“We hold these truths to be self-evident: all men and women created by the, go, you know the, you know the thing.”
— Joe Biden (3/220)
By Meagan Day
fter a year of stages crowded with flash-in-the-pan phenoms and forgettable faces, the race for the 2020 Democratic presidential nomination is about to yield a totally new kind of debate: Joe Biden versus Bernie Sanders, mano a mano.
That’s bad news for Biden, and his team knows it. We know they know it because they won’t accept Sanders’s offer for a one-on-one debate about health care policy; because they’re lobbying to make the debate format less demanding; because Biden is refusing invitations for extended interviews on cable news; and because he was recently spotted handing out leaflets to reporters after an event instead of talking to them directly — clearly a workaround designed by his staff to prevent him from putting his foot in his mouth.
Running someone experiencing rapid cognitive decline against a mean-spirited bully who relishes the exploitation of weakness is worse than a risk. It’s a guaranteed disaster.
His staff are right to be worried. The elder statesman is prone to lapses in coherence, to put it politely. The signs have been there for months: when Biden asked supporters to “go to Joe 30330 and help me in this fight” in the August debate, the Guardian called it “one of the most cryptic gaffes of his career.” But it was only the beginning.
In his bid for the nomination, Biden has forgotten Barack Obama’s name repeatedly, proclaimed he was running for Senate, declared that over 150 million people have been killed by gun violence since 2007, confused his wife with his sister, confused Angela Merkel with Margaret Thatcher, and confused Theresa May twice with Margaret Thatcher. He’s issued an endless litany of baffling and embarrassing statements, including, “Tomorrow’s Super Thursday,” “We choose truth over facts,” “Poor kids are just as bright and just as talented as white kids,” “Why, why, why, why, why, why, why?” and “We hold these truths to be self-evident: all men and women created by the, go, you know the, you know the thing.”
Biden’s allies have attempted to explain all this away by pointing out that Biden has long struggled with a stutter. It’s true that Biden stuttered as a child, but it is not true that he’s always labored to verbally convey his ideas. For decades Biden’s speech was lucid, convincing, at times even charismatic. …