John Kerry, Biden’s Climate Envoy, Is Everything Wrong with Washington
Joe Biden has started to announce his cabinet and has started with the most important diplomatic and national security posts, Secretary of Defense, which will probably go to Michele Flournoy, not withstanding. While most of his selections have been typical for an establishment Democrat, one selection — climate envoy to-be John Kerry — stands out for all the wrong reasons.
John Kerry represents everything that is wrong with Washington. He is the Ivy League elite who has managed to fail his way upward to some of the most important positions in government. After failing to become president in 2004, he won the chairmanship of Senate Foreign Relations Committee in 2009. From there he went on become Secretary of State where he negotiated a nuclear deal with Iran that enriched that country while allowing them to slow-walk their way to a bomb. Time will tell if Biden can negotiate a better, more encompassing deal that wins support from Republicans, the Israelis, and the Arabs, but if he does, he will have Trump’s sanctions to thank for giving him the leverage to do that.
Speaking of the Israelis, Kerry represents the bubble that is the Beltway intelligentsia and gaggle of foreign policy experts that is convinced of their own brilliance, despite all evidence to the contrary. In 2016 Kerry declared that “there will be no advanced and separate peace with the Arab world without the Palestinian process and Palestinian peace. Everybody needs to understand that. That is the hard reality.”
Four years later, there are three sperate peace deals between Israel and Arab countries, precisely because the Trump Administration ignored Kerry and other’s consensus view that solving the Palestinian question was the key to unlocking peace between Israel and the Arabs.
Kerry is not going back to Foggy Bottom, but he will have a nice seat on the national security council as Biden’s climate envoy. Presumably, Kerry’s job will require him to fly all over the world in hopes of achieving some ineffectual, or potentially economically ruinous, agreements all while lecturing others on their carbon dioxide emissions.
The man who ran for office, portraying himself as a man of the people, while painting Republicans as the party of the rich, parked his yacht in Rhode Island, allowing to him to avoid Massachusetts taxes. He later payed the taxes after multiple outlets ran stories on the subject.
When Donald Trump ran for office talking about “the swamp” and swamp creatures, he touched on something that resonated for a lot of people. That was that the people who live and work in and around the Beltway are fundamentally disconnected from the rest of the country.
John Kerry would make the perfect poster child for the swamp. He is a man who spent decades in politics and while achieving nothing managed to become secretary of state and almost became president.
He represents the conventional wisdom and consensus that dominates a lot of think tanks and the university-to-bureaucracy pipeline in the State Department, a consensus that appears to be divorced from real world results or that is stuck in a pre-2020 world.
He is the archetypical limousine liberal who, when he’s not at Martha’s Vineyard, is causing concern in some corners of America that his climate agenda will throw them out of work in exchange for what? Being able to clink champagne glasses with the Europeans? Winning the approval of UNIGPCC?
Joe Biden might be trying to portray a return to normalcy with his cabinet announcements, but if John Kerry is normal, then normal is not to be aspired.