Biden hints at press conference: If Congress doesn't block these state GOP voting reform bills, the midterms are illegitimate; Update: Biden doubles down

See now why his staff doesn’t want him holding press conferences? Or answering questions of any sort live?

I don’t even know what this answer means. It’s Biden-speak mush. But it’s clearly not an unequivocal “yes, I have faith in the integrity of America’s election system,” which is the only responsible answer a Democrat can give after the last guy in office tried to overturn a national election.

To this day, something like 75 percent of Republicans believe there was funny business in the 2020 vote and that Trump was the true winner. That’s a dire crisis of faith in U.S. institutions and exactly the sort of trend the authoritarians among us relish. Biden’s first duty is to do what he can to restore that faith, and that starts with respecting the outcome when the other party wins.

Didn’t he make that point himself less than two weeks ago, in fact?

Instead, he went all-in today on pandering to the left in its push for federal voting rights legislation by suggesting that elections carried out according to the mild reforms passed in states like Texas and Georgia might not necessarily be fair. What a gift to Trump.

That was his worst soundbite of this afternoon’s presser — so far, as it’s still going as I write this — but there were other doozies. Evidently, Russia has a green light from the United States for a “minor incursion” into Ukraine:

No, really. He basically called Putin a cuck if he doesn’t invade:

He also dogged out Republicans for not being willing to cooperate on anything:

Meanwhile, he got 19 Republican votes (including Mitch McConnell) in the Senate for the roads-and-bridges infrastructure bill and there are efforts under way right now for bipartisan reform to the Electoral Count Act.

I mean, it’s true that 95 percent of the GOP agenda post-Trump is “owning the libs.” But it’s not 100 percent, and it’s foolish of Biden not to acknowledge that when he’s staring at having to work with Republican majorities in Congress starting next year.

Finally, this was the first question of the day. One look at his approval rating will tell you where the public stands on this outlandish claim:

He promised to shut down the virus, to withdraw safely and responsibly from Afghanistan, and to unite the country by getting American politics back to the pre-Trump normal. He’s 0 for 3. How has he “outperformed”?

I’ll update if he says anything less responsible than the election and “minor incursion” soundbites, although offhand I can’t imagine what that might be. God help the country if he does. Here’s one of the few sound points he made, eyeing greater success with Build Back Better if Democrats can split it into its component parts. Notching a series of wins on smaller bills is better for him politically than failing on a big one, needless to say.

Update: He was just asked about Kamala Harris and gave the only answer he could give. Not a truthful answer, but a politic one.

Update: He was asked again about his horrible “minor incursion” answer and clarified that there’s disagreement within NATO about how sternly to punish Russia if it invades Ukraine. Some countries are willing to do more than others (like Germany, I’m sure), which means the extent of the brutality may influence the severity of the response. But again: This is not something he should say publicly. “NATO is divided” isn’t a deterrent.

Update: Now he’s yelling at reporters for claiming that he compared opponents of his voting rights bills to Bull Connor in his Georgia speech last week…

…which he absolutely did:

Update: He was just asked again about whether he really thinks the midterms will be illegitimate if Democrats don’t get their voting rights bills through — and he doubled down. It’s a messaging catastrophe. Republicans on social media are already sneeringly calling it “the Big Lie.”

i cannot believe he’s willing to throw Trump this bone in the name of pushing voting rights bills which *we already know aren’t going to pass.*