Not even the lessons of the past, present and future can help Joe Biden be a good man
Narrator: No one ever gave Joe Biden much credit for being smart, but this year he has the opportunity to learn from the past, the present and a glimpse of the future. Can he change his ways? Will the people love him or just pass off the “new” Joe as the same old corrupted dunce he's always been? Regardless, Merry Christmas!
To avoid damaging (except to one’s long-term political career in the Democrat Party) charges of plagiarism, I intend to borrow liberally from Charles Dickens’ legendary classic, A Christmas Carol, for this year’s holiday tribute. There’s little doubt Joe Biden’s been a lucky man in 2020. But that doesn’t mean he’s been a good man. While everyone could stand to change something within themselves, the president-elect needs a total personal and ethical transformation to thrive and prosper. Could visits from three campaign spirits help him? We’ll see.
Somewhere in Delaware, a man is about to receive unanticipated guests.
--The scene is Joe Biden’s bedchamber. The president-elect and wife Dr. Jill had argued late into the night, she complaining about his total lack of interest in the color of the curtains for the White House which they’re set to seize on January 20. Still irked from the pettiness of the altercation, Biden hoped to catch a few winks alone before son Hunter and his latest harem arrived for Christmas dinner the next day.
Just as Joe was surrendering to a dreamy slumber, out in the hallway there arose such a clatter. He sprung from his bed to see what was the matter. And to what did his wondering eyes appear, but a wide open front door with an unwanted stranger cursing and planning to smear.
Biden looked up and saw the semi-transparent figure of a spirit wrapped in balls and chains as though he were a heavily laden inmate stumbling around a prison yard. Curiously, one of the strands was more like a rope and didn’t contain any weights, instead dragging what appeared to be two dozen empty booze bottles and beer cans -- Jack Daniels, Jim Beam, Vodka, Budweiser, Sweet Vermouth and at the end, a broken green Carlo Rossi wine magnum circa 1970. The ghostly apparition had very thick jowls and a scrub of greasy hair that seemed like the type you’d find on a politician who’d been to many a brothel -- and dwelled in the senate for half a century.
The ghoul’s smell was overpowering, like a bedridden otherworldly nut house patient who’d been denied a sponge bath for six months. Joe’s keen nose detected a mixture of blood, a rancid ham sandwich, vomit, yeast-infected urine, feces and body odor occupying every corner of the room.
Not immediately recognizing the specter, Joe hesitatingly spoke, “Can you sit down?”
“I can” the ghost replied tersely in a well-worn Harvard Bostonian accent. “Who are you?” Joe inquired. “Ask me who I was” answered the visitor.
“You’re rather particular for a ghost. Okay, who were you?” Joe did as ordered.
“In life I was your senate partner, Teddy Kennedy. I have come back from the grave to warn you, Joe. You must change your ways or you will suffer my fate, to walk through all eternity as a formless nothing, doomed to wander among his fellow humanity as though what we did up on Capitol Hill mattered to anyone. It turns out that the man upstairs didn’t appreciate the way we slandered Robert Bork all those years ago. And the tens of millions of babies who died thanks to the Supreme Court and our feminist lobby’s bought-and-paid-for abortion protection bills? Well, he’s not real wild about those either.”
Joe snickered to himself at the way the spirit described the almighty. ‘Wow,’ he thought, ‘Teddy Kennedy in the afterlife. Who would’ve ever guessed? I would’ve wagered he’d be burning in you-know-where for that Mary Jo Kopechne/Chappaquiddick thing. But it was a long time ago, right? A politician has many more lives than a cat even has. I’m living proof of that!’
“What do you want with me?” Joe inquired.
“Much!” Kennedy snatched an unmarked bottle from the rope and tried to take a swig, throwing it down in frustration upon his failed attempt. “I can’t even drink anymore -- talk about hades,” the old drunk growled. “Never mind. As I said, I’m here to warn you. You’re gonna be visited by three other ghosts tonight who will provide some perspective on what a rotten human being you are and then try to steer you down the path to redemption. One will be here at the stroke of one, another at two and the third, well, she’s a tad mercurial. She’ll be here when she damn well feels like it.”
Noticing that the spirit wasn’t wearing a mask, Joe sought a way out of the hauntings. “Say Teddy, you sure were a good friend, though I’ve been hiding away here for the better part of a year from the China virus, ya know? My staff said no one’s to come see me without a mask on or having first bathed head-to-toe in hand sanitizer. You reek. I’ve got comorbidities up the ying-yang. Tell those spooks not to bother with me -- the Secret Service will never let ‘em in here anyway.”
