Obama's Profile in Courage -- Endorsing Biden When He's the Last Democrat StandingApril 17, 2020
Joe Biden just loves talking about ice cream. "I'm an ice cream guy," said the former vice president as he campaigned for the Democratic nomination for president.
Who doesn't like ice cream?
But now, after former President Barack Obama's profile-in-courage endorsement of Biden -- without any other candidates in the race -- it's plain that Joe should have developed a fondness for pudding.
Because Obama's endorsement was pure tapioca. Bland, predictable and soft. And you don't need teeth to enjoy it.
Obama's endorsement helped Biden a little, though it doesn't mean all that much, since by the time Obama finally got around to endorsing, his former vice president was the last Democrat standing.
But after Joe received Obama's video kiss on both cheeks, you've got to wonder: When will the Democrats sit Joe down and give him the long goodbye?
When do they tell Joe that it's not his turn, that he's just lost too much off his fastball, even though he never had much of a fastball?
When do they tell him they've found someone more vital, stronger, younger, like Gov. Andrew Cuomo of New York, to take on President Donald Trump?
The party never thought much of Biden. Democratic bosses were worried about Bernie Sanders. They were worried Sanders at the top of their ticket would cost them in local statehouse races.
In Washington, the corporate overlords of the Democratic Party would never allow Sanders to be their nominee, not after he identified them as the enemy of the people.
If Joe ever does get that long goodbye, it'll happen when he least expects it, like when a friend invites you to Chinatown for a late spaghetti dinner and says there'll be a car waiting outside your door just before midnight.
And then you arrive and there's Visqueen on the floor and nobody has to explain a thing.
But now, let's think happy thoughts, of pudding and journalists gushing over the Obama endorsement. They gobbled it up the way kids gobble pudding.
I never really minded Barack Obama, the man, all that much. His policies were a different matter. Obama wasn't evil incarnate. He was just a politician from Chicago, a great communicator who came into the White House to face a crippling economic depression not of his making, with America already hip deep in costly, needless wars started by Republicans.
It was the cloying treatment he received from American journalism that was galling. And obviously, he's still receiving that cloying treatment today.
Journalists smoked the Hopium and treated the guy from Chicago as if he were the huggable gentle forest faun Mr. Tumnus, from the Narnia stories. They weren't bothered by the White House run the Chicago Way, with Rahm Emanuel and later Bill Daley as White House chiefs of staff.
Journalism didn't seem all that bothered. Journalism wasn't bothered by the Obama White House's political weaponization of the IRS. Or the weaponization of the FBI, CIA and other intelligence agencies used to muscle political enemies, including Donald Trump. Journalism wasn't outraged by the Obama White House bragging that they'd manipulated journalists into supporting the Iran nuclear deal.
"We created an echo chamber," Obama national security adviser Ben Rhodes bragged to the New York Times magazine. "... The average reporter we talk to is 27 years old, and their only reporting experience consists of being around political campaigns. That's a sea change. They literally know nothing."
Rhodes knew that all the journalistic know-nothings could see was Mr. Tumnus when he smiled at them. It must have felt as cozy as tea and cakes served in a warm hollow tree, with Mr. Tumnus playing his pipes near the fire as the snow fell upon Narnia.
American journalism has never reconciled its fawning behavior when it came to Obama. And that cost journalism.
Only little children and political tribalists seek virtue in politicians. Some want a knight in shining armor, others want a unicorn. But grown-ups can't afford belief in fairy tales. They don't look to politicians for virtue.
They know politics isn't some moral crusade, but a brutal game of leverage, of who gets what, how much and who pays.
Yet there was some searing news in Obama's silky endorsement of Biden. And as I've told you a million times before, you've got to first find the negative space, and sketch out what's not been said, so you're not manipulated by puppeteers like Ben Rhodes and his kind.
Many of the news accounts of Obama's endorsement, on TV and in print, mentioned that Biden would unite the country in a "great awakening."
"We need Americans of goodwill to unite in a great awakening against a politics that too often has been characterized by corruption, carelessness, self-dealing, disinformation, ignorance and just plain meanness," Obama said of Trump and the Republicans.
News organizations were thrilled. They used "great awakening" in their headlines, and in their copy. If Trump is blunt force trauma to the establishment, Obama is its master in the use of language. But few, if any, bothered to explain just what Obama meant by "great awakening."
The Great Awakening was a movement that swept the American colonies in the 1730s. It wasn't an awakening of politics. It was a Christian spiritual revival that had nothing to do with Joe Biden.
So then what was Obama saying to America? Simply this:
That politics is the new religion, that government is the new church and only the faithful will be rewarded.
But that doesn't go down as easily as ice cream or pudding, does it?
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