Wednesday, November 25, 2020
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Who’ll pull the strings if Biden creaks his way to puppet president?

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DEMOCRATS are cynically selling the American people a pup. They may elect Joe Biden to the White House, but he will never be a real president. His age, infirmities and record as a career-long Washington swamp-dweller make him unfit for the job.

This is not a secret. But the polls say voters are backing Biden in numbers enough to cashier Donald Trump on November 3. There seems to be no reason for Joe’s Ukraine scandal, which lacks a smoking gun so far, to change many minds on the centre-Left when the alternative is Trump.

So, two big questions. How unfit is he? If he’s only a ghost president, who will wield the vast powers of the presidency? The first is answered easily. The second will be open until the Democrats take charge; even then there is no guarantee it will be obvious who is pulling Biden’s strings.

Always gaffe-prone, Biden’s unfitness is due to his age and mental decline. He’s 78, tires easily and becomes confused. If the presidency didn’t beckon, he’d be unemployable in any other capacity.

In the UK, older politicos like Joe find a quiet corner of the House of Lords to doze and reminisce. If you watch him taking the podium at campaign events, he walks like an old man. On the brink of 80, he can’t help dropping down through the gears one by one.

Consider also the related mystery of Senator Kamala Harris’s selection as vice-presidential nominee and a pattern takes shape. A senator for only two years, she’s no more qualified than Biden to be president. Is she also expected to be a puppet if she has to take over? The choices start to look like a deliberate attempt by Democrats to obfuscate the exercise of power at the apex of government.

It is quite extraordinary that a party should offer White House candidates whom everyone knows will be in office but not in power. The only recent comparisons are Konstantin Chernenko, who served for a time as the stuffed dummy at the head of the Soviet politburo, and President Abdelaziz Bouteflika of Algeria. They were picked because they were living fossils.

Here is an explanation. Biden is where he is because he was the last resort. The choice was either him or the socialist Bernie Sanders. It was doubtful Sanders could win the election. As president, he would have hastened the takeover of the party by radical young politicos like Alexandria Ocasio-Cortes, aka AOC.

AOC, who should not be underestimated, is on record as saying she normally wouldn’t be in the same party as a squish like Biden. But needs must. She and her friends can only be elected as Democrats and try to gain control from within. 

The Democratic old guard knows it is doomed in the longer run. For the present, it would rather stay electable with the voters of middle America who aren’t woke, aren’t SJWs, are white and don’t think the killing by police of armed black criminals resisting arrest is an excuse to burn and loot cities. Uncle Joe is a comfort to these people. His Potemkin presidency can be used to slow the advance of the Marxism-influenced radicals.

That’s the best guess why Biden, for all his unsuitability, got the nod. He won despite allegations of sexual misconduct which would have destroyed most public men and claims linking him and his son to corruption in Ukraine.

His behaviour towards women earned him his ‘Creepy Joe’ nickname. Tara Reade alleged this year that he raped her in 1993 when she worked for him. Lucy Flores claimed in 2019 that he had smelled her hair and gave the back of her head a long, unwanted nuzzling kiss when he campaigned for her during her bid five years earlier to become lieutenant governor of Nevada.

Neither woman could prove her story and they dropped out of the news as the media and feminist organisations gave him cover. Biden has vocally supported female rights throughout his political career, but is known for touching women in ways that have never been acceptable and are strictly off-limits in the #MeToo era.

The Ukraine story has simmered all year and was denied by Biden. It was dormant until the New York Post claimed last week it had email evidence indicating that a representative of the Ukrainian Burisma gas company had been given secret access to Biden while he was vice-president by his son Hunter. 

Hunter, a lawyer with no background in the energy industry, worked for Burisma and Biden had boasted he forced the Ukrainian government to fire a public prosecutor investigating the company. Republicans accused Biden of abusing his office for his family’s gain.

Donald Trump would be doing jigs in the Rose Garden if the Post had an explicit email saying: ‘Dear Hunter, please thank your dad for using his power as vice-president to get the Ukrainian government off our back. It was worth every cent we paid. Yours, Burisma.’ 

No such decisive evidence has been found and Biden strongly rejects wrongdoing. He has again been helped by the liberal mainstream media and social media, which have combined to keep the story out of the public domain as much as possible. So far, it doesn’t appear to have dented his campaign.

Biden was elected to the Senate when he was 30 and by 1987 was chairman of the judiciary committee that vets judges. Republicans hold him responsible for turning the confirmation hearings for Republican Supreme Court nominees into Roman circuses.

Together with Senator Ted Kennedy, he ensured the defeat of a distinguished Reagan nominee, Robert Bork, in partisan hearings that grossly slandered him. Biden still boasts of it as one of his finest achievements. Democrats have been ‘borking’ Republican judges ever since.

Later he voted against the successful nomination of black Justice Clarence Thomas, saying he believed uncorroborated sexual misconduct accusations against him by Anita Hill, who is also black.

In hyper race-conscious America, Biden has been criticised for past friendships in the Senate with notorious segregationists like Strom Thurmond and Robert Byrd, both now dead, but is loyally supported by black voters.

He made a run for the 1988 presidency which died when he was found to have plagiarised Neil Kinnock of all people. Another presidential run failed in 2008.

Biden situates himself on the centre-Left. Unsurprisingly, in a career that has spanned great social change in the US, his own positions have evolved. He was against gay marriage before he was for it, but has always supported feminism and gun control. As a Catholic, he’s been more nuanced than his party on abortion. 

A foreign policy specialist, he has always supported Israel and presciently opposed Obama’s disastrous intervention in Libya and confused troop surge in Afghanistan.

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Donald Forbes
Donald Forbes is a retired Anglo-Scottish journalist now living in France who during a 40-year career worked in eastern Europe before and after communism.

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