Thursday, June 25, 2020

Whom the Gods Wish to Destroy, They First Make Mad

"Our old friend Jon Stewart weighs in on the choice America faces at the ballot box this November, pointing out that only one candidate possesses the humility necessary to lead this country out of this moment of great struggle and sadness."  So says the description under the video, and it might even be true, but unfortunately the one candidate capable of leading this country out of the current morass was torpedoed by the DCCC, and now we're stuck with Joe Biden as the alternative to Donald Trump.

I broke my vow never to watch Colbert again to watch this clip. It's painful, much worse than even I expected, to see Stewart contorting himself -- literally! -- to make an absurd argument for Joe Biden's humanity.  Just for comparison, John McCain also suffered pain and loss, but he never stopped being a vicious racist bigot till the day he died.   I've never seen any reason to believe that Biden's personal losses taught him anything. They certainly haven't kept him from lying shamelessly about his political record, or from being truculent and abusive on the campaign trail before the pandemic shut him down.  I think those issues are what matter, not Stewart's febrile fantasies about the inner man.

I was going to say that Stewart is better than this, but he's never been able to hold Democrats to the same standards he applies to Republicans, let alone criticize them with the same conviction and glee.  His protestations that Biden wasn't even his fourth choice ring hollow to me: if Biden really has these well-hidden depths, why didn't Stewart (or anyone else) detect them before?  Once again, though not for the last time, I marvel at Democratic loyalists' irresistible need to convince themselves that a terrible candidate is really an inspiring demigod if you look at him or her with the eyes of the Spirit.  Can't they cast a vote without being drunk on their candidate's grooviness?  It's strange, after (but also before -- they'll play the theme again many times over the next five months) they've lectured critical voters that you shouldn't need to be inspired, just vote strategically, that they simultaneously insist that you adore the nominee without reservation.

One good thing about Biden, if he wins, is that he's not likely to get the indulgence Obama got.  Sure, toadies like Stewart and Colbert will try to attack anyone who criticizes Biden from the left, but I don't think they'll be very effective.  It's far too early to say right now, but it looks like some genuinely leftish candidates beat entrenched Democratic hacks in these primaries.  If they win in November, the voters may have some genuine representation in Congress.  I'm almost hopeful for the first time in years.