Joe Biden's Philadelphia Freedom

AP Photo/Susan Walsh

Sir Elton John, before he retired earlier this year from performing live in concert, is 77 years old. He's four years younger than Joe Biden. 

The 1975 classic, Philadelphia Freedom, finished the year as the third-most popular song. It's 49 years old, or two years before the commencement of Joe Biden's life in public office. It's a song that usually kicks off an Elton John concert, or at the very least is played very early in the set because of its anthem-y beat and ability to get people up and dancing from the opening riff. 

The first verse of the song is kind of applicable to Joe Biden these days, who spent this past weekend in the city of Brotherly Love, trying to simultaneously stop the hemorrhaging in the swing state of Pennsylvania that Biden absolutely has to win in order to serve another term, and also project the illusion that there's nothing wrong with Joe or the campaign, and that they're winning already. 

I used to be a rolling stone, you know
If a cause was right
I'd leave, to find the answer on the road

I used to be a heart beatin' for someone
But the times have changed
The less I say, the more my work gets done

A lot of great reporting and writing is on this site by my colleagues on the President's adventure on Philly radio, resulting in the loss of another job of an African-American woman, the White House physician's budding friendship with a neurologist who also happens to be the top Parkinson's expert in the country, and the growing number of Congressional actors trying out for the role of Brutus in the Washington, D.C. adaptation of Joe Caesar. Among the odder contestants in the 'Shiv Biden' caucus is California Congressman and Senate candidate, Adam Schiff, who said this on Meet the Press with Kristen Welker.

But the continuing decline of Joe Biden was on full display in a series of events in Philly over the weekend that need recapping here.

There were remarks to a union group in Harrisburg, a visit to a campaign headquarters in Philly, and an appearance and a few remarks at the Mount Airy Church of God in Christ in Philly. All three were disasters in their own way. 

At the campaign headquarters, which is not exactly going on offense or into harm's way for a political candidate, here's the pith of Joe Biden's gist. 

Huh. It's not safe for him to go out and talk to kids on the schoolyard anymore. I wonder why that would be? Who's been the president the last four years? We ought to talk to that person and ask him why crime has risen to the point that schools aren't safe anymore. 

Of course, the city of Philadelphia is not located in the state of Delaware, the state Joe Biden represented for lo these many decades. The pandering may have been good shtick when he was sentient, but wrong. But now that he's addled, absent-minded, insular, and feeble, the shtick isn't just unfunny, it's an alarming reminder that there's no clue what neurons are still firing successfully in Joe Biden's head. 

At the sparsely-attended AFSCME rally in Harrisburg, two dangerous events took place - Joe Biden was given a microphone, and there was no teleprompter set up. 

I would suggest that Joe Biden will be remembered as the guy who liked to take showers with his daughter, Ashley, making her uncomfortable enough that she wrote about it in her diary. But that's just me. You might remember Joe Biden as the guy who gave away Afghanistan to the Taliban, abandoning thousands of allies of the United States in the process and getting 13 brave servicemembers blown up carrying out an indefensible mission. Others might remember Joe Biden as the guy who gave us $5 dollar a gallon gas and 9% inflation. There is a lot that Joe Biden will be remembered for, almost entirely infamously so. But again, you'd think the president trying desperately to prove he's still all there upstairs might otherwise come up with something besides ice cream to talk about as a selling point. 

Yeah, I have no idea what he's talking about, either. It's not just you. Over the weekend, I was in Northwest Arkansas meeting distant cousins and second cousins I knew about but had not seen since I was 6-years old. One of them, Steve, who is in the range of Biden's age, said he made the decision a couple years ago to voluntarily give up driving. He's still as mentally sharp as ever, and can talk about politics, education, any number of subjects with thoughtfulness and reason. But the last time he drove, his reflexes were not what they once were, and it scared him. As he told me, "The distance between my head and my foot had become too far." In Joe Biden's case, the distance between his head and his mouth has become too far. 

This is twice now in two appearances that Joe Biden is talking about the future as if he's the challenger, not the incumbent. He's talking about problems that need fixing that have become problems on his watch. That's not great campaigning to be highlighting stuff you failed at fixing in your first term. 

This next clip is where the wheels come off the wagon. Joe Biden starts meandering through a story that has no relevance to anything, unless you are Floyd the Barber sitting on the bench outside the shop in Mayberry telling stories out loud to no one. But watch Dr. Jill Dr. Biden, Ed.D. When Joe starts getting lost in the rhetorical forest, Jill turns to her host, whispers something in her ear, and they both come with the hook to get Joe out of there before more damage is done. 

Speaking of damage, in just 7 minutes at Mount Airy Church of God in Christ Sunday morning, Joe Biden spoke and showed his age, his loss of mental acuity, and why his presidential campaign has entered the doom loop. They are begging for attention in order to show last week was a fluke, and in the process of trying to show that it was a fluke, they are cementing in the impression that he's lost it with every successive event. 

