There is no subject so serious that a limerick can’t be made about it:
There once was a fellow named Biden
Whose capacities seemed to be slidin’
His party said, “Wait!
Old Joe can’t debate!
So we’ll just have to keep him in hidin’!”
His confusion and poor comprehension
Have long been attracting attention
They've got a fresh face
To put in his place
If he just makes it to the convention
RELATED READING: Democrats have to hide Biden till convention, get Bernie out
That’s not meant to ridicule Joe Biden himself --- far from it --- but rather the deceitful Democrat Party leaders who are using him, actually victimizing him. Who truly believes the party’s goal is to put former Vice President Biden, nearing 80 and appearing to struggle with cognitive challenges, in the Oval Office, for real? Early yesterday, I wrote about their need to keep Biden out of the public eye after his victories in Tuesday’s primary elections. I speculated there might not be any debate appearances in his future, even the one scheduled for this Sunday with the other Last Old White Man Standing, Bernie Sanders. Since then, there have been some new developments.
Recall that some prominent Democrats were already calling for Sanders to drop out and Biden to be declared the nominee. (Never mind the unfairness to all the voters in states that haven’t had their primaries yet.) Party leaders say they need to do this to focus on beating President Trump in November, burt we know what this is really about. At this point, they can’t risk letting Biden try to match wits with anyone, let alone Donald Trump. Whatever the reason for his decline (I’m not a doctor), his behavior has become so bizarre that his campaign is limiting his speaking engagements to seven minutes.
But these debates can go on for two hours. And, unlike earlier debates in which the stage (and face time) was shared with a number of candidates, they’ll be one-on-one, with lots of questions and back-and-forth.
Obviously, the Biden campaign and the DNC do not want him to appear with Bernie at Sunday’s event. Already they’ve renegotiated so that the candidates may remain seated throughout. Because of coronavirus concerns, they’ve even dispensed with the live audience. And you know they would prefer to cancel the debate entirely –- to do what James Carville suggested and just “shut this puppy down.”
In an announcement Wednesday, Sanders showed that he is less than cooperative.
But the threat of the coronavirus is being taken very seriously, with Trump in a late-Wednesday Oval Office address announcing that it had been classified by the World Health Organization as a pandemic (meaning epidemic on a global scale). He outlined point-by-point the aggressive actions being taken, saying, “We’re marshaling the full power of the federal government and the private sector to protect the American people.” While reassuring young and healthy people that their “risk is very, very low,” he cautioned the elderly and those with underlying conditions to be “very, very careful” and “to avoid all nonessential travel and crowded areas.”
The threat is real, but watch how Biden’s campaign now gets to use it to avoid campaign events entirely. Why, it’s not to shield Biden from scrutiny –- it’s to protect the voters! Never mind that it also means Biden won’t have to answer questions, explain his positions or try to connect with people without insulting them. As people now try to avoid crowds, this political contest may take on a dangerous new theme: “Suppose they gave a presidential campaign and nobody came?”
As the Democrats say, “Never let a crisis go to waste.” This situation makes it a lot easier for Biden to limp along to the convention in June, which might be the most convenient time for the DNC to suddenly “realize” that he's having to struggle with significant mental lapses, that Sanders is unelectable in a general election, and that they need to draft a replacement right away “for the good of the country.” Someone strong and electable who can hit the ground running. Someone with the best chance of beating Trump. That person will either replace Biden outright or be put on the ticket with him, as President-in-waiting.
It occurs to me that if the virus is still active by late spring or early summer, they might not have a convention at all.
Campaign events are already being canceled, on both the left and right. President Trump announced Wednesday that he has canceled a couple of events out West. Both Biden and Sanders have already canceled rallies. As Laura Ingraham pointed out on her show Wednesday night, these cancellations benefit one candidate in particular, the one who has the most to lose: Joe Biden. A former staffer for Bernie, Tezlyn Figaro, said on Laura’s show that “Joe Biden will certainly benefit because we don’t have to worry about him threatening to take somebody out back.” Touche.
But she also said this might benefit Sanders as well because he wouldn’t have to explain why people weren’t coming out to his rallies. “I think people are finding out that folks are just not socialists,” she said. “I worked with Sen. Sanders...I joined him in 2016 for very different reasons, but it’s important for folks to understand that this country just, they just don’t want to elect a socialist. So Sen. Sanders has to take some responsibility for that as well.”
If that’s the view of someone who actually worked for him, it should be more obvious than ever that Bernie won’t be the nominee. It follows that if he’s unelectable and Biden is incapable, the Democrat party is going to go with someone else.
Figaro also commented on what I reported yesterday, the call by Rep. James Clyburn of South Carolina to cancel the rest of the debates and end the primary process right where it is, calling his suggestion “extremely insulting.” She said it was disrespectful, “even to those who want to vote for Joe Biden” and also “to American democracy.” We’re at a point where half of the delegates are yet to be earned, she said, and this decision shouldn’t be made by “just one or two folks at the top.” Biden’s supporters know he makes “consistent gaffes,” she said, “and they still voted for him anyway.”
She cited #DemExit as trending among people who are upset about this push to shut the process down and give it to Biden. (Of course, I’ve talked-up the fabulous #WalkAway movement, which was already going on.)
Figaro made some excellent, well-reasoned points (she is a FORMER Bernie staffer). I wonder, though, if Biden’s supporters will still feel as eager to vote for him if they see much more of the bizarre behavior he increasingly exhibits. That behavior is why those “one or two folks at the top” will do everything possible to hide him and promote him in absentia, and the media will help them. They would have done this even without the coronavirus, but the growing threat of contagion makes it so much easier now.