The New York Times has long ago abandoned any pretense of being an actual news source and has settled into its role as the foremost propaganda arm of the hard Left, capitalizing upon the fact that there is still a considerable number of people in the U.S. and around the world who still think that the Times can be trusted to report events impartially and accurately. In reality, the only thing the Times is good for is revealing what the political and media elites are thinking, and a Friday opinion piece dropped a bombshell, in the Times’ muted, bloodless Voice-of-the-Ages manner: the Leftist establishment is through with Old Joe Biden. Watch for him to be replaced as the Democratic presidential nominee in 2024, and he could be gone even sooner.
The author of the “Guest Essay” was Jonathan Alter, a respected far-Left intellectual who has written hagiographic biographies of some of the Left’s foremost saints, Franklin D. Roosevelt, Jimmy Carter, and Barack Obama. But don’t expect Old Joe to take his place as the fourth member of Alter’s personal woke Mount Rushmore anytime soon: Alter once admired the serial liar who is currently pretending to be president but no more. The classified documents scandal has the Leftist “historian” searching for a new hero.
Alter begins by lamenting past glories: “Remember the iconic image of a smiling Joe Biden in his 1967 Corvette Stingray? It conjured charming Uncle Joe, a retro-cool guy who’d been around the track and knew how to handle it.” But all that is gone now: “Four months after President Biden called Donald Trump’s mishandling of classified documents ‘irresponsible,’ that vintage car — parked at the president’s home in Delaware next to his own boxes containing classified material — has been transformed into a shiny symbol of hypocrisy. If you went into a G.O.P. whataboutism lab and asked for a perfect gaffe, you’d come out with the president snapping last week to a Fox News reporter, ‘My Corvette is in a locked garage.’ Well, the storage room at Mar-a-Lago is locked, too.” Ouch!
Alter quickly takes pains to reassure his easy marks, that is, New York Times readers, that he is certain that Biden’s classified documents scandal is trivial compared to Trump’s but laments that the general public is too stupid to recognize this: “Many voters with better things to do with their time than parse the nuances of presidential record keeping may casually conclude that both men are careless, lying politicians.” Or even, perish the thought, that one of them is the target of a relentless and now eight-year-long witch hunt, while the other gets protection from compromised, corrupt, relentlessly politicized government agencies.
But the real problem with Biden’s documents scandal, according to Alter, is that it torpedoes the faux president’s chances of reelection. Alter may be looking for a side hustle as a stand-up comedian, as he writes, presumably with a straight face, that the astonishingly corrupt, morally compromised, venal, cheerfully mendacious individual who postures as president in his Potemkin Oval Office has now harmed his “core political brand of honor and decency.” And so Old Joe has to go: Biden’s “sharp ethical contrast” (stop laughing!) “with Mr. Trump has been dulled,” and this “complicates the president’s expected re-election campaign — and could even short-circuit it.”
Alter tells us this despite the fact that he obligingly avows that Biden’s core constituency is made up of people who are so gullible that they still fall for Old Joe’s act: “Most Democrats still think Mr. Biden is honest, and they view his accomplishments on the economy, climate, infrastructure and defending democracy as far more significant than this lapse.” Skyrocketing inflation? Rapidly creeping authoritarianism and sinister efforts, unprecedented in American history, to frame his principal opponent for a crime and criminalize political dissent? A fictional Southern border? Forget it all! Old Joe has “accomplishments”!
Of course, Jonathan Alter would also have you believe that “the Obama-Biden administration set an exceptionally high ethical standard and usually met it,” and postures about “Mr. Obama’s scandal-less White House” without mentioning the fact that the Chicago Saint had a “wingman” for an attorney general and a cachet as the first black president that meant that he would never be prosecuted no matter what he did, even supply weapons to drug cartels. Alter’s shoddy reasoning and reflexive partisanship aside, however, the real significance of his op-ed is that it signals that the curtain is closing on Biden’s clownish and disastrous star turn as the presidential figurehead. Whether his replacement will be The Cackler or some other socialist ideologue remains to be seen.