President Joe Biden will make a visit to the University of Tampa on Thursday afternoon and is expected to discuss Social Security and Medicare.

Op-Ed: Biden Tries To Save The World While America Is Gripped By Crises

In Charles Dickens’ 1853 novel “Bleak House,” the character of Mrs. Jellyby is described as a “telescopic philanthropist,” scanning the horizon to help those far away, in Africa, while ignoring her own family.
by James P. Pinkerton, President Joe Biden, State Of The Union

In Charles Dickens’ 1853 novel “Bleak House,” the character of Mrs. Jellyby is described as a “telescopic philanthropist,” scanning the horizon to help those far away, in Africa, while ignoring her own family.

So when one of her children falls down a staircase at home and emerges, “a strip of plaster on his forehead, to exhibit his wounded knees,” Mrs. Jellyby dismisses the child with a curt, “Go along.” And then, the author tells us, she “fixed her fine eyes on Africa again.”

We’re all familiar with this type of do-gooder. In their zeal to save humanity, they lose track of human beings, especially those nearby.

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So now, Mrs. Jellyby, meet Mr. Biden. Serving in the U.S. Senate for 36 years, Middle-Class Joe, as he liked to be called, was focused on middle-class issues that Delawareans cared about: He was against school busing that wrecked neighborhood schools, was tough on crime that made people fearful and even opposed abortion.

Yet that was then. Now, he’s president, and so he’s looking beyond Delaware. He has a world to save, and so he’s turned his political telescope to the far pavilions. In his 2021 inaugural address, he didn’t mention “crime” (although he did get in “systemic racism”), nor did he mention his now inoperative anti-school-busing or pro-life stances. Instead, he brought up climate change.

Indeed, if one had to pick a single issue that has seemed most important to the Biden administration all along, it would be climate change. The president has spoken to both of the United Nations COP climate change conferences, flying via Air Force One to Scotland in 2021 and to Egypt in 2022, declaring climate change to be an “existential” threat to humanity.

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Does that strike you as a bit Mrs. Jellyby-ish? Thinking that a distant threat — say, the sea-level in the year 2100 — is the most important matter?

But green ideologues — or maybe green donors — have proven persuasive to Biden. So the legislation that he fought for the hardest these past two years was the curiously named “Inflation Reduction Act.”

The bill had nothing to do with inflation, and in fact, hardcore greens recognize it as one of their own. As former Vice President Al Gore said at (where else?) the World Economic Forum at Davos, the legislation is “primarily a climate act.”

With thinking like that, it’s no wonder that Biden has been caught short on the U.S. southern border. To be sure, his administration denies that there’s a crisis at the border, but Americans need only turn on their TV to see it for themselves.

In other words, a clear case of Biden echoing Groucho Marx: “Who are you going to believe: Me, or your own two eyes?”

Of course, Biden is alert to some borders — such as the border between Ukraine and Russia. And yet then, having neglected the southern border, the Bidenites were then found to have neglected the northern border, when the Chinese balloon was seen over Montana on Feb. 1. The administration had scramble to come up with a good cover story.

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And then, of course, the Feb. 3 railway derailment in East Palestine, Ohio. That’s exactly the sort of lunchbucket issue that Senator Biden would have been all over.

He would’ve visited, consoled, and hugged, nonstop. But that was then. Today, President Biden has his eyes on other prizes. A telescopic vision, one might say, of greater priorities — like the need to visit Kyiv, not East Palestine.

Indeed, as with Dickens’ Mrs. Jellyby, the Biden rule seems to be: If it’s far away from the U.S. — chronologically, as in the threat of climate change, or geographically, as in the Ukraine war — the Bidenites care.

But if it’s just the U.S., not so much. After all, telescopes are for seeing into the distance, not for what’s happening in your own backyard.

James P. Pinkerton, a former White House domestic policy aide to Presidents Ronald Reagan and George H. W. Bush, is a former Fox News contributor.

The views and opinions expressed in this commentary are those of the author and do not reflect the official position of The Free Press.

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