Politics & Media
May 27, 2024, 06:29AM

Joe Biden’s Freak Show

Covered wagons, medicine shows, gypsies, tramps and thieves and not-so-strange days have found us.

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There’s a Biden-themed three-card-monte scam currently in play, but I’m not sure who’s getting reamed. At first glance, it’s easy to believe all the Biden Panic Mode stories and “learned” opinions, mostly in the mainstream media, are a long string of “pack journalism” efforts by men and women petrified that the President might lose to Donald Trump in November. As I noted last week, The New York Times’ busybody Ezra Klein—who says nothing of substance yet is paid handsomely; credit where it’s due for the 40-year-old who apparently receives no demerits for co-founding Vox, a daily embarrassment—offered advice to Biden on how to change his presidential campaign’s stagnant course (Trump maintaining a slight lead in the polls, believe it or not, but pay attention to those cross-tabs!). On the other hand, could it be that the Biden administration’s supposed legion of under-35 consultants, “influencers”—I remain mystified how the TikTok guys, in their early-20s, are paid off for their obnoxious “Holy crap!” posts—and GOTV masters are feeding friendly journalists story ideas, ostensibly to, using the now old-saw, save democracy.

There was an absurd article in The Atlantic on May 20 by Annie Lowrey that reeked of White House arm-twisting. Headlined “The Worst Best Economy Ever,” the don’t-know-much-about-history Lowrey begins, “Joe Biden, at the moment, is losing his reelection campaign. And he is doing so while presiding over the strongest economy the United States has ever experienced.”

A more generous reader than me might assume the author was engaging in parody, or that a prankster colleague sneaked in the story using ChatGPT, AI, or whatever the newest flim-flam technique is in vogue. I don’t think so. Anyway, I never cared for The Man From Hope, who got lost in dozens and dozens of sets of blue eyes, but Bill Clinton’s “triangulation” in the 1990s resulted, to the extent he was involved, which doesn’t matter, because it was on his watch, in an American economy that was humming for years. And, like many who raise eyebrows at increasing food prices today, I’ll have a helping of Ronald Reagan’s Morning In America money-flowing last five years in office. That’s just relatively recent history; I’ll let others rhapsodize about Ike and WWII-era FDR.

(It’s an Impossible Dream, but Biden could take a play from Reagan and bust some unions—the American Federation of Teachers, led by the forever-sleazy Randi Weingarten, is the most obvious, but also at least making an attempt to privatize Amtrak and the USPS; I’d apologize for invoking these hobbyhorses again, but just can’t—and all the featherbedded construction workers whose slow, standing-around pace is making Biden’s Landmark Infrastructure Achievement a joke that fell flatter than a Ben Shapiro quip.)

But it gets better, for Carneys, Ticket Takers, Loaded-Dice Women, Men of Circumstance and Fuzzbusters never sleep. In a May 23rd New York Times round-up, Rachel L. Harris and Lisa Tarchak solicited comments from readers about how Biden could get his “vibe” back. My favorite, courtesy (if not fabricated) of Lake Oswego, Oregon’s Jonathan Fink: “Biden should go with this: ‘Yes, I’m old. Like Mick Jagger is old. As president, I lead a band of rock-star cabinet members, some of whom are among the youngest and most talented in history’”.

I’ll leave up to you to come up with Mayor Pete, Anthony Blinken, Janet Yellin, the “Talented and Forever Young” Merrick Garland, Jennifer Granholm and William Burns (is he just the CIA’s figurehead, or running Biden’s show; undetermined) jokes, and focus on Mick Jagger. The still-thin and trim Stones vocalist may be 80, and to my mind his and Keith Richards’ band haven’t released a phenomenal record since Biden was first elected to the Senate, but the band still tours and as this video shows Mick isn’t greatly diminished in his on-stage persona. Wouldn’t it be pop-me-buttons cool, if Biden continues to insist he’s alert and focused like a “laser beam” (and not pumped-up on Dr. Feelgood injections for very, very occasional TV speeches), to challenge Mick to a arm-wrestling contest, for charity (no Hunter participation) in the Oval Office? I should be given a Congressional Medal for coming up with that idea, since that’s the kind of stunt that could put Biden over the top.

Here’s an earnest one from Seattle’s Anne van Leynseele: “His public relations problem is that his plan is ‘eat better and exercise’—there’s no fast solution pill. He should focus on ways to create generations of success in the United States: long-term investments and improvements that fix past mistakes.”

That’s a winning slogan for Dr. Jill’s house-husband: “Vote for me and America will be successful in 2050!”

—Follow Russ Smith on Twitter: @MUGGER2023


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