Thursday, August 19, 2021

Joe Biden as Jimmy Carter redux

I don't mean Biden as an ineffective leader, or as a president overseeing a collapse in America's foreign policy standing in the world.  I don't even mean the inflation that puts us old timers in mind of the glory days of the late 1970s.  I mean as a president the news media clearly didn't want, was stuck with and so supported over the alterative, and now will throw him under the bus at the first opportunity.   

The reason why the media culture's jump into bed with Bill Clinton in 1993 was so shocking to me was because I had only known a world in which the media culture - including the world of entertainment - was antagonistic to the president.  Certainly that included both Reagan and Bush.  It also concluded Jimmy Carter.  Carter was the first president I was aware of, and paid attention to, in my childhood.  I remember Nixon only because of Watergate, and Ford only as the guy who replaced Nixon. 

Though his election heralded the famous Year of the Evangelical, it didn't take long for Carter to become the butt of jokes from the pop culture, and the target of journalists everywhere.  As things went from bad to worse, the press seemed every bit as hostile to Carter as any Republicans I knew.  But then having grown up in a family of Democrats, there were plenty of of my relatives who were also unhappy with Carter - hard to believe open criticism from one's own supporters nowadays.  So it didn't make me think twice about the press doing what my family of Democrats were doing as well. 

But in 1993, everything changed.  Beginning with Bill Clinton's giant Hollywood produced Inauguration gala, in which Hollywood moguls and superstars joined with journalists to gush over the new era of the Clinton Administration, it couldn't help but make my head spin.  I began that day wondering what happened.  I thought it was the job of all these institutions to speak truth to power, not party with it.  And besides, it wasn't so easy as 'well, Democrat vs. Republican.'  After all, Carter was a Democrat wasn't he?

Now, a generation had come and gone by that time, and it's true that the next wave of Boomer hippies in suits had assumed the controls of cultural output.  A position they have yet to relinquish.   So part of it may have been the old guard having stepped down at just the time Reagan cam into being, allowing the next generation to continue attacking Reagan - not because it's what they do, but because Reagan was conveniently Republican. 

But explanations like that are too slick and too easy.   After all, many of those partying with the Clintons were already out there in the 70s, going after Carter.  Why the difference?  Just a cultural shift?  Lowering the bar and the standards?  Or could it be they never wanted Carter in the first place?

Remember, by the 1970s, the Democrats were becoming firmly enmeshed in the secular, leftwing radicalism focused on tearing down the values and institutions of America's heritage.  A brief survey of the cultural output from that time shows that the shift toward 'Communism Rocks, America is Nazi!' in television, movies  and even textbooks was well under way.  Then why the Carter hate?  He was a Democrat after all.

True, but he wasn't that type of Democrat.  He was, after all, the Evangelical Democrat.  Barely squeaking by the replacement president who pardoned Nixon, he was likely an appeal to the social and religiously conservative base that the Democrats were quickly abandoning.  How to assuage concerns that the Democrats were more conserved about socialism than solidarity with America's values?  Easy.  Elect a guy that looks like he could be a preacher in a Baptist tent revival, that's how. 

It had to be done.  Hoisting a Kennedy or other radical Democrat embracing the secular left might well have been all it took to nudge the needle just enough for Ford, who barely lost in 1976, to be reelected.  And how devastating would it be to your party's current direction if the guy who replaced Nixon and then pardoned him following one of America's greatest political scandals in history still won? 

So Carter was a sacrificial lamb.  Appeal to Middle America, insist the Democrats aren't really pushing the atheistic Marxist America hate that many are beginning to wonder about, and serve him up to the polls.  But once he's in?  Screw him.  Let him burn.  Maybe by 1980 they can run a more 'acceptable' candidate and take the White House in the direction they want. 

Perhaps.  This may have been their thinking.  It makes sense, given where we've watched the Democrats go.  But that brings us back to Biden.  Biden was the media's darling in 2016.  Never has the Left forgiven Reagan for not only leaving as the most popular president in modern times, but having his popularity be enough to boost GHW Bush into the Oval Office.  The 2000 election was supposed to be payback for that, but it didn't work.  2016 would be when the Democrats could finally boast that two term president so believed for being the greatest after, that his VP simply strolled in on his boss's coattails.  After all, the press had all put staked Obama up in the field of legends, and attacked anything less than Obama-Worship as the product of race hate.  To fail Obama, including supporting his obvious VP, could easily be assumed after 8 years of the press and the White House Press Secretary being all but one and the same. 

