We are in for 19 months of relentless, insultingly transparent spin.
By which a patently incompetent man will be purveyed as commander in chief for another four years.
Joe Biden announces — via a video, not in person so we can see him live — that he will run for reelection in 2024. Immediately we read that Forty-Six is playing his cards close to his chest, letting his record speak for itself — a daring proposition — and has no plans to begin campaigning in earnest, not even in those states we commonly refer to as “swing.”
No, Joe will remain sequestered in the White House, behind those walls and porticos and ridiculous sunglasses, a man of the people taking care of America’s business.
Get ready, readers. We are in for 19 months of relentless, insultingly transparent spin, propaganda, and lies of omission, by way of which a senile, patently incompetent man will be offered to us as the president for another four years.
Never mind that Biden is the crafty strategist who chooses to limit his public appearances to a minimum out of polished political nous. Biden’s minders, and without them I wonder if he would have lasted this long in office, will keep this guy as tightly under wraps as they can get away with.
You won’t see much of Biden during the coming campaign season. He will make the minimum of public appearances, and they will be brief. He will not answer many questions — mine, yours, or any journalist’s. And those he does answer will be carefully vetted replies written on index cards, as is already the practice. Already we are advised the Democratic National Committee will hold no primary debates.
Last week The New York Post gave us a preview of things to come. The Post, you will recall, broke the Hunter Biden laptop story shortly before the 2020 elections. Those exclusives were discredited as Russian disinformation until Biden won, whereupon the Post was vindicated. Put it out of your mind that the chicanery of three years ago was any kind of one-off.
A week ago Monday the White House barred Post reporters from one of Biden’s rare press conferences, saying in the cotton-wool language Joe’s press people prefer that there wasn’t enough room. In its evening editions the New York tabloid published photographs purporting to show 20 empty seats in the press gallery.
In 2020, Democrats, the press, and social media falsely smeared and censored America’s oldest newspaper. Now the nation’s fifth-largest daily is simply shut out at the door.
Will we have to depend on the Post, a Murdoch property, for an undue proportion of genuine news about Biden, his corrupt family, and his past doings as the campaign season gets going? I will not be surprised if this turns out to be the case, given our liberal media are absolutely bent on keeping all of the above from public view so as to keep this log-roller in office.
Again to the Post. Two days after its journalists were excluded from a Biden presser, they reported that the Federal Bureau of Investigation refused to give the House Oversight Committee a file containing evidence that Biden was allegedly accepting bribes during his years as Barack Obama’s veep. It was during those years, of course, that Hunter was on the board of a Ukrainian gas company and Joe carried the Obama regime’s Ukraine portfolio. You can read all about the Ukraine-related corruption of Biden père et fils on the latter’s laptop. You just can’t read about it in the liberal press.
The FBI’s stonewalling is a hangover consequence of the Russiagate years, I will remind you. It was during that scoundrel time that the Democratic Party, the national security apparatus, law enforcement and the press made common cause in the service of Hillary Clinton’s campaign for the presidency. Brazen refusals to abide by the law have been common as dirt ever since.
You have to read the agency’s response to the House request to get the full, appalling picture. Here’s the good part:
“… keeping this kind of source information free from the perception or reality of improper influence — and preventing the redirection of this information for non-law enforcement or non-intelligence uses — is necessary for the FBI’s effective execution of our law enforcement and national security responsibilities.”
Take your time, I had to read it three times, too. This is what the cotton-wool language of lawless bureaucrats is for: Those who traffic in it must say something that will be made public but do not want to be understood as they do.
FBI’s Message About Congressional Oversight
Pulling this wad of execrable verbiage apart, the agency charged with enforcing federal law just told the House two things. One, we can’t give out information related to “improper influence” involving a figure holding high office even if the evidence we have proves it. “Free from the perception or reality…” Think about that.
Two, and this is even wilder, the F.B.I. just told elected lawmakers that information it possesses about Biden’s corruption has no pertinence or application outside of the national security apparatus. In other words, evidence of bribes Biden accepted is none of the Congress’s or the public’s business.
So far as I understand the matter, the No. 1 “non-law enforcement or non-intelligence use” of the F.B.I.’s file is political. It is to tell the public just what Biden got up to during his vice-presidency so that we can all decide if we like him or detest him and — among those who vote — if they will support him next year. No, the F.B.I. says: That would be an improper use of this information.
Do you ever get as sick of these bamboozlers, these cretins, as I do? Does your heart send faint signals it is breaking as we watch utterly unqualified people with too much power send our republic straight down the chute?
Biden is not running for president. He is better understood as a creation of the Democratic machine and whose function is to front for the Deep State while it gets a declining empire’s work done. His obvious incapacities are just right for the job.
