Biden Said What? Did He Actually Mean It?
At the conclusion of his European meetings, President Biden said that Russian President Putin could not be allowed to remain in power. It was a stunning statement since it was straightforward and unequivocal. There was no way to mistake his meaning. Putin had to be removed from his position as head-of-state of Russia.
No group was more shocked than the bureaucrats back home in Washington. The top members of Biden’s own administration reacted instantly with hair on fire. They claimed that their boss did not mean what he said. Did they mean that the President of the United States was oblivious of what he said – what it meant?
Were we the people to believe that our Commander-in-Chief was clueless about what he said on such a critical subject? He was literally calling for the deposing of the head of a major nuclear power – and the bureaucrats back home were calling it a simple misstatement – a typical Biden gaffe.
The top people at the State Department, Defense Department and even the White House – which is usually the voice of the President – ran to the camera to assure the American people, the world, and Putin that Biden did not mean what he said.
They noted that the statement was “unscripted” – meaning that it was not part of the text of the speech that the bureaucrats had given Biden to read. In other words, the President of the United States cannot be trusted to follow the “script” – ergo the policies – established by the Washington establishment.
To redefine Biden’s call for regime change, the apologists created some rather creative interpretations. They were all variations of the same theme. Biden meant that Putin could not be allowed to be the power in Ukraine. Or the Moscow Madman could not be empowered to invade other countries. Hmmm. Maybe by “removed from power,” Biden meant the Kremlin electricity should be shut off. That is about as realistic an explanation as the folks in Washington were making.
MSNBC’s Joe Scarborough had a different slant. He said the gaffe was not a gaffe, but a premeditated statement that would establish the seriousness of America’s opposition to Putin. Scarborough went on and on – as he does — to explain the insightfulness of his thinking, but it did not help. He was trying to sell a dead horse. My cutting off the electricity to the Kremlin was more credible by comparison.
But no matter how they tried to twist Biden’s words, those in charge of the spin machine could not eliminate the damage he did with that statement. Even the pro-Biden news media had to admit that he gave a gift to Putin.
Since there is no plan (unfortunately) to end Putin’s term in office, the empty threat gave the Russian leader a propaganda advantage – and he was quick to use it. Putin used Biden’s gaffe to sell the Russian people that the invasion of Ukraine was necessary because of the west’s attempts to topple the Russian government against the will of the Russian people. He sold Biden’s faux pax as a planned coup.
When Biden was later asked if he was calling for regime change in Russia, he simply said “no” – without further explanation.
It does beg the question as to why the United States – and the west – would not be supporting regime change in Russia. We have called for the toppling of governments in the past. We did that with Saddam Hussein in Iraq and Bashar al Asaad in Syria – and they were not nearly as dangerous as Putin.
The one benefit to Biden was that the news coverage of his misstatement buried all the negative coverage of his meetings with the European allies. The meetings resulted in a lot of back-slapping praise and encouragement for Ukrainian President Zelenskyy, but nothing new in terms of his requests for more of the critically needed military aid.
Biden’s most serious gaffe regarding Ukraine was not his call for regime change in Russia, it was his entire response to the invasion. The lack of adequate military aid – including fighter jets and weapons that can take out ships. The lack of a no-fly zone.
America and NATO are doing a lot – but not enough. And calling for Putin’s removal from office – intended or merely a non-compos mentis gaffe – is a meaningless sideshow.
So, there ‘tis.