LARRY KUDLOW: Joe Biden's appeasement has failed


The first thing I want to say is hats off to the New York Police Department. In less than two hours, they cleared Columbia University’s Hamilton Hall, getting the protesters out with no violence and seemingly no problems. 

No one will forget the pictures of the Emergency Service Unit going up a ramp and climbing through the windows of Hamilton Hall. There were about 100 of them, and it was a breathtakingly wonderful sight to behold. 

Why? Because at that moment, any sane person watching would have breathed a sigh of relief that the police were back in charge. The cavalry of good guys was back to restore law and order, and no one was hurt. Then the tents were cleared, and then the protesters were cuffed, put on the police buses and set off to jail. 

The thin blue line in New York City was back. One of the most welcome sights I have seen in many, many years — and giving us all some hope. 

The NYPD should hold its head high today. 

You know, if politicians would support the cops, fund the cops and let them do their job, we would have peaceful and safe streets, schools, stores, businesses and neighborhoods. 


If you’re anything like me, you went to bed last night feeling safer, and unfortunately, that feeling has been in very short supply in recent years. 

My second point is to invite everyone to read today’s New York Post editorial: “Whether it’s Biden or Shafik, ‘de-escalation’ keeps on failing.” 

Regrettably, Joe Biden’s feckless foreign policy is all too similar to Columbia President Minouche Shafik’s “bevy of toothless warnings… ” 

The editorial notes that Columbia started tough, initially bringing in the NYPD and suspending students, but then, Columbia reversed most of the suspensions, let protesters build an even larger second encampment, and told students it wouldn’t evict them again nor call in the cops. 

That is — and this is my word — appeasement. When you’re dealing with adversaries, in this case an antisemitic and anti-American student mob, you cannot appease. Ever. The toothless warnings, the weak dialogue, postponed deadlines — none of it worked. 

Then, the New York Post moves on to Joe Biden, and I quote: “Biden has spent more than three years ‘de-escalating’ with Iran: dropping Trump-era sanctions, paying huge bribes for hostage releases, begging Tehran to re-enter the Obama nuclear deal… ” 

The New York Post points out that Biden’s “escalation phobia” emboldened Russia to go into Ukraine, emboldened Iran to back the horrific Oct. 7 terror attacks on Israel, emboldened Hamas itself as well as Hezbollah and Houthis, then emboldened Iran’s missile attack on Israel, and on and on. 

De-escalation has become a modern synonym for appeasement. Neither ever works. Strong policies must be backed up by tough actions. Words are cheap. It’s actions that matter. Joe Biden’s appeasement has failed. Minouche Shafik’s appeasement failed.


Contrast her weakness and the collapse of Columbia University with the strong, tough actions taken by the Universities of Florida and Texas, and the strong Govs. Ron DeSantis and Greg Abbott backing up tough college administrators. 

Is there a generic message here? I think there is. America’s adversaries at home and abroad can only be defeated by tough, strong, steady and firm actions that back up strong policy messaging. If you’re not going to take action, don’t say it. If you say it, then you must back it up with strong action. Reagan and Trump understood this. Carter, Obama and Biden did not. That’s a lesson worth learning.

This article is adapted from Larry Kudlow’s opening commentary on the May 1, 2024, edition of “Kudlow.”     

Read the full article here


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