At that note, the notorious Kennedy temper flared and he thundered in rage. “Dang-it man, do you believe in me or not??? I didn’t drag myself here -- literally -- to be lied to. Who do you think you are, Bill Clinton? We need you to change, bud. That’s the deal you’re always asking about. Now get your heinie dressed and ready to go out for a while. No skinny dipping tonight, friend. I’ve been here too long as it is. My last call was two minutes ago. Gotta go try and catch a cab since I’m still three sheets to the wind, even as a ghost. See ya, bud….
“Oh, by the way, make sure and tell Chris Dodd that I said Hi. That waitress sandwich we did was awesome. But I might be seeing him too someday if he keeps goin’ the way he does.”
The ghostly Kennedy then nearly tripped over his chains as he yanked open a window and poured himself out onto the snowy lawn below -- a fifteen foot drop -- landing with a loud thud. Joe heard a lot of moaning and groaning outside in the spirit world, a sound Biden was familiar with from having participated in whole caucus conference calls in his senate days. Joe quickly slammed the opening shut. Silence returned to the room and Joe surmised it had merely been a nightmare, perhaps brought on by an undercooked morsel of beef or a fragment of an underdone potato at dinner. ‘Dr. Jill is an awful cook! YUCK!’ he thought. Teddy Kennedy was more gravy than grave. Humbug!
Just then, the clock struck one. As Joe laid his head down on his pillow to accept what he considered a well-deserved rest, a flash of light lit up the room and a translucent figure appeared in the center of the space. Biden squinted to detect an identity. A human form for sure, the ghostly being looked a lot like Michael Dukakis, though he had much grayer and thinner hair than Biden remembered the one-time Democrat presidential candidate had, and long gone was the unibrow the Greek card-carrying member of the ACLU once sported so proudly.
“That you, Mike? Dang it’s been a long time. Wasn’t it 1988? Feels like a lifetime ago. How’s my homie doing? How’s Kitty? Say, how can you be a phantom, you’re not even dead.” “No,” the spirit responded patiently. “I may look like Dukakis, but I’m the ghost of Campaign Past -- your past. I’m here to take you back to 1987, to your first run for president. Take my arm and we will be transported back in time.”
Biden did as commanded and instantly the two found themselves in a strategy meeting for the fledgling Joe Biden for president campaign thirty-three years ago in September, 1987. The candidate was tossing out ideas on what he could possibly do to separate himself from the growing field, after the shocking departure of frontrunner Gary Hart left his possibilities wide open.
“We can talk freely. They can neither see nor hear us. If only we could’ve bugged Trump Tower so effectively,” the spirit added nonchalantly.
Joe and the Dukakis-like manifestation overheard the conversation of a much younger Biden talking up his prospects for the coming election. “I'm going to win this thing. I really am. I just know it, I can feel it in my fingertips,” the balding 45-year-old candidate boasted. “I just need a better, more compelling life story. I heard this British guy, Neil Kinnock, talking about his background. Man, I’m tellin’ ya, it’s good stuff. I think I’ll steal a page from his book and run with it.”
Knowing of Joe’s well documented fondness for plagiarizing ideas without any kind of attribution, his aides counseled against Biden “borrowing” anything. It would look bad. Besides, couldn’t Joe just talk about how “moderate” he was and how his first wife and little daughter were killed by a drunk driver while Christmas shopping (the truck driver wasn’t actually intoxicated, but ever since, Biden’s spread the lie that he was, destroying the man’s reputation)?
But nobody ever tells Joe anything, much less those mid-80’s Democrat hirelings. Joe watched himself delivering the fateful plagiarized speech. “My ancestors, who worked in the coal mines in northeast Pennsylvania, who would come up after 12 hours and play football for four hours. It's because they didn't have a platform upon which to stand.”
Dukakis stand-in said, “You did have a conscience, once, Joe. Yet you still chose to steal someone else’s words. And you weren’t even a very good plagiarist. What kind of idiot would copy something practically word-for-word that’s been recorded and widely disseminated? You got what you deserved then, and it looks like you haven’t learned from it now. Look at this year’s campaign? Shameful. Repeatedly distorting what Trump said at Charlottesville? Calling him a racist? None of that crap was true, yet out of your mouth it came.”
“I almost didn’t do it back then,” Joe replied, referring to the plagiarism. He cringed and shook his head, tears welling up in the corners of his eyes. “I was desperate. I knew people didn’t like me. I’ve always had an inferiority complex. I’m pathetic.”
