Fighting on with Joe Biden

President Joe Biden addresses the nation.

President Joe Biden’s onstage crackup at Thursday’s CNN debate threw many Americans into a dismal panic. This wasn’t Barack Obama getting whupped by Mitt Romney in their first debate, George W. Bush losing to John Kerry the first time, or even just the admittedly very upsetting demonstrable feebleness of an octogenarian principal. This went deeper than dismay over Biden’s mouth-gaping flub-fest, in particular his humiliating bellyflop on Medicare.

The debate delivered something truly insidious in this volatile 2024 campaign cycle: the possibility of Biden losing to convicted felon Donald Trump, the Republican nominee for president.

Again, I’ll sort through the deluge of Trump’s public transgressions and cite a few germane facts.

In 2021, livid over his defeat and willing to put innocent people at considerable risk because of his own

The Sicknicks with President Biden on Jan. 6th, 2023.

failure, Trump incited a mob, which marched to the United States Capitol in an attempt to prevent the certification of the 2020 presidential election. They failed. During the fracas, on-duty Capitol Police Officer Brian Sicknick of New Jersey suffered a stroke and died a day later. The youngest of three sons, Mr. Sicknick grew up in South River and attended East Brunswick Technical High School. Prior to becoming a Capitol Police Office, he served in the New Jersey Air National Guard and was honorably discharged as a staff sergeant after serving in Operation Southern Watch and Operation Enduring Freedom. On Jan. 6th, 2021, Mr. Sicknick was part of a “police line guarding the perimeter of the U.S. Capitol on the day that pro-Trump mobs attempted to stop lawmakers from certifying President Biden’s Electoral College victory. Mr. Sicknick was attacked with chemical spray during the confrontation and collapsed later that evening.” He was 42 at time of his death. The New Jersey native is interred at Arlington National Cemetery.

Sicknick
Officer Sicknick

 

In 2017, while president, Trump failed to condemn white supremacists in Charlottesville, Virginia, where a member of the fascist group American Vanguard at a “Unite the Right” rally, deliberately rammed a car into a crowd of counter-protesters, killing 32-year-old Heather Heyer. “You had many people in that group other than neo-Nazis and white nationalists,” Trump said. “The press has treated them absolutely unfairly. …You also had some very fine people on both sides.” The Western District of Virgina 2019 sentenced James A. Fields to life in prison. “Hatred and bigotry have no place in our nation. Violent actions inspired by such warped thinking are a disgrace to our people and our values, and the Department of Justice will not tolerate such depraved acts,” said Assistant Attorney General Eric Dreiband.

Earlier this year, against the backdrop of the ongoing war in Ukraine initiated by Russian President

Trump
Former President Trump. on Jan. 6th, 2021, inciting a crowd to march to the U.S. Capitol.

Vladimir Putin, Trump threatened to withdraw protection from NATO allies and let Russia “do whatever the hell they want.” From The Associated Press: “Trump’s tightening grip on the GOP is reshaping the party’s traditional defense of longstanding military alliances and rejection of Moscow, positions that date back to the days of the Soviet Union. Many who once would have responded with alarm to the NATO remarks have largely fallen in line with Trump’s priorities or have chosen to retire as it has become clear his influence has not waned.”

As he dispensed with facts at Thursday’s debate, Trump indulged his habit of describing anything he does as “the best ever” and whatever a critic does as “the worst.” In response, Biden made a salient point. Trump doesn’t communicate. Not really. He whines. He’s a whiner. If Biden is an old man, Trump’s particular sense of entitlement and lack of formation – lack of breeding and character – make him a child, a rare feat for someone close to 80, but true, and frightfully so as he provides – with our children and young people looking on – the exact inverse of manly behavior. Those of us who grew up privileged to be in the presence of those dignified members of the Greatest Generation and taught by the men who came home from Vietnam and the Cold War and know and adore – and do our best every day to embody – an American style, tough and pragmatic, find Trump simply a reprehensible reject of human excess. He’s an oddball, in the sense that he has more in common with Nebuchadnezzar than the tough people of America, born of the Enlightenment and schooled in those shifts of power unique to our history, and rooted in the same rule of law that tamed the American West.

But Trump’s above the law, and his supporters don’t care. In a sign of things to come should he regain the presidency, the Trump-majority Supreme Court today ruled that evidence of official acts not only cannot be prosecuted, but, as noted by InsiderNJ legal analyst Joe Hayden “such evidence cannot be used as background evidence in a prosecution of a crime for private acts. Given its complexity, the DC case could not be tried for a number of years because there will be further pre-the trial appeals. Moreover, the opinion will embolden the Florida federal judge to declare almost everything Trump did as an official act and make that case unprosecutable.”

Said U.S. Rep. Mikie Sherrill (D-11), a U.S. Navy veteran and former prosecuting attorney, in reaction to

Sherrill

the decision, “Since our founding, America has been guided by the principle that no person is above the law, even the President of the United States. But that is no longer true. Today, the corrupt MAGA majority on the Supreme Court went all-in on Donald Trump’s plan to undermine our democracy and institutions, and become a dictator on Day One. This decision is breathtaking and dangerous on many fronts. GOP mega-donors Harlan Crow, Leonard Leo, and Paul Singer have gotten their money’s worth from this Court that has undermined our democracy and freedom at every turn. They have stripped women of fundamental freedoms, rolled back gun safety measures, weakened the right to vote, sided with January 6 insurrectionists – and now, empowered Trump to go even further with his un-American actions. There is also no question Justices Thomas and Alito should have recused themselves from this case – but they didn’t, and right now, there is no mechanism to hold them accountable. Make no mistake: Our democracy is fragile, and right now we need leadership that puts our country and Constitution before party and politics. It is a shameful truth that today’s Court has lost all credibility.”

