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

Monday, April 29, 2024

Two Old Guys Fighting For The Presidency - One Can't Remember Why, The Other Could Care Less

The good news is that modern science has given us longevity.  The bad news is that we can't remember what we ate for lunch...and so goes God's greatest irony. 

Joe Biden would like to remember what he had for lunch, who is Prime Minister of Italy ('I know she's a pretty girl'), what on earth all the fuss in Ukraine is all about, and why that uppity LaShonda Jackson is always in my face?

In the old days the President used to know what was what, the sinecure days, when he had the easiest job in the world, when representing a small, forgotten state and bringing home the bacon was a snap because his colleagues in the Senate felt obligated to give him a warship or two or a bridge across the Delaware River. 

In those halcyon days Joe could just smile, kiss babies, and attend ladies' teas, and he would always get reelected.  Good Ol' Joe, the voters mused, good for Delaware, good for the country, although it was because of the bacon, the bridges, and of course the good offices and largesse of Dupont that kept his ship afloat. 

Now he could barely remember those days.  It was all a hazy, misty, warm and generous feeling which blended with his childhood days on a sunny Rehoboth beach, the caresses of Nancy Blythe...or was it Carol Frisbee?... and the handshakes and pats on the back from well-wishers. 

Thank God for the teleprompters, admitted his wife and his handlers; but even that was no solution as a sequela to the President's dementia was dyslexia; and no matter how large the font or how simple the grammar, he simply couldn't make heads or tails of it.  To him it was just one big autocorrected mess. 

His staff consulted cognitive psychologists who suggested mnemonic tricks - emotional words in pink, dire warnings in crimson, accomplishments in blue all of varying intensity and intermittence. But to Joe it was all kindergarten again, coloring flowers and trees and the blue ocean, and was more confusing than anything. 

The earphone was no help either.  The voice piped in from the wings seemed to him like some disembodied being, a pesky echo, and with his oral dyslexia he sounded out the words in his ear in the wrong direction. 

'Keep the bloody fool off stage', one disaffected aide said to a colleague in private, a view universally shared by the staff; but the press kept clamoring for press conferences, one-on-one interviews, and campaign whistle-stop speeches that made sense.  

Meanwhile his opponent kept hammering and whacking away at the President's programs with bravura and bombast with no concern for accuracy, veracity, or even a semblance of what actually was.  Trump had never cared for 'the truth', and he was popular for exactly that reason.  His supporters were sick and tired of on-the-one-hand, on-the-other econo-speak, charts and up-and-down graphs showing the rate of melting, the heat index, and the carbon whatever of the environment. 

What they wanted and heard from their man was how climate hysterics were depriving them of jobs, taking away their stoves, forcing plug-in toaster cars, turning the country into a queer, black and socialist country, and playing gin rummy with the ayatollahs instead of bombing them to smithereens. 


Trump didn't care about logic, rational exegesis, parsing, noting, and reserving judgment.  The man was all about the Borscht Belt, Las Vegas, Hollywood, and the mean streets of New York.  Exaggerate the worth of Trump Tower? Of course he did, bloody fools, and everyone in the market knew it, jawboned, twisted and turned, prevaricated, and did their own financial acrobatics until a mutually agreed-upon price was reached. 

Insurrection? 'You gotta be kidding' the former President said, and showed on the jumbotron the Viking-helmeted, face-painted, wild-ass bunch of Idaho crazies that had come out of the backwoods to whoop it up on Pennsylvania Avenue.  Influencing the election? Phooey, of course he did, who wouldn't up against a nincompoop like Biden who had his own operatives down in Georgia. 

The crowd roared, the band played, and the former President's poll numbers kept rising. 

'Democracy is at stake', shouted Biden at a Canton, Ohio Knights of Columbus hall.  This was the only meme, the only slogan, the only possible line that the President could be counted on to remember and say clearly.  His staff had done a Manchurian Candidate trip on him - once he said those words, the whole ethos about Trump's evil and worthlessness would kick in.  

The President then took out his cue cards and picked one that seemed to make sense.  Again, the staff had been on their toes.  There was no particular order of cards the President had to follow.  Each one had a salient talking point, so he could shuffle away and still make a point. 

The foreign press had a field day. 'A Fools' Jamboree' read the headline in the Corriere della Sera, Italy's paper of record which, after a year of Giorgia Meloni's presidency was used to her sharp, confident, supremely well-prepared press conferences and interviews. She had the facts and figures of the economy, immigration, tax policy, Brussels, inflation, and Putin at her fingertips, and she spoke with a rapid-fire, synaptic brilliance. 

The French were used to the young, blonde Marion Marechal, darling of the Right, deft, canny, as sharp as tacks, eloquent, persuasive, and brilliant.  Outspoken about the curse of Islamization, the raft loads of unwanted immigrants, and the corrosion of the very pillars of European society, her poll numbers jacked up overnight. 

Both women were what every American wanted and needed - not one old, spoon-fed babbling old man and a fat windbag. 'You get what you deserve', said the Italian and the Frenchman. 'Get over it'; and so we did as the campaign headed for November. 

Trump, in irons because of his witch trials, still howled and bellowed just enough not to be cited for contempt but more than enough to make the news.  Biden went from one scripted, highlighted, mnemonically-aided event to another, never making any sense whatsoever, counting on 'the democracy thing' and the demonic caricature of Trump his party had created. 

A Meloni or a Marechal could run rings around both of them - men who have either forgotten where they are or who could care less about it.  The campaign is a hilarious side show of a bumbling and stumbling fool and a wild man shouting and barking, a LaTourette's carny barker, a tummler, and outrageous clown. 

Old age is not fun to watch - we all knew that before this fol-de-rol all started, but we're stuck with them. 

'The country needs you', said Jill comfortingly to her husband before bedtime one night. The President smiled and kissed her on the cheek, not sure why the country did or what he was going to do about it, but Jill knew best. 

Meanwhile Donald Trump entertained a hundred people at a gala at Mar-el-Lago where he flew while his trial was in recess.  He didn't give a fuck about Fanny or LaShonda or any of them.  He had made billions, had been on television, and was known everywhere.  'Fuck 'em', he said, and teed up on the first hole. 

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