Joe Biden: No Longer the Greatest Thing Since Sliced Bread

Every conservative ought to read a recent article in the left-wing rag Salon, entitled “The whisper campaign against Joe Biden won’t stop—unless he can change the narrative.” It’s by Brian Karem, formerly Playboy‘s Senior White House correspondent—so you know he carries a lot of weight, morally and intellectually speaking, among Democrats and progressives. It’s what’s being said in the article that counts, though, not who’s saying it. 

Karem argues that, by naming Joseph R. Biden as Generalissimo of the Left, progressives may have . . . erred! Can you imagine? That almost sounds like . . . well, criticism! I mean, you can’t bad-mouth Joe Biden, right? He’s fighting a noble battle to “restore the soul of America” and save us all from Trumpian fascism. Heck, he’s the anti-Trump! So what would motivate a leftist to call him out? Politics, especially in a two-party system, is a zero-sum game. Any harm done to Biden and the Democrats is, almost by definition, helpful to Trump and Republicans. What gives?

The answer is that Brian Karem is this thing called a “journalist.” Journalists are supposed to tell it like it is. They’re supposed to investigate, ask questions, look under rocks and see what scurries out. 

For two years, mainstream journalists have resolutely refused to do their jobs, as we all know, when it comes to Joe Biden, the Biden family, Kamala Harris, and the Democratic Party. They’ve given all Democrats and progressives a pass when it comes to scrutiny and criticism. In fact, they’ve even joined in the mammoth effort to suppress, censor, demean, and intimidate anyone who does scrutinize or criticize the Left. They’ve done so, as Karem more or less admits, with one overriding goal in mind: the defeat of Donald Trump and the GOP. 

While painfully aware that Biden and the Democrats do have flaws, they’ve long since decided that these minor imperfections pale in comparison to the racism, sexism, lunacy, and treason that, they say, characterize the political Right. And, if you believed everything that these people believe about Trump and Trumpers, you’d probably think and say exactly the same thing. 

Since Biden has been inaugurated, however,  and the Democratic Party is—gasp!—the governing party, these activist journalists feel like maybe, just maybe, they should return to their professional roots and subject the Biden Administration and Congressional Democrats to a little bit of constructive criticism. In fact, the time may even have come to ask the question that no one on the Left was allowed to ask for two long years: Is Joe Biden really the best that the Democratic Party can come up with? 

Is he, more to the point, the right man to lead progressives, the United States of America, and the free world? I mean, he is an old white guy (Karem calls him “patriarchal”), which is inherently suspect. He’s also tanking in the polls, and he can barely string a sentence together at times. Makes you think, right?

If you read Karem’s article, and I hope you will, you’ll notice that he spends far more time insulting Donald Trump and Republicans than he does critically analyzing the leadership of Joe Biden. And that’s to be expected. At first, any fault-finding regarding the “savior” of “America’s soul” will be apologetic and tentative in nature. Poor Brian Karem isn’t quite sure if he’s allowed to say anything bad about Joe Biden. Not yet. He’s painfully aware and deeply afraid that he may be pilloried as an enemy of progressivism for doing so. 

He writes: “It seems almost perverse to criticize the current president for anything, compared to the batshit craziness of those on the other side of the aisle.” And yet, Karem feels that ultimately the time has come. 

He thus cites some back channel communication among Democrats and leftists about Biden’s, uh, foibles. He quotes one Dem insider saying, “We don’t know—when he shows up, are we going to get someone barely there, or someone who’s on his game?” Ouch! 

Karem goes on to write that recently he posed a question to Biden himself, and his “answer made no sense, and he took no follow-up questions. He walked away. That’s part of his problem. Many members of the press have long complained about the lack of communication from the president.” 

So Biden isn’t just erratic and incoherent—he’s also aloof and unaccountable, and the press really hates that, as you can imagine. Double ouch! 

Karem concludes that “The trick for us in the press corps is framing the narrative. While Biden deserves criticism, it isn’t on the same level as the outright outrage leveled against the former president, who remains the driving force behind an effort to overthrow our government.” 

Get that? It’s okay to criticize Joe Biden, just as long as you remind your readers, viewers, and/or listeners that Trump is still a million times worse. Interesting. 

And yet, for conservatives, this represents real progress. It represents a rediscovery by the press of its foremost obligation—to seek out and expose the truth—even if their execution of that sacred charge leaves much to be desired. It represents, for Republicans, an opportunity, even a golden opportunity, in 2022 and beyond, when, for the first time since 2019, and arguably since 2015, the mainstream media feels like it can direct some of its belligerence, scorn, and disrespect at both parties, not just one of them. Wow!

So pay close attention to articles like Brian Karem’s. They represent a sea change in the media environment, and in the framing and construction, if you will, of public opinion, that could and probably will herald major gains for Republicans in the midterm elections. They also suggest what is to come if Biden continues to lead his progressive confederates into the political wilderness—an outright rebellion against old-guard, Bidenist leadership. 

Karem talks about “whispers” against Biden on the Left. Well, every campaign of vilification starts out with soft-spoken barbs, and it usually ends with vitriolic shouts. Expect, as night follows day, that the denigration of Joe Biden will escalate steadily. And if, as most observers predict, the midterm elections turn out disastrously for Team Blue, expect calls for Biden’s ouster to become a popular refrain—and we can only guess what might be the long-term consequences for Democrats and progressives.

And, just for the record, Brian Karem started it. He may never live it down!

 

About Nicholas L. Waddy

Nicholas L. Waddy, an associate professor of history at SUNY Alfred, blogs at www.waddyisright.com.

Photo: Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images

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