I know how he feels. I wish I couldn’t remember that Old Joe Biden has been president at all. But the old man apparently thinks that he has been playing the role of president for longer than he actually has: on Thursday, he boasted that “the unemployment rate is 3.6 percent, down from 6.4 percent when I took office nineteen months ago.” He has actually only been in office for fourteen months, although you’d think his administration would have needed fourteen years, or four hundred, to do all the damage it has done.
There are several aspects of this that make it a larger problem than just a little verbal slip. First is the fact that if we didn’t have the video, we might never have known that Biden made this particular gaffe at all. The WhiteHouse.gov transcript has this: “The unemployment rate is 3.6 percent, down from 6.4 percent when I took office.” There is not a hint that anything has been altered.
Just three weeks ago, on April 3, I predicted this: “We’re only a few steps away from WhiteHouse.gov erasing the real remarks that Biden made, instead of just crossing them out and correcting them, and replacing them with an entirely fictional version of what he said. Inconceivable? Not at all.” What WhiteHouse.gov has posted is not entirely fictional, but it gives the reader no impression whatsoever that Biden misspoke yet again, and given all the justifiable concern about the putative president’s mental deterioration, that’s as actively misleading as if WhiteHouse.gov had posted the Gettysburg Address as a new statement from Old Joe.
Some might insist that this is simply a matter of Joe misreading the teleprompter: maybe it said “14 months ago,” and he mistook the 4 for a 9. That could be, but back in January 2022, when Biden said that “there is a lot of reason to be hopeful in 2020,” that was harder to blame on the teleprompter. This was the same Biden who asked on March 4: “How did we get to the place where, you know, Putin just decides he’s gonna invade Russia? Something like this hasn’t happened since World War II.” Biden also declared in his State of the Union address that “Putin may encircle Kyiv with tanks, but he’ll never gain the hearts and souls of the Iranian people.” On the same day he extended his tenure as president by five months, he more famously confused the mask mandate with Title 42, the Trump-era law that at least partially staunches the flow of migrants across the Southern border. He has mistaken his wife for the vice president and the vice president for his wife.
And there have been so many others. But if you read the alleged president’s remarks at WhiteHouse.gov, you might never get the idea that Biden had any cognitive issues at all. As his decline becomes increasingly an issue of national importance and even national security, that’s inexcusable. Alteration of the official record is the practice of totalitarian states that endeavor to control everything that their citizens perceive, particularly the information that reaches them, so that they can control their opinions. The official transcript in what is still supposed to be a free republic should be scrupulously accurate, even when the unvarnished facts make the occupant of the Oval Office look bad, and even when that occupant is a front man for the powerful and privileged elites.
One reason why Biden’s gaffes aren’t news except among conservatives is that those powerful elites are frightened by the prospect of Kamala Harris becoming president. Harris has the advantage of not suffering from dementia, but she has another problem: she repeatedly demonstrates that she simply isn’t very bright. She has a taste for pronouncements full of empty portent but meaning nothing at all, as she showed again on Monday when she told U.S. Space Command personnel: “Space is exciting. It spurs our imaginations, and it forces us to ask big questions. Space — it affects us all, and it connects us all.” Space affects us all and connects us all? Is it maybe the final frontier? Does she want the Space Command to boldly go where no man (oops) has gone before?
It’s clear that among its many troubles, America has a huge problem in the Executive Branch. Joe Biden’s fourteen-year, uh, fourteen-month presidency has wrought unprecedented damage both domestically and internationally. With Kamala Harris poised to take over if Biden finally resigns or shuffles off to try to work his con man magic on the biggest of Big Guys, no relief is on the immediate horizon.