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We’ve learned a lot in the past five days. Maybe the important thing we’ve learned is that Joe Biden is not capable of running the country. Joe Biden is senile. Saying that out loud is not an attack on Biden. Any decent person feels sorry for Biden, watching him gaze vacantly into the middle distance, or stumble like a drunk man trying to cross an icy street as he careens through his prepared remarks. There’s no joy in watching any of that. That could be any of us someday. It’s not Joe Biden’s fault he can’t think clearly. It’s an indictment of the people around him. 

In the months before last November’s election, Biden’s own family knew perfectly well that he was in profound cognitive decline. They were worried about it. They told other people they were worried about it, which is how we know. But they did nothing to stop Biden from running for president. Neither did Ron Klain, who is now the White House chief of staff. Klain is highly familiar with Joe Biden’s senility. He works there every day. So do Mike Donilon and Gene Sperling and Susan Rice, and the rest of the people making the decisions in this country, very much including Barack Obama. They all know. These are hard, cynical, clear-eyed people. They’ve worked with Joe Biden for many years. Not one of them has any doubt he is failing. Now it’s obvious to the rest of the country. 


Anyone who’s been paying attention had already caught on to this, of course. But until recently, it didn’t seem to matter a whole lot. You saw Biden on television, grinning and mumbling. He was up there reminding you to put on your little mask, or wear your seatbelt, or go easy on the sodium. None of it seemed especially threatening. These are the things that elderly men talk about: "Be safe out there, kids." But in the last week, we’ve been reminded how tiny our domestic concerns actually are. They’re neuroses born of narcissism. A Chinese flu virus? Please. That’s hardly the scariest thing going on in the world right now. Not even close. The entire United States military has just been humiliated by illiterate peasants in turbans — and if that’s not insulting enough, many of them were carrying our rifles as they did it. 

It makes you wonder about the future of the west, and who will replace us when we’re gone. Someone in authority probably ought to be thinking about that, and a lot of other things. What will we do when the Chinese finally move against Taiwan? How will we respond when there’s a credible challenge to the U.S. dollar as the world’s reserve currency? Etc. Etc. There are issues out there, a lot of them, in other words, that matter more than whether you keep your mask over your nose on that Southwest flight to Tucson. It’s shameful, it’s embarrassing when you think of how totally frivolous and up our own butts we’ve been for the last few years. 

All we can say for certain at this point is that Joe Biden won’t be making any of the big decisions going forward. Biden isn’t capable of being the president in crisis. So who will be? We can’t say. But it’s clear if you watch closely that things are changing very fast in Washington. The people around Biden are moving away from him, in ways that are not subtle. Why is this happening now? Was it always the plan? Did the party that hates white guys finally realize it was being led by one? Again, we don’t know the answer. But the signs are everywhere, and they’re strikingly obvious. Some of Biden’s most senior appointees are contradicting him in public. If you cover politics, it’s shocking to see that. This is a violation of the first and most ruthlessly enforced rule in any White House: Don’t diminish the boss. 


But suddenly they’re doing just that, and they’re doing it openly. Just hours after Joe Biden assured us that things were fine in Afghanistan, for example, Lloyd Austin, his defense secretary, described the situation there as a disaster. And then Austin repeated it, for emphasis. Others are doing the same thing. Biden this afternoon told us that American citizens are having no trouble getting to the airport in Kabul:

JOE BIDEN: We have no indication that they haven't been able to get in Kabul through the airport. We've made an agreement with the Taliban thus far.  They’ve allowed them to go through. It’s in their interest for them to go through.

So the president of the United States went on TV to tell us things are fine for Americans in Kabul. But just an hour later, the Pentagon spokesman told us that’s not true. 

Actually, Americans are being beaten in Kabul:

REPORTER: Defense Sec. Austin just now in a briefing call with House lawmakers said there are reports that Americans have been beaten by the Taliban in Kabul. Is the US military under orders to stay at the airport and not go protect them?

KIRBY: I think we’ve been talking about this throughout the entire briefing. We’re certainly mindful of these reports and they’re deeply troubling. And we have communicated to the Taliban that that’s absolutely unacceptable, that we want free passage through their checkpoints for documented Americans. And by and large, that’s happening.

