The Right Resistance: If age is just a number, then why does Grampa Joe seem so disorientated?
“You ain’t getting any younger.”
It’s a refrain everyone over 25 has probably heard at one time or another. If you’re fresh out of college there could be age-related pressure to get married or make partner or secure that first million before you’re thirty. Nearing middle age, family members and close friends might remind you that your proverbial “biological clock” is ticking and if you’re to have a family (or not), it’s now or never. Later in life, the urgency may be planning that dream vacation or purchasing the condo on a beach somewhere that you’d always bragged was first on your bucket list.
If you’re even contemplating assembling a “Before it’s too late” list you know you ain’t getting any younger.
Age stops for no one…unless you’re Tom Brady. Not too long ago the 43-year-old Super Bowl winning quarterback said he’s definitely considering extending his playing career beyond his originally stated retirement goal of 45-years-old. Then there’s Tiger Woods, who’s said from day one that his lifetime ambition was to break Jack Nicklaus’s record of 18 professional golf major championships. Umpteen surgeries, auto accidents, personal failures and just about every obstacle under the sun hasn’t stopped the man yet. Will compound fractures from his latest incident finally derail him?
He ain’t getting any younger. But he’s Tiger Woods, so a lot of people wager their reputations that he’ll come back, on one leg if need be.
The same type of “life is short” thinking seems to be catching up to President Joe Biden, however. When the Delaware pol first ran for president in 1987, he was a spry forty-something with a seemingly limitless quantity of energy and youthful (middle aged?) enthusiasm. Young Uncle Joe could deliver speeches and perform his usual quota of back-slaps and shoulder massages without even batting his proverbial eyelash. No baby was safe from his puckering lips. No commute was too long. No liberal party function was too strenuous for good ol’ Joe. No political mountain was too high to scale. The sky was the limit!
But those days are long gone, and certainly by the looks of it, the current mentally-deteriorating-by-the-hour version of Grampa Joe ain’t getting any younger. His condition has got more than a few people talking about it. Age didn’t prove to be a disqualifying factor last year during the presidential campaign, but Biden’s cognitive-related issues seem to have caught up with him, if not already passed him by in the slow (functioning) lane. What are Democrats to do?
“President Biden moves more slowly than when he was vice president under former President Barack Obama. He squints slightly when looking at the teleprompter and sometimes misspeaks anyway.
“Before taking office, Biden suffered a minor injury in a fall (the transition office said at the time that he tripped while playing with his dog). Since then, he has yet to hold a solo press conference. Reporters are sometimes shooed away at his public events, where his wife, Vice President Kamala Harris, or aides can be seen pointing him in the right direction...
“Biden, who served in the Senate for 36 years and was vice president for eight, has been known for verbal miscues for decades. Aides often point out that he had a speech impediment, overcoming a childhood stuttering problem. But at 78, he is also the oldest man to ever serve as president, beating out Ronald Reagan, whose second term ended a couple of weeks before his 78th birthday.”
Biden’s critics, myself included, have had a grand time poking fun at his mental acuity -- or lack thereof (I compared him, only half-mockingly, to Forrest Gump). As Antle pointed out in his piece, Trump devised at least a couple of his trademark nicknames for the Democrat nominee in the heat of the 2020 campaign. Only four years separated the two candidates but Trump never showed his age, or at the very least, if he’d lost a brainy step, he could still complete the race.
Not Grampa Joe. The fact that our “new” president hasn’t yet conducted a solo press conference nearly two months into his tenure is frightening, not only because the information we’re being fed is second-hand at best, it also means that more than likely, national policy is being determined by someone who wasn’t elected. Everyone gets that Biden was a figurehead, placeholder-kind of presidential hopeful, but this is ridiculous.
Seeing the video of Biden stumbling over his Secretary of Defense’s name -- and the media’s lame attempts to overlook it - was jaw dropping astonishing. If a president can’t effectively communicate with the American public, what purpose does he serve? We didn’t elect a bureaucrat in chief, did we? What’s the guy doing during the day, anyway, playing dominos with Barack Obama? Does Joe have a nap time? Are his office hours purposely limited so as to ration whatever attention span he still retains? Grampa Joe sure ain’t getting any younger.
Today, if he were still alive, rock legend Jimi Hendrix might croon, “Hey, Joe. Where you goin’ with that gun in your hands?” and Biden wouldn’t have a clue what direction he was headed. Or why he was carrying a gun for that matter. Wasn’t that a job for the secret service? Aren’t Nancy Pelosi and “Chucky” Schumer and Beto O’Rourke and VP sidekick Kamala Harris planning to get rid of guns anyway?
I’m not claiming that after a certain age older people can’t function in leadership capacities. Far from it. Several senators, Supreme Court justices, our Speaker of the House (though she’s awful dubious too) and no doubt the heads of many a successful business enterprise (Charles Koch is 85, for example) continue to serve well past retirement age and they’re every bit as capable as they ever were. But others show telltale signs of slippage. The president of the United States isn’t someone we can afford to get too far attenuated from 100 percent sharpness.
What must Biden’s closest aides think? What’s it like to go to work in the morning set to do mighty important stuff and wonder how much the boss will comprehend today -- or whether zero hour is just seconds away? How long will it be until Grampa Joe can’t remember his chief of staff’s name?
We’ve had debilitated presidents before. A little over a hundred years ago, the incapacitated Woodrow Wilson’s wife Edith was widely rumored to be operating as de facto president when the elected officer wasn’t able to perform his duties after his stroke. While no one thinks First Lady Dr. Jill is calling all the shots today, the real culprit isn’t far away.
Many, many conservatives hope Grampa Joe can at least make it through one term. What waits behind his desk (probably with a smart phone counting down the minutes and a blunt device at the ready) would be far worse than even Biden himself. The president ain’t getting any younger; and our terror at his lack of wherewithal ain’t going away, either.
Joe Biden age
Biden Press Conference
Biden forgets Defense Secretary's name