edward.luce@ft.com of March 11, 2020: Biden,Sanders,Trump & the Corona Virus Crisis. Political Observer comments  

Mr. Luce’s almost prophetic gifts are demonstrated, in these two paragraphs of his latest essay:

Joe Biden’s victories in at least four of the six states that voted in this “mini-Super Tuesday’ — four of which Mr Sanders had won in 2016 against Hillary Clinton — puts the former vice-president into an almost prohibitive lead.

Next week’s delegate-rich Florida primary could put him beyond reach. The real question is how long before Mr Sanders bows to the inevitable, and on what terms. On that fraught negotiation — Mr Sanders’ price for endorsing Mr Biden — will hang the unity, or disunity, of the Democratic party.

And then there is this:

There is no evidence Mr Biden is suffering from anything other than ageing combined with a life-long stutter. To minimise the opportunities for gaffes — or “Bidenisms” — his aides have sharply curtailed his public addresses to a few minutes. 

In the Sunday Times, another Biden Apologist, Niall Ferguson: 

Headline: Sleepy Joe Biden has given Donald Trump a wake-up call

Sub-headline: Despite his senior moments, the comeback codger has a real shot

I know Joe Biden. Not well, but well enough to have had a good chat when we ran into one another at the Irish embassy in Washington on St Patrick’s Day last year. I must also confess to rather liking Biden. In 2015 I argued that he would win if he ran the next year. He would certainly have been a more engaging candidate than Hillary Clinton, especially in those key states — Michigan, Pennsylvania and Wisconsin — that carried Donald Trump to the White House.

A veteran professional politician of the homely, Irish-American, middle-class, press-the-flesh variety, Biden overcame personal tragedy (the 1972 car accident that killed his first wife and daughter and seriously injured his two sons) to become the reassuringly conventional vice-president to Barack Obama — not only the first black president but just 47 when elected. Because, folks, Biden is exactly what central casting used to think a US president should look like.


Mr. Luce, like his Neo-Liberal fellow travelers , can’t  face the fact that ‘The Chosen One’ Biden has an actual cognitive deficit. But in what he conceives to be a compelling argument, masked by Biden’s ‘stutter’ , or just his ‘sleepiness’? , the Corona Virus Crisis  offers a weak kind of political opportunity, to deflect from the glaringly obvious! Undaunted, Mr. Luce political speculation, carefully embroidered as it might be, reads as just that!    

Let me speculate about a political scenario : what happens when candidate Biden , in a debate with Trump, experiences the confusion of a man, unable to articulate a rational argument, to one of Trump’s challenges? Or, could this moment occur in a debate between Sanders and Biden? when the viewers will see, with stunning clarity, the cognitive impairment of Biden? The current mythology is that Biden overcame a stutter, and these lapses are just a nagging re-occurrence. Yet there is video evidence that renders this claim dubious, to say the least.

Like a contemporary Tiresias , Mr. Luce ends his defense of Biden:

All of which puts a very different gloss to the customary “stakes are high” election clichés. Welcome to a presidential campaign about the candidates’ sanity. Welcome also to politics in a time of contagion.

Political Observer




About stephenkmacksd

Rootless cosmopolitan,down at heels intellectual;would be writer. 'Polemic is a discourse of conflict, whose effect depends on a delicate balance between the requirements of truth and the enticements of anger, the duty to argue and the zest to inflame. Its rhetoric allows, even enforces, a certain figurative licence. Like epitaphs in Johnson’s adage, it is not under oath.' https://www.lrb.co.uk/v15/n20/perry-anderson/diary
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