“Almost only counts in horseshoes and hand grenades, not in politics,” the ghost lectured intolerantly. “You should’ve honored the past and started telling the truth from that point forward. But you didn’t. Instead, you lied through your teeth about representing the working man and woman and it only got worse from there. You ran again in 2008, but you should’ve known you would lose. Why? Because you’re a soulless career swamp dweller. You were lucky Barack Obama even gave you the time of day. You’re only here today because voters have short memories and you lasted the longest. Why didn’t you reform yourself, Joe? Why? Why?”
The words hung in the air as Joe silently sobbed, feeling deep regret about the opportunity lost. Then, as if out of nowhere, Biden’s notorious blame reflex emerged.
“I’ve had enough of you!!!!,” the president-elect shouted. “Get out of my bedroom before somebody sees you and thinks there’s something going on between us. I’ve been known to sniff a few scalps in my day, but I ain’t no guy lover. Not that there’s anything wrong with that. I got the Big O to switch sides on the gay marriage thing, didn’t I? And I’ve swung by a Pride parade a time or two. But I’m gonna be in charge now no matter what happened in 1988 -- or 2008. Geeettttt Ouuutttt!!!” The new president-to-be shrieked in rage, gritting his teeth.
“Truth lives. Truth lives. Truth lives!” The spirit said as he sunk through the floor like a refreshing rain shower draining into a sewer. Silence returned to the home.
“Get the @%#$^#&%% out of here, Dukakis! I knew you weren’t on the level about who you were. You lost to ‘the wimp factor’ Bush and no one gives a rat’s butt what you think anymore,” Joe bellowed to the stagnant air, breathing heavily as always whenever his blood pressure rises above a minimal level.
The clock struck two. Nothing. “Ah, Teddy, old friend, mistaken in death as you were in life.”
As soon as his head once again hit the pillow, Joe heard a booming voice from behind his locked bedchamber door, “Joseph Robinette Biden! Come out! Show yourself!” An extremely bright light shown under the door. Whatever’s out there has some serious wattage, Biden thought.
Upon cracking the door, Biden noticed a tremendously tall man holding what looked like a torch in his hand. Candelabras were everywhere. Mostly bald and wearing thin wirerimmed glasses, Joe thought the specter looked just like Bernie Sanders. But how could it be? “The Bern” isn’t that tall, and, well, like Dukakis before him, is still among the living.
“Who are you?” Joe asked.
“Don’t you recognize me?” the spirit asked incredulously while waving his hands in wild circles. His words were wrapped in an exceedingly distinct Brooklyn accent coated with a huge dose of Vermont maple syrup. Joe shook his head no. “I’m not surprised. You never were one to pay much attention to the details, especially this year. I am the ghost of Campaign Present. I have a rather large family -- 45 of my bros and sisses have visited the president-elect before me. I have the unique honor of being the 46th of my kind. Come with me. Time is short and I have much to show you.”
“Lead on,” Biden grumbled, by now comprehending that he had little power to resist. “At least this Bernie on stilts won’t be showing me anything from the past,” Joe mumbled to himself, relieved at the thought. ‘And I am the Democrat party today, so he can shove that torch up his tailpipe for all I care. I just need to get through this next hour and the day is mine.’
The spirit led Biden to the White House. “I know this place -- this is where Barry O would tell me to come over and watch the game. Michelle would serve us Fritos and Diet Coke, and the prez would hide his smokes whenever the First Lady entered the room,” Joe said.
“But you don’t know what’s inside,” the ghost responded. “You’re not the president yet. You need to know how the rest of the world views you, and it ain’t a pretty picture, pal. As with Campaign Past, we will be invisible and unheard. Come this way.”
Upon entering the executive mansion the visitors noticed a medium sized room full of jubilant guests disdaining social distance. Joe pondered, ‘This can’t be a Democrat meeting -- everyone’s happy and optimistic, not weighted down by racism or the existential threat of climate change. What gives? Why did he bring me here? These joy-filled Republicans aren’t pissed off and on the verge of rioting. Why are they laughing? They should be distraught. It’s annoying.’
President Donald Trump and his invited guests were engaged in a game of memes. Trump said he would show them a picture and they had to come up with a catchy line describing it. The winners would earn Trump 2024 campaign gear. “Anyone want to go first?” the president asked, enjoying the festive atmosphere where no one wore a mask and there were no Kens and Karens -- or Dr. Anthony Faucis -- to object to gathering and having a great time.
The first was a photo of Biden crawling on the floor of his basement, taken in the early days of the China virus pandemic. “I know,” a woman in the back of the room jumped up. “How about… Where did I put my brain?” The crowd roared with glee at the hilarity -- and truth -- of the insult. “I’ve got one” said a man near the window. “How about, I’ve fallen and I can’t up!” More merriment ensued. “If you vote for me, you ain’t smart.” “Or, I’m on my knees, Kamala, please say yes!” People doubled over trying to suppress the giggles.