A registered independent professionally educated mostly by newspaper beats going back to when I worked in Rawlins, Wyoming as a prison reporter, I generally have contempt for both political parties. Typically, the party in power, whether Democratic or Republican, gets around to abusing power, usually sooner rather than later, and sets in motion again a cycle of renewal, limited yet vital for the maintenance of our flawed two-party system. But Republicans – who should be the heirs of Lincoln, Eisenhower and Reagan – have acquiesced in the most cowardly, indolent, and derelict way as their spoiled child king runs roughshod over their party.

With regret, Biden as a less than prime time performer provides some evidence of the Democrats’ version of corrosion. In the words of my cousin, a retired firefighter, texted after the presidential debate, “Our system is very, very broken if these are the two people we are choosing between.” Fair point. But right now, Biden remains the only choice for Americans who understand the terrible threat posed by Donald Trump, and – for all his flaws – he is a good choice, with demonstrable experience and achievements. The President has a record of public service that includes repairing and maintaining alliances worldwide, opposing Soviet-style Russian aggression in the best tradition of Ronald Reagan in defense of Ukraine, standing by Israel, appointing the first female African American Supreme Court Justice, funding infrastructure projects, including – critically in New Jersey- the Gateway Tunnel, in support of organized labor, and speaking in a voice aimed at healing – not dividing – this great country. The U.S. economy is strong overall under Biden’s leadership. From Snopes: “The government reported that 272,000 jobs were added to the economy in May 2024, a number that surpassed the 180,000 that had been estimated, as we previously reported. Meanwhile, while the unemployment rate had remained under 4% for more than two years, something that hadn’t happened since 1967. Further, the economy grew 3.1% in 2023, a year that 85% of economists in a survey expected would end in a recession.”

Senator Sharif Street.
Chairman Sharif Street

In the face of post-debate worry in his party, Sharif Street, chairman of the Pennsylvania Democratic Committee, said he intends to stand by the President. “He has a record that includes creating more jobs this year than Trump created in four years,” Street told InsiderNJ on Monday. “Trump claims he’s pro law enforcement, but he initiated attacks on law enforcement [see above]. He cozied up to white supremacists and bragged about appointing judges that got rid of a woman’s right to choose.”

In 2020, in the best tradition of come-backing American politics, horrified by Trump’s insistence on the false equivalency between white supremacists and those counterprotesting in Charlottesville, including Heather Heyer, now dead, killed by a white supremacist, Biden stepped up and stopped Trump in his tracks.

He had a bad debate the other night. Humiliating and lousy.

Ok.

Trump: 1. Biden: 0.

But while Trump whines and lies, rolling in his hamster globe outside the American continuum, Biden’s a fighter, now as then, even slowed, and in the din of would-be kill-shot headlines, shows the enduring guts of an American, fair and justice-minded, even if he doesn’t always get the words right – words too deep for tears, wrote Wordsworth, if you’re paying attention, Democrats – and stakes too deep for cynicism.

Gottheimer and Biden.
Biden with U.S. Rep. Josh Gottheimer (D-NJ).
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One response to “Fighting on with Joe Biden”

  1. View : THEREALDEBATE .. . over 11 million views and counting!
    Let’s remember we are in this space because of the DNC. They decided no democrat primary so candidates could be vetted properly. They took the nomination from Bernie Sanders so Hillary would marched to the convention and did it again to Bernie for Biden and this time against RFK JR. (KENNEDY). But, RFK JR. didn’t go away. After being a lifetime democrat , he changed his affiliation to Independent. The DNC, shot themselves in the foot playing dirty politics. Oh, remember Donna, the DNC Chairperson at the time, giving Hillary the debate questions, prior to the debate?. So here we are, scrambling to polish a turd. Who also is guilty of telling lies. Remember in the 2020 debate he looked right into the camera and told the Americans people that 51 National Security experts confirmed (with their signature) the lab top was Russian disinformation. A big lie. A lie that could have changed the election . I think that is called election interference. Maybe Jan.6 would have never happened. ????
    The picture of Biden in a face mask is not a good look or good for his election this time around either. The mask is a red flag. We know now that a cloth or paper mask had little to no effect in protecting the population from a tiny aerosol virus that could go right through it. This was a known fact in early spring 2020. Also, if you remember Biden proclaimed Covid-19 was the pandemic of the unvaccinated, because the vaccine was the cure. They knew it wasn’t. A big lie.
    The big truth. Politics is a dirty business, full of fear mongers and gaslighting experts. Words like disinformation and misinformation are thrown around like confetti. But, with RFK JR. they had to make up a word: MALINFORMATION, to defend censoring him and others from telling the (inconvenient) truth.
    Protecting our democracy starts with sovereignty and freedom of thought. We are witnessing the destruction of democracy with open borders and censorship.
    The youth, the middle class, the minorities, the regular “folk” are wise to the shortcomings of both parties. But, congratulations DNC for always playing Felix the Cat, with your bag of dirty tricks. You got what you asked for; a far cry from “Protecting Our Democracy .”

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