Either Joe Biden remains in denial or he is lying

COVID-19 Pandemic


Fig. 1. A bar at the intersection of Brownsville and Cochran Mill Roads, South Park Township, a suburb of Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. Photograph by author, July 29, 2020. An earlier order restricting indoor dining and alcohol consumption took effect on July 10[1] and the incubation period was, at least at the time, usually about five days.[2] On July 30, it was reported that Allegheny County, which includes South Park Township, set a record for COVID-19 hospitalizations,[3] but county health officials insisted that a recent spike in cases was linked to bars.[4] Many in Pittsburgh, a “drinking town,” were more inclined to believe bar owners than health officials.

Brenda Goodman, “CDC signs off on updated Covid-19 boosters,” Cable News Network, September 1, 2022, https://www.cnn.com/2022/09/01/health/acip-cdc-updated-covid-booster/index.html


Gilead

Joe Biden’s bipartisan delusions


Fig. 2. Pope Francis and Joe Biden at the White House. Photograph by David Lienemann, September 23, 2015, via Wikimedia Commons, public domain.

Either Joe Biden remains in denial[5] or he is lying. He “emphasized that not all, not even most, Republicans are ‘Maga extremists,’”[6] when in fact

[p]olls suggest that a majority of Republicans do not believe Biden is the legitimately elected president. Election deniers are running for office, securing the nominations for key posts with power over how future elections will be conducted.[7]

Yes, most, in fact, nearly all Republicans are white Christian nationalists in a now stunningly monolithic conservatism.[8] Rhetorically, this denial makes sense if he hopes to pry these people away from what he called “blind loyalty to a single leader and a willingness to engage in political violence,”[9] but I very strongly doubt they’re listening to him.

For the rest of us, this is simply more performative bullshit. The Democrats have repeatedly refused to pass voting rights reform such as would even keep them in the electoral game, passing at most a pale shadow of the agenda they were elected to pass, still failing at abortion rights, failing to increase the minimum wage[10] despite a dire need[11] and a profound injustice,[12] remaining in denial about student loans, and indeed failing in so many ways that they compel a conclusion that they prefer to be in opposition, where they can complain about the Republicans without being expected to actually accomplish much if anything at all.[13]

Lauren Gambino, “Biden warns US democracy imperiled by Trump and Maga extremists,” Guardian, September 1, 2022, https://www.theguardian.com/us-news/2022/sep/01/biden-speech-philadelphia-extremist-republicans-threaten-democracy

Amber Phillips, “Takeaways from Biden’s warnings about Republican threats to democracy,” Washington Post, September 1, 2022, https://www.washingtonpost.com/politics/2022/09/01/biden-democracy-speech-takeaways/

Competitive authoritarian regime project

Lauren Gambino, “Biden warns US democracy imperiled by Trump and Maga extremists,” Guardian, September 1, 2022, https://www.theguardian.com/us-news/2022/sep/01/biden-speech-philadelphia-extremist-republicans-threaten-democracy

Amber Phillips, “Takeaways from Biden’s warnings about Republican threats to democracy,” Washington Post, September 1, 2022, https://www.washingtonpost.com/politics/2022/09/01/biden-democracy-speech-takeaways/

Donald Trump

Coup attempt

Jennifer Rubin, “Former GOP Justice lawyers: Trump’s in a heap of trouble,” Washington Post, September 1, 2022, https://www.washingtonpost.com/opinions/2022/09/01/republican-lawyers-trump-documents/

Amber Phillips, “Takeaways from Biden’s warnings about Republican threats to democracy,” Washington Post, September 1, 2022, https://www.washingtonpost.com/politics/2022/09/01/biden-democracy-speech-takeaways/