“Why do you show me this?” Biden barked at the jovial ghost who chuckled along with the party attendees. “These people -- and you -- are having fun at my expense. Have they no respect for the office of the president-elect? What about all my calls to unify the country now that Trump is headed for the retirement storage bin? I can bring everyone together, including these Republican chumps. What a bunch of mean-spirited deplorable people they are. Obama called them ‘bitter clingers’ -- he was right.”
“Oh Joe, is that all you see?” the apparition sighed disappointedly. “Every one of their memes rang true if you think about it. Your campaign was full of lies and distortions. You didn’t even adopt the title of Democratic Socialist. You stole from the platforms of others. It was all warmed-over Democrat big government gobbledygook. Then you had the nerve to say you would enforce the law when your staff was contributing to the defense fund of the rioters and looters. If people are making fun of you, you deserve every word.”
“Come now, we must go to another place.”
In an instant they were transported to the shell of a burned out building in AnyTown, U.S.A. To one side a black business owner was tossing debris into a dumpster and sweeping up glass off the floor. A passerby stopped to ask what he was doing there at this odd hour. “I can’t rest. I’m trying to pick up the pieces of my dream,” the man said. “Those thugs burned my store and I lost my life savings. Now the local leadership says they want to defund the police. People steal stuff. Crimes go unpunished. Me and my family all voted for Trump this year. Democrats don’t care about us.” The passerby nodded in agreement, expressed his sympathies and continued on his walk.
“This man is insane!” Joe griped with eyes wide from anger. “Trump caused all this! He won’t even say the words ‘Black Lives Matter’! His racism was the cause of the protests, which were mostly peaceful, weren’t they? White supremacists burned this man’s business! (The Sanders ghost pointed to ‘Black Lives Matter’ and ‘ACAB’ spray painted on one of the remaining standing walls.) Besides, Trump didn’t do anything to stop the spread of the virus! He’s the reason people rioted in the first place! Racist! Racist!”
“Pfft!” spit out the specter. “Even when it’s right in front of your face, all you do is complain and distort. Nothing gets through to you. You’re as dull and dense as the bricks in that pile. I must leave you now. Look to the things I have shown you tonight. Be a better man.”
Biden said “What? Don’t leave me here in this desolate place! It’s cold and I have no shelter! You mustn’t abandon me! Have compassion! I’m gonna be president! I’ll have you arrested!” The Bernie-like ghost vanished as several gusts of frigid wind tore at Joe’s flimsy sleeping attire. How wretched this is! I don’t even have my smart phone to call my aides! I can’t just flag down a driver, can I? And there are scary looking brown people around here in this racial jungle. What about my safety?”
Just then a cloud formed in the distance, barely illuminating the figure of a woman dressed like a pant suited Grim Reaper. From the outlines of its figure Joe could see she was female, but her face was obscured by a hoodie. Looking at her left hand, Biden recognized Kamala Harris’s distinct wedding ring. ‘My running mate and vice-president elect is the ghost of Campaign Future????’ he thought, feeling betrayed that his trusty sidekick would even accept such a role. Traitor! Seditionist!
After a minute or so, Joe suppressed his growing rage and spoke. “You must be the ghost of campaigns yet to come, is that right?” The spirit bent at the waste and nodded slowly. “So you’re not gonna speak to me? We haven’t even been inaugurated yet and already you’re giving me the silent treatment? Who do you think you are, my wife?” Joe blurted out, regretting the statement before he’d finished the question.
Even though he couldn’t see her face, by her stiff body language and tapping Prada high heel shoes, Joe could tell the Kamala-ghost was enraged at the disrespectful sexist slight. She felt like ripping off the dang hoodie and calling up Tara Reade right then and there, but caution overcame her just in time. ‘If I want to be president soon, I have to continue playing nursemaid to this broken-down old dinosaur for at least a little longer’ she supposed as she steadied herself.
At least she didn’t have to allow the renowned pervert to physically touch her arm like the other spirits had. ‘Whew! He gives me the willies.’ So Kamala ghost just stuck a bony finger out of her jacket sleeve and pointed in the correct direction. The two were instantly transported to another setting Joe didn’t quite recognize. It looked like a prison cell and in one corner of the tiny space was son Hunter painting a canvas on an easel.