But it didn't happen.  Biden dropped out, leaving Hillary Clinton - one of the worst politicians and political candidates ever - to hold the baton.  And we all know what happened next.  By 2020, the Left had shown its hand and everything was near warfare level partisanship.  Trump had to be defeated.  The only thing worse than Trump being elected would be Trump being reelected.  Anything had to be done to stop that.

Problem was, in only four short years, it was obvious that Biden was well past his prime.  Plus, he only knew the old liberal way of stealth compromise.  Under Trump, the Left no longer felt compromise was a needed strategy.  Vilify and destroy your opponents is what they wanted.  Not to mention that the inherent evil of the White Male after #MeToo and BLM made electing an old gray haired man almost the antithesis of their proclaimed designs. 

Remember, by early 2020, Biden was dead man walking.  The press had savaged and ravaged him.  Late night comedians were trashing him on a nightly basis.  Scandals and accusations and #MeToo attacks were buzzing around Biden like flies.  The problem was, despite all that, he still emerged as the only candidate that Democrats had left.  Every other preferred Dem candidate had stumbled, bumbled or burned during the debates and the campaign. 

By February of 2020 many were beginning to think Trump had this.  Despite the most naked coalition by the press and cultural institutions to defeat a president that I'm aware of, he was looking to a reelection and back to four more years.  So the media did what they had to do, and that's reinvent Biden on the spot.  Gone were those pesky women yelling assault.  Gone were the jokes and the mockery.  Almost overnight, the comedians stopped, the press shifted, and the educational, cultural and media institutions aimed like a laser on pushing Biden into the White House by any means possible.  Covid, of course, allowed the any means possible to be done for all to see without questioning. 

But now it's like 1976 redux.  Biden isn't who they wanted.  They want radical Left, they want BLM, LGBTQ, #MeToo.  They want target and destroy all opposition.  They want burn the Christian West and America's heritage to the ground.  They want the people who desire the extermination of the Left's opponents openly and joyously proclaimed.  They don't want a man struggling to string together a coherent sentence operating on old, dead notions of compromise and unity. 

So I think they're doing what they did in 1976.  The coverage of Biden, once July 4th came and went, has been anything but stellar.  True, they'll still take shots at Trump.  They'll focus on Republican governors.  They'll hoist the banner of anti-White, anti-Male, anti-Christian, anti-Western, and anti-non-conformist.  They'll even try to put positive spins on things that aren't going well.  After all, if things are too bad, we have the 2022 Midterms.  And one thing the press has learned from 2016, just because you declare things to be Utopia, doesn't mean those suffering during the lie will buy it.  

So as we've watched the press savage Biden over his bungling of the Afghanistan debacle, it brought to mind the way I witnessed journalists and editorialists in my pre-adolescent days savage Carter.  True, I've not seen Hollywood or the late night "Comedians" jump on board like they did in the 70s.  I think at this point Hollywood is incapable of anything but slavish thralldom to the political Left.  Period. 

But I couldn't help but get little bursts of remembrances.  I thought of that.  And I thought of broken down, tired looking Biden and his dumpster fire gaffe machine VP Kamala Harris.  They are not who the Leftist establishment wants.  They will be kept alive, on a sort of media life support, until time to jettison them.  But in the meantime, the press - and perhaps other leftwing venues - will show no particular love for them.  They will allow just enough damage so that when the time comes, a candidate more to their liking will be the one all who would defeat the genocidal Nazism of White American Conservatism will have to support.  No old school Biden types next time.  It will be someone far more radical. 

Plus, it builds credibility for a media in desperate need of the same. At the end of the day, nobody believes the press is objective.  Some, particularly those on the Left, lie and insist it is, but they aren't stupid enough to actually think that.  The rest can't miss the naked partisanship and ideological activism that defines the press today.  Being able to selectively trash 'their own guy' might just win back a little lost good will from at least some of the masses.  Enough, at least, so that next time they could get an important boost to help the candidate they really want into the Oval Office. 

Just musings and ramblings as my mind watches the now, and can't help but remember the then. 


  1. Cronkite was one of the family across America coming into the homes of Americans every night. People knew him, trusted him and worse, believed him to tell them what was what. With Watergate and the subsequent ousting of Nixon the media realized the power they wielded in America: to make or break a president. Since that day they have used their power and capability of shaping opinion like never before and they have never looked back and with great success I might add.

