and epidemics, and Afghanistan seems to be a long time ago, and it is far away, so it may not affect him.” Georgetown University. “But Republicans will try to maximize their influence.”

For many years, the withdrawal of troops from Afghanistan has been the backbone of Biden’s foreign policy vision, and until recently, it did not seem to bring much political risk. It was widely supported in the polls of war-weary American voters. Before Biden took office, former President Donald Trump and many other Republicans and most Democrats supported the withdrawal.

According to a poll conducted by Morning Consult before the terrorist attacks in Kabul, 50% of Americans agreed with the withdrawal decision, while 39% of Americans disagreed.

White House officials and many Democrats on Capitol Hill hope and believe that despite the turmoil and bloodshed in the past few weeks, Biden’s decision will still be rewarded by American voters.

Chris Murphy, a Democratic senator from Connecticut and a member of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, said: “The most important thing about leaving Afghanistan is the country’s policy victory, but it is also a political victory for the American public.” “In the end, the American public hopes. This president is concerned about them, not the Taliban.”

But withdrawing from Afghanistan-coincidentally Surge The Delta coronavirus variant-caused Biden’s approval rating to drop sharply in the past month.

According to the average data of Real Clear Politics, on August 1, when the Taliban had not yet occupied a provincial capital in Afghanistan, 51.3% of Americans recognized Biden’s work performance, while 43.5% disapproved.

By August 30, the situation had changed dramatically: 48.7% of Americans disapproved, while only 46.8% of Americans agreed. Data from FiveThirtyEight shows that Biden’s current approval rating is lower than that of every post-war US president except Donald Trump, Bill Clinton, and Gerald Ford 224 days after taking office.

“Americans may want to relax in Afghanistan, but in the final analysis, they don’t want to be the losers of terrorists. In my opinion, this is an unconditional surrender to the Taliban,” said Michael McCall, Republican of Texas. The top member of the Foreign Affairs Committee of the House of Representatives of the party.

McCall and other top Republicans in the House of Representatives called on the Biden administration to retain documents related to the withdrawal of troops from Afghanistan in preparation for possible investigations by Congress.

If Republicans regain control of the House of Commons next year, any such torture will be even more intense. During the Obama administration, Congress’ investigation into the 2012 attack on American diplomats in Benghazi, Libya, has plagued the White House and Secretary of State Hillary Clinton for months. When Clinton ran for president four years later, these attacks were still a topic on the right.

McCall said that congressional hearings should focus on “how this happened and why it became so bad”, adding: “Back in the country, this is not just a news cycle issue, but a problem. It caused Very strong resonance, I don’t think it will disappear anytime soon.”

Some members of Biden’s own party, especially those on the battlefield, have distanced themselves from the government’s handling of the withdrawal of troops from Afghanistan.

Susan Wilder, a House Democrat from Pennsylvania, said that “the evacuation process was improperly handled” and called on “the government to respond and be held accountable,” although she agreed to withdraw from the “unwinnable war”.

Wilder added: “Our troops deserve a complete and unadorned description of the truth.”

Some Democratic strategists worry that Republicans will try to criticize the White House in several ways. An attack is expected to revolve around the death of US troops last week and a new terrorist threat in Afghanistan. The other will focus on failing to extract all vulnerable Afghans and American citizens.

The chart shows that the Americans do not approve of Biden's handling of the Afghan withdrawal

Although this seems to be inconsistent with concerns about those who remain in Afghanistan, the influx of refugees into the United States after the withdrawal may also become a flashpoint.

“I hope I am wrong. The main Republicans will resist the worst and most racist impulses of their base, but in the past few decades, there is no sign that this will happen,” Barack Obama (Barack Obama) Dan Pfeiffer, the head of communications at the White House, wrote in his newsletter this week.

Although some Democrats are nervous, the party’s progress is happy with Afghanistan’s withdrawal, which helps ease some of the White House’s pressure in other areas, such as the stagnation of efforts to advance voting rights.

“[Biden] Just presented one of the most convincing anti-war cases I have heard of any president in recent history,” said Pramila Jayapal, a left-wing Democrat in Washington State during President’s Week. Two wrote in a tweet after his speech. “Courageous, thoughtful, comprehensive and necessary expression. ”

Some political analysts said that Democrats may emphasize that regardless of any criticism of Biden’s handling of the withdrawal, continued presence in Afghanistan is far more dangerous-both politically and for the US military.

“The counterfactual is worse… The alternative paints a more difficult picture,” said Eric Schultz, a former aide to Barack Obama and founder of the consulting firm Schultz Group.

Murphy said that he hoped that Americans would accept the fact that withdrawal is always a mess: “Today there seems to be a saying that dominates, which shows that we could have left Afghanistan after the Afghan government and army collapsed overnight. To be neat and clean. Way.”

“There is no doubt that this could have been done better, but I don’t think we can avoid the chaotic scene,” he added.


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