"Whenever I go into a restaurant, I order both a chicken and an egg to see which comes first"

Saturday, September 4, 2021

“I Wish I Were Back In Delaware”–Tales Of A President Who’s Not Sure Who He Is Or Why

‘You should have seen the Atlantic in my day’, reflected President Biden.  ‘You don’t see anything like that anymore’.  He smiled to his wife and his coterie who were growing more used to his reminiscences about the good old days.  He looked away out the windows of the West Wing to the South Lawn wishing himself back at the beach, looking for clams and crab shells.  “What was the name of the girl I used to like, the one from Dover with the pigtails and frilly jumper?  Martha, I think, or June, or Elizabeth”.

Image result for images 50s girls on delaware beach

Once he got that faraway look, that misty eyed and sentimental dreaminess which signaled his return to Delaware, his happy childhood, his summers on the beach, and his little friends, it was hard to bring him back to the Oval Office, signatures, bills to review, policies to formulate, and decisions to be made.

“As I was saying, Mr. President”, interrupted his amanuensis, the woman in the adjoining office, his interpreter of policy, his alter ego, “the environmental bill cannot wait.  It is a matter of urgency.”

The President nodded, smiled, and felt good about himself and the day before him.  He had no idea about the bill, its importance or its relevance, but if Kamala approved, it must be good. 

“Ok, ok”, said the President, saluting the Marine Guard outside the Oval Office, young men chosen from the Delaware contingent of the Corps.  “I’m on my way”; but where was the thump-thump of the rotors of Air Force One, the Chinook helicopter that should be waiting on the landing pad on the South Lawn?”

Image result for image presidential helicopter lawn white house

‘We’re not going anywhere, Mr. President’, said his Vice President.  ‘The time is here and now’.

Something clicked about the here and now, something his father had warned him against.  “The here and now is not worth a tiddler’s farthing”, said the old man, drunk as usual, stumbling over the stoop and falling onto the crocheted throw rug before the door. “Why the fuck is that here?”, his father shouted, his feet tangled in the fancy stitching and needlework.  “Who the fuck put that there?”.

Joe’s mother was quick to demur. “Why Seamus”, she said, “that’s Momma’s rug, the one from Connemara, not to be cussed about.”

“What time?”, the President asked his Vice President.

“The time of day”, she chuckled, loving to tease and twiddle her President in his obscure moments; but Biden was having nothing of it.  He looked at the flag in its stanchion by his desk, the rows of flags down Marine Hall, the corner of the American flag flying above the North portico, and knew that the time of day meant nothing now that he was in his final trajectory towards the end of his days.  

He was weeping with patriotic emotion when the Vice President put her arms around his shoulders, cajoled him and helped him back into his presidential chair.  “You must try to focus”, she said, taking his elbow and seating him properly, facing out, across the spacious office, and towards the door. 

He knew that someone or something of import was about to come through those doors, but what was it? Perhaps Three Fingered Willie, the ghoulish fiend invented by his Uncle Max who lived in the Norfolk Pines around his childhood house in Wilmington; but it couldn’t be, no more than the sea serpents and pterodactyls Max invented.  But then again, still…

“Mr. President’, insisted Kamala, “we really must attend to business”; and with that she took his elbow, ushered him to the Presidential chair at the Presidential desk, sat him down, helped him take hold of  the Presidential pen, and guided his signature at the bottom of the page.  “Sign here”, she said, and with a scrabbly scrawl, he signed his name. 

Now came the tricky part – the press conference in which he would announce to the press and to the American public the groundbreaking decision which would change the course of American history.   It wasn’t that the decision was complicated – nothing more than a rejiggering of energy resources – but explicating the rather tricky negotiations between Canada, Exxon Mobil, the XL Pipeline, and Mexico would not be easy.

Image result for images biden press conference

The President read from a prepared script:

“My fellow Americans, I am here to announce a major policy initiative” he began, reading from a carefully prepared text, “one which will change the course of history.”  Here the President paused, smiled, and looked to the back of the room where the CSNBC reporter was waiting with the first question.  “Ms. Friedman, do you have a question?”.

His handlers were nonplussed,  He hadn’t even gotten through the preamble, and here he was fielding questions.  Luckily the shill from the network caught on to his confusion and instead of the softball question about global warming she had been instructed to ask, she pelted him about Afghanistan.,

Image result for images taliban afghanistan

The President looked back to his shills who had raised their hands in exasperation.  Not getting support, he ventured a reply,  “All loyal Americans regret the loss of life in Kabul”, he began, “and I remember the words of Father Brophy about death, dying, and resurrection…” At this pause, the President’s handlers scrambled for an insert, one rushing to the podium with a handwritten message, “Talk about Global Warming!”

