Moments after the Kansas City Chiefs won the Super Bowl, Joe Biden’s account mocked conspiracy theorists by tweeting a “Dark Brandon” meme—the one where the doddering president features laser eyes—with the words, “Just like we drew it up” underneath. Sure, it’s cringy and dumb, but a cartoon might be the only way to make the president appear operational.
After Special Counsel Robert Hur’s report concluded Biden was too feeble-minded to stand trial for his alleged decades-long mishandling of classified information, the White House immediately tried to create the impression that the president, whose mental acuity was never anything to write home about, was the sharpest octogenarian in the country.
Hey, look, Biden’s already on the TikTok gabbing with the kids.
White House Press Secretary Karine Jean-Pierre swears that Biden “does more in one hour than most people do in a day.” Expect a torrent of “leaks” portraying the president as a robust force of nature.
The president, we’ve already learned, was “privately livid” over the Hur report, particularly the claim “he didn’t remember when Beau died.” Speaking at the House Democrat retreat last week, Biden “angrily cursed about the language in the report.” In private, Biden also called Benjamin Netanyahu, his top red herring these days, an “assh-le” in “at least 3 instances.” (As Biden spent the week pressuring Netanyahu to give Hamas a pass, Israel freed another two hostages.)
Anger isn’t a sign of youthful exuberance, and lashing out at people, as Biden often does when asked even slightly discomforting questions, shouldn’t be confused with mental competency. Those in cognitive decline, in fact, are often irritated by questions—they may yell things like, “C’mon, man!” in frustration—and become aggressive about their memory loss. They also create alternative timelines and conflate memories, as Biden seems to do even more these days than usual.
Some Biden allies have claimed the president is no worse than Donald Trump. As Ian Bremmer notes, for example, while Biden mixed up Egyptian President Sisi with Mexican President Andrés Manuel López Obrador and living Emmanuel Macron with the departed Francois Mitterrand, Trump mixed up Hungarian Prime Minister Viktor Orban with Turkish President Recep Erdogan and Nikki Haley with Nancy Pelosi.
Both guys are old, sure, but Biden also couldn’t remember Winston Churchill’s name when speaking to the prime minister of Britain or the name of Hamas during a press conference about Hamas. In his interview with the special counsel, Biden struggled to recall the years he was vice president of the United States and when his son died. Before the Super Bowl, Biden sent out a video complaining about “Shrinkflation” – as if he didn’t play a part in making it happen — and he could barely read the teleprompters.
Biden can barely speak extemporaneously with a friendly media. The president of the United States says something spectacularly bonkers every week, and we all just go on with our day. Not that any of this is surprising, as the least-interviewed president in modern history campaigned from a bunker last time around. He’s not going to get sharper over the next four years. That’s not how time or the human body works.
Or, as Biden might say for no fathomable reason, “God save the queen, man.”
While the White House worked to de-age Biden, Democrats attacked Hur, named by Biden’s Attorney General Merrick Garland, as a political agent of the GOP. The president’s personal lawyer, Bob Bauer, argued the special counsel’s report is not only misleading but a “shoddy” document containing numerous “misstatements of fact.” There’s an easy way to clear this all up: the DOJ should release the transcripts of the interviews with the president. Let’s see the conversation.
Hur did the president a favor by letting him slide. If Biden’s mental acuity is as razor-sharp as Democrats claim, Hur would be compelled to recommend charges against the president. Biden’s treatment of classified documents was no better, and probably far worse, than Trump’s, considering Biden was hoarding and sharing top-secret documents long before he was president.
Now, if Biden steps down (and I’m highly skeptical that’s going to happen), not much will change. Maybe a younger, more popular candidate would present a stronger match-up for Trump. Maybe not. Incumbency is a powerful tool. We know the politics won’t change much.
The president, who peddled himself as a moderate in 2020, has taken virtually every far-left position imaginable. His recent placation of Hamas apologists within the Democrat Party is just the latest example of a moral spinelessness that goes back five decades. He’s not a puppet. He’s just weak.
You can disagree about his principles, but please stop telling us he’s okay. You don’t have to be a neurologist to see that the president is struggling with coherence and competency. Nor is anything particularly wrong with Biden’s difficulties. Most people his age, many of whom are far sharper than the president, have long retired. So should Joe.