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The absurdity of Joe Biden


I wouldn’t be surprised if Biden wins South Carolina by a solid margin, which, if it happens, could suddenly consolidate the Anybody But Bernie movement behind him.

If this does happen it’s probably too late to matter, but it’s still worth emphasizing what a terrible candidate he is (I say this as someone who is decidedly lukewarm about Sanders winning the nomination).

Last night Biden made this bizarre claim:

There have been about 35 million deaths from all causes in the US since 2007. Guns kill about 40,000 people per year in the US, with the majority of those deaths being suicides (Gun suicides should definitely count as preventable gun violence, as around half of all suicides are impulsive, and access to guns makes impulsive suicide attempts much more lethal).

This is par for the course for Biden at this point in his 50-year political career. He makes claims that are statistically nonsensical on their face, and he constantly confabulates, despite the heroic efforts of aides who try to keep him from making up yet more stories about his supposed participation in the civil rights movement. (After several days of silence, his campaign has provided an extremely lame non-explanation for his facially absurd statements in regard to supposedly being arrested in South Africa while trying to free Nelson Mandela).

All this is yet another sign of how Donald Trump’s presidency has lowered various standards to the point of burying them fifty feet underground. Biden’s 1988 presidential campaign was sunk by far fewer incidents of mendacity/confusion than his current campaign has already generated. Whether or to what extent Biden is deteriorating mentally should at this point be irrelevant: for whatever combination of reasons, he’s obviously incapable of maintaining what should be considered minimal standards of personal veracity, and of basing policy arguments on actual facts, as opposed to whatever crazy fake statistic just popped into his head.

His whole campaign is an embarrassment, but I suspect he’ll limp along all the way to the convention, and pick up several hundred delegates in the process. If Sanders is far short of the 1,991 needed for the nomination, who knows what could happen? But one thing that definitely shouldn’t happen is the 2020 Democratic presidential nomination going to Joe Biden.

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