Essay #16: Woe is Joe

For some reason, I feel oddly certain of what Joe Biden’s time in the office of the presidency will be like and I would like to share it with you all. I doubt we will ever find out if I am right, so this is not me positioning myself for an “I told you so” four years from now. Just speculating.

I believe Joe Biden will soon experience a shift in how he is treated by the people around him. Perhaps it will occur the moment he is sworn in or maybe it is already happening, now that he has secured the election. The Joe Biden candidacy has never been about getting Joe into office so he can do some good. It has been about using Joe’s mainstream appeal and “electability” as a vehicle to secure the Executive Branch for the Democratic wing of the political establishment so they can continue influence peddling (See P.P.P.P.P.S.). Kamala was more in line with the Democratic establishment, but she was not popular enough during the primary campaigns to be on the top of the ticket. I do not believe the Democratic establishment is very interested in dealing with Joe Biden and they may expect him to take a back seat in the strategic discussions, make a minimum number of public appearances during the first two years of his presidency, and then they will ask him to step down and let Kamala take over.

If Kamala takes over after 2 years, this term does not count as a presidential term for her. She will still be eligible to run for 2 more terms, or a 10-year presidency. In 2032, Pete Buttigieg, if he still curry’s favor, will take over as the nominee. Influence peddling thrives off stability and status quo. This would be 18 years of die-hard party loyalists who are young and capable of projecting a favorable outward appearance (Buttigieg more than Harris). Plus, they can easily push Pete as the first openly gay president. They will have had the first black man, first woman/woman of color (a twofer), and the first gay president.

I think Joe is pretty much in the dark about these plans, and probably imagines that he will be heavily involved in strategy discussions just as Obama was, and just as he was under Obama. When they start insisting he prepare heavily for public appearances due to his proclivity to gaffe and stumble, and Kamala begins to fill in for him at important meetings, he may become slightly disturbed. He may find that Kamala will put less and less effort into filling him in on what he missed and that he notices the meetings he does attend have very little content.

Why, though, are his staffers and his allies not treating him like this already? I believe it is because they had to build Joe’s confidence so that he could go out in public and make appearances, participate in debates, and do interviews. We learned on the campaign trail how Joe had a habit of being candid and going off script, so they probably had to shield him from the fact he was just the vehicle to the office of the Executive. It is possible that he is aware of these plans and he even may have slipped at one point and called it the Harris-Biden administration (Kamala made the same gaffe on the same day strangely).

Over time, Joe will start to realize that he is not wanted by his own party as the actual president and is just a figurehead. And they don’t even really want him as a figurehead. That fateful day will come when they ask him privately to step down to allow Kamala to lead. They will tell him that he is not physically and mentally capable of the job. Maybe they will even bring in a doctor to scare him with a serious diagnosis. How will Joe take this? I don’t think he will take it lying down and let me tell you why.

As I said before, Joe constantly went off script even though he really shouldn’t have. I think that he overestimates his likeability among voters. His campaign staffers built up his confidence as did the polls and Joe became convinced that people loved him, and he was personable and authentic. The moment that proved this for me was when he was at a Hispanic Heritage Month event and he came out to speak and played Despacito on his phone for the crowd. It was so cringeworthy and you could feel his campaign staff was behind the curtain saying, “WHAT THE HELL IS HE DOING?! WHO HELPED HIM WITH SPOTIFY?!”

When they ask Joe to step down, he will see what is going on and think that his party has betrayed him, but he will gallantly vow to himself not to betray the people who elected him and love him. He will disobey the party and begin the covertly contentious part of his presidential term. He will set up public appearances himself and try to be candid with his voters. He will find that without the Trump existential threat, his voters are disenchanted and not very much interested in him anymore, if they ever really were. Joe will be alone. Betrayed by those whom he counted as allies and deserted by those whom he thought loved him. He will concede his office and retire to live the rest of his life with his family.

P.S. This essay is different than my other essays in that it is complete conjecture. Not only am I predicting the future (which we are unlikely to ever know the truth of), but I am basing it on multiple assumptions that are up for debate. Is Joe Biden mentally uncapable? Does the Democratic Party seek to edge him out of the picture? Does Joe believe the electorate love him? I have sourced where I could, but that is just to show you the origins of my predictions. This blog is about writing thoughts in my head and this is one of them, so I did not want to not write this just because it is not based in facts. I hope you all enjoyed.

P.P.S. Last week was the first week since mid-August I failed to post an essay at my scheduled time. I have mixed feelings about this. On one hand, I only want to write when I feel compelled to speak about something and I am not interested into forcing essays onto this blog. On the other hand, I really enjoyed being faithful to the schedule and I am very proud of the 3+ month string of work that I put together. I think I should find some intermediate way. Perhaps publish something much smaller that does not constitute a full essay?

Also, the two kittens have been occupying my time and Assassin’s Creed: Valhalla came out in November. My mind has been happily distracted from politics and such.

P.P.P.S. Joe Biden made a very strange gaffe(?) this week while discussing how he and Kamala treat it when they disagree with each other. “If I reach something where there is a fundamental disagreement we have based on a moral principle, I’ll develop some disease and say I have to resign.” If that is a joke, I do not get it. I am of the camp that believes that Joe Biden is experiencing cognitive decline, so it sounds more to me like he is joking about something suggested behind closed doors. A while ago I wrote about Nancy Pelosi speaking about invoking the 25th Amendment after Trump had contracted the coronavirus, and I heard some people theorize that she was bringing it into the conversation to prime the public for the replacement of Joe Biden. Shrug. This is speculation and a bit tin-foily, but this whole essay is speculation, so at least it is on theme.

P.P.P.P.S. For all of you who found P.P.P.S. ridiculous and think I am making a lot out of something that Joe probably just meant as a joke, I would encourage you to make the same argument when you hear someone say that Trump called coronavirus a hoax or said that injecting bleach would cure you.

P.P.P.P.P.S. For those of you unfamiliar with influence peddling, it is basically legal corruption and it takes many forms. Back when Last Week Tonight was still good, Jon Oliver did a segment discussing why the US still mints pennies despite their provable unpopularity among citizens and the fact that it costs more than a penny to manufacture a penny. One of the reasons is that there is a penny lobby that is backed by a company that manufactures the zinc discs that pennies are minted upon. Lobbies like this penny lobby are used to broker politician influence that results in favorable policies for the businesses that back them in exchange for things the politicians want: campaign donations, jobs upon leaving office, favorable press, etc. Both parties are subject to the effect of special interest groups that have most politicians bought into the influence peddling scheme.

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