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Joe Biden at Mar-A-Lago

I don't know which televised spectacle yesterday was more enthralling: Joe Biden's speech to the electric workers union or Trump's appearance in Calexico, CA. at a congregation of border enforcement officals

Biden's kind of interesting again, an old pol who came up in the day when touching a woman's hair was thought to be a way to get her vote. I watched him last night on C-SPAN, the go-to tv network especially in times of national peril. He really worked the room! "You guys are the best, you should be proud of yourselves, the hedge fund managers on Wall St. couldn't do it without you! Don't ever forget that! You're the heart and soul of America and I won't forget you." And so forth.

The electricians couldn't stop clapping, they must have felt flattered. Flattery is something Biden's good at, as most pols are, knowing how to make flattery sound just like empathy. But what a strange compliment! The conflation of unionizd electrical laborers with Wall Street white collar criminals! 

There's something strange about Biden. I can't quite put my finger on it. His teeth are too white for someone in his 70s, for instance.

Watching Biden speak to the electricians, listening to the words he used, I conclude that Biden's the kind of guy who says the same old things over and over until they sound almost new again, which makes him more-or-less the prototypical Democratic Presidential candidate, a party that's having a hard time catching up with the times. I found it quite odd to hear him refining his stump speech before he's announced whether or not he's going to run. He's running, I thought, this is only a little warm-up exercise before the big race.

On the other side of the country Donald Trump, Chief Executive of Real Estate Management, was meeting with a group of border officials in Calexico, California on the subject of "the border crisis."

Just as as Trump was about to enter the room someone announced, "Ladies and Gentlemen, The President of the United States", and only then did the door open. 

Trump sat between a chubby female border guard and Kirstjen Nielsen, the current US Secretary of Homeland Security. Nielsen's quite scary in her own right, having come up through the ranks in the Bush Administration, learning the arts of waterboarding and other forms of torture from the masters.

Sitting down, Trump took a piece of paper out of his suit pocket. His NOTES! The real estate developer at a press conference announcing the groundbreaking of a new hotel. I know the type, having seen them in action.

Trump glanced at his notes! We need a wall! We've got to build it! Thousands and thousands of illegal immigrants are pouring through the border. Many are criminals! So many criminals. The drugs coming in are unbelievable! and so forth.

Only at Mar-A-Lago, his golf club resort in Palm Beach, FL. could Trump have been happier. Everyone in the room agreed with him! And truly picturesque was the overt fawning of the border officials, many of whom were taking cell-phone pictures of Trump during the meeting. You'd think there'd be at least one of two among them who might challenge official wisdom, if it can be called wisdom, as so much of this national initiative to close the border deserves official scrutiny. 

Watching the proceedings for about 15 of the full 40 minutes (another plug for C-SPAN, that they announce at the very beginning of these little charades how long they'll last) did I finally get it. Trump was talking to his base! These men and women voted for the guy. Jeez, how dumb am I?

I guess the best that can be said of Trump is that he treats the job of being President as if it's a real estate deal.

This morning I consulted de Tocqueville and found this: "The American Republic will endure until the day Congress discovers that it can bribe the public with the public's money." 

Reader Comments (1)

And it’s existence is coming to an end!

April 13, 2019 | Unregistered CommenterRaher Tom

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