    With few exceptions many presidential candidates have had to play the game with the press otherwise they weren't going anywhere. Coverage for a candidate was mostly dependent on whether or not the press deemed him worthy of it or followed the same agenda. Until Trump came along. Whether or not they want to admit it, the press gave Trump all the coverage he needed for free. He was so audacious and in your face that they had to cover him or lose a story. They were taken in by Trump by necessity and have never forgiven him since then. The media as you said is completely exposed for what they are: completely biased. You're right. Very few Americans believe the press(media)anymore or even listen to what they have to say. It's a good thing but maybe too little to late. I dunno.

    1. That's absolutely correct. People can argue why the press gave Trump top billing in the primaries - I know I have my theories. But it can't be argued that Trump was who the press lifted up, at least through the primary season. Without the press, you don't get Trump.

      As for Americans not believing the press, the sad part is I don't think it matters. I've long said that it's not people listen to the press despite the fact that they know it's biased, they believe it because they know it's biased.

  2. Regarding: "True, I've not seen Hollywood or the late night "Comedians" jump on board like they did in the 70s." The other night Jimmy Fallon's monologue included, "Things are going so badly for Biden right now, he said, "Hey, maybe the election was stolen."

    1. When a Democrat loses the Late Night Comedians nowadays, you know it's going downhill.

  3. I'm skeptical that voters play the angles much. Jimmy Carter was nominated by Democratic voters. The cognoscenti did not care for him and the Democratic caucus on Capitol Hill was antagonistic as well. Recall that Ted Kennedy's misbegotten candidacy in 1980 was in response to a draft which began among members of Congress. Note, the antagonism of Congress was driven by professional considerations. Carter did not mix well with people and seldom had private meetings with members; his liaison officer, who had worked the same position vis a vis the Georgia legislature, was blindsided by how resistant Democratic members were to Carter's proposals; Carter had priorities which derived from his engineer's sensibility, and Democratic members schooled in patron-client politics did not share them and were irritated because their priorities got short shrift.

    Also, have a gander at Carter's opponents in the 1976 Democratic donnybrook. Someone comparing Harry Truman and Adlai Stevenson once offered that a salient moment in political life occurred around 1950, as Truman was a celebrant of American culture and Stevenson was a critic of it. Over the period running from 1950 to 1985 you saw both celebrants and critics, the latter including Eugene McCarthy, George McGovern, and (in an attenuated way) Gary Hart. The thing is, of Carter's opponents in 1976, only Frank Church and Jerry Brown might have been classified as critics. Carter was a critic of American culture - in 1979. He didn't run that way in 1976. Carter's indifferent people skills and misunderstanding of Congress proved crippling. Morris Udall and Henry Jackson would not have had these problems. OTOH, Udall and Jackson had never held an executive position. Both Nixon and Ford showed some of the pitfalls of trying to learn how to run something on the fly.

    1. I don't think voters do so much as the upper crust tends to. The establishment, to use the popular term. It was clear that the leftwing establishment wanted Biden out in 2019. He was not their guy. When all others in the lineup imploded one way or another, it was clear he had to become their guy. I just thought of that as I watched the ABC interview, and the difference between its tone and any interview with Obama. That got me to thinking of the same thing with Carter all those years ago.

    2. James Clyburn was able to generate a preference cascade for Biden by mobilizing black opinion leaders in the Deep South. Some set of someones also persuaded Mayor Booty-gag to leave the race prematurely. Biden's in office due to the sheer fecklessness of north of 40% of the electorate, as well as an indeterminate quantum of fraud. The quality of the choices follows the decline of public virtue, which follows the decline of personal virtue.

  4. Dave I think it got to the point of anyone but Trump. If Harris had been the last standing, horrendous as she is she would have gotten the nod from the Dems. The hatred for Trump and the fear of him screwing up the way things were done in DC was the catalyst for the Dems to nominate ANYONE who was still breathing on the liberal side. Once it became clear that Biden was going to be it, media and the dems went into high gear to try to convince America he was what they needed. He was the one who would return America to normalcy. America bought it. Whether the elections were fraudulent or not doesn't matter at this point because nothing will be done about it except maybe be a bit more diligent on the GOP side.

  5. "I don't mean Biden as an ineffective leader, or as a president overseeing a collapse in America's foreign policy standing in the world."

    Gerald Ford: Fall of Saigon
    Jimmy Carter: Camp David Accords

    Comparing Biden to Carter is an insult to Carter.

    1. I don't know of comparing the two presidents, I just notice in both cases neither were who the media lever pullers wanted and it shows. Biden is fast learning he won't get the love that Obama, or even Clinton, got.


Let me know your thoughts