The Biden Illusion: Denial and Reality of a President in Decline


Listen, I’d back a zombie for president if they pledged to nominate originalists for the Supreme Court and deregulate the economy. Do whatever you must. But stop pretending Joe Biden isn’t a mentally and physically fragile man.

We can all see the video of our octogenarian president awkwardly freezing and staring out at a crowd before former president Barack Obama takes his arm and leads him off the stage.

From experience, it’s not normal for a grown man to grab another man’s arm this way unless one needs help. If Biden were in the robust state the White House claims, Obama would have merely said something or given him a friendly tap. Instead, like Dr. Jill Biden, White House handlers, and world leaders, Obama acted as caretaker to a confused Biden.

Given his age, this isn’t unusual. What is unusual is the coverup. We’ve never seen this level of gaslighting.

In the past, the media would wrap inconvenient news in some quasi-journalistic effort. Reporters might find “experts” to dispel the obvious or bury news in layers of “context.” When the Hunter Biden laptop story broke, the establishment media tainted the revelations by waving a letter from former Obama officials warning about Russian “disinformation.”

But the effort to suppress President Magoo’s misadventures involves convincing Americans to reject what they see every day—something anyone who has dealt with an aging relative recognizes.

I’m not saying every video clip spread by the RNC of Biden is in full context. Democrats accusing Donald Trump of calling Tiki-torch Nazis “very fine people” or claiming he wanted people to “inject bleach” aren’t in a position to complain. Numerous videos show Biden’s decline.

There are various videos of the Obama incident. The White House even provided one confirming Biden froze and was led off by Obama.

Every time the left provides a clip to debunk or contextualize one of Biden’s mishaps, they reinforce the original.

Like a kid caught in the act, the White House says “This did not happen.” Karine Jean-Pierre called the Hollywood video and other recent clips of the baffled president “cheap fakes.” Not a single reporter asked her to elaborate on what parts were manipulated. Instead, most rushed to the White House’s aid.

They’re not trying hard anymore. CNN’s Oliver Darcy claimed the video was a fabrication without any explanation.

MSNBC’s Nicolle Wallace called it part of a “growing and insidious trend in right-wing media” to spread “highly misleading and selectively edited videos” while playing an edited clip cutting out the worst part.

“Misleading GOP videos of Biden are going viral,” says NBC News in a piece of propaganda. “The fact-checks have trouble keeping up.”

Indeed, the “fact-checks” are astonishing. The AP’s “FACT FOCUS” relied on “Biden campaign spokesperson James Singer,” “White House spokesperson Andrew Bates,” “White House press secretary Karine Jean-Pierre,” and “Lewis Kay, a spokesperson for Jimmy Kimmel,” to debunk the Obama video.

The Washington Post’s fact-checkers argue that a video of a perplexed Biden at the G7 summit in Apulia, Italy, was achieved by “deceptive framing.” The headline read, “‘Cheapfake’ Biden videos enrapture right-wing media, but deeply misleads.”

The Post offered an alternative video of Italian Prime Minister Giorgia Meloni gathering Biden before he could wander away, edited to exclude Biden being out of sync with every other world leader paying attention to the parachuter who landed in front of them. Despite Four Pinocchios, both clips show him “meandering.”

It’s true that the video of Biden trying to find his chair during a D-Day commemoration was misleading. The video now shows an old man struggling with the simple act of sitting down. Because he’s old. It is transparently ridiculous to keep denying this truth.

Biden’s mental acuity, never particularly sharp, has deteriorated over the past couple of years. It’s not the lifelong fabulism, habitual lying, or lashing out at tough questions. Whether he’s saying, “God save the queen, man,” for no reason, shaking hands with ghosts, or struggling with stairs, the president acts like a man struggling with his job.

Yes, Biden has his moments. Elderly people in decline have good and bad days. Maybe putting a lid on the day at 11 a.m. most weeks is paying off. But the fact that Biden can still read a speech off a teleprompter or give an interview to an obsequious journalist doesn’t prove he’s not struggling in general. We can all see the truth. No fake fact-check will hide it.

David Harsanyi
David Harsanyi
David Harsanyi is an American conservative journalist, columnist, author, and editor.

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