For Joe Biden, when it comes to putting on a jacket, the struggle is real

For my money, one of the funniest moments in classic TV comedy was a scene from The Dick Van Dyke Show in which Rob Petrie, hypnotized to believe he is drunk, struggles to take off his jacket.  It's apex physical humor.  That same scene, however, is much less funny when the president of the United States, which was once the world's most powerful country, struggles vainly to put on his jacket, only to have his wife offer her barely competent assistance.

The video is less than 40 seconds long, but it packs so much.  Joe and Jill have just emerged from Marine One.  Behind them, flanking the doors to the helicopters, stand two Marines, absolutely still, with carefully blank expressions.  A masked Joe stops and begins to put his jacket on.

Getting his right arm into the jacket works well.  It's when he tries to get his left arm into the jacket that things start to fall apart.  The jacket slips behind his right shoulder and, as he tries to reach for it with his left arm, the jacket starts to slide down his right arm.  Joe rotates back toward his right side in a vain effort to reach the jacket.


Image: Joe Biden's jacket comedy.  Twitter screen grab.

Jill realizes that Joe is struggling and calls out to him.  Like a toddler, he ambles over to her, seeking her help.  Now that he's facing the screen again, it's obvious that his sunglasses (you know, those "cool Joe" sunglasses) are falling off his face.

Jill, after a bit of a struggle, manages to get both of Joe's arms securely in his jacket.  All the while, Joe's sunglasses continue their inexorable slide off his face.  Finally, as they start to walk away from Marine One, Joe's glasses hit the ground.  And all the while, throughout this little comedy of errors, those two young Marines never betray their thoughts with even the slightest quiver.

Normally, this would be a silly nothing.  It happens to everybody — the chase for that sleeve that slithers away, the sunglasses falling down...  As couples age, it happens too that the husband ages faster and the wife falls into the caregiver role.

But this isn't normal.  This is the man who occupies the Oval Office and who, in many ways, has the fate of the world in his hands.  America may no longer be the most powerful nation in the world (Obama already saw to that), but it is still a consequential nation.  And because it is consequential, it is a target for the world's bad actors.

When America was a mighty lion, those bad actors, like jackals, stayed away from her. With a senescent president who degrades visibly with every passing day, even as his handlers aggressively preside over America's decline (whether harming her economic status, her sovereignty, her national security, or her cultural normalcy), America is like a wounded, possibly dying animal.  That's when the jackals gain courage and began moving in, nipping at the wounded animal to measure its survivability and hasten its death.

Biden's impotence and degradation are a visible metaphor for America's decline.  It's a terrible look, and this video sets the seal on it.

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