Here's the prepared remarks. 

First, when you're about to get up to speak, as I have done a bunch of times, you look over your notes one last time and especially at the first few lines. If you have the first few lines committed to memory and go through in your head how to deliver them, the rest of the speech kind of flows naturally. If you screw up the beginning, it's awfully hard to recover. Joe Biden couldn't get out of the blocks without losing his place. 

Second, he says it's good to be home. You know what's coming, right? He got his start in politics getting involved in the civil rights movement by attending a Black church in Delaware. It's nonsense. It's been debunked dozens of times, including by Joe Biden himself. But just with that line, "It's good to be home," you know it's coming. He can't help himself. When you can't remember actual reality, you default back to the fiction you've invented inside your head. 

100% bovine excrement. It's all pandering, and devoid of factual history. 

The triple crown has been achieved. Joe Biden, who has been president for four years, is now talking about problems going on in the country that he hasn't been able to solve, promising to try to fix them with another four years of advancing senility. By the way, notice that nowhere in regime media was the concern raised that Joe Biden, by appearing in a church and talking about politics from the pulpit, was fomenting Christian nationalism. If Trump talks in church, he's instigating a new civil war and revolution. But if Biden does it, the location of those remarks is glossed over. 

Now for the optics. If you're reading this, you might be a Christian. If so, you've probably been to a church service a time or two. You might be an atheist. But even if you are an unbeliever, you probably recognize what you're at least supposed to do when a pastor says, "Let's all stand." In Joe Biden's case, that simple direction merits confusion, a sideways glance to staff for guidance, and more evidence that Joe Biden is slipping, and that slippage isn't just happening outside the Dr. Pepper hours of the day. 

I'm no rocket scientist, but if the pastor says, "Let's all stand," I can reasonably assume there is an  immediate necessity to rise to my feet. When I've gone to an Elton John concert, as I have about half a dozen times, and the audience stood, I was able to go with the flow, too, and stand up without Sir Elton having to ask me to do so. 

The nuclear launch codes are in a secured briefcase within 50 feet of this stage, and the man in the video above is the only person who can authorize the use of them, if necessary. Do you remember when George W. Bush caught holy hell from regime media and Democrats for appearing to freeze in the classroom when then Chief of Staff Andrew Card whispered in his ear that a plane had just flown into the first World Trade Center tower? Bush did not want to look flustered, show fear, and cause panic, so he waited a beat until leaving the stage, and was roundly criticized for doing so. But he clearly knew what was going on, knew the cameras were on him, and was immediately calculating all the steps that had to be taken, including how the optics of the initial reaction would be seen. Do you think Joe Biden can do all that mental processing at this stage of his life?

As Democrats reconvene in the House and Senate, the alarm at their electoral prospects will accelerate as the week progresses. The pressure on Joe Biden to step aside will intensify. Post-debate swing state polling is imminent. Fundraisers are already heading for the hills, forming a backup plan of shoring up Congressional seats to minimize the damage to Democrats this fall. But so long as Joe Biden gets his entire information flow from Dr. Jill Dr. Biden, Ed. D and Hunter Biden, convicted felon, it's unlikely the President is heading for the exits before the upcoming 90-day window to get printed on ballots as the Democratic nominee. 

I do not relish the angst this is causing the country. It's not healthy at all to project this chaos of leadership to our adversaries around the world. As a Republican, however, I only wish I had the contract for popcorn concessions. 

I said in the third graph that in Joe Biden's alternate reality, the one where all the polls are wrong, his approval numbers are much higher than those being reported, and that the throngs of people seeing him are bigger than Donald Trump's, the President thinks he's winning. He won already, and he's going to beat Donald Trump 2020. 

I close with my standard reminder. Today is Joe Biden's best day. He will not better tomorrow. He'll be a little worse. He'll be worse, still, next week. He'll be even worse next month. That's how decline works. 

Will Democrats wait until it's too late legally to change him out, and then for the sake of muh democracy break every electoral law in the books to pull a Torricelli option? Or will Bill and Hillary Clinton, Barack and Michelle Obama, Hakeem Jeffries, Chuck Schumer, Nancy Pelosi, and Chris Coons finally head to 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue and take the keys away from Grandpa? And even if they do all make the long walk to the White House, will Dr. Jill Dr. Biden, Ed. D and Hunter Biden, convicted felon, head them off at the pass? 

Jimmy Carter is 99-years old, in hospice care, and not long for this world. If he were able to summon up the ability to communicate one final message before taking his final breath, and that message were, "Get out," would that crack the stubborn ego of Joe Biden? Don't count on least not yet. 

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Duane Patterson 10:00 PM | July 11, 2024