Biden's meeting with PM Boris Johnson is illuminating
On Tuesday, British prime minister Boris Johnson met Joe Biden at the White House. They had the usual sit-down in the room reserved for heads of state meeting the press. The substance of what they said, as best as I can tell, was pretty meaningless. What was interesting was everything other than the substance. Biden waved his ubiquitous note cards around, revealing how much he needs to be prompted; his staff ensured that no reporters could ask him questions relevant to Americans; both Biden and Boris were masked. It was a theater of the absurd.
Here's the Daily Mail's summary:
Joe Biden on Tuesday did not recognize any American reporters for questions during an Oval Office meeting with British Prime Minister Boris Johnson and his aides cleared out journalists as they tried to query the president.
Biden did attempt to answer one shouted question from a CBS reporter about the crisis on the Southern border but his answer was unclear when White House staff shouted down reporters, covering the president's attempt to respond as they demanded journalists leave.
'Violence is not justified,' Biden appeared to say but the rest of his response was not decipherable.
White House staff even interrupted Johnson as they pushed to get reporters out of the room, shouting over the British prime minister as he and Biden sat in their chairs, watching the chaotic scene unfold as aides ushered journalists out of the Oval Office.
As reporters were ushered out, CBS White House reporter Ed O'Keefe shouted a question to Biden asked about the situation on the U.S.-Mexico border. The administration is facing backlash and criticism following images of U.S. Border Patrol agents on horseback using whips to round up migrants or prevent them from stepping onto American soil.
But White House aides yelled 'thank you' and 'let's go' to the press in the room, herding them out as Biden appeared to try and address the issue. Between the shouting of his aides and the president's wearing a face mask, it was impossible to make out the majority of what Biden said.
Reuters took a series of photos, one of which perfectly captured the notes Biden waves around whenever he's in public with a shot so good that it was easy to read the notes' first page. If you're thinking the notes contain specific details that might be hard for anyone without a photographic memory to retain (specific dollar amounts, statistics, complex programs), please disabuse yourself. The notes tell Biden where he is and the person with whom he's meeting:
Remarks of President Biden Pool Spray with PM Johnson
It is a pleasure to welcome you to the White House, Prime Minister Johnson.
I'm honored to have the chance to return a small amount of the hospitality that you showed to Jill and me this summer in Cornwall for the G7 meeting.
Since then, our countries have worked in close cooperation — with each other, and our fellow democracies—to continue our efforts to advance the ambitious agenda we laid out.
We're turning our revitalized Atlantic Charter into action — taking on pressing global challenges together.
These are notes for a person who is making only periodic connections with reality. This is the man at the head of the American government. It's terrifying, frankly. And if you watch the video from the beginning, even with the notes, Biden stumbled:
No wonder that Biden's staffers were absolutely panicked lest he deviate from his notes by answering a reporter's question and did everything they could to stop that from happening. There's no telling what Biden might say since his own notes establish that he's no longer in control of even the most basic facts in his world. That too is terrifying.
Finally, about those masks. Boris Johnson has had COVID, which seemed to have affected him so profoundly that he switched from being a sort of conservative prime minister to becoming a hard leftist. That's a very strange side-effect. Boris Johnson has also been vaccinated. Biden too has been vaccinated.
But there they sat in their little masks, muffling their voices and making it hard to read their expressions. This mask kabuki is not the kind of thing that increases confidence in the vaccine that Joe Biden is insisting American workers must take or be fired from their jobs. Johnson, at least for now, is resisting that tyranny.
So here we are in 2021: our country is governed by a mentally incompetent "president" whose staff tries desperately to hide him from the media and who is imposing mandates on America more tyrannical than those in England, the country from which we broke 245 years ago in an effort to be a country free from government tyranny. Something's got to give, and I devoutly hope it's not America itself.
Image: Biden reads his notes to say hello to Boris Johnson. YouTube screen grab.
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