As I mentioned in my last column, I thought that Joe Biden’s blow-up with the Iowa voter is worth looking at in detail, mostly because his performance in that exchange sums up the core of who he is.
So, while on one hand it seems strange even to me to go over that sequence like it was the Zapruder film… here goes!
This early Christmas gift started when an octogenarian Warren-supporting Iowan who could stand to lose a few pounds asks Joe about his obviously corrupt son, who got the sweetheart no-show job with a Ukranian company known mostly for the production of bribes and energy. In that order. Also relevant: older people vote in disproportionately high numbers, and Iowa is the most important primary state. So any competent politician would want to push back on the premise of the question – maybe with a little deflection along the lines of “my relationship with my family members is a private matter, and my son is not running for president, I am” – followed by a graceful subject change: “I respect your right to support one of my worthy opponents, but we’ll have to agree to disagree.”
That’s what a competent campaigner might say.
What did Plugsy McGlad-hander say, on the other hand? “You’re a damn liar, man. That’s not true.”
Annnndddd, we’re off! “You’re a damn liar?!” Just to refresh my memory, Trump is unfit for the presidency because he is so rude and crude to people, right?
But Biden is just getting started. He can’t just call the guy a liar and try to brazen it out. He’s got to double down on how pure his son’s reputation is. “And no one has ever said that.”
This is the point at which, if you were consuming a beverage while watching the Iowa coverage, you would perform a hilariously messy spit-take. Because EVERYONE has said that. Hunter Biden is terrible in many ways – he left his wife to carry on an affair with his dead brother’s widow, then he divorced her, and then married some other woman 10 days after he met her. And he still found time to impregnate some woman in Arkansas, deny that the baby could possibly be his, and then be forced into a DNA test that proved that the baby was indeed his.
But enough about his social life. He also got a ridiculously lucrative job that he was obviously not qualified for, and his dad then bullied the Ukraine government into firing the prosecutor who was looking into Hunter’s egregiously bad behavior, through the use of – what’s the term I’m looking for? Oh yeah – a QUID PRO QUO! That story has been a scandal for at least the last six months.
But Joey Gaffes is on the attack. He aggressively approaches the guy, who has started to cross-talk and stammer a little bit. Biden hears part of what he said, and says, “You heard it on tv?” After another garbled sentence, Biden says, “No, I know you do. And by the way…” And here, I swear to God — watch the video and tell me I’m wrong — Biden pointedly looks down toward the voter’s stomach, and says, “that’s why I’m not sedentary. I get up and…” Now a mortified aide of Biden’s – showing that he has way more sense of decorum than the candidate – tries to take the mic away from the voter. Biden says, “No, no, let him go.”
For a moment, I thought that maybe Biden was going to course correct, and show a little grace to the voter. It’s a move that smart pols sometimes make: stand up for the little-guy voter whom aides are trying to shut down, and allow him the chance to speak. Done well, it makes the pol look magnanimous, and the voter either appear a little sheepish about attacking, or else continue the attack, and look churlish.
But “Joe Biden” and “done well” rarely appear in the same sentence. And this time is no exception.
Because Biden’s next words are, “The reason I’m running is because I’ve been around for a long time, and I know more than most people know. And I can get things done. That’s why I’m running.”
Okay. A. non sequitur. B. Yes, you’ve obviously been around for a long time. A long, LONG time. C. If you know more than most people know, most people are absolutely screwed!
Then Biden launches into a little Rohrschach bouillabaisse that has NOTHING to do with what the voter brought up:
“And you want to check my shape? Let’s do push-ups together, man. Let’s run. Let’s do whatever you want to do. Let’s take an IQ test.”
To the uninformed observer, that sounds crazier than outhouse rodentia. Also, to an informed observer. And to an observer who arrived in this country last Thursday, and is desperately trying to learn English, but can already tell that those words — how you say? — no make sense.
But I have a theory that is going to blow your mind. Because it is going to explain a set of circumstances under which Biden’s word salad response makes logical sense. Go ahead. Read that last sentence again.
I know what you’re thinking – if Martin pulls this off, he’ll be the greatest thinker of the 21st century! And I cannot bring myself to disagree.
Okay, Imagine that you’re Joe Biden.
And here I’ll pause, to let you clean up the results of your second spit-take in the same column.
