Wednesday, June 03, 2020

Abiding Biden

...I'm sure twenty-five thousand people before me have done that exact wordplay, but in my defense, I refuse to check.

I do want to say: I don't think Biden is a bad person. I mean, as far as I know. Who knows what dark secrets anyone hides? But, yes, okay, he has some questionable votes in his past, and the Anita Hill thing was pretty bad, and even if the Tara Reade thing isn't true (and anyone who claims to definitively know one way or the other is purely basing their opinion on what they want to be true), he definitely has problems with boundaries. And he's habitually lied about his past.

Okay, look, I realize the above makes it sound like I'm doing a "Brutus is an honorable man" thing here, but I'm really not. Everybody has their faults, I don't think someone's past should automatically absolutely define their present, and I do think we have a tendency (like a Sith) to deal in absolutes: this person did this thing, and therefore it's a defining act and now we can one hundred percent condemn everything about them. And while there are some cases where that may be true, I don't think that that happens a lot, and I don't think you can do it with Joe Biden. Let's be reasonable.

I think the truth is this: Biden is a mediocre old white guy like many others. He has some capacity for good and some capacity for bad, not overall, he's just kind of...not notable. The kind of person absolutely nobody would remember a hundred years from now if not for the twists of fate that led to him becoming Obama's VP and then sleepwalking into the situation he now finds himself in.

And yes, granted, mediocrity is a shit-ton better than what we have now. But honestly, it's just painful how not-appropriate-for-this-situation the man obviously is. I seem to be the only person who cares about this (obviously that's not true, but I sure haven't seen a lot about it online), but I can't help being hung up on the whole "cops should shoot protesters in the legs instead of the head!" thing as just perfectly emblematic of a guy incapable of reading the national mood and realizing that things have to change very radically if this country is to have the remotest chance of surviving in a non-fashy way. Obviously, he's not going to make kinder, gentler police brutality an actual policy. But the fact that his brain works that way...ain't great.

Maybe it doesn't make a difference one way or another; we may be doomed regardless. But...yeesh. Biden is able to convincingly read a speech, I'll grant you that. He has some good speechwriters, even! But all the positive arguments for a Biden presidency seem to boil down to "people around him will do good things!" Well, I hope so, but that is not an argument in favor of choosing the most mediocre candidate. This seems to be saying that the specific individual is basically irrelevant, and that's hard for me to swallow. Sure I'll vote for him and hope against hope that his administration can fix shit, but when I hear resistance-types talking about how Presidential he is and this is what a REAL leader sounds like...well, it's just deeply embarrassing. Cut it out.


Blogger GeoX, who is here to stay, like it or not. pontificated to the effect that...

To perhaps better illustrate the point: cops are running wild like the fascist brownshirt goons they are. Look at Robert Evans' twitter feed if this seems like hyperbole to you. And under THESE circumstances, we've chosen a guy whose message is "brutalize smarter, not harder?" Yup, we suuuuure have.

11:10 AM  
Blogger Achille Talon pontificated to the effect that...

You write “we've chosen” — as a Frenchman I don't keep that close an eye on the technicalities of American politics, but isn't it that Sanders dropped out of the campaign (I assumed due to politicking within the party), rather than the actual democrat voters making any kind of choice on the matter?

2:06 PM  
Blogger GeoX, who is here to stay, like it or not. pontificated to the effect that...

Well, by the time Sanders suspended his campaign, Biden winning was a fait accompli--I'm not sure whether it would have technically been mathematically impossible for him to pull ahead at that point, but it certainly was practically speaking.

It IS true, however, that these primaries are not legally binding; we aren't required to nominate the candidate who has proven himself to be possibly uniquely unequal to the challenges we're now facing. But...well, we're going to. It's sort of like Brexit where everyone realized after the fact what a terrible idea this was, and they didn't HAVE to go through with it, but they apparently just decided, well, we had a non-binding resolution to do this self-destructive thing, so we're going to do it, dammit.

Yeesh. Politics is extremely idiotic.

2:22 PM  

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