biden cartoon
Joe Biden. By permission of Gary Varvel and Creators Syndicate, Inc.

If the stakes are so high — as many speakers reminded us — one would think the bar would be set even higher, not lower.  The nominee should prove that he can rise to the occasion.  We’ve watched Biden run for 33 years.  We know very well all his mediocrity as a politician and presidential nominee.  And for 33 years we’ve always kept him from manning the helm.  Now, America’s Democratic Party is extolling his virtues as their new leader out of sheer desperation to oust Trump. 

The Dems are getting behind their default candidate with such hyperbole and unfounded fanfare that they have convinced even themselves that Biden is something we all know he is not, a role model of a leader who instills confidence.  All the kitschy Democratic National Convention (DNC) pomp and pageantry amidst hypocrisy and collective denial is reminiscent of the folktale The Emperor’s New Clothes.

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In order to bolster Biden’s lacklustre image, the Dems literally called in the Republican cavalry with the likes of former U.S. Secretary of State Colin Powell and references to Republican senator John McCain and former President Ronald Reagan. This further lowers the bar and belies the Dems bravado and confidence in Biden.  Ironically, what has stood out most unusual about this convention was not its virtual venue and lack of audience, but coopting former Republican hawks to help sell their nominee—which in fact only serves to sell out their party’s values. 

Resorting to Republican militarists and racists

In her speech–the venerable and until now impeccable speaker–Michelle Obama paid lip service to taking her famous high road while heaping praise on the racist, anti-gay, war monger and domino theorist Ronald Reagan.  Bringing militarists and racists into the Democrat fold signifies that the high road has become a Machiavellian low road on which anything is permissible, as long as the end goal can be achieved.  But what if this approach is a mistake?

It’s incomprehensible that, in this Black Lives Matter (BLM) moment of living history, Michelle Obama would engage in revisionism by invoking the likes of Reagan by saying, “Internationally, we’ve turned our back, not just on agreements forged by my husband, but on alliances championed by presidents like Reagan and Eisenhower.” 

Reagan was responsible for one of the greatest international crimes and cover-ups ever committed by an American president in U.S. history: the Iran Contra Affair.  (Editorial note: Investigative journalist Craig Unger and author – ‘House of Bush, House of Saud’ – was railroaded by US and Israeli intelligence services and even his own news organization Newsweek when he sought to break the story). After lying to the American people and Congress, Reagan got off the hook with impunity. His officials who destroyed or impeded the incriminating documents from reaching Congressional investigators were either indicted or convicted, only later to be pardoned by President George H.W. Bush, Reagan’s Vice President at the time of the scandal.  Sound familiar?  That’s because Reagan (the movie actor) and Trump (the reality TV host) are two sides of the same coin.

Furthermore, although Reagan’s racism had been assumed behind the scenes for years, concrete proof of his bigotry came just last year in the form of a taped 1971 phone call between President Richard Nixon and then California governor Ronald Reagan when the latter said: “To see those, those monkeys from those African countries—damn them, they’re still uncomfortable wearing shoes.” He was referring to African delegates to the UN. 

So why would the former first lady hold in esteem a racist and liar who mishandled international alliances as well as the AIDS crisis, while simultaneously trying to make the case that Trump is also a racist and liar who mishandled the Covid crisis?  And where was her focus and the BLM’s efforts when it comes to demanding the name change of Washington D.C.’s Ronald Reagan International airport?

Democrats: Suffering from historical amnesia or desperate to beat Trump, no matter what…

The DNC also had the audacity to invite former Secretary of State Colin Powell as a guest speaker, another great liar to the American people.  Either the Democrats are suffering from historical amnesia or, more likely, they’re so desperate to beat Trump, that they’re willing to sweep history under their convention’s virtual rug.  The Weapons of Mass Destruction lie that Powell peddled to Americans killed tens of thousands of U.S. and coalition forces and tens of thousands of innocent civilians for no purpose whatsoever.

