The one-year anniversary of the January 6 riots unfolded in a manner as dramatic as it was predictable. The Pearl Harbor and 9/11 comparisons were uttered before noon — not by some media hack on MSNBC, but by our own vice president. Democrats, led by Speaker Pelosi, stood on the steps of the Capitol adorned with face masks and holding fake candles to hold a prayer vigil. At one particularly bizarre point during the day’s ceremonies, Pelosi introduced playwright Lin-Manuel Miranda, who in turn introduced cast members from his hit musical Hamilton to sing a virtual rendition of “Dear Theodosia.” If that last sentence confuses you, don’t worry: I’m also not sure exactly what I just wrote. Not to be forgotten in all of this theater was President Joe Biden, a man far more interested in panic pageantry than governing.
It’s not hard to work out why the normally hard-to-reach Joe and Kamala were bright-eyed and bushy-tailed to take to the podium on Thursday morning. After all, they were eager to be their old selves again. Remember pre-election Joe and Kamala? They were so popular and fearless.
Times have changed. The Biden-Harris administration is saddled with inflation issues, border crises and at-home testing failures. But on January 6, 2022, Biden was able to put aside his shortcomings and remind the world of his greatest asset: that he isn’t Donald Trump. That’s why the Potemkin president spent his entire speech incessantly talking about the “former guy.” If Congresswoman Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez’s theory on political criticism is true, it would appear as though Biden is sweet on 45.
Beyond fixating on the former president, Biden also made a point of insulting all of Trump’s supporters. The unifier-in-chief had no qualms about depicting the 74 million Americans who voted for Trump in 2020 as akin to the deranged rioters who breached the Capitol.
“Instead of looking at election results from 2020 and saying they need new ideas or better ideas to win more votes, the former president and his supporters have decided the only way for them to win is to suppress your vote and subvert our elections,” he said.
This may come as a shock to Joe Biden, but Trump’s 74 million supporters weren’t all present at the Capitol on what the media dweebs are calling “J6.” Biden is implying that all of the law-abiding Americans who supported Trump in 2020 are trying to “subvert elections.” Why not just call all Republicans “armed insurrectionists” from here on out? The man who ran on empathy and healing has proven to be an expert on scapegoating, dividing and vilifying scores of millions of Americans.
Even if everything was hunky-dory in Joe Biden’s America, his speech would have still been over the top. Considering things are going about as well for the country as they are for Major Biden, I think it is safe to say the president overplayed his hand. Perhaps the most damning aspect of Amtrak Joe’s address had nothing to do with the words he spoke: Biden’s Thursday sermon highlighted the fact that when the president wants to, he can show up.
When Biden knows that his teleprompter tough talk will be met with cheers from the media, he is happy to oblige. When he can play president for the day and old-man-yell about democracy and the subversion of elections, Biden is game. Unfortunately, most other times Biden is unavailable. If there is a botched withdrawal from Afghanistan, he might show up a few days later, but don’t expect much. Who can forget the picture of the president with his head in the hands at the podium? And if you have questions on inflation, Covid-19 or gas prices, don’t be shocked when you are met with the back of Biden’s head and the sound of loud elevator music.
His minions aren’t any better. On the rare occasions that Vice President Kamala Harris answers questions, they come from pre-selected journalists in sit-down interviews. Even then, she manages to bungle it.
But when Momala thinks there is an issue she can easily politicize, she leaps at the chance. When news broke that border patrol agents had allegedly whipped Haitian migrants in Del Rio, Texas, Kamala ran to the closest cameraman to conduct an interview. This kind of “chum-in-the-water” fodder she could tackle as Candidate Kamala, back before the world knew the depth of her incompetence. She leaned in to words like “horrible” and “thorough investigation” while gesticulating profusely for the camera man.
The whole story was bogus but that didn’t matter. The fake stories are the ones these empty suits care about. They can wax poetic and abstractly discuss injustice and hate with furrowed brows and concerned voices. They can say nothing, which is their favorite thing to say.
Biden and Kamala are like early-stage contestants on The Bachelorette: they are not in this White House for the right reasons. Sure, they enjoy throwing red meat to their dwindling fan base on CNN when an anti-Trump mood strikes. But what about the other 364 days of the year that aren’t January 6?
When it comes to the real issues, the man and his sidekick are nowhere to be found. He is usually on vacation, fully masked, walking a beach with his dog. She is still trying to get her YouTube Originals career off the ground with her NASA series featuring paid child actors.
The 2021 elections proved that voters aren’t fooled by these kind of absentee ideologues. Instead voters wanted candidates who talked about grassroots issues that mattered to Americans. Republicans focused on education, the economy and crime. And despite having the entire mainstream media against them, many of these Republicans managed to resonate with voters and win.
Maybe Biden and his party are convinced that their voters sit around the kitchen table at night and talk about QAnon Shaman and the symbolism of Representative Andy Kim’s J-Crew blue suit. Based off Biden’s track record one year in, the Democrats had better hope that their voters are as unhealthily obsessed with this insurrection theater as they are.