“We are Reagan,” a Biden “confidant” tells Axios. After how many hallucinogens, the story doesn’t say. Pretty many would be a fair guess.

The story wherein occurred the remarkable comparison never rose more than a foot or so from the ground, likely due to its fantastic nature. Nor was the “confidant” ever identified, possibly to spare his or her children's playground embarrassment.

Any comparison of Joseph Robinette Biden and Ronald Wilson Reagan, if it ventures beyond their service in the White House, is about as nutty as comparisons ever get. It might repay us to ask the...

“We are Reagan,” a Biden “confidant” tells Axios. After how many hallucinogens, the story doesn’t say. Pretty many would be a fair guess.

The story wherein occurred the remarkable comparison never rose more than a foot or so from the ground, likely due to its fantastic nature. Nor was the “confidant” ever identified, possibly to spare his or her children’s playground embarrassment.

Any comparison of Joseph Robinette Biden and Ronald Wilson Reagan, if it ventures beyond their service in the White House, is about as nutty as comparisons ever get. It might repay us to ask the basis of such a claim, however fruitless.

It seems our anonymous confidant believes Biden is playing the same long game that he/she sees Reagan as having played: taking early hits, dealing with dips in the polls and losses of support, all the while moving steadily forward; four yards and a cloud of dust, in the style of the Ohio teams coached by Woody Hayes. Reagan looked bad in an August 1982 poll showing that 58 percent of voters supposedly thought he shouldn’t run again. Forty years later, Biden’s ratings are depressed too. His 39 percent approval rating is by some measures the worst recorded in polling history.

According to Biden’s confidant, “We had a big plan. We are getting it in place.” He/she certainly wasn’t referring to the Build Back Better plan. It could be that what was meant in the Axios story was the revival of portions of the plan via the deal hatched a few days ago between Manchin and Senate Democratic Leader Chuck Schumer. That artful and costly piece of legislation has since passed the Senate, but three considerations militate against using it as proof of Biden’s Reagan-like vision and persistence.

First, the plan isn’t even Biden’s. Manchin latched onto Schumer in a Senate hallway, and the two worked things out by themselves, more or less.

Second, the plan bears only a slight relationship to such expectations as Biden excited in the 2020 election, with his promises to search for common ground on which liberals and conservatives might stand. The idea, as generally promoted, wasn’t to ram a thoroughly partisan measure through the political process with zero Republican support.

Third, Reagan’s dark time, in the summer of 1982, nested in the necessity of giving his newly passed supply-side tax cuts time to reawaken economic growth after the stagnation of the Carter years. It worked! The tax cuts, coupled with a strong bias on the administration’s part for the magic of the marketplace, duly got the economy going again. The voters noticed. In 1984, Reagan didn’t just defeat Democrat Walter Mondale; he clobbered him, winning 49 states.

Another way of putting it is that Reagan, unlike Biden, gave loud voice to an intellectually as well as politically coherent political program that he saw as improving life for Americans in general. It is not easy to know what Biden wants to do for Americans save regulate them.

The things politicians say in election years, especially when they stay up late worrying about keeping their jobs, can be quite remarkable. All the more remarkable in our present time, when they’re relayed to us courtesy of social media and the internet. It means we have to exercise caution. If what we’re hearing sounds semi-ridiculous, or worse, maybe that’s because it is.

Does anyone see Joe Biden — whom the Democrats, as widely reported, are increasingly reluctant to run for reelection — doing a Reagan in two years’ time, running triumphantly over some Republican twit or other — maybe The Donald himself — on the basis of achievements still to be racked up, far less proved by experience?

Ah, well. It’s nice to know how inspirational Dutch Reagan’s 40-year-old achievements look to a few who wouldn’t have voted for him for commissioner of janitorial services, then or now.