President Biden sought to portray himself as a champion of "democracy" at a summit this week that fell flat.
Just a day before a partisan prosecutor brought criminal charges against Biden's chief political rival, Biden championed his efforts to promote "free and fair elections" at the so-called "Summit for Democracy" in Washington.
Like he has often done before, Biden appeared to tie authoritarians abroad to his Republican foes at home, mentioning his "voting rights" agenda, which Republicans say would actually weaken the integrity of elections.
“Today, we can say, with pride, democracies of the world are getting stronger, not weaker," Biden said. “Autocracies of the world are getting weaker, not stronger. That’s a direct result of all of us."
Despite the triumphant rhetoric, critics are skeptical of the summit's impact, with Reuters reporting that the 120 "democracies" present had difficulty uniting behind a declaration of principles.
U.S. allies Israel and the Philippines, as well as India, refused to endorse the International Criminal Court, which considers Vladimir Putin a fugitive war criminal.
Biden's credibility as a spokesman for "democracy" took a hit when, on the third and final day of Biden's "democracy" summit, a prosecutor aligned with Biden's party brought unprecedented criminal charges against Donald Trump, Biden's former and possibly future electoral rival.
Republicans quickly condemned the charges as a politically motivated, "banana republic"-style attempt to kneecap opposition to Biden ahead of his re-election bid in 2024.
Biden ally Nancy Pelosi (D-Ca.) left many aghast when she asserted that Trump had the burden of "proving innocence," a complete inversion of the basic legal principle that the defendant is presumed innocent.
Ironically, Biden told participants at the "democracy summit" that the U.S. would spend $690 million supporting "free and fair" elections throughout the world.
Biden's summit was condemned by Russia and China as a hypocritical effort to force America's vision of "democracy" on the rest of the world.
NATO allies Turkey and Hungary were not included in the summit, despite Biden's repeated pledges of unwavering NATO solidarity against Russian aggression.
Biden was accused of stepping on the sovereignty of a longtime ally this week with his badgering of Israel over controversial judicial reforms the White House views as undemocratic. His comments drew a sharp rebuke from prime minister Benjamin Netanyahu, who affirmed his country's sovereignty.
"Israel is a sovereign country which makes its decisions by the will of its people and not based on pressures from abroad, including from the best of friends,” Netanyahu said.