• Another "Gaffe": Biden's Dementia On Display (And Why So Few People Care)

    May 20, 2024
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    Close-up of Joe Biden's official portrait, Public Domain.

    Joe Biden has coughed up another whopper. Sunday in Detroit, the 81 year-old claimed that while he was Vice President, Barack Obama instructed him to travel to Detroit during the pandemic to work with Mayor Jim Duggan. More on that later. First, a look back at how the media have historically covered for Slow Joe.

    It's not controversial to say that Biden is mentally ill...unless you're a reporter. The media's descriptions of, and excuses for his verbal errors have evolved over the years. In his early career, Biden spoke articulately, albeit with a casual regard for the truth, often exaggerating his academic accomplishments. Call that Phase 1.

    After his 1988 aneurysm surgery, the media began to refer to Biden's slip-ups as "foot in mouth disease" or "verbal stumbles". That's Phase 2. Leading up to the 2020 election, it became fashionable to frame the worsening condition as a stutter.

    A glowing PBS article in 2020 is an example of the Phase 3, Sympathy for the Stutterer: Biden's sister Valerie told the embattled news outlet that a nun at Biden's Catholic school had poked fun at his alleged stutter. His mother purportedly walked to the school and confronted the nun, saying, “Sister, did you make fun of my son? … if you ever, ever, ever do that again, I’m going to come back and I’m going to knock your bonnet right off your head. Do we understand each other?”

    True story? With the Bidens, you never know, but physically threatening to knock off a nun's headpiece sounds an awful lot like meeting Corn Pop for a rumble outside the public swimming pool and threatening to wrap a length of chain around his head.

    The stutter ruse didn't stand the test of time. Too many observers simply stated the obvious: Biden doesn't stutter. Sure, he garbles phrases, he trails off, he makes obscure references, and he tells whopping lies over and over and over--Beau, anyone?--but he doesn't stutter.

    Back to yesterday in Detroit: now, the media refers to examples of Biden's condition as "gaffes." That's the innocent catch-all for presidential dementia. It's like a high society family that laughs off the black sheep's latest arrest for drunk and disorderly behavior through gritted teeth. "The police do pick on him so...he's always been such a free spirit!"

    In Detroit, Biden was speaking at an NAACP event, part of his recently black-centric campaign. Polling numbers show that the Democratic black bloc, the most loyal group of American voters, has begun to fracture. The Freudian slip of the "gaffe" is that Biden correctly identifies Obama as the one who gives the orders. The rest, about going to Detroit during the pandemic, is logically impossible.

    In the X screencap above, a user guesses at Biden's meaning. Was he referring to the swine flu outbreak early in his tenure as VP? No, for three reasons. The Manhattan has reviewed vice presidential trips during 2009, and Biden went twice, in August (to discuss the economy) and November (a fundraiser). No mention of swine flu on either trip.

    Secondly, no one on earth refers to the swine flu outbreak as "the pandemic". Covid has earned that moniker.

    Thirdly, Detroit Mayor Mike Duggan, whom Biden so fondly recalls meeting, hadn't been elected in 2009. His consecutive terms didn't begin until 2013. Biden did spend an awful lot of time with Duggan over the years, leaning heavily on the good PR of Detroit's "recovery" (Duggan managed to get the streetlights working after years of urban decrepitude, and cash-strapped Millennials have begun to brave the urban hellscape in order to find an affordable home).

    The only logical conclusion: Biden was referring to his numerous visits to Detroit in 2021, during the pandemic. He seems to think he was VP at the time, which, in a very real way, he was. And is.

    Not all of Biden's issues are verbal, however. Whatever drug cocktail his handlers concocted for his commencement speech at Morehouse College yesterday--and to be fair, Biden sounded sharper than usual during his 26 minute speech--it wore off quickly. Biden appears to be in physical pain, or perhaps recalling an awful event. The applause for Biden at Morehouse was tepid at best. That's a bad sign for his campaign, given that the school is a historically black college/university (HBCU).

    Watching and listening to Biden is akin to watching a flybitten old nag pull a carriage around Central Park. The poor old thing would be happier put out to pasture, and we wouldn't have to watch it struggle. What's more, there's no thrill to the ride. It's just going where it's told.

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