Peter Doocy mishandled Biden's phone call
The big news on Monday night was that Joe Biden, in response to a perfectly appropriate question from Fox News White House correspondent Steve Doocy, not only refused to answer, but openly and into the mic called Doocy a "stupid son of a b‑‑‑‑." Biden then called Doocy, ostensibly to apologize. In fact, he didn't apologize at all, but Doocy seemed happy to be the nice guy who accepted a private non-apology in exchange for a public insult. In other words, Doocy handled the whole thing completely wrong.
To refresh your recollection, here's Biden loudly, openly, explicitly calling a member of the media a "stupid son of a b‑‑‑‑" for asking a question for which Biden had no good answer:
In American Thinker's post on the subject, in addition to discussing Biden's insult, we have video footage showing that this is typical behavior for Joe Biden. He's a coarse, offensive, and vulgar man and always has been — but he's never called on it.
The same night that Biden publicly lambasted Doocy, the latter received a phone call from Biden. According to Doocy, Biden made nice with him, and, heck, he doesn't really need an apology. Doocy's also proud that he said he'll keep asking questions. For goodness's sake, that's his job!
Peter Doocy: "I made sure to tell [Biden] that I'm always going to try to ask something different than what everybody else is asking & he said, 'you've got to.' And that is the quote from the President, so I will keep doing it." pic.twitter.com/3uoxpnE9J1— Curtis Houck (@CurtisHouck) January 25, 2022
Doocy: "I told him I appreciated him reaching out. Hey, Sean, the world is on the brink of...World War III rn. With all the stuff going on. I appreciate...[he] took a couple minutes...to give me a call and clear the air, but I don't need anybody to apologize to me." pic.twitter.com/N7wApqd30s— Curtis Houck (@CurtisHouck) January 25, 2022
You caught, I'm sure, that Biden never actually apologized. Instead, he "cleared the air"; there was a "nice call"; and Biden said, "It's nothing personal, pal." That's the typical non-apology "apology" of a thin-skinned, insecure narcissist.
But hey! Biden's gotta Biden. Coarse, insecure, vulgar men never apologize.
My beef is with Peter Doocy. Preliminarily, I think highly of Doocy because he's willing to ask questions that no one else in the press room asks. (Others in the alternative media would, but they're barred from the press room.) Doocy's not as probing as I would wish, but he does push harder than anyone else, and that's definitely something.
As to this matter, though, Doocy failed completely. He shouldn't have had a "nice call" with Biden and said he didn't need an apology. He did need an apology...a big one. What he should have said was, "Mr. Biden, you very publicly and crudely insulted me. I expect an equally public, explicit apology." And that should have been the whole call, followed by daily reminders.
Game theory says that if you're the decent type, you first play by the rules. However, if your opponent refuses to play by the rules, and seeks to obtain an advantage through bullying and cheating, you teach him a lesson by bringing the same tactics to him, except on rocket-fueled steroids. You don't say, "We had a nice call."
Looking at the relationship between Republicans and Democrats, I am reminded strongly of two things. First, this looks like an abusive marital relationship. He beats her up, she cries, he apologizes, she forgives him...and it starts all over again. Sometimes women stay in these relationships because of children or because they are utterly without resources and economically dependent on the man. My question here is, why do Republicans stay in this relationship?
The second thing I'm reminded of is a study I read about in the late 1970s or early 1980s. Someone spent long hours observing children on the playground to get a handle on bullying. What the observer found was striking. While some kids were just brute-force bullies, there were situations in which victim and bully engaged in a sort of social dance, with each seeking out the other. Call it juvenile S&M.
At this point, the Republicans are remarkably similar to the pledges in the bad frat in Animal House when they're getting paddled during initiation rites. "Thank you, sir, may I have another!" As long as Republicans meekly assume the position and even beg for more, they're going to get more.
Doocy's sweetness is just asking for more abuse and disrespect from Biden and his administration.
Looking behind Doocy, this Republican habit of wanting desperately to be the nice, kind, gracious party would be fine if Republicans were dealing with an opposing party that is also aiming to be gracious and collegial, while still being tough and sticking to its guns. The Democrats, however, are blasting norms left and right. The Russia Hoax and January 6 are the official attacks. Additionally, since 2008, Democrats have called Republicans the magic "shut-up" word: racist. In response, Republicans occasionally talk tough for the cameras, and then, with remarkably few exceptions, they fall in line.
I'm very worried that, even if (as seems likely) the Republicans get a majority in both houses of Congress, instead of giving Democrats a taste of the medicine they've dished out at all levels for the last five years to the president, congressional Republicans, and the American people, the Republicans will again reach across the aisle with the handshake of brotherhood — proving, once again, that Republicans truly are the stupid party.
UPDATE: Someone sent me this wonderful cartoon (creator unknown to me), which highlights that Doocy really is a nice guy -- and that Biden is not:
Image: Peter Doocy. Twitter screen grab.