If there ever were a theme to emerge from the Trump era it is this: hypocrisy. We’re all guilty, we all change our minds and contradict ourselves on occasion. So it is that we come full circle during the ascendancy of Joe Biden and observe that the very same commentators and pundits who once suggested that Donald Trump was mentally unfit for office find themselves enthusiastically endorsing one Joseph Robinette Biden Jr. for president. There’s something especially egregious about declaring Trump intellectually incapable of governing while supporting the candidacy of a man who often forgets where he is and the office for which he’s running. In the spirit of the time we find ourselves living in, let’s name and shame the worst offenders.
Ross Douthat deserves special mention for pairing his incisive critique of Donald Trump’s mind with a snappy solution to rectify the whole situation — removal via the 25th Amendment. Douthat also had the decency to gently suggest that perhaps, just perhaps, Trump’s mental acuity had somewhat withered with age. We must ask this of Ross — how is it that you could possibly write a column supporting Biden without even a cursory attempt to grapple with the fact he is a gaffe machine in obvious decline? There are words to describe what is happening to Joe Biden — clinical and cold words — words that for the sake of civility need not be used as insults. It is however insulting to the readers of the New York Times to read an op-ed that explains away some very blatant red flags as merely ‘Biden’s fumbling, wavering, I’m-too-old-for-this persona’. It is not a persona. Joe Biden can’t remember the words for the Declaration of Independence. He apparently still thinks people still have record players in their homes.
When you truly reckon with the sheer gravity of the Trump administration you must, as a matter of principle, write a dense essay for the Atlantic thrashing out all the points of your concern in excruciating detail. I will admit that I didn’t read the whole piece because it was very boring and irredeemably stilted, but George Conway said his gravest concern about Trump is that he may be exhibiting a ‘consistent pattern of behavior that suggests he is incapable of properly discharging the duties of his office’. George Conway also donated the maximum amount to Biden’s campaign. When speaking of consistent patterns of behavior it would be remiss to avoid Biden’s most endearing tic — using statistics that are so wrong as to be absurd. When Biden alleged that around half of the population of the US had tragically fallen victim to gun violence since 2007, the pattern is so obvious that it hurts: he actually can’t tell, in real time, that a figure so high could never be true. However, thanks to George Conway’s generous and strictly patriotic donation Joe will be able to concern himself with the discharge of nuclear weapons, not the pesky task of remembering how many citizens live in his country.
‘Morning’ Joe Scarborough
The beloved host of Morning Joe has not been timid in sharing his most scathing indictments on Trump’s intellectual capacity for office. Nor has he been afraid to express his entirely wholesome admiration and respect for Joe Biden’s character. In many ways, Biden’s character is above reproach: he’s dealt with a massive amount of personal tragedy and continued to faithfully serve in public life, something that we should be grateful for. There is however the rather obvious caveat that applies to men of Biden’s age — there is a point where it is better to stop. Scarborough ominously — or rather, gleefully — points out that Trump has been known to slur at times when giving speeches. If slurring is the standard that shall be used to measure mental fitness then we can only hope that Scarborough carefully re-watches Biden’s campaign launch speech.
Special mention — James Comey
Poor James Comey. He’s gone from flavor of the month to handing out endorsements that no-one wants. In fairness to Comey he’s not gone on the record to suggest that Trump lacks the requisite gray matter to perform as president, but he has made a point of questioning Trump’s moral fitness for office. The faintest whiff of the Biden/Burisma situation should be enough to prove, without a doubt, that Hunter Biden has enjoyed the spoils of soft nepotism thanks to his father’s station in life, a moral disgrace in a country that prides itself on equality of opportunity. Did Joe Biden break the law? No — but he didn’t need to. Or perhaps Comey genuinely believes that Ukrainian gas board positions are a right for the progeny of vice presidents.
This is not a complete list of all the people attaching themselves to the Biden campaign in obvious contradiction of their own past positions. However, a complete list wouldn’t go much further towards proving what is already obvious — Trump has a habit of turning his detractors into hypocrites, or rather, exposing them for the hypocrites they always were.