• Inside Biden’s Plagiarized Presidency

    March 19, 2024
    Joe Biden, Public Domain.

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    Former President Barack Obama once said of his Vice President, Joe Biden, that no one should underestimate his ability to screw things up. It was a grownup thing for Obama to have said, and there is no indication Obama ever regretted saying it, though he was speaking out of school at the time.

    Obama, charming and African American -- two strikes in his favor -- was not a plagiarist politician. He was, and may still be, the point of a neo-progressive spear the Democrat Party now feels indispensable in winning campaigns. Obama, an accomplished street organizer before his first of two elections, could think on his feet, and his rhetoric was not borrowed without attribution from British Labor Party politician Neil Kinnock.

    In a story published by the Washington Post more than five years ago, “Echoes of Biden’s 1987 plagiarism scandal continue to reverberate”, reporter Neena Satija noted, “On Sept. 23, 1987, Joe Biden stood before a crowd of reporters and ended his first presidential campaign amid questions about a value he’d worked hard to convince voters he had: authenticity.

    “The collapse had begun 11 days earlier, with news that Biden had lifted phrases and mannerisms from a British Labour (sic) Party politician [Neil Kinnock] while making closing remarks at a debate. Examples soon surfaced of Biden using material from other politicians without attribution, and he acknowledged he had been accused of plagiarism in law school. To make matters worse, a video emerged of Biden exaggerating his academic record while speaking angrily to a voter in New Hampshire.”

    All this, Biden’s supporters insist, is really just a case of Biden Being Biden. This view of Biden skates around the president’s radical transformation from an inoffensive John F. Kennedy liberal to a neo-progressive radical. Historian Victor Davis Hanson tells us that Joe Biden's regime is most revolutionary Left-wing since FDR.

    Misstatements, the Washington Post makes clear in its five year old story, are to be distinguished from plagiarism: “Biden’s misstatements are not on the scale of Trump’s — the president’s false or misleading claims in office number more than 10,000 so far, according to a recent count by The Washington Post. But only Biden has had a previous presidential campaign derailed by revelations of plagiarism and false statements.”

    In 2020, a majority of voters agreed with Biden supporters and elected to the presidency Biden the plagiarist over Trump the misleader.

    Satija did not disclose in her 2019 story how many of Trump’s misleading statements were delivered during his frequent rallies or the number of misleading statements that were repetitive misleading statements.

    If this writer were in a mood to plagiarize, he might insert here as his own a quip attributed – falsely, some Pecksniffian commentators say -- to Benjamin Disraeli: “There are three kinds of lies -- lies, dammed lies and statistics.”

    Then too, there is Otto von Bismarck, quoted with proper attribution by this writer in a few of his columns, now moldering in Connecticut newspaper crypts: “People never lie so much as after a hunt, during a war, or before an election,” and a Bismarck quip that will continue to circulate for as long as this sad planet continues on its course around the sun, “When you want to fool the world, tell the truth.”

    The truth about Biden is that his presidency is not a serious one. His is an imitative presidency. That is why comics – not all of them on the right – are now having such a bang-up time with the Biden presidency.

    The plagiarist, wherever he is found, is someone who, like a scarecrow, stuffs himself with rhetorical straw filched from his neighbor. The stuffing makes him appear less lean and hungry and spiritually vacant. But it is spiritual emptiness that is the principal cause of plagiarism -- that, in addition to suppressed envy and a tablespoon of self-loathing.

    The truth about Biden is that plagiarism has ever been a fixed part of his character, as demonstrated in Satija’s little read story.

    The latest incident of Biden plagiarism relates to the president’s recent State of the Union speech, criticized by some as a campaign manifesto rather than a traditional address. Parts of the speech were copied and pasted without attribution into Biden’s non-State of the Union Speech from his earlier speeches, an instance of Biden plagiarizing from his own speech archive.

    Critics of the speech assert that the address avoided an accurate depiction of a State of the Union in disarray – a porous border, an economy on its heels owing to excessive government spending, a monstrous, growth killing deficit, and a president who is a chronic borrower and lender of leftist ideas -- because such an accounting would not advance Biden’s reelection prospects.

    All the polls show a nation dissatisfied with a president unmoored from standard governing principles, buffeted and moved forward by neo-progressives in his party. One year before Electoral College members will gather to choose the next president, Biden’s approval ratings are stories below the cellar.

    Joe Biden's Approval Rating Falls to All-Time Low After SOTU,” according to Newsweek: “President Joe Biden's average approval rating is currently at its lowest of his entire time in office despite a positive reaction to his recent State of the Union address. Biden's approval rating currently stands at 37.4 percent, the lowest since he recorded an average of 37.6 percent in December 2023, according to poll aggregator FiveThirtyEight's national average calculations.”

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    Don Pesci

    Don Pesci is a political columnist of long standing, about 40 years, who has written for various state newspapers, among them The Journal Inquirer, the Waterbury Republican American, the New London Day, the Litchfield County Times, the Torrington Register Citizen and other Register Citizen papers. He maintains a blog, among the oldest of its kind in Connecticut, which serves as a repository and archive, for his columns; there are approximately 3,000 entrees in Connecticut Commentary: Red Notes From A Blue State, virtually all of them political columns stretching back to 2004. He also appears once a week Wednesdays on 1080 WTIC Newstalk radio with Will Marotti.

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