Will The Democrats Really Let Someone As Obviously Addled As Joe Biden Be Their Nominee?

Doing so is per se irresponsible and incompetent.

Before someone tries to play “whataboutTrump” with me, I would remind him, her or it  that in 2016 I wrote that the Republicans had an obligation to refuse to nominate Donald Trump, having failed their obligation not to let him run in the primaries. I was right then, despite the fact that nominating Trump ended up well for the  party, and so far, on balance, for the country, especially when one considers what the Democrats have become. I’m also right about Biden now. If the Democrats expect to catch lightning in a shot glass like the GOP, they are taking a really reckless gamble.

Let’s look at what old Joe said just over the last few days…

  • During a December 29 campaign even in Peterborough, New Hampshire,  Biden completed an attendees question “If we don’t stop using fossil fuels…” with “We’re all dead!”

Now, what is that? Deliberate hyperbole? Outrageous fear-mongering?  Complete ignorance? Nobody has suggested that “we’re all dead” even under the most extreme projections of climate change doom. My guess is that Joe knows nothing about climate change, and that he’s just pandering to the substantial climate change nut-case component of the increasingly hysterical Democratic base. But he could be so stupid that he really believes this.

In addition to the undeniable fact that this is exactly the kind of statement that the mainstream media  pillories Donald Trump for even when it’s clear  s clear can be that he’s exaggerating, Biden’s over-the-top rhetoric feeds the rising Democratic drift toward totalitarianism. If we’re all going to die, then a dictatorship can be justified as a last resort.

  • Before a crowd in Derry, Vermont today, Biden talked about how  President Obama put him in charge of analyzing future jobs and transitioning current workers to them. (I doubt it.) He told the crowd that after eliminating the jobs or workers in the coal industry, the displaced workers could transition to coding.  “Anybody who can go down 3000 feet in a mine can sure as hell learn to program as well…”Anybody who can throw coal into a furnace can learn how to program, for God’s sake!”

Is Joe aware that “learn to code” was the theme of social media harassment of journalists who were laid off in the January 2019 workforce cuts by Yahoo! and Buzzfeed? The line is an insult.

Do you think Joe knows this? Do you think he keeps up with social media chatter, or popular culture? Do you think he even has a solid concept of what coding is? Does he really think the set of skills necessary to mine coal are the same as the skills one needs to program computers?

Could his comments on this subject be any more clueless?

  • This one’s just funny: in New Hampshire, three hecklers stood up in the crowd to harass Biden. One said, “We don’t need another old white man running for President.” “All right. I agree, man. I agree,” replied Joe.

I’m pretty sure a large percentage of likely Democratic voters  agree, some intensely. I’m willing to accept that Joe’s assent was the equivalent of “Yeah, right.” The problem is that given the way Joe’s brain seems to be working, I’m not sure.

  • More tough, unconstitutional, crowd-pleasing, pandering totalitarianism:  In order to curb the rate of pollution, Biden said in Petersborough,  fuel executives  must be held “liable for what they have done, particularly in those cases where there are underserved neighborhoods.”

    “And when they don’t deliver, put them in jail.”

See, in the U.S., you can’t just put anyone in jail.  First, there has to be a criminal law. Then someone has to violate it, with criminal intent. Then there needs to be sufficient evidence of the violation to convince a jury to convict the defendant. Democrats recently keep talking about “putting in jail” those who disagree with them. Several Democrats have argued that climate change deniers should be jailed.  The lack of concern for due process is troubling. Donald Trump says things that are legally ignorant with some regularity, but he’s not a lawyer. Joe Biden is a lawyer, and he says things that are legally ignorant with equal frequency.

And this was just one weekend.

27 thoughts on “Will The Democrats Really Let Someone As Obviously Addled As Joe Biden Be Their Nominee?

  1. The “learn to code” thing was originally directed at coal miners who were worried about losing their jobs under the Obama administration, often by the same types of journalists it was directed towards earlier this year. The thing about it is, some miners took that to heart and really did learn how to code.

    Here’s a success story from 2017: https://www.forbes.com/sites/annefield/2017/01/30/turning-coal-miners-into-coders-and-preventing-a-brain-drain/#770909f6f81d

    Now, I know that it’s not good form to throw back insults like that and that saying that they started it isn’t a good excuse at all. However, it has worked for some miners. It might work for some former journalists as well.

