Almost a week has passed since Super Tuesday (and just four days since Super Thursday, if that were actually a thing), and I’m still stunned by the amazingly fast political turnaround in the aftermath of South Carolina. After Biden had done so poorly in the first three states, no one was even bothering to attack him in the last few debates – normally a sure sign that a candidate is out of the running. Bernie had his army of passionate supporters, and Bloomberg his billions of delegate-buying dollars, and poor old Joe was reduced to wandering around the hallway, challenging a coat rack to a push-up contest.
But then the polls started suggesting that Bernie was going to wrap up the nomination, and thereby torpedo Democrat chances in November. And the Dem leadership did something that the GOP can never quite manage: they moved with ruthless efficiency behind the scenes, strong-arming weaker candidates into dropping out, and put out marching orders that everyone but Bernie’s true believers followed. And in the blink of an eye, bumbling, babbling also-ran Joey Gaffes was magically transformed into… bumbling, babbling NOMINEE Joey Gaffes.
It was a Super Thursday miracle!
On the one hand, I’d like to think that it’s heartening that even the Dems couldn’t go as far as supporting a self-confessed socialist like Bernie.
On the other hand, I’m instinctively cynical about leftists, and my gut tells me that they didn’t reject him because he’s so far left, for 2 reasons:
- Their raison d’etre is to beat Trump, and all leading indicators suggested that he would not do that; perhaps more importantly, he’d devastate them down the ballot. In fact, many new House Dems from purple districts were already trying to distance themselves from Bernie. So it’s self-interest — not a case of temporary sanity – that’s motivating them.
- Their true beliefs came into conflict with the Machiavellian need to hide those beliefs to get elected, and as the old saying goes, no one has ever gone broke betting against the dishonesty of politicians. On issue after issue, the entire Democrat field agree with Bernie – they were just savvy enough not to tell the truth about it.
Examples abound. In an early debate, all the candidates said they supported giving illegals health care paid for by American taxpayers, and none of them supported any kind of border. None of them would say a word against even partial birth (or post birth!) abortion; while past Democrats claimed to want abortions to be “safe, legal and rare,” this Dem field was all about shouting your abortion. None of them will openly express any doubt about giving hormones to– or doing irreversible surgery on– kids who have been taught to consider every ephemeral sign of discomfort with their sexual identity as evidence of a faith-based definition of “transgender.” All of them are gun-grabbers, and none of them see America as more like a shining city on a hill than a cesspool of sexism, racism, oppression and bigotry.
But they don’t call themselves “socialists,” so that’s supposed to make us all feel better.
The conventional wisdom seems to be that in killing Bernie’s chance at the nomination, the Dems made a very good move.
But how confident can one be in any series of decisions that concludes with, “And our nominee for president of the United States is… Joe freaking Biden?”
But give Biden his due: he’s the first pol in recent memory to make the “delayed firewall” strategy during the primaries work, getting drubbed in the first three states before South Carolinians saved him. (By the way, thanks a lot, South Carolina Democrats! First Fort Sumter, and now this!)
He also pulled off the even more rare feat: he blundered and stumbled early, then blundered and stumbled some more, and – without any improvement whatsoever, which would not seem possible – blundered and stumbled his way to victory. He literally lost his way into winning!
It was like watching a football game in which one team fumbled twice, threw four interceptions, and finished the first half down by 14. At halftime, half of the first string came down with dysentery, and the other half shared a big bucket of Wuhan Fried Bat (“It’s finger licking good”!) and were struck with corona virus. When they finally got a first down by penalty in the third quarter, the left tackle high-fived the second-string quarterback, snapping his clavicle, and after the third-string quarterback knocked himself unconscious while trying to pull on his helmet, they played the rest of the game with an octogenarian linebackers coach at QB.
And as the clock ran out, they won by a field goal.
That’s what Super Tuesday was like.
Obviously, the outcome is not a tribute to Biden, because he has continued to be the absolutely terrible gaffe machine that he’s been over the last decade or three.
Everyone has already pointed out his latest screw-ups. He couldn’t tell the difference between Chris Wallace and Chuck Todd. (And there are at least two standard deviations of IQ separating those two – and not in favor of Chuck Todd!) He couldn’t remember the opening of one of the most famous founding documents in the world. He mistook Super Tuesday for Super Thursday. And he couldn’t tell the difference between his sister and his wife!
