Joe Biden, The Human Lawn Chair

“Ladies and Gentlemen, the President of the United States…”

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.

Lawn chair.

___________________________________

Sources: New York Post, Washington Post

12 thoughts on “Joe Biden, The Human Lawn Chair

    • No. But I might have been tempted to vote for a better lawn chair running under the banner of a party that had not rejected the Constitution and the Bill of Rights, and trued to overturn an election while dividing the nation and exacerbating racial faultlines, especially if doing so didn’t validate a corrupt news media. You know–THAT lawn chair.

          • I voted for third party presidential candidates in 2004 (deeply disappointed in Bush) and 2008 (didn’t trust McCain). In 2012, I voted for Romney, who seemed like a decent and competent choice despite some of my misgivings, feeling for the first time that a vote for a third party candidate would be wasted, and that another four years of Obama would produce awful results. (Thanks, Obama!) In 2016, no third party candidate seemed trustworthy or competent, and I couldn’t stomach Clinton or Trump, so I didn’t cast a vote for president at all that year. After that, I decided that third party presidential candidates aren’t worth voting for until their parties show the ability to govern well at the state level, minimally—barring some extraordinary candidate, which Jo Jorgensen is not. That leaves me a choice between Biden and Trump this November, and I have to say I’ve never felt this strongly about which candidate would receive my vote.

      • I remember thinking throughout the 2016 campaign that the Republicans could have beaten Hillary if they’d just managed to nominate a low grade artichoke. And they I woke up the morning after the election and then, as Baron Von Gotchburg is fond of saying, hilarity ensued.

  1. When I had read just the headline for this post, I thought the “lawn chair” was going to be a metaphor for the empty one typically used to stake out and hold a place at some event or another.

  2. I dedicate these comments to Valkygrrl who knows an a**hole when she sees one! 🙂
    __________________

    ”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.”

    Here in this statement, I will suggest, is a series of *knots* that must be untied. It will be hard, and it is hard, but it must be done.

    It would have been, and because it would have been it still is, imperative for men to understand and to defend their country, their nation. And part of that is to understand and defend its physical make-up. You could use the terms ‘racial’ or ‘ethnic’ or ‘European’ and all of these would allude to what is meant. So, we need to *unpack* this term ‘white supremacy’ because it is not a transparent term! It simply is not. It is a twisted term. And those who would use it, and those who do use it, have a twisted agenda that results from having a twisted-up mind.

    And of course the term *racist* is in the same category. These are words that are so hot, and so charged, that they really should not be used in common discourse. If I were here to explain what *racist* means to those who actively seek to undermine American culture I would, by that explanation, be seen as sullying myself. But that is the function of the term! You have no defense against it and if you make the effort to offer an explanation of a positive way to understand why it might be necessary, good and ethical to think in terms that might include *race* as some part, even if minor, of the equation, you have stepped into their trap! [That is ‘dolos’ in Greek.]

    This reference can be examined: repugnant to everything we hold dear as Americans. This is a profoundly coercive statement, and it really is Orwellian. It is also 100% false. The very Founders of this country had ideas, rationally presented, that when examined would place them in the ‘repugnant’ category! Look no further that Abe Lincoln who has a sacred monument built to him.

    Anyway, the issue here is how thought and indeed cognition is controlled. The first order of business is to squirm out of these coercive traps . . . Though please don’t feel you have to gnaw off your foot in the process!

    The ‘sinister ideologies’ indeed have to be spotted and pointed-out. But this is where it gets tricky indeed. Because the effect of the truly sinister ideology has already had its way with huge groups of people in the sense that they have been *conditioned* not to see what they see, not to understand what they understand, not to know what they know, and not, as a result, to defend what needed to be defended. This really does have to do with *mind control*. In order to see and understand this one has to be willing to see and understand all the mechanisms of coercion that have been established and *installed* as it were as primary mechanisms in the culture.

  3. Jack wrote, “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”

    Over on Jonathan Turley’s blog I had a brief conversation with a fellow commenter, in part of my comment about CNN being sued by Dershowitz, I wrote in part…

    “Something drastic needs to take place to wake up the media and stop their intentionally biased misrepresentations, intentional distortions, partisan spin and blatant lies that they present to the public as truth and facts.”

    Side Note: In retrospect; what I wrote above when taken in context with the rest of my comment sounds a little like either a rationalization or a little like consequentialism. (It’s interesting reading old comments with a different perspective)

    A fellow commenter replied to my comment…

    “If ever there was a practitioner of ‘telling lies often enough to be believed’ it is Trump. Trump is nothing but lies.”

    I replied to his comment…

    “Your comment falls into the following rationalizations as defined by Unethical Rationalizations and Misconceptions

    1. The Golden Rationalization, or “Everybody does it”

    2. Ethics Estoppel, or “They’re Just as Bad”

    7. The “Tit for Tat” Excuse

    22. The Comparative Virtue Excuse: “There are worse things.”

    Your comment is also a transparent deflection.”

    I probably missed a couple of rationalizations.

    It’s interesting how often conversations stop after I employ segments of the rationalization list. The unethical partisan troll clammed up and went elsewhere.

    I completely concur that there are many people out there that will vote for a lawn chair instead of Trump and they are constantly talking about Trump’s lies as if everything out of his mouth is an actual lie.

    • But Steve, none of those people voted for Trump last time. It’s all the Yellow Dog Democrats* that are saying how horrible Trump is all the time. They’ve been saying this stuff since it became apparent he was actually taking his presidential run seriously. And haven’t stopped since.
      _________
      *Old Southernism meaning Democrats who’d vote for “an old yeller’ dog” before they’d vote for a Republican. Dates back to Reconstruction. You know, when Dixiecrats were erecting Jim Crow throughout the South.

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