September 27, 2021

THE MAGICAL MYSTERY TRUNALIMUNUMAPRZURE: Joe Biden’s history tour from hell — from 1970s gas lines to the 1918 pandemic, where will the President take us next?

The first stop was the late 1970s. This came back in spring after a ransomware attack on a major American pipeline resulted in a gasoline shortage that sent lines at gas stations snaking around the block. Throw in inflation as the economy began to reopen, and Biden suddenly looked a lot like Jimmy Carter, only without the beer deregulation and awesome stories about homicidal rabbits. Instead, this exhibit was all animatronic Karens filling Tupperware with regular unleaded while glowering at the unmasked mom headed into the grocery store to buy $4 milk.

The next stop was the autumn of 1918, hospitals filled to capacity, portentous static over the CNN wireless. The Spanish flu killed millions of people, but it wasn’t until the second wave in the fall that its true lethality was brought to bear. And while the delta variant hasn’t been quite so devastating, sheer exhaustion with this pandemic has nonetheless forced a comparison. Hot Vax Summer has been canceled. One in 500 Americans has now died from COVID. This is the part of the tour where Biden gets punchy and starts shouting ‘come on, man!’ in the direction of perceived vaccine skeptics.

And then it’s on to the third exhibit, Saigon circa Gerald Ford by way of Afghanistan. Here, docent Biden’s defensiveness only increases. Just how in the hell was he supposed to know that Afghanistan would fall apart?! Other than, you know, the endless intelligence reports over the eight months that he had to plan and coordinate our withdrawal? Cut to the passengers looking leerily at the emergency exit and contemplating a duck and roll.

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The risk isn’t so much that America is going to come apart tomorrow. It’s that Biden will prove one of those weak placeholder leaders — cheers again, Jimmy Carter! — who fails to sufficiently grapple with the issues of his time. So it is that we enter the last room on the tour, a dark tunnel where trippy images flash on the walls: Americans trapped in Afghanistan, Haitians squatting at the border, immigration agents on horseback, anti-vaccine protesters, Frenchmen in berets shaking their fists.

Suddenly, for just an instant, docent Biden looks more like Charon at the ferry helm. The President’s flashes from the past are just that, flashes. It’s his inability to meet the challenges of the present that’s far more ominous.

The seemingly omnipresent “F*** Joe Biden” chants sure has powerful sense of ’60s and ’70s deja vu as well.

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