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For Democrats, the political pain of Biden’s bungled exit from Afghanistan could be just beginning

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I had the lowest expectations imaginable for former president Donald Trump, so I was never disappointed by anything he did. Appalled, yes; infuriated, frequently; disappointed, no. It’s different with President Biden. I voted for him not only because I figured he would be better than Trump — thereby clearing a bar that wasn’t even ankle-high — but also because I respected his long experience in government, his centrist track record and his humanity.

For the most part, he has lived up to my elevated expectations with his covid-19 stimulus package and bipartisan infrastructure bill, his rapid rollout of vaccines, his outreach to U.S. allies and his efforts to turn down the temperature on our overheated politics. The one big exception is the bungled withdrawal from Afghanistan — an own goal of epic proportions.

Biden defenders insist that he had no choice but to pull out, that the dismaying results aren’t his fault, that the withdrawal is actually a triumph because U.S. troops managed to evacuate more than 122,000 people. I don’t buy it. Yes, Trump left him in a bad spot, but in April, when Biden announced the pullout, the Afghan government still held every city, girls were still going to school, and the Kabul airport wasn’t mobbed by refugees. Now a barbaric movement that........

© Washington Post

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