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Democrats are so desperate to defeat Donald Trump next year they think a good, dependable, non-offensive "moderate" is the way to go. Howard Schultz has vanished from the face of the Earth, so that leaves Joe Biden as the best choice to appeal to the "good" Republicans who are ambivalent about a criminal in the White House. If there's anything we can all agree on, regardless of politics, is that we all want the 1990s back.

Fox News, which is known for its intellectual honesty, really talked up Biden's crossover appeal earlier this year. Kennedy Montgomery and her co-hosts on the show "Outnumbered" just gushed over Barack Obama's BFF.

DAVID ASMAN: There are a lot of Republicans who could probably vote for [Biden.] Because he has appeal to the middle — to the great middle. Here's a guy who voted strong on criminal justice, he voted for the Iraq War in 2002. He's an old school Democrat.

MELISSA FRANCIS: He's very Trumpian.

Yeah, "Trumpian" is a compliment over on Fox. Montgomery even specifically dismissed concerns about Biden's age.

MONTGOMERY: I want to put the idea about his age to bed a little bit. Because if someone expresses energy and enthusiasm and creativity, I don't care what the number is.

That number, by the way, is 76, and Republicans are suddenly realizing, now that Biden's actually declared his candidacy, that the former vice president is old as fuck. Maybe he's dying. Maybe he's dead already. We can't go around electing dead people. This isn't Chicago. Montgomery expressed her newfound concerns a few weeks ago through a tortured boxing metaphor on Fox's "The Five."


MONTGOMERY: [Biden's] not Floyd Mayweather. He's much more like Hillary Clinton.

You guys literally said he wasn't like Clinton in January, but whatever, please proceed.

MONTGOMERY: If you talk to Democrats who are working for different campaigns, all of the aggressive gossip whisperers—and this is where the action is happening in terms of opposition research—it's people having a few drinks at a bar and whispering, "You know there is something wrong with the former vice president."

No one important or even someone unimportant who just values their time is confiding in former MTV VJ Kennedy. This is incredibly irresponsible rumormongering. These hacks pulled the same crap with Clinton in 2016 when they wondered aloud if Hillary had one foot in the grave and the other on a banana peel.

Montgomery suggested last week that Biden's staff might want to keep him "off a main stage" because he "says stupid things and slurs" while doing so. She also claimed he "looked tired." She is not a medical doctor. Sean Hannity picked up the theme later that same day, as if it was all coordinated. To be fair, Hannity has never liked Biden because he regularly used the same water fountain as Obama.

HANNITY: Joe Biden's tired. He does not have the energy for this. He's not up for this challenge. They're already hiding him like they hid Hillary. They don't want him out there.

Rep. Matt Gaetz flat out called Biden an "old, tired" candidate on Hannity's show. What happened to civility? This is not just rude but it's an obvious rightwing talking point that won't go away because Biden defiantly insists on getting older. Trump himself is the oldest president elected to a first term in history -- yes, older than Reagan -- so naturally, the Democrats' two primary frontrunners are both older. Our strategy game is unmatched.

Biden's national press secretary, TJ Ducklo, dismissed Codger-Gate as "baseless lies meant to stoke fear in [Fox's] viewers." That's also a fair description of Fox's entire programming lineup.

Tucker Carlson wondered on Friday how a party that "hates old, white, straight men" would end up with a frontrunner who is all those things. Gee, Tucker, maybe that's because we don't hate old, white, straight men, but we shouldn't expect you to use the scientific method. Carlson sagely observed that Biden is old, older than anyone who's ever run for president besides Bernie Sanders, but probably not older than the average Fox viewer. He pointed out that Biden is old enough to be Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez's great-grandfather. This is apparently how Fox measures age now. We're still trying to calculate how many AOCs old we are now.

Carlson contends that Biden feels so "lucky" to have the support of young progressives that he'll do whatever they say just so long as they don't put him in a home. This will prove the Right's big argument against Biden as the unifying moderate: He's just a leftwing puppet. Biden's about face on the Hyde Amendment enables this narrative, especially since it was reportedly his young black woman adviser who changed his mind.

Meghan McCain, who sees the world through her-shaped glasses, said today that she feels "slighted" by Biden because he's actually embracing mainstream Democratic party positions.

MEGS: Obviously, I hate President Trump and I think just on a moral and ethical standpoint, he isn't fit to serve. But when you are talking about brass politics, I feel slighted as a conservative and I feel slighted as someone who was open to [Biden] being president. I think that it is a dangerous lane for him to take for him to go super-far left. It's very dangerous.

Maybe she's the senile one, not Biden. We get it. She wants to vote for a Republican who's not Trump. But the party's too afraid of his racist base to primary him. That's not our fault. We're still Democrats who believe in women's bodily autonomy. "Never Trump" Republicans hoped for a Manchurian Moderate. They might have to settle for an old man who listens to black women.

[ The Daily Beast ]

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Stephen Robinson

Stephen Robinson is a writer and social kibbitzer based in Seattle. However, he's more reliable for food and drink recommendations in Portland, where he spends a lot of time for theatre work. His co-adaptation of "Jitterbug Perfume" by Tom Robbins is playing NOW at Pioneer Square's Cafe Nordo. All Wonketters welcome.

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It was bound to happen. We're now watching Republican congressmen react to Donald Trump sitting in the Oval Office and saying "RUSSIA IF YOU'RE LISTENING" during an interview with George Stephanopoulos, literally inviting hostile foreign powers to attack the 2020 election for him like Russia did in 2016. And if you thought there wouldn't be at least one of them to say the quiet part loud and state for the record that crime is good if it helps Republicans win, then you haven't been paying attention to the Republican party in quite a while.

Enter GOP Rep. Chris Stewart of Utah, who sits on the House Intelligence Committee, AKA the committee whose members really should know better, even the Republicans, but unfortunately they don't because A) they're idiots and B) they've been sucking at Devin Nunes's dairy cows' teats (ALLEGEDLY) for too long:

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