I’ve been thinking about what would be the fair and expository Ethics Alarms nickname for Joe Biden, and I’ve settled on “The Lawn Chair,” or TLC for short.
In 2016, I wrote repeatedly in posts and comments that I would vote for a lawn chair over Donald Trump, using the same standard that I had applied in the past to first term Presidents who I had found unacceptably incompetent or untrustworthy (Nixon, Carter, Bush I, and Bill Clinton). Joe Biden, in his drastically diminished 2020 model, is the closest thing a U.S. Presidential contest has had to an actual lawn chair, and it is clear that those preparing to vote for him to lead the nation at this critical time would literally vote for a lawn chair over President Trump. In this there is epic hypocrisy.
Feminists who once proclaimed that sexual harassment and sexual assault, determined on the basis of unsubstantiated accusations, were sufficient to disqualify a man for high public office are supporting Biden, who has been photographed numerous times engaging in sexual harassment as Vice-President, and has been accused “credibly” (as they said about Brett Kavanaugh’s less than credible accuser) of sexual assault. Heck, one such feminist is his running mate. Soft coup proponents who have argued that President Trump is sufficiently cognitively handicapped that the 25th Amendment should be employed to remove him are supporting Biden, who is obviously more mentally impaired now than Trump has ever been even in the fever dreams of progressives.
Then there is the lying.
Perhaps the most persistent condemnation of Donald Trump is that he lies all the time; those who are violently opposed to him claim to find this the most unpalatable aspect of his leadership. Well, most of the alleged lies aren’t lies, but technicalities aside, the President is infuriatingly unconcerned with such matters as consistency, accuracy, proportion, exaggeration, hyperbole and precision. His trustworthiness regarding facts is almost as bad as the press, if you believe the public opinion polls. Nonetheless, these same critics are prepared to vote for Joe Biden, whose record for accuracy and veracity can only be defended by resorting to the dreaded Rationalization #22, The Comparative Virtue Excuse, or “There are worse things.”
In fact, that’s exactly what Washington Post factchecker Glenn Kessler did to cushion the blows of his column tracking the “occasional whoppers” uttered by Joe Biden in his CNN “town hall” with undecided voters. His very first sentence was”A Joe Biden town hall does not hit the Pinocchio meter as much as a Donald Trump town hall.” #22! Kessler’s second sentence is itself a lie: “Biden tends to stick close to the facts but occasionally gets carried away with some over-exuberance. ” The man gave a campaign speech that was literally lifted from a British politician! I’ve never heard “exuberance” used as a defense for premeditated plagiarism.
I credit Kessler for at least kind of fact-checking Biden’s performance, even if he falsely framed it, and even if he intentionally or negligently missed some of those “whoppers.”
You know which of Biden’s statements made my head explode if you’ve read Ethics Alarms very often—this one:
“When you guys started talking on television about ‘Biden, if he wins, will be the first person without an Ivy League degree to be elected president,’ I said, ‘Who the hell makes you think I need an Ivy League degree to be president?’ I’m not joking.”
Kessler’s critique stops with “No reporter said that.” Of course not, because any sixth grader knows better. The frightening thing is that Biden apparently is so brick ignorant that he really thinks he’d be the first President without an Ivy League degree. Exactly 15 Presidents have had degrees from Ivy League schools; we’ve had 46 Presidents (remember, Cleveland counts as two). Almost as many, 12, didn’t go to college at all. I find Americans’ lack of basic knowledge of Presidential history appalling, but for a man running for President to blurt out such nonsense on national TV is terrifying.
Sure, Joe sticks close to the facts—like when he said, in another iteration of the Big Lie that the President could have controlled the Wuhan virus,
“If the president had done his job, had done his job from the beginning, all the people would still be alive. All the people — I’m not making this up. Just look at the data. Look at the data.”
I think even an actual lawn chair should be able to figure out that this is ridiculous.
Helpfully—for Biden—Kessler leaves out one of the worst lies from the “virtual town meeting,” now a standard among Democrats (like Michelle Obama) despite being repeatedly debunked:
“I’m waiting for the day when he says, ‘I condemn all those white supremacists, I condemn all those militia guys as much as I do every other organizational structure,”
Can you wait for the past? President Trump has condemned white supremacists several times. Within days of the violence in Charlottesville, the President said, “Racism is evil. And those who cause violence in its name are criminals and thugs, including the KKK, neo-Nazis, white supremacists, and other hate groups that are repugnant to everything we hold dear as Americans.” Following the El Paso and Dayton shootings in August 2019, Trump said, “In one voice, our nation must condemn racism, bigotry and white supremacy….These sinister ideologies must be defeated. Hate has no place in America. Hatred warps the mind, ravages the heart and devours the soul.”
Keep waiting, Joe.