Remote, unanswerable and unanswering, Biden seems to me the U.S.’s first fully Soviet-style president. During his 2020 campaigns I compared him with Yuri Andropov and Konstantin Chernenko, the two dottering Soviet general-secretaries who preceded Mikhail Gorbachev. Then a reader pointed out this was unfair to Andropov and Chernenko, given what they got done in the late Soviet Union on the domestic side. I stood corrected. But I still wonder how many steps away Biden may be from the taxidermist.
What gets my goat, sticks on my craw, gets up my nose — how uncomfortable it is to comment on these matters — is the offensive confidence the Democratic machine displays as it presumes it can foist a senile old man on our republic. The corrupt-to-the-core DNC gives every impression of thinking it can do whatever it wants and still get its man into the White House. These are the same bastards who prattle on about voters’ rights, the defense of democracy, and so on.
Biden’s decision to stand for reelection — was it his or the Deep State’s? — is a dangerous business given the late imperium’s desperate conduct in Ukraine, across the Pacific, and elsewhere. And no one much mentions the frightening, spine-chilling reality that there is a more than an even chance Kamala Harris will serve as our 47th president within six years of the date-stamp on this column.
Silence, a Soviet silence, must prevail on all such matters.
The opinion polls are all over the place at this point, but one conducted by The Associated Press and NORC just before Biden committed to run indicates that three-quarters of American voters, including a majority of Democrats, don’t want him to. All of these surveys put the point delicately: “Age could be a factor,” says one, speaking for all the rest.
Delicacy is simply inappropriate at this moment and in these circumstances. We should be discussing this question forthrightly in the public sphere given all that is at issue.
Avoiding the ‘Age Factor’
I am amused but not surprised by liberal media’s response to this drift among American voters. In a straight-out case of manufacturing consent, these media’s solution is — keeping in mind their shared intent — simply to stop reporting and writing about Biden’s age and obvious infirmities.
Last week gave us an exquisite specimen in this connection. The head atop Charles Blow’s piece on The New York Times’s May 10 opinion page is “The Manufactured Panic Over Biden’s Age.” I see, I see: No one was worried about Biden’s age until the press started mentioning it. So let’s stop mentioning it. Let’s manufacture indifference to Biden’s age. We must do this because it is election time.
Do you love it or what?
“We as citizens and consumers of media like to think that we come to our opinions and beliefs completely on our own, and we resist the notion that those opinions have been influenced or manipulated by outside forces,” Blow observes. “But there is a growing body of research that demonstrates the opposite. We are, unquestionably, influenced by the media.”
Wow. Where has this fellow been? Not reading his Bernays, his Lippmann, his Chomsky and Herman. Not reading the magical realism his newspaper trades in to “corral the public” — as Zbigniew Brzezinski wonderfully put it — into thinking and believing whatever the government it serves want the public to think and believe.
“The idea that voters are worried about Biden’s age and capacity has been repeated so often that it no longer requires any proof beyond polling that reflects what respondents have consumed: reports that they’re worried about Biden’s age and capacity. … There’s a real chicken-egg conundrum here.”
Actually, Charles, there isn’t.
This is a truly curious pirouette. The New York Times is perfectly pleased to swindle its readers into thinking and believing anything as just noted — the justice of a proxy war, China as the aggressor in the Pacific, America has a terrific health care system, and so on — but if its readers think and believe something the Times does not want them to think and believe, it’s time to stop encouraging them to think for themselves.
I don’t pay great attention to American elections because I don’t vote — or, as I prefer to think of it, I cast my vote by not voting. Certainly, I am not in the business of predicting what will happen at the polls next year.
A survey The Washington Post and ABC News published last week produced results that have a lot of heads spinning. In a Trump–Biden election, Joe loses by a spread of six percentage points, 44 to 38. In a De Santis–Biden contest, it is 42 percent for the Florida governor and 37 percent for Biden.
You would think Democrats would start to get the message. But they seem to be living with these kinds of data by shrugging them off. “It’s probably an outlier,” Jonathan Weisman, a Timesman based in Chicago, remarked Sunday of the Post–ABC poll.
I begin to recall the scene in 2016, the last time mainstream Democrats presumed that what they wanted was what America would get. I do not stand in the corner of any of Biden’s potential rivals for the presidency, but there is the matter of comeuppance. A party so complacent and contemptuous of democracy as to assume it can impose an incompetent geriatric on the nation to suit its purposes deserves some.
Patrick Lawrence, a correspondent abroad for many years, chiefly for the International Herald Tribune, is a columnist, essayist, lecturer and author, most recently of Time No Longer: Americans After the American Century. His new book Journalists and Their Shadows, is forthcoming from Clarity Press. His Twitter account, @thefloutist, has been permanently censored. His web site is Patrick Lawrence. Support his work via his Patreon site.