It’s time for Joe Biden to be given credit
Much has been made in the press of Joe Biden’s legacy-making performance at this year’s White House Correspondents’ dinner. The jokes were unusually good, so much so that the usual bitter array of professional Biden undervaluers made the obligatory comment that the jokes were written for him. That’s true of nine tenths of the comedians out there, but Joe Biden isn’t a comedian. Joe Biden is President of the United States.
“This dinner,” the President deadpanned, “is one of the two great traditions of Washington. The other one is underestimating me and Kamala.” Yes, it takes a tragically underestimating press working full time and on weekends to hand a President who has done so much good an approval rating of 42%. It’s too bad they haven’t noticed his accomplishments, except en route to making their larger points of irrelevancies, such as his age and his lifelong battle with a stutter.
What are some of his achievements? Let me count the ways. They include (but are not limited to) his monumentally quick and efficient rollout of the Covid vaccine, the most aggressive climate and environmental agenda in US history, the first real gun legislation in 30 years, student debt relief, historic infrastructure legislation, prescription drug cost reduction, improved semiconductor manufacturing. The President rallied world leaders in defence of Ukraine against Russian aggression. He nominated and saw confirmed the first woman of colour to the Supreme Court.
By this time in his alleged presidency, Trump had given a huge tax break to the richest 1%, played a lot of golf and alienated most of our allies. One of the most hated men in history was president of the United States. I can still scarcely believe it.
But harder still to believe is how different both men are. Trump is such a coward that he refused to even attend the WHC dinner the entire time he was president. He knew the jokes were going to be about him, and his ego was so weak he couldn’t bear the thought.
How great is it today to have a President who can laugh at himself? How wonderful is it to have a President who isn’t so weak and fragile, who isn’t so motivated by spite and revenge? Trump, by construct, spent much of his dysfunctional presidency constantly whining and blaming others for his troubles. He was a miserable, stupid, racist son of a bitch. And he still is.
Trump and Biden are less than four years apart in age. Why is Biden’s age a constant factor with the press and Trump’s isn’t? Besides which Biden takes care of himself, while Trump is an obese eater of junk food with some kind of apparent drug addiction. Why are the news media obsessed with Biden’s age, when Trump is obviously looking like he is in horrible physical shape and Biden looks terrific?
It’s time for Joe Biden to be given credit for the great President that he is. It’s time for America’s press to start acknowledging that we are lucky to have him as President of the United States, and we should never forget it. Particularly in light of the toxic monster we discarded just two and a half years ago. And, as ever, ladies and gentlemen, brothers and sisters, comrades and friends, stay safe.
Robert Harrington is an American expat living in Britain. He is a portrait painter.