    • This is sort of like “Let them eat cake” isn’t it. Marie Antoinette from what I’ve read was totally clueless regarding the conditions leading up to the French Revolution. I can’t conceive of the majority of coal miners learning to code. This is either a not well disguised F.U. to them or Joe Biden is another Marie Antoinette.

      • I was curious about that quote a few years back, so went digging for the background on it. I’d heard two conflicting stories about what it meant – the first being that it showed cluelessness, as Wayne mentions. The second interpretation was that cake was also a word used for the baked in soot and crude in a person’s chimney, which would have made the statement one of actual malice.

        Most of the research I did indicated that Marie Antoinette almost certainly never said anything remotely like that – it’s documented only in one location, in Rousseau’s autobiography, in a portion of a book that was written when Marie would have been at most nine (though it wasn’t published for almost 20 years). Notably Rousseau doesn’t actually say who said it, only that it was the words of a “great princess”. Contrastingly, Louis XVI’s memoirs (published after Rousseau’s work, it’s true), says that the words were a family legend, well over a hundred years old at that point, and attributed within the family to the “Spanish Princess” (Marie-Thérèse) who married Louis XIV.

        (Methinks it would have been easier for them to keep things distinct if they had stopped using the same damn name for every monarch.)

        Additional problems with attributing Rousseau’s quote to Marie Antoinette, include that it is rather contrary to the historical record (there hadn’t been any famines or even serious bread-shortages in France in Marie Antoinette’s life time when Rousseau wrote the account), and that when bread shortages did occur later in her life, she was a generous donor to charity, and letters to her own family showed that she was keenly aware of the suffering of her people, and considered it a point of principle that the monarchs should be doing something about it.

        And then there’s the fact that Rousseau wouldn’t even have met Marie at the time he wrote the anecdote. Her initial arrival in the court of France didn’t happen until a year or more after he had completed the work in which the anecdote appears…

        Add in Marie’s unpopularity with the revolutionaries, and it’s likely the quote, especially in it’s second iteration, was attached to her after the revolution, through no fault of her own. Tellingly, it was never used at her Trials, nor in the lead up to the revolution itself.


        With that historical aside out of the way, I often think there’s a level of arrogance and ignorance in the whole “learn to code” movement, whether it be among adults or children. While it is true that coding is a skill which can be taught, there’s a vast difference between being able to put pieces of a code library together to do a thing, being able to do so well, and actually understanding how those pieces work. I’m reminded of this every year when I help coach a FIRST Tech Challenge team – a competition team of teenagers who have to build and code their own robots to accomplish specific and distinct tasks every year.

        Inevitably, the single hardest thing for the kids who want to do the programming on the robots is trying to figure out what part of the code library and samples they are given does X thing, and what else is it calling on to do it. Given three samples that 1) move the robot from one point to another, 2) cause it to turn and reorientate itself, and 3) cause it to interact with a game element, you would think (and the kids often try) to just combine these in the sequence they want them done. It will never work out, because it turns out that two of the samples will be using a variable with the same generic name (ie, X), to represent drastically different types of information, timing won’t be uniform, the pieces are transforming hidden matrices of data thrice instead of once, etc etc etc. And then you’ll have to get people to understand when you can use a loop, versus having to repeat the instructions, and …

        Well, never mind the rest of it. Suffice it to say, even with very basic goals, the coding is always the hardest part of the season.

        So, whenever I hear someone say “anyone can learn to code”, I know that what they think they’re talking about is the little exercises we give as training steps, like “Look at this figure running along along a path! Make him reach the end. Tell him to turn right 3 times with a single command to make that into turning left!” The practicality of those excercises is in teaching you to think like the computer – to remember that nothing can be left unexplained, etc. And yes, anyone can do those excercises. But to extrapolate from there to “anyone can code” is a bit like saying “Anyone can write, so you should just go be an author!”

        There’s a lot more to it than most people really understand. But because they’ve done those exercises once, or think they could, they assume that they actually understand all the complexities of the code. And for a lot of code purposes, you don’t actually have the ability to see things happen step by step and say “oh, that line is where things are wrong!” because there’s too many things happening behind the scenes.

        • Well I guess it was really Louis XVI who was the clueless one who was an ineffectual monarch who didn’t effectively deal with France’s major economic problems. Marie Antoinette did wind up hated by the French people because she was a Hapsburg and gave Louie some very bad advice.
          The post I made was more about Biden and his cluelessness about the ease of learning a challenging technical skill. I’m sure he doesn’t know much about coding if anything considering his academic record.

