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Before Russian President Vladimir Putin started his unprovoked war on Ukraine, President Biden’s focus was on domestic policy. For his first 13 months in office, Mr. Biden chose to ignore the 2020 election results, mandate unwanted transformational change and make the tragic blunder of governing as if the American people voted for a radical left-wing agenda. These unforced errors set the tone for one of the worst starts of a presidency in American history.

Mr. Biden’s inability to differentiate the liberal spin of his radical senior advisers from reality has paved the way for America’s border crisis, inflation crisis, crime crisis, energy dependence crisis and gas price crisis. The president’s wrongheaded decision to adopt the policies of the socialist left en bloc caused his approval rating to hit the disastrous level of 42% approval compared to 57% disapproval on the eve of Mr. Putin’s invasion.

Now, Mr. Putin’s ongoing war crimes are being interpreted by the Biden White House as a political lifeline at the most opportune time imaginable. Just as desperate career politicians like Mr. Biden and House Speaker Nancy Pelosi removed their masks and declared a return to normalcy from COVID-19 when they needed it most, if there was ever a need for an international distraction from their catastrophic domestic agenda, it’s now.

But this shift by the Democratic Party and their allies in the mainstream media attempting to get the American people to rally around Mr. Biden in the midst of a deadly international crisis isn’t working and here’s why. It’s been a month now since Mr. Putin started indiscriminately killing innocent civilians — including women, children and elderly Ukrainians — yet Biden’s approval rating has actually fallen to 40% approval and 58% disapproval in the process. Regardless of all the gaffes, Mr. Biden can’t capitalize politically on Mr. Putin’s murderous rampage because the American people lost faith in his leadership long ago.

This president lost the American people when he promised unity but practiced the opposite time and time again. He lost the American people when he promised to be moderate yet mimicked the talking points of socialists Sen. Bernie Sanders and Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez without fail. And he lost the American people for good when he traveled to Atlanta in January and labeled anyone who didn’t support his horrible Washington takeover of elections legislation as racists and segregationists. As a political matter, when someone wins a controversial election by a razor-thin margin of 42,000 votes in three states, this is no way to govern.

As we all know, Mr. Biden’s ascension to the presidency happened for a very unique reason. He was chosen by default by Democratic Party bosses to be the vessel to take on former President Donald Trump, but he failed to capture the hearts and minds of his fellow countrymen.

Presidents such as John F. Kennedy, Ronald Reagan and Mr. Trump were successful because they forged a bond with tens of millions of Americans through their words and deeds. By contrast, when the going got tough, Mr. Biden hid in his basement. He didn’t campaign; he didn’t answer tough questions; and perhaps most importantly, he didn’t earn it. At the end of the day, Mr. Biden was elected under the pandemic response of mail-in ballots, usurpation of state laws and speculative ballot-counting practices seen in several states.

Upon taking office, Mr. Biden could have risen to the occasion. He should have stood up to the lawless agenda his staff was pushing and said no to the socialist special interests. He could have done what was best for a divided country in its moment of crisis, but he refused.

Instead, Mr. Biden, the career politician, seemed to be acknowledging with his actions that he owed the left-wing establishment for electing him and now he was paying them back. Look no further than his inability to say no to climate extremists in the midst of exploding gas prices. Look no further than our open southern border. Look no further than the defund police movement and the spike in violent crime. Look no further than the out-of-control federal spending.

This is why there is nothing Mr. Biden can do or say that will make his approval rating turn around in time to rescue the Democrats from the tsunami that’s going to hit on Election Day in November. Showing up in Europe and holding hands with world leaders might make his liberal base feel good, but it won’t do a thing to deter Mr. Putin. Mr. Putin only understands strength, and he already knows Mr. Biden won’t take the necessary steps to help the Ukrainians prevail in their hour of need because he’s owned by his senior staff and the radical left.

The only thing this president seems to be any good at is constantly reminding the people who voted for him that elections do indeed have dire consequences.

• David N. Bossie is president of Citizens United and he served as deputy campaign manager for Donald J. Trump for President. Rep. Jeff Duncan is an American politician who has been the United States representative for South Carolina’s 3rd congressional district since 2011.

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