It’s humiliating for President Joe Biden that in the almost three weeks since he appointed Kamala Harris as his border point woman, she still hasn’t visited the disaster zone, come up with a plan or held a press conference on the migrant crisis.
Instead, she’s visited a water treatment plant in California and a bakery in Chicago, where the press pool reported on her sweet tooth last week.
"Her favorite is German chocolate, and [she] gets that for her birthday each year, and her staff had pre-ordered a slice for her. The bakery’s specialty is caramel cake, and she said she was looking forward to that too."
Meantime, the self-inflicted humanitarian tragedy at the southern border has spiraled out of control, opinion polls are heading south, the Biden appointee in charge has abruptly resigned, El Salvador’s president has refused to meet the visiting US envoy, and the VP is defying her boss and staying far away from the stinking mess to protect her reputation.
But while the pair play "pass the parcel," the vacuum of leadership is only fueling a humanitarian catastrophe.
President Biden knew when he appointed Harris to manage the crisis on March 24 that it was a poison chalice, which gives you a hint of the growing wariness in a relationship where the VP is referred to by insiders as "The Heiress" and Biden is regarded as incapable of serving a full term.
The White House announced at the time that Harris would "lead our efforts with Mexico and the Northern Triangle … in stemming the migration to our southern border."
But, when asked when she planned to go to the border, Harris responded with hysterical laughter. "Not today," she chortled.
"The vice president is not doing the border," her spokeswoman Symone Sanders told reporters two days later.
Instead, Harris would be addressing the "root causes" of the surge in migration. To that end, she’s made two phone calls to regional leaders.
But the only root cause that matters is to restore Trump-era border protection measures that Biden unwound by executive decree: Restore the "Remain in Mexico" policy for asylum seekers, restart deportation of criminal aliens, finish the border wall and stop making children bait for cartels.
Biden has tried to claim the border surge is just a seasonal uptick, but numbers are soaring exponentially. Last month alone, 19,000 children were recorded crossing the border, double the previous month. The government reportedly anticipates more than 35,000 migrant children will need to be cared for by June.
Biden has put the sugar on the table for people smugglers and children are suffering.
Video footage online shows buses at a detention center in Texas in which every adult on board is accompanied by one small child. Biden’s policy of accepting unaccompanied minors has made children the tickets for entry to America, but how do we know if these kids are even related to the adults holding their hands? No one is doing DNA tests.
Another video shows a sobbing 10-year-old Nicaraguan child walking alone on a road in Texas before telling a border agent he is afraid "they" might "rob or kidnap me or something."
During a press conference last week, Texas Gov. Greg Abbott made stunning allegations of child sexual abuse at a migrant facility in San Antonio that holds more than 1,300 migrant children.
He told Fox News last week that allegations of child sexual assault had been lodged with two state agencies in Texas: "[It] was a very specific description about ways in which children were being sexually assaulted, where it was happening, who was doing it and the horrific things that were being done which I cannot tell you on TV … The Biden administration knows about this … and yet still nothing is happening."
Nothing except cynical distraction, denial and deflection.
House Speaker Nancy Pelosi dismissed his complaints as "ridiculous … The fact is we’re on a good path at the border under the leadership of President Biden … It’s about restructuring … because we were in a very bad situation under the Trump administration."
So desperate is the administration that government employees quietly are being offered four months’ paid leave from their jobs to help care for migrant children in shelters at the border, reports the New York Times.
But the White House won’t even acknowledge there is a problem.
On Friday, press secretary Jen Psaki spent more than double the time talking about the Ukrainian border than America’s southern border: 262 words versus 94.
"The reason for accepting these children is that we feel it is not the humane step to send these kids back on their treacherous journey," she said, as if the atrocities being committed in our name are compassionate.
Later that afternoon, the White House issued a statement that Roberta Jacobsen, the White House coordinator for the southern border, had resigned.
She must be the only person in the administration with a conscience.