So the President tells us that we have an iron-clad deal with the Taliban and everything’s cool. An hour later, John Kirby tells us we’re deeply concerned about what the Taliban is doing. 


In a normal administration, with a president who planned on serving out his full four-year term, what you just saw would qualify as a kind of scandal. The Pentagon spokesman would be in serious trouble. He just contradicted his boss, the man who’s supposed to be in control of the entire executive branch of government. But, as we noted, things are changing very fast. It happened again. Biden today told us that al Qaeda has been driven from Afghanistan:

BIDEN: What interest do we have in Afghanistan at this point with al Qaeda gone?  We went to Afghanistan for the express purpose of getting rid of al Qaeda in Afghanistan, as well as getting Osama bin Laden. And we did.

Once again, just an hour after he said that, the President of the United States is contradicted in public by his own employee, once again the Pentagon spokesman:

KIRBY: We know that al Qaeda is a presence, as well as ISIS in Afghanistan, and we've talked about that for quite some time.

GRIFFIN: But the President just said that there is no al Qaeda presence in Afghanistan. That does not seem to be correct.

KIRBY: What we don’t think is — what we believe is that there isn’t a presence that is significant enough to merit a threat to our homeland as there was back on 9/11, 20 years ago.

So that’s the opposite of what Biden said. The top spokesman for the most powerful agency in government informing us that the President of the United States has no idea what he’s talking about. You don’t see that every day. In fact, you never see it. But it’s not just Biden’s employees who appear to be turning on him in public. So are some of his political allies. The neocons — liberals who used the Republican Party for their own purposes for decades, before abandoning it when Trump arrived — are now attacking Joe Biden openly and very aggressively. That didn’t take long. But most telling of all is this, from CNN

CLARISSA WARD: It is just an absolute mess. And we heard President Biden say yesterday in his comments to ABC News that this is not a failure. And I think a lot of people outside that airport, particularly those taking the kinds of extreme actions we’re just talking about, would like to know: if this isn’t failure, what does failure look like exactly?

So, Joe Biden failed. And he’s lying about it. That’s what CNN said. It’s hard to overstate the significance of that. CNN is not a news network. It’s a political organization. Its anchors and reporters don’t decide for themselves what to say on camera. They’re told, in highly specific terms, every weekday morning on a call with their commander, Jeff Zucker. There is no intellectual freelancing at CNN. "Here’s what I think." No. It’s a united front — a single hymnal for the entire congregation. When CNN changes its position on something, it changes as one — everybody, from the chirpy morning dingbats to Don L’Mon on the night shift. They say precisely what they’re told to say. Ever watch the channel? 

And now, they’re saying something very, very different. Consider this person, a former member of the morning zoo crew, on a contemporary hits station in Yakima, Washington. On a good day, she’s probably operating with a functional IQ of about 85. So it’s fair to say she’s not coming up with her own material. And yet, here she is, visibly outraged on the air about what an incompetent bad person Joe Biden is:

BRIANNA KEILAR: The rapid fall of Afghanistan stunning the Biden administration and this nation, quite frankly. And many of the promises, predictions, and the words of the president and his White House are coming back to haunt them.


What is going on here? These are literally the people who got Joe Biden elected. He wouldn’t be president without these people. Now, just seven months in, they’re telling you he has failed personally? It does not make sense. 

Afghanistan is hardly Biden’s first disaster. As of tonight, our southern border has collapsed, the murder rate is spiking in our cities, the Covid vaccines do not work, inflation’s out of control, and the country’s entire population of school children hasn’t been educated in more than a year. All of that’s been going on. None of that seemed to bother CNN in the slightest. In fact, they reserved their energy to attack anyone who noticed those trends. But now, suddenly their anchors are weeping on the air because Americans are trapped in Afghanistan. They don’t notice the 70,000 who die every year from drug overdoses. But this has sent them into a self-riotous rage.  Call us cynical, but we don’t buy it. Something else is going on here. We don’t know what it is, exactly, but it’s pretty obvious. 

This article is adapted from Tucker Carlson's opening commentary on the August 20, 2021 edition of "Tucker Carlson Tonight."