The first year of Joe Biden’s presidency prolifically delivered examples of corruption and incompetence, and his second year in office — which drew to a close on Thursday — has been no different.
Last year, The Federalist collected “A Scandal For Every Month: The Biggest Botches, Failures, And Mess-Ups Of Joe Biden’s First 12 Months In Office.” At the end of that piece, I expressed hope that 2022 would see fewer disasters flow from the White House. Unfortunately for the country, the roundup from year No. 2 is just as grim.
January: Biden Compared Filibuster Defenders to Historical Racists
Last year’s list concluded with a bonus item for January 2022: Biden comparing his agenda’s critics — which include Democrat Sens. Joe Manchin of West Virginia and Kyrsten Sinema of Arizona — to former Alabama Gov. George Wallace and Confederate leader Jefferson Davis.
In a Jan. 11 speech urging the U.S. Senate to ditch filibuster rules in order to pass his radical and unconstitutional federalization of election laws, Biden asked, “Do you want to be the side of Dr. King or George Wallace? Do you want to be the side of John Lewis or Bull Connor? Do you want to be the side of Abraham Lincoln or Jefferson Davis?”
February: Incompetent Response to Russia-Ukraine War
Before, during, and since Russia’s decision to invade Ukraine in February, the Biden administration’s response has been marked by incompetence. Biden waived sanctions on the Russian Nord Stream 2 pipeline before the war in 2021, crippled American energy production, and turned to Russian ally Venezuela for oil after the conflict erupted. In January 2022, right before Russia’s invasion, Biden signaled a green light to Russian President Vladimir Putin, responding to a question about potential plans to impose sanctions on Russia with the comments, “It’s one thing if it’s a minor incursion [into Ukraine],” and “My guess is [Putin] will move in. He has to do something.”
“Are you effectively giving Putin permission to make a small incursion into the country?” a reporter asked. Biden’s answer: “That’s how it did sound like, didn’t it?”
A month into the Russia-Ukraine war, Biden recklessly called for regime change in Russia, before reversing course and insisting he did no such thing. By November 2022, the United States had shipped out a whopping $68 billion in aid to Ukraine, with Biden requesting another $37.7 billion to put total aid in the 12-figure range.
March: Hunter Biden Corruption Scandal Resurfaces as NYT Admits Laptop’s Legitimacy
Eighteen months after the New York Post reported on a laptop belonging to Hunter Biden that contained incriminating emails about his shady foreign business deals — a bombshell that was censored in the lead-up to the 2020 presidential election — The New York Times finally, quietly admitted in March that the laptop was legitimate. As The Federalist’s Senior Legal Correspondent Margot Cleveland noted at the time, conceding the laptop’s authenticity also meant conceding that the numerous scandals contained in the laptop’s trove of documents were real.
Those scandals include an apparent pay-to-play in Ukraine, where Hunter was receiving $50,000 a month to sit on the board of corrupt energy company Burisma while his VP dad oversaw American foreign policy toward the country. During that time, Joe Biden leveraged U.S. aid to Ukraine to pressure the firing of the state prosecutor who was investigating Burisma. Hunter Biden’s scandalous transactions also indicate a deal with a Chinese company in which 10 percent was “held by H for the big guy,” presumed to be Joe Biden.
April: Biden Admin Debuts Thought Police Board
In a congressional hearing on April 27, Biden’s Homeland Security Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas announced the creation of a “Disinformation Governance Board” to crack down on the “threat” (his word) of speech that challenges the Biden administration’s narrative on social media. The administration tapped Hunter Biden laptop truther, Christopher Steele fangirl, and censorship aficionado Nina Jankowicz to helm the project, before “pausing” the project after three weeks of outrage. Make no mistake, though — DHS assures us it’s still “continuing” to “address” speech it doesn’t like.
May: White House ‘Encourages’ Intimidation of SCOTUS Justices
After a leaker funneled a draft Supreme Court opinion overturning Roe v. Wade to Politico in early May, furious abortion supporters swarmed the private homes of the Republican-appointed justices. One left-wing group offered money to activists in return for descending on justices’ residences, even publishing their alleged addresses online. When asked about the intimidation tactics levied against the court, then-White House Press Secretary Jen Psaki refused to condemn the demonstrations, telling reporters that the Biden administration “certainly continue[s] to encourage that outside of judges’ homes.”
In June, the threats culminated in an assassination attempt on Justice Brett Kavanaugh’s life, when a California man was arrested near Kavanaugh’s home with “a Glock handgun, ammunition, a knife, pepper spray, and various tools for forced entry.”
June: Gas Prices Surpass $5 in Record High
After the Biden administration cracked down on domestic gas production, canceled the Keystone XL pipeline, and spurred nationwide inflation, gas prices climbed. June saw several regrettable milestones.
