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Biden Appears To Get Confused During Virtual Tribal Nations Summit

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OPINION: This article contains commentary which reflects the author's opinion


President Joe Biden appeared to be dazed and confused for a moment during Monday’s virtual Tribal Nations Summit, after which he signed an executive order on “Improving Public Safety and Criminal Justice for Native Americans and Addressing the Crisis of Missing or Murdered Indigenous People.”

In a video clip posted online, Biden hesitated at one point while he was alone on the production set that has been built for him at the Eisenhower Executive Office Building across from the White House.

“Here we go… Where is everybody? Jill? Jill’s here! The Attorney General…alright. I don’t know what was going on back there,” Biden said.

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According to Biden’s executive order:

Generations of Native Americans have experienced violence or mourned a missing or murdered family member or loved one, and the lasting impacts of such tragedies are felt throughout the country.  Native Americans face unacceptably high levels of violence, and are victims of violent crime at a rate much higher than the national average. Native American women, in particular, are disproportionately the victims of sexual and gender-based violence, including intimate partner homicide.  Research shows that approximately half of Native American women have experienced sexual violence and that approximately half have experienced physical violence by an intimate  partner.  LGBTQ+ Native Americans and people who identify as “Two-Spirit” people within Tribal communities are also often the targets of violence.  And the vast majority of Native American survivors report being victimized by a non-Native American individual.   

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For far too long, justice has been elusive for many Native American victims, survivors, and families.  Criminal jurisdiction complexities and resource constraints have left many injustices unaddressed.  Some progress has been made, particularly on Tribal lands.  Given that approximately 70 percent of American Indian and Alaska Natives live in urban areas and part of this epidemic of violence is against Native American people in urban areas, we must continue that work on Tribal lands but also build on existing strategies to identify solutions directed toward the particular needs of urban Native Americans. 

The executive order and the apparent moment of confusion come during a month of bad news so far for the president.

An explosive new report from CNN, titled, “Exasperation and dysfunction: Inside Kamala Harris’ frustrating start as vice president,” reveals that there certainly appears to be a major “shade war” between Biden and Harris.

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The report claims that allies of the vice president are accusing the Biden administration of being racist for not doing more to defend Harris publicly as her poll numbers sink.

“Many in the vice president’s circle fume that she’s not being adequately prepared or positioned, and instead is being sidelined,” CNN reported. “The vice president herself has told several confidants she feels constrained in what she’s able to do politically.”

CNN’s report claims Biden allies in the administration have avoided dealing with Harris because they see “entrenched dysfunction and lack of focus” from her.

“She’s perceived to be in such a weak position that top Democrats in and outside of Washington have begun to speculate privately, asking each other why the White House has allowed her to become so hobbled in the public consciousness, at least as they see it,” the report said. “Republicans and right-wing media turned Harris into a political target from the moment she was picked for the ticket. And implicit racism and sexism have been constant.”

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CNN’s report also alleges that sources said that Harris’ staff has failed her.

Both Biden and Harris are also in the tank in terms of approval ratings.

Fox News noted:

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If the midterm elections were held today, the majority of registered voters say they’d support the Republican congressional candidate over the Democratic candidate in their districts, giving Republicans the largest statistical edge in four decades… 

The survey, which was taken after the Democrats passed their $1.2 trillion bipartisan Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act earlier this month, shows 51% of registered voters saying they’d support the Republican candidate in their congressional district and only 41% saying they’d support the Democrat, spelling trouble for the party trying to secure its razor-thin majorities in Congress.

“That’s the biggest lead for Republicans in the 110 ABC/Post polls that have asked this question since November 1981,” ABC News reported.

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