Biden's Mental Acuity Is Not an Issue

It seems as if Republicans can't stop talking about Joe Biden's obviously diminished mental state.  At his rallies, President Trump regularly refers to Biden as "Sleepy Joe" and says things like, "He doesn't even know what state he's in."  Cable news hosts like Tucker Carlson and Sean Hannity run Biden gaffe videos, where Biden will say things like, "I'm Joe Biden, and I'm running to be your next senator!" or he'll turn to an assistant after making a short speech and ask, "Where do I go now?  Tell me what to do."  At 78, he'd be the oldest president ever, and it's painfully apparent to everyone that his mental fastball — to the extent that he ever had one to begin with — is long since a thing of the past.

But Republicans are making a big mistake if they think yet another example of Biden's growing dementia is going to change minds and convince voters to vote for President Trump.  Biden's diminished state is already "baked into the cake."  People are making their choice primarily on Trump yes/no, and they realize that a President Biden will be a "Weekend at Bernie's" situation.  Behind-the-scenes unelected Democratic operatives will run any new Democratic administration.  They will call the shots, push for liberal legislation, and craft the super-progressive new society that today's liberals — who are totally and gleefully divorced from any sense of loyalty to this country's traditions and history — crave so badly.  It's possible that Nancy Pelosi's recent call for a congressional commission to implement the 25th Amendment due to an incapacitated president was aimed at removing a handicapped President Biden and awarding the office to Kamala Harris.  However, even if that is the reason, there is more than ample evidence that Harris is not intellectually or creatively up to the demands of the top spot.  She'd be installed merely because she's not obviously senile, as a reassuring move to the general population and for the sake of appearance to other counties.

If Harris had done really well in the vice presidential debate versus Mike Pence, the worry about Biden's mental state would have been be even less significant, and there would have been a major bounce to the Democrats' benefit in the polls.  But instead, Harris looked like the trite, squawky intellectual lightweight that she is, while Pence came across as measured, respectful, and thoroughly competent.  Not thrilling but certainly solid.  Pence's showing may cause a few undecideds to lean toward the Republicans, but the debate was in no way the showcase of Harris-as-President-Don't-Worry that the Democrats were hoping for.  Despite the high expectations from Democrats going in, the 2020 vice presidential debate turned out to be the non-event it always is.

Likely voters already know that Joe Biden is nowhere near 100% mentally, but that is not the issue, and it never has been.  No committed Democrat will ever leave Biden-Harris, even if he were to say the worst imaginable profane thing or do something that leaves no doubt that he is completely detached from lucidity.  Voters are voting either for Trump or against him.  Trump Derangement Syndrome is the pivotal issue in the 2020 race, not Joe Biden's mental competence.  No one is paying attention to what Biden is actually saying.  When he says, "Build Back Better," everyone knows it's just a pandering rip-off of President Trump's "America First" theme.  When Biden says he'll rescind the Trump tax cuts, everyone already knows that.  When he mistakes Vermont for New Hampshire, no one pays attention.  When Biden goes on and on in some incoherent way about some gang leader named Corn Pop from a few decades ago, not one single voter is influenced either for or against either candidate.

Democrats needed a random outside development that would handcuff President Trump, something the liberal media and the Biden camp could unceasingly flog him with, to divert attention from the astonishing string of successes that President Trump and the country have enjoyed over the last three and a half years.  The Chinese coronavirus provided them with exactly that.  The Democrats are trying to frame the entire election in terms of voters' outlook and general life satisfaction.  As long as the Democrats and liberal media can sow doubt about the future; continue to hype the "pandemic" as being a grave threat that permanently threatens our way of life; and directly pin those negative voter feelings on some unspecified, factually inaccurate "mishandling" of the outbreak by President Trump, then Biden has a chance to win.

Biden's mental health is not the issue.  Biden's astonishingly — and now, apparently, undeniable with the just-discovered emails on the laptop — crooked and opportunistic overseas financial dealings with his son Hunter, Ukraine, and China are not the issue.  (Plus there is simply not enough time for the pitifully slow-on-the-draw Republicans to make real progress on this issue against the liberal MSM headwinds before the election.)  There is no outrageous thing Joe Biden could say as a result of his painfully attenuated cognition, no illegal monetary chicanery that he or his family could be caught doing red-handed that would make the slightest difference to an anti-Trump voter.  We all know them — there could be a verifiably non-Photoshopped picture of a smiling Biden standing over the body holding the dripping knife and the rabid, unintellectual, style-only anti-Trump voter will still vote against President Trump.

There is a small but definite universe of Trump Democrats out there, akin to the Reagan Democrats in the 1980s: working-class people of all ethnicities who've often voted Democrat but are open to voting Republican if there are sufficient, believable job- and societal-based reasons to do so.  "Which candidate helps me provide for my family and pay the mortgage, put food on my table, keep my neighborhood safe and will not move to eliminate my job because he's vote-pandering to a special-interest group?"

That's where the president's messaging has to be in these closing weeks.  People already know that Joe Biden's mental and ethical gas tanks are empty, and it's fine for the president to mention it.  However, the president has got to lock up those crossover voters who supported him last time and convince them that Biden's and the liberal media's "doom and gloom" blatherings are not the answer.

President Trump is hitting the correct big-picture points clearly and repeatedly at his latest rallies, just as he needs to.  If he keeps it up, the liberal intelligentsia might be in for an even bigger shock in 2020 than they were in 2016.

Image: Gage Skidmore via Flickr, CC BY-SA 2.0.