Not everyone appreciates the extent to which the Democrats pushing Joe Biden for president are students of Samuel Taylor Coleridge.
For those of you who think low, let me say straight away that I am not thinking of Coleridge’s penchant for laudanum. No, I am thinking of that other goad to fantasy, Coleridge’s idea, articulated in his book Biographia Literaria (1817), of ‘the willing suspension of disbelief’. (But speaking of thinking low, if we enlarge our gaze to encompass Joe himself, we might also trespass upon the subject of plagiarism. Coleridge cribbed wantonly from the German philosopher Friedrich Schelling just as Joe did from Neil Kinnock and others. Indeed, Joe Biden’s relationship to the truth, especially the truth about his own achievements has always been tenuous.)
Coleridge thought that the human ability to withhold incredulity was an engine to defeat implausibility by marshaling the seductive blandishments of the imagination — more or less what Pooh-Bah had in mind when he spoke of mere ‘corroborative detail, intended to give artistic verisimilitude to an otherwise bald and unconvincing narrative’.
So what about Joe Biden’s ‘big right arm’, wither his ‘snickersnee’? It’s not surprising that Joe has decided to forgo the trip to Milwaukee for the Democratic National Convention ‘due to coronavirus concerns’. Instead, he will address the convention, and presumably accept his party’s nomination, from his bunker (what some call his basement) in Delaware.
I don’t blame him for staying home in his slippers with a nice cup of Ovaltine. A few days ago, I compared Joe to Achon in Evelyn Waugh’s Black Mischief (a book that probably could not find a publisher today and which, when the woke weenies catch up to it, will doubtless be canceled and then burned). Poor Achon, though the legitimate Emperor of the African backwater of Azania, has been held captive in a sunless cave, shackled by the ankle to a rock for the last 50 years. When he is finally sprung after a coup, he proceeds in an utterly dazed state to his coronation where he promptly expires. As I noted, eight months sequestered in your basement is not quite the same thing as five decades of captivity, but looking at Joe, you really have to wonder.
Joe’s mental competence will be a major issue in the campaign. There will be increasingly calls for him to take something like the Montreal Cognitive Test, which President took and ‘aced’. The sad truth is that Joe Biden cannot open his mouth without raising alarm bells about his mental fitness — a phrase, alas, that he struggles to articulate.
In fact, Joe oscillates between alarming porousness and inexplicable hostility. Challenged, he lashes out in ways that are sometimes inadvertently amusing — just what is a ‘lying dog-faced pony soldier’? — sometimes just rude and preemptory.
It is clear to everyone, Democrats as well as Republicans, that Joe Biden will not be the next president — even, or rather especially, if he wins in November. At best, he would be what poor Achon was intended to be: a gibbering yes-man to his handlers who will be pulling the strings and making the decisions.
Hugh Hewitt cut to the chase in his Washington Post column today. ‘The country,’ he writes,
‘faces an election of choices as clear as any we have had in modern times, with clear consequences as well.
‘Vote for President Trump and you are voting for the Constitution, military strength and robust economic growth.
‘Vote for former vice president Joe Biden and you are voting for bureaucrats, appeasement abroad, and economic entropy.’
You would also be voting for a senile puppet who, were it not for his reflexive nastiness, would inspire feelings of pity and solicitude but, given the his actual condition and behavior inspires a mixture of acrid caution and alarm.