President Joe Biden seems at first glance to be a complex political creature. He was elected to the presidency, after little public scrutiny, as a moderate Democrat, but has ended his first term in office as what some would consider a raging neo-progressive, and he has had his foot to that pedal throughout his first term in office.
But Biden is not complex. He is a simple man, a copyist and a plagiarist. Such men borrow the characters of others. They live, so to speak, in the skins of others. T.S. Elliot, in The Love Song of J. Alfred Prufrock, described the type perfectly:
No! I am not Prince Hamlet, nor was meant to be;
Am an attendant lord, one that will do
To swell a progress, start a scene or two…
Deferential, glad to be of use,
Politic, cautious, and meticulous;
Full of high sentence, but a bit obtuse;
At times, indeed, almost ridiculous—
Almost, at times, the Fool.
Biden is entirely unoriginal. Biden’s first term in office may be viewed as a somewhat distorted and exaggerated version of Obama’s presidency. Biden, Obama’s Vice President, is simply completing a work of destruction begun by Obama, whose two terms in office were principally a work of destruction aimed at Reaganism and ascendant conservatism.
Biden’s critics are correct in supposing he has, to put it politely, age problems. But his chief problem, now and throughout his half century in politics, is that he always was an “attendant lord.” As president, he is, almost defiantly, no longer “deferential and glad to be of use.” A modest active politician of fifty years standing would be an oxymoron, a contradiction of terms.
Biden’s “high sentences” early in his career were those of others. And even today a lack of a character and high principle, his imitative nature, his plagiaristic instincts, make him “a bit obtuse; at times, indeed almost ridiculous – almost, at times, the Fool.”
Foolishness involves the adoption of means ill fitted to ends. In the not too distant future, objective historians may regard the Obama years as an episodic interruption of a fructifying conservative movement, which is nothing other than common sense and vibrant traditional principles applied pragmatically to culture and politics.
Biden’s son Hunter without question has been exceedingly foolish, and there are indications the son was acting on behalf of his father in amassing personal wealth from foreign nations such as Vladimir Putin’s Russia and Xi Jinping’s China, both countries that have successfully positioned themselves as permanent enemies of the United States. China is not merely an economic competitor, and Russia, under Putin, little more than a Stalinist want-to-be, appears to be bidding farewell to the country’s status as a Western European power.
CNN – no supporter of Trump – last week reported that President Biden was deeply “obsessed” and increasingly “irritated” by the media’s focus on his son. Even his aides, the report indicated, steer clear of the subject, and Hunter Biden’s legal predicament is assiduously avoided during campaign meetings.
It is understandable why Hunter’s father would rather the media talk about the weather, the prime subject of conversation when his father met on numerous occasions with his son’s business associates, according to Biden apologists.
All the Bidens, most especially those who had personally profited from Hunter’s questionable business associations, likely wish “Biden the younger” had not left his lap-top-from-Hell in a computer repair shop. That politically poisonous laptop proved to be the source of much media speculation on the eve of a presidential reelection campaign against former President Donald Trump, mortally wounded, Democrats hope, by scores of felony counts that will be percolating through the courts, some court watchers suppose, well beyond the presidential election in 2024.
Nothing gets better with age: not the health, mental and otherwise, of 80 year-old attendant lords; not percolating court cases; not seemingly impassable divisions between political parties; not increasingly politicized judicial systems; not presumably objective media outlets… nothing… nothing…
What a pity the Bidens, father and son, had not spent more time with Shakespeare and less with wealth acquisition by means of Burisma Holdings Limited.
As they say,
when the age is in, the wit is out.
Much Ado About Nothing (3.5.31-2)
Nature in you stands on the very verge
Of her confine: you should be rul’d and led
By some discretion that discerns your state
Better than you yourself.
King Lear (2.4.140-44)