“Son!!!!” the geriatric politician wailed. “Why are you here? You’re the smartest person I know! Everyone grasps you didn’t do anything illegal. No crime could touch you. You’ve been through a lot! I’m gonna get you outta here, don’t you worry! And I’ll have all the hookers and crack delivered right to your room! What’s the address of this place anyway?!”
Then Joe took notice of what Hunter was painting, which looked an awful lot like the self-portrait of Vincent Van Gogh from 1889 next to an art book full of classic oils. “What? He plagiarizes too! I knew he was a chip off the ol’ block, but this is ridiculous! Hunter m’ boy, I’m gonna make sure you never have to suffer for anything. This is the future, isn’t it? That means I can fix stuff today and no one will ever know! Right?”
The Kamala ghost shook her head in disbelief at the single-minded absurdity of her charge. Will this guy never learn? Rather than listening to Biden blubber some more about how great his son is, she once again pointed her bony finger and the two were taken to another scene in the president-elect’s probable future.
Positioned around a cauldron in the House Speaker’s office were Nancy Pelosi and all four current members of “The Squad.” They were laughing, high fiving and dancing on the tables, though it didn’t appear to be any pre-organized celebration. “What the heck is this?” Joe wondered aloud. “Why are they so happy? They have to realize they’re not getting anything done while I’m president. I don’t have the stamina to stay awake through the State of the Union Address, much less push anything through frickin’ Congress. What’s the deal?”
The Kamala ghost just kept her bony finger pointed at the room. The women were unceasing in their salutations, talking about some guy who had died that day and speculating on what it would be like to have a liberal woman president. One of them asked if they should suggest burying the corpse face down like the puritans did to suspected witches in the 17th century. Another asked whether there even had to be a funeral at all, since no one would come. There was no mourning emotion whatsoever among the coven participants.
“What the heck, Kamala -- I mean Spirit? Who are they referring to? Is it Trump? But if Trump died suddenly, Mike Pence would be president. And he ain’t no woman. The only way a woman would be president is if I died. Is that what happened? Say it isn’t so! Tell me that I can sponge the grins off their slimy witchy faces! I’m not the man I was! I’ll make even more deals! I’ll tell even more lies! I’ll give them the Green New Deal and Medicare for All!
“I will live in the past, the present and the future, all in one! I will not forget the lessons you and your buddies taught me tonight! If I give the radicals what they demand, I’ll be popular and I won’t die in office. Thank you, campaign past, present and yet-to-come!”
“Heeeeeyyyyyy, Merry Christmas Mister Potter!” Oops, wrong story!
At that, even through the hoodie, Biden detected the Kamala ghost beaming with unrestrained delight. She knew no matter what, Joe couldn’t truly change, and the future seemed assured -- for one of them at least. If she wasn’t stuck acting like a spirit, Kamala ghost would’ve been down there partying with Nancy and the gals too. Leftism is on the doorstep of taking over America, and if that ain’t worth getting giddy about for a Democrat, what is?
A bolt of lightning struck from nowhere and Joe found himself back in his bedchambers wrestling with his pillow and his genuine Barack Obama bedspread (the former president had given it to him as a gift to commemorate their White House days together, since Joe wanted something aromatic that smelled like Michelle’s coiffure as a souvenir). He glanced out the window and noticed it was morning. The spirits had done it all in one night!
Joe got up, threw on his most comfy sweats and light jacket and jogged out the door, his broken ankle having healed in a matter of hours. He flagged down the nearest stranger he could locate and ordered the man to deliver a message to Democrat leaders on Capitol Hill. For the man’s trouble, Biden gave him a million bucks from Hunter’s Chinese bank account and permission to sleep in the Lincoln Bedroom for a week.
The message read, “Don’t worry a bit, Chucky and Nancy, I’m a changed man. I’m not even going to claim I’m ‘moderate’ any longer. Whatever you cook up, I’ll sign. Ban fracking! Ding! Ding! 100% taxation on those making over ten grand? Cha-ching! Dissolve the southern border! DONE! The sky’s the limit! I’ll never get in your way again! Now everyone will love me!”
Narrator: Joe Biden was as good as his word. He knew how to do campaigns and how to win the Democrat way. Cheat like crazy! Only the future wasn’t as bright as he’d anticipated. Hunter did go to jail on a twenty-year sentence, and Kamala Harris did constantly plot behind his back to bring his downfall. Donald Trump never left the political arena and was overwhelmingly elected in 2024, having won Wisconsin, Michigan, Pennsylvania, Arizona, Georgia and Nevada with fraud proof margins. The “new” Joe was wrapped up in Special Counsel investigations, and he retired to the poor house without a dime to his name, the least popular president in history.