    • Yes, the ‘learn to code’ for coal miners never made sense because (1) I don’t see a massive need for people who can ‘code’*, and (2) those jobs don’t tend to be concentrated in coal-mining areas. It actually made more sense to tell out-of-work journalists to ‘learn to code’ because those jobs were actually more concentrated where out-of work journalists live.

      The main point of the ‘learn to code’ issue was that it highlighted the condescension and arrogance of ‘coastal elites’ who felt that learning to code was fine for Trump voters, but beneath the dignity of unemployed Jezebel writers.

      *Although I see a need for good programmers, I just don’t see a massive need for ‘coders’.

  2. Joe saying, “We’re all dead.”

    He’s old school and glib. He’s not into focus groups or testing talking points. He’s a seat of the pants kind of guy. He’s Robert Dole. He thinks he can quip his way out of any situation. He’s a dinosaur. Hilarious. At some point he’s going to get eaten alive. By somebody. He thinks he’s Trump but he’s not as smart and not as cut throat. He won’t be able to out Trump Trump. He’s a parody of a ’70s pol. Joe, the world has passed you by. Go fishing with your grand kids.

  3. I’m far from the first to point this out, but I am astonished at the depth of cluelessness that it takes to say something like “the people running fossil fuel companies should be put in jail”, when we’ve just spent three months where every day, somewhere in the news was a mention that Biden’s son was on the board of an (allegedly) corrupt gas company. You can’t make this shit up. If you wrote a fictional character that’s as ridiculous as Joe Biden, critics would savage you for creating such an unrealistically idiotic character.

  4. So let me understand Joe’s,statement. He wants to make oil company execs liable for product liability in communities they did not serve or underserved. If that’s the case how do I get my cut of the asbestos liability funds. Why should I not get my fair share just because I don’t have mesothelioma.

  5. The Democratic Party doesn’t have too many other realistic choices. Part of that is the ever-older corps of leaders who just will not step aside in favor of the next generation. Another part is the move farther and farther to the left. Yet a third is the move toward totalitarianism and bigotry. Of the top few candidates who can seriously win? Elizabeth Warren? A New England academic who’s already been exposed as someone who lied and gamed the system to benefit herself? Even if she “persisted” that’s not going to put her over the top. Bernie Sanders? Although he is probably the most genuine of the candidates about what he plans to do, those genuine plans are unrealistic and in many cases frightening. Plus, outside the college towns and coffee shops, his support evaporates. Buttiegieg? A mayor of a small city? Don’t make me laugh. Cory Booker was mayor of a city twice as big and he knew he had another stop to make before he went for the big prize (and he’s not getting very far this time out). Yang? Not well enough known. No one else is polling well enough to get anywhere.

    Both parties have gone into elections with thin benches in the past, and they usually accept they won’t get very far, unless someone gets “coronated” by the media. Sometimes they know they are wasting their time and don’t even try that hard, i.e. 1984, when Walter Mondale won only his home state and the District of Columbia against the tide of popularity that was Ronald Reagan. Both parties went in relatively thin in 1988, and Bush the elder was aided by Reagan’s unequalled popularity. The Democrats could have done better than Michael Dukakis, and didn’t even run that great of a campaign with him (cf. the tank photo that backfired and the fumbled response to the death penalty debate question, which is where he probably blew it, although the Willie Horton campaign bruised him). The Democratic bench wasn’t that great in 1992, but the media grabbed onto Clinton, the economy foundered, and Bush sank himself by not really trying. The GOP knew they weren’t going to win in 1996 with the economy booming, so they gave the decent but uncharismatic Bob Dole (who I hope lives to see this May 8) his shot. In 2000 both parties went in not so strong. The GOP ran some top tier names, but in the end it was Bush the younger who got the nod, partly due to ruthless negative campaigning against John McCain. Nonetheless, Al Gore’s difficult-to-get-excited-about, wooden performance (and probably his decision to sideline Bill), cost him enough support nationwide, and ultimately in one key state, to lose the electoral vote. The Democrats thought they had a chance to unseat Bush in 2004, and if the Iraq invasion had started to run into major problems a year earlier they might have. However, as it was, they faced an uphill fight, and tried to go with the most electable choice of John Kerry, rather than the loudmouth Howard Dean. Kerry flopped, although if he’d managed to flip Florida or Ohio he would have won. The GOP bench was pretty weak in 2008, although John McCain, who finally got his chance, was probably giving as good as he got until the economy crashed and guaranteed an Obama win. The GOP bench was REALLY weak in 2012, although Romney didn’t help himself by failing to capitalize on his first debate win. The Democratic bench was NONEXISTENT in 2016, except for a few tomato can opponents for Hillary to knock down and pretend it was fair. The Dems didn’t care, though, they knew the media would coronate Trump on the other side, then turn on him and sink him once he was the nominee (boy did they get that one wrong).

