“I embellish for impact. You are a fabulist. He is a bald-faced liar.”
Versions of this emotive, or “irregular,” conjugative form were made famous by the BBC comedy “Yes, Minister/Prime Minister,” a show that to this day offers a clearer view of political reality than, well, anything else ever.
Usually, this technique is deployed to cover one’s own odd actions while simultaneously trashing another person (not in the room) for acting the same way; for example, to quote the show: “I have an independent mind, you are eccentric, he is round the twist.”
But now, thanks to the Washington Post and the New York Times – who both recently published pieces desperately defending President Biden’s obstinate, decades-long battle with the truth – this form can now be conjugated in a different way: “we tell the truth, he is a folklorist, they who oppose him are hateful evil miscreants who will destroy civilization as we know it.”
The collaborationist – word used advisedly – media has been covering for Biden since he aimlessly wandered into the ring in 2020 (though, prior, as a senator he was regarded by the press as a feckless sketchy plagiarist lightweight and, as veep, a running gag.)
Joe being Joe, oh, you know he stuttered as a child, he’s folksy, he can be snippy but he’s straightforward, sure the details may not be there but he’s connecting with people heart-to-heart which he can do because of the tragedy he has seen, etc., fill the airwaves and pages of the Acela corridor.
Until a few years ago, these explanations – while wrong and enabling serial falsehoods and embarrassing to Biden if Biden could be embarrassed – papered over his numerous shortcomings; he’s a gaffe machine, we’ve all used the wrong word now and again, get over it you hypocrites, the public was told.
But there are gaffes – ordering a Singapore Slang, for example – and then there are lies – the very name of the Inflation Reduction Act – and then there is abject cognitive disconnection – the incomprehensible claim that his executive order wiping out student loan debt was passed by… Congress, maybe?: “I got it passed by a vote or two,” Biden said of the program.
Biden is not a gaffe machine – he is a malfunctioning machine. The issues abound – a stiff, rigid forearmed, gait, literally blanking out during interviews, clear spatial disorientation, whispering to tell audiences “a secret” as you would with a four-year-old nephew before you gave them a quarter (or asked them to pull your finger,) inappropriate flashes of anger, utter dependence upon others for help walking, let alone while chewing gum, and talking, and the wandering off and the slurring and the incomprehensibility and the off-topic references to events from years ago and the eyes and the forgetting and the fog.
It all adds up not to “oops!” but to a mentally and physically disabled person being propped up by a coterie of handlers for their own benefit.
It all adds up to elder abuse.
But I’m not a doctor you say?
I don’t need a weatherman to know it’s raining out.
Biden’s just getting old like everyone else does, you say? You’re just cherry-picking bad days and I hope I’ll be that spry when I’m 80.
First, no, you really don’t, second, you’re not the leader of the free world, and third, he is not getting old in the same way, at the same pace, as everyone else does.
Joe Biden, 2016, Democratic National Convention:
The passion, the clarity, the presence – love it or hate it, it was all there just a few years ago.
Joe Biden, 2022, at the Rep. Jackie Walorski event:
The only thing these two Joe Biden’s have in common is their birth certificate.
It really doesn’t matter what you think of his politics – maybe we should all – especially those around him – just be thinking what’s best for him. And what’s best for our country.
Go home, Joe.
Oh, wait – there’s Kamala.
Thomas Buckley is the former mayor of Lake Elsinore, Cal. and a former newspaper reporter. He is currently the operator of a small communications and planning consultancy and can be reached directly at email@example.com. You can read more of his work at: https://thomas699.substack.com/