On June 3, The Federalist recorded that the country had seen 18 records for high gas prices in just 19 days. On June 6, gas prices officially doubled what they were when Biden took office. On June 11, the national average price of a gallon of gas hit $5.00 for the first time ever. On June 14, the price of gas hit its all-time high of $5.016, and on June 19, diesel topped the charts at $5.816.
July: The Joe Biden Recession Becomes Official
As rampant inflation continued to reach and break 40-year records — exacerbated by packages dumping trillions of dollars into the economy under Biden’s watch, while the president touted his “transition” of the economy to a green pipe dream — the nation officially hit the criteria for a recession at the end of July. Gross domestic product fell by 0.9 percent in 2022’s second quarter, hitting the benchmark of back-to-back quarters of negative growth that has traditionally signaled recession.
As Federalist CEO Sean Davis noted at the time, “Private investment dropped by double digits, its worst showing since the COVID shutdown,” while “disposable personal income has now fallen for five straight quarters.”
August: Biden’s FBI Raids a Former President
Under the leadership of partisan Attorney General Merrick Garland, the Biden administration’s FBI conducted an unprecedented raid on Biden’s predecessor, 2020 presidential opponent, and potential 2024 rival Donald Trump. The stated reason for the raid was a documents dispute with the National Archives under the Presidential Records Act — but executive branch staffers and appointees (who, unlike the president, don’t have the power to declassify documents) have mishandled memos before and received wrist slaps.
The politicized nature of the raid — and of the DOJ’s attempt to turn the documents dispute into a scandal ahead of Trump’s candidacy in the 2024 election — became even more obvious after President Biden was discovered to have withheld multiple troves of classified documents from his time as vice president in multiple locations, including his garage. His own DOJ’s deference to Biden’s lawyers in that documents scandal makes their hubbub over the Trump case all the more absurd.
September: Biden’s FBI Raids Pro-Life Dad
Discontent to stop at Biden’s predecessor, the FBI executed a raid on pro-life Catholic and father of seven Mark Houck the following month. Houck’s wife described north of 20 agents with more than a dozen vehicles descending on their family home, with “big, huge rifles pointed at Mark and pointed at me and kind of pointed throughout the house,” before dragging Mark away.
What was his crime? The Justice Department accused Houck of “attacking a patient escort” at a Planned Parenthood facility, but Mark’s wife says he simply pushed away a pro-abortion man who was verbally and physically antagonizing Mark’s 12-year-old son. The man had previously had a lawsuit against Mark thrown out of district court, but the DOJ picked it up in its war on pro-life demonstrators post-Dobbs. By October, the DOJ had announced indictments of 22 pro-lifers.
October: Illegal Immigration Closes Worst Fiscal Year in History
The year 2022 was full of new records for out-of-control illegal immigration under Biden’s watch, but by the time the fiscal year closed out and the 2023 fiscal year started in October, migrant apprehensions had smashed the previous annual record. In FY 2022, Customs and Border Protection recorded nearly 2.4 million apprehensions of illegal immigrants at the southern border, compared to 1.7 million in 2021 and not even 460,000 in 2020. The totals for every month but July and August eclipsed previous years (totals for July and August 2021, also under the Biden administration, were higher than in 2022). May of 2022 saw the highest monthly number of migrant encounters ever recorded.
November: Biden Buys Votes with Unconstitutional Student Loan Bailout
Biden’s plan to put taxpayers on the hook for roughly $300 billion to cover student loan debts for affluent college graduates found itself smacked down by the judiciary several times in November — but not before the president had used the illegal scheme to win over young voters for his political allies in the midterm election. Announced in August, the plan constituted an unconstitutional usurpation of the legislative branch’s authority to expend government (i.e., taxpayer) funds.
A survey from Intelligent in the summer of 2022 found that 23 percent of voters said they wouldn’t vote for Biden in 2024 unless he made “some or all” student loan debt disappear. The ploy did what it was designed to do in November, with Gen Z and millennials turning out in high numbers for Democrats.
December: ‘Twitter Files’ Show Biden Asked Big Tech for Censorship
A cache of internal Twitter documents revealed in December showed the Biden administration had pressured Twitter to censor and “de-platform” accounts that challenged the regime’s narrative about Covid shots. Other “Twitter Files” released the same month revealed that even before Biden won the White House, his campaign team was sending similar censorship requests to the Big Tech company, this time about embarrassing images of his scandal-embroiled son, Hunter.
The Biden team’s penchant for colluding with Big Tech to censor unflattering information or dissenting opinions is consistent with the administration’s 2021 admission that it was “flagging” social media posts it deemed “misinformation” for its allies at Facebook.
Elle Purnell is an assistant editor at The Federalist, and received her B.A. in government from Patrick Henry College with a minor in journalism. Follow her work on Twitter @_etreynolds.
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