In the lingering spirit of Thanksgiving, I think we should all be thankful that no matter what other challenges we are facing in our lives, at least we are not leftist French president Emmanuel Macron.
Because that poor jerk came to the States last week for a state visit with Joe Biden, which went about how you would expect it to.
The first mistake was that Biden’s team gave him a longer script than he can handle. At this point in his presidency, he should be on a Fetterman regime, i.e. walk to a podium, clear his throat, and say, “Thank you, goodnight!” and then stumble off stage.
Instead, they gave him words to say. And to slur.
He bumbled through a brief review of our historically good relationship with France, including the debt we owe to “Marcus de Lafayette.” Not the Heisman trophy winning running back; that was Marcus Allen. Or the tv doctor; that was Marcus Welby.
He meant the French guy who helped out in our revolution, who had the title of “marquis.” Which is not pronounced “Marcus.”
I’ll now give you a moment to slap your foreheads, and curse your fellow Americans who voted for this barely animated shell of a “leader.”
After his opening speech, Biden shook Macron’s hand for 42 seconds. If you think it’s odd that I would know how long the handshake went on, you’re right. It was so odd that a mainstream media report timed the handshake.
You’re probably thinking that 42 seconds is not that long. If so, turn on a stove burner and try to hold your hand down on it for 42 seconds. Or listen to AOC speaking for 42 straight seconds. Or look at a close-up, high-def picture of Imhotep Pelosi’s mummy-face for 42 soul-shriveling seconds.
Yeah. That’s how long Frenchy had to spend in the icy grip of the Corn Pop Slayer. Macron tried to pull away several times, but Joe kept his hand clasped tightly. If you watch the video, you can read his thoughts in his terrified expression: mon dieu, rigor mortis has set in!
When he was finally released, Macron then had to play the role of Joe-wrangler, as the two of them circulated to greet big shot attendees, while Biden kept wandering off course.
In a joint Q&A session later, Biden went on to what is now an established tradition of his: reading stage instructions out loud. (Who can forget, “blah blah blah, repeat last sentence?”) To open the session, he mumbled that he and Macron were each going to take two questions, and then said that his managers had given him two specific softball-throwing bootlickers to call on.
(By the way, I once saw the Softball-Throwing Bootlickers open for the Titular Maniacs. Thrash metal at its finest!) (And if you got that reference, you’re a devoted reader of my columns, and God bless you!)
But he wasn’t done there. Because why would he be?
He tried to read a toast. And unlike my toast at my daughter’s wedding – which was generally regarded as a triumph, and a high bar for all other fathers-of-the-bride to aspire to – Joey Gaffes das hündchen verschraubt. (Yes, I’m still plugging away at my conversational German. And that was supposed to be “screwed the pooch,” though I think there’s something wrong in my phrasing.)
Biden said, and I swear I am not making this actual quote up, “France was our first ally. First country to fly the American flag after our revolution. And Frank hosted the first diplomatic post before more than anything else France has been our first friend.”
Yes, the syntax of that last sentence-adjacent cluster of words doesn’t make any sense.
And yes, Biden called the nation of France, “Frank.”
I can’t wait for his European tour next summer, when he will helpfully explain that “Grace” gave us the philosophy of Aristotle and all of those great columns, and “Rommel” left us the writings of Marquis Aurelius, and “Austin” gave us Mozart.
Not to mention “Russ,” who gave us Evan the Terrible and vodka.
As embarrassing as Biden’s performance was, I did enjoy watching a super uncomfortable Macron — whom I would bet Biden called both “Captain Morgan” and “Macaroni” at some point in the evening – standing there with a strained, “sacre bleu!” look on his face the whole time.
Speaking of world leaders embarrassing themselves, you probably heard the reports that Vladimir Putin fell down the stairs at his Moscow residence last Wednesday, landing on his coccyx and causing him to – and I quote – “involuntarily defecate” on himself.
Or, as our own secret service would say it, “Putin pulled a Biden.”
Some persistent rumors suggest that Putin has cancer, and this recent incident may add credence to them. While I don’t think any Jeffersonian democrats are waiting in the wings at the Kremlin to take Putin’s place when he goes, a changing of the guard may give new leadership in Russia a way to withdraw from the murderous disaster in Ukraine without losing face.
Regardless of what comes afterwards, it would seem like some kind of poetic justice for an evil dictator like Putin to go out by painfully riding his coccyx down a befouled staircase.
And if that last phrase isn’t some kind of gay slang, it ought to be.
Also, if you are playing Scrabble and have some hard-to-get-rid-of consonants, don’t sleep on “coccyx.”
One other silver lining: for one brief, shining moment last week – before Macron landed in DC – we didn’t have the most embarrassing political leader in the world.
Fetterman/Evan the Terrible, ’24!