Let’s savor those latest bloopers, in reverse order:
During his victory speech, he mistook his wife and his sister, which could happen to anyone. I mean, sure, it makes for an awkward moment when the pastor says that you can now kiss the bride – not to mention an absolutely horrifying wedding night! But to be fair to Joe, he said that they changed positions around him when he was speaking, and obviously, spatial awareness is not his strong suit. (As the voters of New Hampshire, Iowa, Nevada and South Carolina can tell you, when Joe told them that he was thrilled to be in Alaska, the Galapagos Islands, Brigadoon and Wakanda, respectively.)
He asked voters to come out on Super Thursday, but I think we can all agree that the days of the week are hard. You party too hard on Samedi Gras, so then you sleep through Ash Friday, but then you get to church on Easter Monday to thank God it’s Tuesday! We’ve all been there.
His screwing up the opening of the Declaration of Independence was even funnier. I’m sure you’ve seen the video by now, but the transcript (which I’ve tried to re-create phonetically) is almost as good: “We hold these truths to be s-lelf levident. All men and women created by the… go… you know the… you know the thing.”
Yikes. Even if you’re just an everyday American, you’re supposed to know the first sentence or two of the Declaration. But if you’re a politician – especially if you’re running for president! — it should be a part of your job description that you can recite that by heart.
For example, imagine that a cop pulls you over, and finds your ex-girlfriend tied up in your trunk – again, we’ve all been there, haven’t we? – and as he’s cuffing you he says “You have the right to remain… in this country? Anything you say can be… recorded, I guess, and if you don’t have an attorney, you can… find one of those guys who advertises on buses. You know the thing! The arrest-y thing I’m supposed to say now…”
Or if your pastor invited you to bow your head for the Lord’s Prayer, and then said, “Our Father, who art… um… for art’s sake … um Halloween be the same. Give us this day our… daily double, and uh, keep us from trespassing, and… keep off the grass. You know, the thing! The thing I pray now, and then we all say Amen at the end…”
It’s not a good sign when your candidate walks straight off stage from his victory speech and into the little tent where his handlers administer a concussion protocol, is what I’m saying.
My favorite of Biden’s recent gaffes came at the end of his interview with Fox News’ Chris Wallace, when Wallace thanked Biden for the interview, and Biden called him, “Chuck.” Wallace graciously corrected him, and this is a transcript of Biden’s response, which I swear I am not making up: “Oh Chris! I just did Chris. No, no, I, I, just did Chuck. I’ll tell you what, man, these are back to back. Anyway, I don’t know how you do it early in the morning, too.”
That’s some prime gaffe-tasticness, right there. But it’s not even the best part.
Because just before that little bit of word salad happened, Wallace had mentioned that Trump has nicknamed Biden “Sleepy Joe,” and Biden replied that he can’t wait to debate Trump. His closing line of the interview was – again: NOT making this up! – “We’ll see who’s sleepy!”
You read that correctly. Twenty-one seconds after Biden mocked Trump’s assertion that he is “sleepy” – yes, I timed it, and you’re welcome — he blamed his latest mental error on the fact that it was early in the morning! You cannot make this up.
I find myself almost starting to feel sorry for Biden. But then I remember that he’s an oily, glad-handing empty suit, and that he once told a black audience that Mitt Romney would put them back in chains if he had his way! And then I say to myself, let’s get him the help that he so desperately needs, in a supervised, assisted-living setting, a million miles from the White House.
On the other hand, if he does end up with the nomination, I have the perfect slogan for his campaign: “Joe Biden — He puts the “Dem” in Dementia!”
In closing, the beauty of this train-wreck of a Democrat primary process is that after all the self-righteous chest-puffing about how diverse their party is, they end up with two straight men who are almost as white as Elizabeth Warren (#we’renotquitedonemockingheryet).
Not to mention how old these guys are, too! The old hippie warning said not to trust anyone over 30. These guys are almost 50 years over 30!
I’m old enough to remember when age was used as an issue against Ronald Reagan when he ran the first time (at age 69), and the second time (at age 73). MSM pundits wrote long, chin-pulling editorials on the existential risks and dire consequences of electing someone in their late 60s or early 70s to the presidency.
Well, Ronald Reagan was 77 years old when he FINISHED his SECOND term. If either Bernie or Biden were to get elected in November, they would both be older than that when they took the oath of office.
And what would that oath sound like, if Joe Biden were taking it, you may be asking?
I’ve got your back, CO Nation: “I, Jerry Bauman, do Solomon swear, that I will fatuously evacuate the abacus of… oh, you know, the thing, the thing that we all believe in! Amen. Gentlemen, start your engines! 23 skidoo!”
Avenatti/Jerry Bauman 2020!