A Plague on Both Their Houses

With Super Tuesday having all but ensured that Donald Trump and Joe Biden will receive their parties’ nominations for November’s presidential election — a huge disappointment for many, if not most, voters — Shakespeare’s famous line in Romeo and Juliet, “a plague on both your houses,” is all I can think to say.

Rather than either of this irredeemably flawed pair, Trump and Biden, I will vote for the eventual independent centrist No Labels nominee — or perhaps Dean Phillips, Kyrsten Sinema, Liz Cheney, Mitt Romney or Nikki Haley.

Why I can’t vote for Trump
If nothing else, Trump’s attempt to overturn the legitimate 2000 election results — pushing his vice president, Mike Pence, to refuse to certify the Electoral College vote and unleashing an armed mob to storm the U.S. Capitol on January 6, 2021 — utterly disqualifies him from ever returning to the White House.

Add to that disqualification Trump’s unrelenting lies about the election having been “stolen,” which have fooled and corrupted the minds of millions of voters PLUS, most recently, his all-but-treasonous statement inviting Vladimir Putin to “do whatever the hell [he] want[s]” to any of our NATO allies that fail to spend 2% of their GDP on defense.

In short, Trump is a menace not just to our own country, but to the entire free world.

Why I can’t vote for Biden
What tarnishes Biden for me is not as clear — but is still terribly damning — as what disqualifies Trump.

It is Biden’s abject failure to be a true ally to two of our country’s great friends — Ukraine and Israel — at a time when they are each fighting for their lives, in fact literally for the lives of thousands of their people.

This is not “merely” a moral failing. This abdication of moral responsibility also amounts to wanton neglect of America’s self-interest in deterring our enemies, the Russia-China-Iran-North Korea “Axis of Evil” that threatens friendly free nations (including Taiwan) around the globe in what several experts I respect are calling “Cold War II.” And it follows the abandonment of our Afghan friends and allies (which can justly be blamed on Trump as well as Biden) to the tender mercies of the Taliban barbarians. This abandonment, now followed by our wishy-washy support for Ukraine and Israel, can only tempt freedom’s enemies to further probe, weaken and even attack us.

Let me cite some specifics.

On Ukraine, Biden has been continually slow-walking (and often denying) the weaponry which that beleaguered country desperately needs to expel the Russian invaders, murderers and mass kidnappers. At the same time, some of his people (assisted by the crazy fringe of the wafer-thin GOP majority in the House that has been keeping Congress from doing any serious business on behalf of the American people) have been sniping at the failure of Ukraine’s 2023 counteroffensive to defeat the Russians despite its having been hobbled by Biden’s own repeated reluctance to provide jets and longer-range artillery and rockets for fear of annoying Vlad Putin.

On Israel, Biden fails on two counts. First, in his wavering support for Israel’s fight to destroy the Hamas terrorists. Second, in his continuing efforts to appease Iran’s regime, which is the fount of all the turmoil and bloodshed in the Mideast. Let’s look at Biden’s failures here one at a time.

Following the ghastly Hamas attack on peaceful Israeli communities at dawn on October 7, 2023 — in which more than 1,200 Israelis (mostly civilians) were murdered, raped, burned and mutilated, over 4,100 more injured and nearly 225, including children, kidnapped and held hostage in Gaza — Biden, to his credit, initially showed strong support for Israel’s right to uproot and destroy the Hamas terrorists. However, five months into that fight (made difficult by its having to be conducted in a densely populated urban environment), Biden seems increasingly anxious to distance himself from Israel. He appears to have swallowed the dubious (if not fictitious) Hamas claim of 30,000 largely civilian casualties in Gaza and is increasingly stepping away from his initial support for Israel’s need to annihilate the terrorist threat.

Just within the past several days Biden has (1) talked of a “red line” that Israel must not cross by attacking the last big Hamas stronghold in Rafah, (2) spoken of a “come to Jesus” confrontation with Israeli Prime Minister Netanyahu, (3) continued pushing for a lengthy pause or cease fire that can benefit only Hamas, (4) committed U.S. troops to building a temporary port through which to bring food to Gaza while seeming to blame Israel, not the true culprit, Hamas, for what Hamas claims is starvation, and (5) pushed ever more forcefully for a two-state solution involving the hopelessly corrupt Palestinian Authority, whose hostility to Israel strongly aligns with the overwhelming sentiment of the Palestinian “street.”

From all the reports I’ve seen about Biden’s reelection efforts, it’s hard to avoid concluding that much of his backing away from Israel is related to his hope to win the votes of the many Palestinian-Americans in Michigan whose opposition to Biden’s strong initial pro-Israel stand threatens his hope to win that swing state in November. I’ve even seen a report that Biden has spoken about possibly addressing the Knesset (Israel’s parliament), in the apparent hope of undercutting Netanyahu’s domestic support. If such an address comes to pass, Biden is in for a big surprise, since public opinion in Israel — from left to right, both pro- and anti-Netanyahu — opposes a two-state solution and strongly supports driving a stake through the heart of Hamas.

The second count on which Biden fails Israel is his crazily confused policy on Iran. Despite repeated denials, he has never ceased trying to breathe life back into Obama’s old nuke deal, which would effectively legitimize the mullahs’ quest for these weapons of mass destruction, while still proclaiming his friendship for the target of those nukes, the ground zero of a potential second Holocaust, Israel.

And that’s just part of Biden’s Iran problem, since beyond its quest for nukes Iran (1) is the world’s largest state sponsor of terrorism; (2) is providing Russia with many of the drones and missiles it employs to rain death on Ukrainian civilians; (3) is providing indispensable support for Syria’s regime, which has brazenly gassed and barrel-bombed about 600,000 of its own citizens in response to what began as peaceful protests; (4) is arming Hamas in Gaza, Hezbollah in Lebanon (which has been lobbing shells into Israel’s northern communities non-stop since October 7) and Yemen’s Houthis, who are attacking international shipping in the Red Sea; and (5) has been encouraging its proxies in Syria and Iraq to attack U.S. troops who are in the region to combat the remnants of ISIS. Yet rather than antagonize the mullahs’ bloody regime, the Biden administration has been hoping to cajole it into more conciliatory behavior. In fact, the Biden administration includes several State and Defense department officials whose background and activities suggest they are all but agents for Teheran.

So while Biden often talks a good game about supporting Ukraine and Israel, his slow, hesitant action (in Ukraine’s case) and his backtracking (in Israel’s case) belie his words.

That, in a nutshell — perhaps a coconut-sized nutshell — is why Biden, like Trump, will never get my vote. As I said at the beginning, a plague on both their houses!

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