Biden’s voting record on the Iraq war is in alignment with Powell and McCain’s, which helped pave the way to unnecessary war against an imagined adversary.  To rationalize Biden’s unjustifiable voting record, “bipartisan compromise” has become a Party catchphrase.

And then there’s Biden himself – the presidential candidate in need of an army of help to limp across any finishing line – who said to an African-American voter: “If you have a problem figuring out whether you’re for me or Trump, you ain’t black.”  Imagine the criticism Trump would get if he were to say, if you vote for Biden, you’re not white.  Any which way you spin it, it’s racist. 

Biden’s reference to his warm working relationship with Southern segregationist Senators James Eastland and Herman Talmadge to prove he can work with politicians across the aisle with differing views was criticized by Kamala Harris and Cory Booker as justifying racism.  When Booker called on Biden to apologize, Biden’s defence was that the senator never called Biden “boy”; he called him “son.”   That’s because “boy”, like the “n” word was and is only used to denigrate black people, not white people.  Biden then had the gall to demand Booker should apologize to him.  This totally undermines Biden’s original claim that he can empathize with people who have differing views.

It’s clear that Joe Biden, like many polished politicians of the elite establishment, has a hard time reconciling his true and bland inner character with the invented dynamic persona he’d like to project. For all his DNC pre-taped, rehearsed talk about his affable, folksy side, the truth is: Biden cannot control his nasty side when it comes to the candid camera, nor his corporate cronyism.

We see Biden’s arrogance in admitting his abuse of office quite clearly in his own words.  With video cameras rolling in March of 2016, he recounted a quid pro quo moment when he was Vice President a few years earlier.  At a Council on Foreign Relations event, Biden brags unabashedly to the participants how he threatened then Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko that the Obama administration would renege on $1 billion of loan guarantees if he didn’t immediately fire Prosecutor General Viktor Shokin, who was investigating a company on which Biden’s son Hunter was a board member.

“I said, ‘You’re not getting the billion.’ I looked at them and said: ‘I’m leaving in six hours. If the prosecutor is not fired, you’re not getting the money.'”  Biden continued, “Well, son of a bitch, he got fired. And they put in place someone who was solid at the time.”  Though it seems improbable, Biden claimed Obama had backed this threat and intimidation.

It’s important to realize that Obama held back his endorsement of Biden until the other –  younger and truly dynamic – candidates had lost in the primaries.  The fact Obama did not support Biden out of the gate, but did so only when the primaries were over is a telling sign.  

The Dems need the new generation’s blood to invigorate the party.  Obama gave an historical and momentous speech at the DNC, outshining all other speakers.  But after all the rallying dust settles, the Dems are still left with the reality that their leader is Biden, an aged and doubtful starter. 

However, there is a ray of light.  A vote for Biden comes with the reality he’d most likely be put out to pasture in due time.  And with the dynamic Kamala Harris giving authenticity and vitality to the ticket lies optimism.  Should anything happen to incapacitate Biden, like dementia, Harris could woman the helm of the ship and steer it back on course.  The charismatic Harris seems a natural born leader and role model who commands respect. 

The Dems have not only lowered the bar for their nominee to clamber over, thus cheating both Americans and the party, they also recalibrated their moral compass.  With all its propaganda, the DNC did nothing more than paint the Dems as desperados propping up a man they don’t believe can muster the strength to cross the finishing line.  Where is that innocent child in the crowd who will cry out with stinging clarity: Look, the Presidential nominee has nothing on at all.

Andy Cohen is an American documentary film-maker, journalist and author based in Geneva. Much of his work is investigative and human rights-based. For more information about AC Films, please go to his website.

Andy Cohen

Links

TV Audience Drops For RNC’s Third Night, Trails DNC Average — 27 August 2020

How a Biden victory would affect International Geneva. Geneva Observer — 9 July 2020 (LINK)

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