It wasn’t supposed to go this way. Once Donald Trump was removed from the White House, things were supposed to go back to normal. Joe Biden would get to enjoy the limelight the way his former boss, Barack Obama, had done for so many years. COVID was supposed to disappear when Biden implemented his “plan,” to rid America of the virus. Democrats were supposed to have it easy after their plan to eliminate the filibuster had been implemented. And Biden, self-styled foreign policy expert, would have no trouble dealing with China or Russia.
None of that went according to plan. Now, Joe Biden, with his hopes dashed and his failures mounting, is suffering an ego crisis. In Spectator World, Freddy Gray exposes Biden’s dark side.
Biden Not a Great Guy
Voters who have only seen the campaign trail caricature of “Amtrak Joe” or “Scranton Joe,” may believe Joe Biden is a folksy guy you could have a beer with. But, Gray says, “Biden isn’t really a great guy.”
It was, in a way, a refreshing moment of mental alacrity from President Joe Biden. Asked by Fox News’s Peter Doocy if he thought inflation was a “political liability,” the Commander-in-Chief, the man who has apparently brought dignity back to the Oval Office, replied: “No. It’s a great asset. More inflation. What a stupid son of a bitch.”
In his sarcasm — we hope it was that; we can’t be 100 percent — the president at least acknowledged that inflation was a genuine worry. His administration had spent months dismissing the issue as merely a “transient” concern.
All things are transient, I suppose. Take Joe Biden’s much-lauded decency; that quality which apparently most distinguished him from Donald Trump. This is the man, remember, who came to office telling his staff: “I’m not joking when I say this: if you’re ever working with me and I hear you treat another with disrespect, talk down to someone, I promise you I will fire you on the spot… On the spot. No ifs, ands, or buts.”
In that case, he probably needs to fire himself after yesterday’s outburst. But he won’t. Because for all the blather about his integrity, Biden isn’t really a great guy.
Biden Was Always Mean
It’s not, as Gray recounts, that Biden has just become old an cranky, it’s that Biden has always been mean. Gray writes:
People in Washington do like Joe, it’s true. He has always been able to cultivate friends on Capitol Hill — until recently, anyway. But Washington isn’t a place where genuine and amiable people get on and Biden has always propped up his nice-guy persona with sometimes quite shocking rudeness — long before age made him the cranky near-octogenarian we see today.
Biographical profiles of Biden tend to dwell on his heroic struggles against adversity, his folksy humanity in the face of the many family tragedies and his “empathy.”
Some truth in that, no doubt. Yet these accounts border on hagiography. A lot less time is spent focusing on his more unpleasant qualities, even though they are perfectly evident to anyone willing to look. Nice guys don’t spend four decades obsessively trying to become the most powerful person in the world, as the former Biden staffer Jeff Connaughton knows all too well.
Connaughton, who joined Biden’s office in the 1980s and worked for him for over a decade, published a bitter memoir in 2012 in which he described Biden as an “egomaniacal autocrat” who was “determined to manage his staff through fear.” Apparently Biden liked to call staffers “dumb fuck” when he couldn’t remember their names. “His ambitions,” wrote Connaughton, “were mainly about himself.”
Another young staffer once got into Biden’s car holding a list of names and phone numbers and said, “OK, Senator, time to do some fundraising calls.” “Get the fuck out of the car,” Biden allegedly replied. Charming.
Worse than Trump?
Throughout the Trump presidency the media lambasted the 45th president for his sensitivity to criticism. Gray suggests Biden is even worse, concluding:
Biden’s ego is very sensitive to slights — more so, perhaps, than even the notoriously thin-skinned Donald Trump. Much was made of the “bromance” between Vice President Biden and President Barack Obama. But in reality, the relationship between the two men was prickly, to put it mildly. Obama found Biden’s loquaciousness and many gaffes frustrating. Biden felt insecure that Team Obama didn’t take him seriously.
“My manhood is not negotiable,” he reportedly said when negotiating how much power he ought to have as vice president.
The mask becomes the man, but an ill-fitting mask tends to slip. And Biden’s reputation as just a clubbable old geezer, a Silent Generation guy with nothing but heart, is so wrong that it should have been debunked years ago. Now, as the strains of the presidency tell, we are seeing more of the real man, potty mouth and all.
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