I'm "furious" over "inexcusable" abandonment of Americans, allies in Afghanistan, says ... Senate Dem

(AP Photo/Jacquelyn Martin)

If Joe Biden has lost Richard Blumenthal … then who’s left? The progressive Senate Democrat from deep-blue Connecticut went out of his way to blast Joe Biden and his administration yesterday afternoon for the “inexcusable” abandonment of Americans and allies in Afghanistan. The Armed Services Committee member made clear his fury and precisely where it’s aimed, even if Blumenthal didn’t mention Biden by name (via Leah Barkoukis):

Blumenthal certainly has much to be furious about with this administration, as do we all. It’s curious, though, to see Blumenthal venting his spleen so publicly, and contradicting Joe Biden’s happy talk about his surrender and collapse in Afghanistan. As late as this weekend, the official line from State and the White House has been that they got all of the Americans who “wanted to leave” out through the Kabul airport before August 31. Blumenthal’s short tweet storm makes clear that he’s not buying this explanation, and neither should anyone else.

There are a couple of ways to approach this. The most straightforward is that Blumenthal is legitimately offended at this craven and cowardly act by Biden. That’s actually very easy to believe — this disgrace and humiliation should offend every American. In fact, I’d prefer to think that Blumenthal can still muster up fury over such cowardice from this administration regardless of political affiliation. Even if Blumenthal’s making political calculations with these statements, it’s still easy to believe that Blumenthal’s disgust could be part of the picture.

If this is a political calculation, hoo boy. If Blumenthal’s not willing to carry that water for Biden even from a state that went for Biden 59/39, then Biden’s in a lot of trouble. Blumenthal has to run for re-election in 2022, but he’s had a relatively easy ride in deep-blue CT. He won his last election in 2016’s Trump wave by 28 points. If this is some sign of concern over political standing rolling into the midterms, then what Democratic incumbent in Congress will be safe from this backlash?

That’s why Biden and his team want to “move past” Afghanistan and start talking about their domestic agenda. By leaving Americans and Afghan partners behind, however, Biden forced his allies in Congress to abet his cowardice in order to succeed in that strategy. For now, it looks like Blumenthal’s not playing along — and the more Americans get stuck in hostaging situations, the fewer Democrats will want to be accomplices after the fact to Biden’s abandonment of Americans.

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