Biden at the improv: Ukraine and the dangers of foreign policy by open mic

Biden at the improv: Ukraine and the dangers of foreign policy by open mic. By Gerard Baker.

At what point does Joe Biden’s verbal incontinence start to become a mortal threat to Americans?

Until now we’ve mostly had the luxury of observing the president’s many rhetorical infelicities with a mixture of mild puzzlement and gentle concern, as one might watch an aging relative struggle to remember the name of one’s children.

But some words have larger consequences than others — especially when you’re the president of the United States. It’s one thing to misidentify your vice president as the first lady, quite another to call for the ouster of an autocratic and bellicose leader of a nation with nuclear weapons. That is the kind of thing that can trigger wars that could result in the annihilation of much of humanity. …

His team walks back his words, continually:

Instead of issuing corrections or clarifications of Mr. Biden’s words, [the White House communications shop] simply invokes Humpty’s philosophy on the president’s behalf: “Whenever I use a word . . . it means just what I choose it to mean – neither more nor less.” …

Makes an existential threat to the man with his finger on the button of 1,600 nuclear weapons aimed at the West:

On Saturday we had the most arresting breach between presidential words and improvised official definitions. At the end of an impassioned speech that denounced Vladimir Putin’s aggression and framed the struggle as a battle between democracy and tyranny, Mr. Biden threw down a gauntlet: “For God’s sake, this man cannot remain in power.”

This apparent call for regime change in Moscow, was, we were instantly told, nothing of the sort. “The president’s point was that Putin cannot be allowed to exercise power over his neighbors or the region,” according to an unnamed White House official. “He was not discussing Putin’s power in Russia, or regime change.”

We can’t go on like this. Credibility is essential to the effective and safe conduct of national security. No amount of hasty cleanup will erase the words that come from the lips of a commander in chief. …

What we can be sure of is that Mr. Putin, who has already whipped up his compatriots into a frenzy of paranoia about the “real” intentions of the U.S. in arming Ukraine — to wit, an attempt to weaken and destroy Russia itself — will seize on every piece of evidence he can find to bolster his case.

Replace Biden and Kamala, and quickly please.