So you’re Joe Biden. And every morning, you have to look at yourself in the mirror and say, “What on earth are you doing?! What makes you think you have any business running for president?” Suddenly, you are blinded by a bright light, and you wonder, “Is this like that time when God appeared to Paul on the road to Damascus, and he had to search his soul?”
Then you realize that the bathroom lights had just bounced a reflection off of those terrifyingly white dentures of yours.
So while you stand there blinking, waiting for your pupils to dilate again, you actually reflect on yourself. And you achieve enough self-awareness to know that your two major weaknesses are that you come across as too old and physically frail to be president, and that you are not very bright.
That kind of self-awareness can be very painful, and I think it explains the way Biden has regularly returned to two themes over and over again: he issues bizarre physical challenges to prove his competitive fitness and vigor, and he offers to compare his IQ with that of his questioners. I’ve seen him do both many times over the years, but never as inappropriately and simultaneously as in this amazing performance. Think about it: a rotund, elderly voter asks about his son’s cashing in on the family name, and Biden challenges him to a push-up contest, and a race, and an IQ test!
If a juvenile joke like this was not beneath me, I would call this theory the Biden “Road to Dumb-ass-cus” Theory. But I am too dignified for that, so I am going to refrain from trademarking that theory name, and thereby forfeit the MacArthur Foundation genius grant that would surely follow.
By the way, how much would you pay to watch a push-up contest between that Iowan and Joe Biden? I know that the questioner is supposed to be 80 years old, and doesn’t look like he’s been in any Ironman triathlons lately, but my money would be on him. Because Biden was recently standing at a debate podium with a resting heart rate, and one eye blew up and his dentures nearly came out. I think if he dropped to start doing pushups, he might well lose a limb!
All I’m saying is, the next time that Biden challenges somebody to a push-up contest – and there WILL be a next time – I am praying (with a heart full of love, like Nancy Pelosi’s) that someone accepts that challenge.
Anyway, Biden was not quite finished. Because he then repeated, “No one has said that my son has done anything wrong! No one has ever said it.” When the voter tried to correct his own phrasing, Biden didn’t let up, insisting, “Get your words straight, Jack!”
By the way, a note on Biden’s annoying language usage. He peppers his speeches with faux macho and folksy phrases – “Look man,” and “Here’s the deal,” and “Get it straight, Jack” – that sound gratingly phony. He comes across as some middle-aged guy with a flat-top in 1967, trying to relate to the kids by working “groovy” or “far out” into his speech. And he only sounds more old, and out of touch. I mean, he couldn’t be more self-parodying if he had named his campaign the “No Malarkey Tour,” or something.
Anyway, when the voter stammers, “You’re on MSNBC all the time—” Biden hits back with an unintentionally great self-own: “You did not hear that on MSNBC.” And sadly for us as a nation, Joe is right: every MSM outlet has been bending over backwards to not cover Biden’s problems (or Obama’s, or Grandma Squanto’s — #wemustneverstopmockingher – or any other lefty’s, unless a more favored lefty can benefit from such coverage). So Joe can confidently say that the voter hasn’t heard anything negative about him or his crooked son on MSNBC.
But Biden had saved his best for last! Because he next says what everyone who knows he’s losing an argument ALWAYS says, “Look, I don’t want to argue with you.” And as the other guy starts to speak, Biden cuts him off again, in the greatest moment of the campaign so far: “Look, fat– Look, here’s the deal.”
Look, fat! I would bet my last dollar that he was just about to say, “Look, fatso,” and caught himself at the last minute.
The sequence ends when the Iowan says, “It looks like you don’t have any more backbone than Trump does.” The crowd groans and boos him, and Biden turns away, asking, “Any other questions?”
In conclusion, I love Joe Biden! He goes into a Midwestern state where he desperately wants and needs to win — and where the electorate is older, and carrying a little “winter weight,” shall we say? — and within less than 2 minutes, he claims that his degenerate son has never done anything wrong, bullies an elderly Democrat voter, and calls him a low IQ fatso!
For the last several months this man has been the Democrat front-runner, people!
Which may be why a Harris poll of Democrat voters released two days ago found that – and I swear I am not making this up – the candidate whom they slightly favor is … wait for it…
And there you have it: the rare three-spit-take column! You’re welcome.
Avenatti/Hunter Biden 2020!