    So now they face a booming economy and a president with a strong base, and a fair following among moderates. It’s a daunting prospect under the best of circumstances. It’s made more daunting by the fact that, for all his blunt and uncouth rhetoric, he has exposed the Democratic Party as fundamentally unfair and made up of bullies. The Democratic senators’ performance during the Kavanaugh hearings should particularly stand out. They showed there was no tactic too low, too dirty, or too unfair for them to stoop to when it came to them getting their way on something they believed was important enough. The obviously unfair impeachment proceedings should also stand out, as should the rhetoric of “the squad” who have become the new faces of the party. Both these things are just more evidence that the Democratic Party is ruthless, and will do whatever it takes to get what they want, no matter who they hurt, what damage they cause to what, or how bad of a precedent they set. The upcoming showdown over the 2nd Amendment in VA (standing in stark contrast to the aborted church shooting in TX) and the ongoing battle over immigration should also stand out. The Democratic Party is becoming anti-freedom and increasingly shown a reliance not on Americans, but on imported citizens for its support. It should also stand out that the Democratic Party’s supporters are increasingly talking about things like killing the electoral college, enlarging the senate to give more representation to the big states dominated by big cities, and packing the courts, all to make it easier for them to get in power, stay in power, and ram their agenda through, with no one able to oppose them. These items, together with what will certainly be increased taxes and fees, are a tough sell with the best salesman under the best circumstances. It’s not their base they need to sell to. That base would vote for a cardboard cutout as long as it had a D next to its name. It’s the center they need to sell to, especially now that the “blue wall” has cracked and they can no longer count on having three key states, enough to swing an election, securely in their column. They need to sell to the center, and a lot of the center is interested in keeping the balance, not permanently tipping the scales so one party can dominate. Maybe it doesn’t matter if they nominate Biden, who’s clearly slowing down and whose age has clearly started to catch up to him to the point where now he moves, talks, and acts like an old man. The message is just so bad that no matter the messenger it won’t be received favorably.

    • But you only need one. Mitt was a strong candidate, and if the silly pure conservatives hadn’t been petulant jerks and stayed away from the polls, he would have won. (Obama’s IRS not blocking the Tea Party illegally would have also helped.) Weak fields are the exception, not the rule. What was “strong” about Abe Lincoln when he was elected? in 1952 Taft and Stassen were weak candidates, but the GOP had Ike, who was a lock. The Republicans had a strong field in the Sixties as long as Rockefeller was in the mix. Bobby, Humphrey and Clean Gene were a strong group in 1968.

      It’s funny: the first campaign I followed, as a kid in 1960, had the strongest field of my life: JFK, LBJ, Humphrey, Stevenson and Symington all seeking the Dem nomination. Hardly the norm.

      • I think Mitt lost it when he let Obama paint him as a heartless plutocrat whose resume was his indictment. I also think Mitt was unable to counter the Democrat “war on women” rhetoric. Nonsensical as it was (who declared war on an entire gender?) it caught on. To this day the default belief is that conservatives hate women and want to lock them up in the kitchen. I think it’s unfair to blame his loss on the “pure” conservatives. That said, now he’s a Senator and is going to be a fixture in Washington until he decides not to be one any more. We have not heard the last of him.

  6. You’re right…”We’re all dead!” is gross hyperbole. We’re dead without fossil fuels much faster. Last winter was frightfully cold…one of the coldest on record. Without fossil fuels, millions in the Midwest would have risked freezing to death.

    But more than that, we’re all dead anyways. In a hundred years, we’ll all be dead regardless of climate. Last time I checked, the death rate in America was right around 100%…same as the rest of the world. VP Biden gives far too much power to fossil fuels’ ability to kill us. We don’t need fossil fuels to die, but we need them to die less quickly.

    I laughed at his comments about coding. I’m a software engineer by trade. If a coal miner can sit at a computer all day, think logically, break big processes down into step-sized chunks, and pay attention to detail, he/she can code. Not everyone can do those things. I can’t mine for coal.

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