Salvo 02.29.2024 6 minutes

Joe Biden’s Endless Eulogy

2-19-24 President Joe Biden South Lawn Arrival

Will America’s death be written on the president’s heart? 

Before Joe Biden melted into a pile of talking skin, he used to be able to summon a greater degree of emotion than a paid eulogist. I don’t mean this as a joke. Despite his abysmal past with Thomas Sowell, or Clarence Thomas, or the 1992 Crime Bill (to name just a few), I used to admire his quality to mourn. He had the ability to balance candor with insurmountable grief. His pain, of course, has been rooted in personal loss, losing both a wife and child in a car wreck.

One must note that Biden’s also a career politician, and career politicians love to find ways to manipulate real grief and suffering in stump speeches. So it’s worthwhile to look shrewdly at Biden’s not-so-distant past life as a semi-decent eulogist.

I remember feeling sympathy for him when he appeared on The Late Show with Stephen Colbert in 2015 and discussed tragedy.

“Everybody likes Joe Biden,” Colbert said, introducing Biden.

“When we see you, we think that we’re actually seeing the real Joe Biden, you’re not a politician whose created some sort of façade…we see the real you. How did you maintain your soul in a city that is so filled with people that are trying to lie to us in subtle ways?” 

Despite this egregious introduction for a man who is a known plagiarist, Biden was well-spoken on that appearance compared to the senile wax figure before us today. He sounded like a mourner without sounding like the people who are paid to cry at funerals

“People know you have experienced tragedies in your life,” Colbert said to the former vice president. 

Biden assumed the body language of a man in grief. At the time of the filming of that episode, Biden’s son Beau had passed away from brain cancer only a few months prior. For those who have lost someone, you will recognize that long stare at the ground—as though they’re staring into the past trying not to relive the memories of loss, while balancing the memory of the person they’ve lost.

Although the left-leaning New York audience was already ideologically primed to applaud everything Biden said, you can tell he commanded their attention. He commanded mine through the screen, and by that time I was already a politically jaded individual. 

That appearance made the news eight years ago, because Biden announced he would not be running for president in the 2016 election. He said he could not emotionally withstand a campaign. 

He spoke with reverence and, to some degree, grace. By that time, I’d already been well aware of the failings and war crimes of the Obama Administration. I was not going to be charmed enough to want Biden to run, but I could respect his Late Night eulogy about the rise and fall of personal faith, politics, suffering, and family. It was a resistance against darkness—even though it was baked in pseudo-authenticity.

The first half of that appearance ended with Biden referencing a phrase his mother used to say: “You’re not dead until you’ve seen the face of God.” 

It is very hard to accept the reality of death. Of course, we must. It is inevitable. But confronting death is still an absurd challenge. It leaves an absence that grinds your world to a complete standstill. Meanwhile, the rest of the world spins on like nothing happened. 

But it’s 2024. Nearly a decade has passed since that Late Night interview, and Joe Biden looks and sounds like a defrosted, cryogenically-frozen head bolted to an animatronic body. The problem is we are being asked to accept an unacceptable reality: that Joe Biden isn’t rapidly decaying physically and mentally before our eyes. 

Biden himself has summoned the image of his own corpse multiple times throughout his career. He’s done it at funerals and speeches. No instance of this stands out more to me than the day before Biden was sworn in as the 46th President of the United States of America. He gave a speech that sounded as though he was eulogizing himself. In a long black coat, standing before his family, Biden shared one of his favorite James Joyce quotes: “When I die, Dublin will be written on my heart.” And then, just as he’s done before, he personalized the quote. But this time, he began to cry as he spoke. “When I die,” he said, holding back tears, “Delaware will be written on my heart.”

That speech sounded like a goodbye. He cried as he summoned the image of his own dead body. You could argue he also cried because he had finally found a way to sneak into the White House. But I don’t believe that’s the case. I believe Biden was crying because the human part of him (a small and wholly separate part than Biden the politician) saw the existential writing on the wall. One way or the other, it’s over. And it might even end while he’s in office. And it will end publicly—no matter what. Such is how it goes. 

His presidency became a memento mori—a reflection of what many of us might view as the death of America. But in 2024, it’s gone far beyond just a reminder of death’s inevitably. It’s mutated into this sort of Greek mythology where the powers-that-be parade this semi-corpse-man-president in public and force us all to play along with the game that he’s totally fine. Everything’s normal. How dare we think otherwise!

For most of Biden’s first term, the same crowd who saw “covfefe” as a clear sign of mental decline in an old man constructed elaborate loopholes of logic to defend Biden’s cognitive decline. Many people seemed fine when Biden sat in the Oval Office with a stack of Executive Orders and said, “I don’t even know what I’m signing.”

However, the memo has gone out—if you are a liberal pundit you will not be called ageist for questioning Joe Biden’s obvious decline. Jon Stewart, who is back on The Daily Show for one last desperate attempt to deceptively edit reality for what’s left of his gullible audience, actually attempted to compare Biden and Trump in mental ability. Yes, they’re two old men. But Trump sounds positively Shakespearean compared to Biden. 

White House Press Secretary Karine Jean-Pierre was recently asked about Biden taking a cognitive test during his upcoming physical exam. She answered in her usual, obfuscating manner,

The president proves everyday how he operates, how he thinks…by dealing with foreign leaders by making really difficult decisions on behalf of the American people…. He shows it everyday. So that is how Doctor O’Connor sees it…. He is sharp, he is on top of things…. He’s constantly pushing us, trying to get more information.

Those surrounding Biden will continue to gaslight the public into thinking a sick and confused man can still maintain the presidency. 

Until the new memo is released saying that it’s time for Biden to step down, the old man’s eulogy will keep devolving into a stuttering, rambling, inaudible stream-of-conscious burp. And when he does finally pass into the next life, it might be the death of America that’s written on his heart. 

The American Mind presents a range of perspectives. Views are writers’ own and do not necessarily represent those of The Claremont Institute.

The American Mind is a publication of the Claremont Institute, a non-profit 501(c)(3) organization, dedicated to restoring the principles of the American Founding to their rightful, preeminent authority in our national life. Interested in supporting our work? Gifts to the Claremont Institute are tax-deductible.

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