  1. [1]WTAE, “Allegheny County issues new 2-week order prohibiting indoor dining and alcohol consumption at restaurants and bars,” July 8, 2020, https://www.wtae.com/article/allegheny-county-issues-new-mitigation-order-covid-19-coronavirus/33249080
  2. [2]Rich Haridy, “Study affirms average Covid-19 incubation period is 5 days,” New Atlas, March 9, 2020, https://newatlas.com/health-wellbeing/covid-19-coronavirus-incubation-five-days-study-average/
  3. [3]Steven Adams, “Allegheny County sets record for new coronavirus hospitalizations; sees triple-digit cases for 8th straight day,” Pittsburgh Tribune-Review, July 30, 2020, https://triblive.com/local/pittsburgh-allegheny/allegheny-county-sees-triple-digit-coronavirus-growth-for-8th-straight-day-record-hospitalizations/
  4. [4]KDKA-TV, “Allegheny Co. Health Officials: Spike In New Coronavirus Cases Linked To Bars, Not Protests,” June 29, 2020, https://pittsburgh.cbslocal.com/2020/06/29/spike-in-coronavirus-cases-linked-to-bars-not-protests/
  5. [5]Perry Bacon, Jr., “Does Biden Really Think Republicans Will Work With Him? And Could He Be Right?” FiveThirtyEight, January 19, 2021, https://fivethirtyeight.com/features/does-biden-really-think-republicans-will-work-with-him-and-could-he-be-right/; Eric Bradner and Gregory Krieg, “Joe Biden predicts a post-Trump ‘epiphany’ for Republicans,” Cable News Network, May 14, 2019, https://www.cnn.com/2019/05/14/politics/joe-biden-republicans-trump-epiphany/index.html; Moira Donegan, “What does Biden have in common with Trump? Delusional nostalgia,” Guardian, June 21, 2019, https://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2019/jun/21/joe-biden-trump-sexism-delusional-nostalgia; Matt Ford, “Someone Please Tell Joe Biden That Bipartisanship Is Dead,” New Republic, June 12, 2019, https://newrepublic.com/article/154183/someone-please-tell-joe-biden-bipartisanship-dead; William Rivers Pitt, “Mitch McConnell Says Bipartisanship Is ‘Over.’ Believe Him,” Truthout, July 7, 2021, https://truthout.org/articles/mitch-mcconnell-says-bipartisanship-is-over-believe-him/; Matt Viser, “Biden once asserted Republicans would have an ‘epiphany.’ Now he admits he doesn’t understand them,” Washington Post, May 6, 2021, https://www.washingtonpost.com/politics/biden-once-asserted-republicans-would-have-an-epiphany-now-he-admits-he-doesnt-understand-them/2021/05/06/a8204a84-ae77-11eb-acd3-24b44a57093a_story.html; Paul Waldman, “Joe Biden still hasn’t learned the lessons of the Obama presidency,” Washington Post, December 6, 2019, https://www.washingtonpost.com/opinions/2019/12/06/joe-biden-still-hasnt-learned-lessons-obama-presidency/
  6. [6]Lauren Gambino, “Biden warns US democracy imperiled by Trump and Maga extremists,” Guardian, September 1, 2022, https://www.theguardian.com/us-news/2022/sep/01/biden-speech-philadelphia-extremist-republicans-threaten-democracy
  7. [7]Lauren Gambino, “Biden warns US democracy imperiled by Trump and Maga extremists,” Guardian, September 1, 2022, https://www.theguardian.com/us-news/2022/sep/01/biden-speech-philadelphia-extremist-republicans-threaten-democracy
  8. [8]David Benfell, “My 2024 forecast,” Not Housebroken, August 30, 2022, https://disunitedstates.org/2022/03/10/my-2024-forecast/
  9. [9]Joe Biden, quoted in Lauren Gambino, “Biden warns US democracy imperiled by Trump and Maga extremists,” Guardian, September 1, 2022, https://www.theguardian.com/us-news/2022/sep/01/biden-speech-philadelphia-extremist-republicans-threaten-democracy
  10. [10]Burgess Everett, “8 Democrats defect on $15 minimum wage hike,” Politico, March 5, 2021, https://www.politico.com/news/2021/03/05/democrats-15-minimum-wage-hike-473875
  11. [11]Anna Bahney, “Minimum wage workers can’t afford rent anywhere in America,” Cable News Network, July 15, 2021, https://www.cnn.com/2021/07/15/homes/rent-affordability-minimum-wage/index.html; Kate Gibson, “Minimum wage doesn’t cover the rent anywhere in the U.S.,” CBS News, June 14, 2018, https://www.cbsnews.com/news/minimum-wage-doesnt-cover-the-rent-anywhere-in-the-u-s/
  12. [12]Dean Baker, “This is What Minimum Wage Would Be If It Kept Pace with Productivity,” Center for Economic Policy and Research, January 21, 2020, https://cepr.net/this-is-what-minimum-wage-would-be-if-it-kept-pace-with-productivity/; Dean Baker, “The $26 an Hour Minimum Wage,” Center for Economic Policy and Research, August 19, 2021, https://cepr.net/the-26-an-hour-minimum-wage/
  13. [13]David Benfell, “Democrats and contradiction,” Not Housebroken, July 29, 2022, https://disunitedstates.org/2021/11/18/democrats-and-contradiction/

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