A old photo of White House press secretary Jen Psaki has been resurfaced online to mock the failed hashtag politics of Joe Biden’s presidency.
Twitter is not real life.
The image of Psaki started making the rounds on Twitter Saturday after Secretary of State Anthony Blinken threw the Biden administration’s support behind the “IStandWithUkraine” Twitter hashtag in response to an increasingly likely Russian invasion of the country.
— Stephen L. Miller (@redsteeze) January 22, 2022
As Biden critics recalled, Psaki tweeted the photo of herself manually promoting the hashtag in March 2014, when she was the Obama State Department spokesperson and Russia was occupying Ukraine’s Crimean peninsula.
- Weeks later, after Russia formally annexed Crimea, Psaki tweeted her hope that Russia “will live by the promise of [the ‘IStandWithUkraine”] hashtag,” earning widespread mockery.
Ever since Biden’s withdrawal of U.S. troops from Afghanistan last summer led to a Taliban takeover of the country, contrary to his repeated assurances, the State Department has been admonishing the empowered Islamists to be “inclusive.”
As we seek to address humanitarian crisis together with allies, partners, and relief orgs, we will continue clear-eyed diplomacy with the Taliban regarding our concerns and our abiding interest in a stable, rights-respecting and inclusive Afghanistan.
— U.S. Special Representative Thomas West (@US4AfghanPeace) January 23, 2022
Instead, the Taliban have increasingly cracked down on women’s rights, with those who resist enduring threats and beatings.
THE DOMESTIC FRONT
At home, too, Biden’s many first-year failures have been widely attributed to his focus on being on the right side of history — as defined by “very online” liberals — at the expense of real-world accomplishments.
- New York Times columnist Ross Douthat recently noted that in “making his push for the never-gonna-happen [voting rights] legislation, Biden went with rhetorical maximalism, accusing the legislators preventing its passage of siding with Bull Connor, George Wallace and Jefferson Davis.”
- Biden’s moral grandstanding for the Twitter crowd may not have completely alienated his political opponents, Douthat wrote in an argument that could be applied to foreign affairs, too.
- “But generally politicians find reasons to forgive or forget when power forces them to do it, and power is what Biden conspicuously lacks right now. Which makes what we’ve just watched from him feel like the worst possible combination for a president — an anger that only reveals weakness, an escalation that exposes only impotence beneath.”