“Global warming, especially in hard-hit Afghanistan, is a world crisis; and the men and women who have given their lives must be remembered as environmental heroes.   God bless them, one and all”, he said, bowing his head and making the sign of the cross.  “They gave their lives for God, for country, and for the environment”. 

He went on in this vein invoking Augustine, JFK, MLK, and FDR.  “Let us never forget their sacrifice”, at which point his senior aide rose to the podium, gave a patriotic salute to the flag, and ushered the President behind the arras.

“It is remarkable to see”, said a CNN anchor, “a president so deeply rooted in American tradition, his humble roots, and his profound respect for the American way"; and with that the network resurfaced images of Donald Trump at his most arrogant; but the rest of America wondered about this distracted, bumbling, and unmoored Head of State. 

“Let me tell you a story about Dan Shaughnessy, a friend of mine from the West of Ireland, a true American patriot but always true to his roots, a hard-drinking, brawling, street-fighting Irishman who took no guff from anyone, much like today’s inner city youngsters.   Dan always said, ‘America first but Galway a close second…and in a fight, I’ll take Connemara’”.  The President stopped and raised an imaginary flagon of stout.  “It’s all about fight, the black eyes, the bloody noses, and the fat lips,  This, my fellow Americans, is diversity”.

No matter how much President Biden’s handlers tried to rein in his exuberant excesses, he continued to rely on his flights of fancy for inspiration.  The Wilmington of his youth – stickball, street hockey, playground fights, and truancy – was the inspiration for his political career, and he relied on its experience and wisdom.  There was essence in the friendships of boyhood, the camaraderie of adolescence, and the male bonding of young adulthood.  Wilmington was the crucible of his maturity.  

So, he had some difficulty adjusting to the feminized present – the influence and position of women in politics and American society.  As far as he had always been concerned, women were always pushing above their station, and insistent on their ‘rights’.  Kamala Harris had been foisted on him because of her bi-racial heritage, California career, and good looks; but what had she ever done for the good people of Delaware? Nada, cipher, zero; but there she was, all decked out in silks and finery telling him what to do.  What was the world coming to? Where were his brothers?

“Mr. President, it’s time to address the American people”, his vice president said, “and don’t forget to mention Harriot Bender”

‘Who’s she?”, the President asked, forgetful of his transgender appointment to the post of Under Secretary of Environmental Affairs; but shuddering at the idea of clipped genitals, pumped up mammaries, and throaty prima donnas.

The presser went as well as could be expected.  The President stayed on message, on script, and true to chapter and verse.  “They told me to first pick CSNBC”, the President said, pointing to a large Black, transgender woman in the wings.  “Melanie, your question”, at which invitation Melanie, formerly Max File, body builder, X Games challenger, and wrestling champion, sashayed  up to the microphone and asked, “Mr. President what is your position on sexual transformation?”

Image result for image drag queens

The president hesitated, looked to his advisors, and getting no support, waded in. “I grew up a boy’s boy”, the President said, with muscles and pizzle”.  Here he looked to the audience for laughter, unforthcoming.  “No, seriously”, he said, “I’m all for whatever rings your bell.”

The offhanded, ill-considered comment made the headlines, but the President was unrepentant and uncontrite.  “What’s wrong with that?”, he asked, and all but his most hopefully mixed gender supporters agreed.  “Boys will be boys”, he said in an aside to his staff, “and the rest can go bugger”.

It is not easy to be a progressive president whose every fiber is conservative.  Biden learned his trade at the hands of ambitious young people who had little natural foundation for their progressive beliefs but whose passion filled every philosophical lacuna; so he raised their banners, shouted their slogans, and affixed BLM posters on his lawn.

By the time Joe Biden was almost a year into his presidency, he was still the political cipher he had been on election day – a man without particular principles, faith, or direction; but attentive to popular appeal and opinion.  Worse, because of his obviously failing mental faculties and intellectual acumen, he was becoming even more of a total blank, a man propped up by hangers on and opportunists.

“I am a happy man”, the President said at a press conference.  “I am surrounded by my family and friends, and eager to work in my garden”.  The press jumped on this statement, the Left looking for metaphor, the Right finding fault; but Joe meant it.  He had ordered the South Lawn’s helipad to be transformed into an organic garden. 

It wasn’t long before the President went completely around the bend and removed from office; but if the truth be known, his descent into senility, its non sequiturs, and hilarious irrelevancies was at least as entertaining as anything that Donald Trump ever managed. 

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