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Assault on America, Day 559: Robert Redford, Joe Biden & the Way We Were in the DC swamp

Redford The Way We Were
Joe Biden is running as the not-Trump candidate; Robert Redford makes him into a cult hero

As the days go by and most people calm down after the startling and earth-shattering events of spring, 2020, there appears to be an effort among American liberals to make doltish Democrat nominee-to-be Joe Biden into some sort of iconic empathetic cult-hero who will heal the nation’s wounds, bring everyone together in a large stadium (wearing masks, of course) and lead a rousing rendition of “Kumbaya” for all to sing.

As a prime example, actor Robert Redford took to the op-ed page last week and laid out the reasons why he’s voting for Biden in this year’s presidential election. Some/most of the 83-year-old actor’s blubbering is downright laughable, but it also could be useful to Trump campaign heads in honing their message going into the fall. Redford wrote at CNN, “This November, unity and empathy are on the ballot. Experience and intelligence are on the ballot. Joe Biden is on the ballot, and I'm confident he will bring these qualities back to White House.

“I don't make a practice of publicly announcing my vote. But this election year is different. And I believe Biden was made for this moment. Biden leads with his heart. I don't mean that in a soft and sentimental way. I'm talking about a fierce compassion -- the kind that fuels him, that drives him to fight against racial and economic injustice, that won't let him rest while people are struggling.”

Huh? Bob, are we talking about the same guy here? Doddering Joe Biden doesn’t “lead with his heart” at all. He's more like a soon-to-be-on-the-canvas boxer who leads with his chin. The man’s so mentally out of it, his brain can’t get out of the way of his tongue. And if Biden “can’t rest while people are struggling,” (as Redford asserts) why wasn’t he visibly out in public dealing with the nationwide post-Memorial Day rioting and social unrest after George Floyd’s murder?  

Besides, Grampa Joe Biden the infamous gaffe machine has made plenty of offensive race-based remarks over the years and continues to say things that force people to scratch their heads even today. Some of his more notable flubs include having commented on Barack Obama as “mainstream African-American, clean and a nice looking guy,” and “You cannot go to a 7-11 or a Dunkin' Donuts unless you have a slight Indian accent. I'm not joking.”

Just months ago Biden referred to a young female college student as a “lying dog faced pony soldier” and called an 83-year-old Iowa man a “damn liar” to his face… in front of an audience. Does this sound like the guy Redford described?

It’s funny how Redford assailed Trump for being divisive, especially since the president is one of very few who’s out front defending many of the same American values and virtues the actor portrayed (not always as the “good” guy) in such movie classics as “Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid,” “The Sting” and one of my all-time favorites, the baseball mythology filled “The Natural.” As a child in the 70’s, Redford was well-known in my household partly because he and my father were in the same high school graduating class (baseball Hall of Famer Don Drysdale also went to Van Nuys high as did legendary actress Natalie Wood. My dad did more lasting good for America as a civil engineer who built things than all the aforementioned combined.).

With his blonde hair and seductive guy-next-door smile, golden boy Redford became an American idol and to this day is synonymous with the word “cool.” But that doesn’t mean his political observations are any keener than anyone else’s, even if he did star in the Nixon-bashing “All the President’s Men.” And frankly, Bob’s attempt to make Joe Biden sound like the captain of virtue are ludicrous and absurd. Notice how Redford said “Experience and intelligence are on the ballot” in November. Maybe the actor was actually referring to Trump, because Biden possesses no real “experience” other than that he garnered as a half-century long card-carrying member of the Washington DC swamp.

If there was to be a picture in the dictionary accompanying the term “Swamp creature,” Biden’s smiling mug would be a prime candidate for the spot.

Having spent thirty-six years in the senate, Biden is about as institutional as one gets without rotting away in prison on a life term. For perspective, I was a five-year-old kindergartener when he first took the oath of office in January, 1973 and a forty-one-year-old at-home-dad freelance writer with three kids when he left to assume the vice presidency (2009).

Redford himself was a mere lad of 36 when Biden was sworn-in, at the apex of his career.

Ah, “The Way We Were.” Joe was a senator before production started on the Redford/Streisand classic… and I was still eating cinnamon toast and drinking Tang for breakfast every morning. Can’t you hear Babs Streisand crooning the lyrics… “Could it be that it was all so simple then, or has time rewritten every line?” A LONG time ago, wasn’t it?

It goes without saying many of the politicians Biden served with were electoral lifers as well, all populating a restricted, confined and sheltered world with little or no connection to reality. For example, Grampa Joe served with good buddy Senator Chris Dodd for 28 years (and now Dodd is purportedly helping the nominee vet his VP short-list). Similarly, the Delaware senator functioned elbow to elbow with Massachusetts “lion” Teddy Kennedy for all 36 of his years in the upper chamber. The list goes on and on.

It wasn’t just Democrats, either. Biden got to know the late Senator John McCain well, the product of having shared the chummy elitist club for over 20 years together. Orrin Hatch (who finally retired two years ago -- and his seat now occupied by idiot Mitt Romney) was with Biden for 32 of his 36 years (Joe got there four years earlier!). Notoriously wishy-washy Indiana Republican Senator Richard Lugar was there alongside ‘ol back slappin’, hair sniffin’, shoulders massagin’, sexual assault denyin’ creepy Joe for 32 of Biden’s 36 years as well.

No wonder Grampa Joe claims to have “great friendships” on both sides of the aisle, though there aren’t that many left. Over the course of terms/decades, senators never really go anywhere and face it, there aren’t all that many things to hash over except minute details of legislation and do a little horse-trading to pass the time before heading out to drink and dine at establishment-dominated eateries.

Besides, serving as a senator isn’t like having a “real” job with expectations and responsibilities. The only actual job requirement for a politician is to show up enough times so that voters won’t think you’re shirking your duties, along with keeping your staffers responding to constituent complaints and requests and raising enough money to ensure your reelection campaign is well-funded and capable of drowning opponents in negative ads. Senators don’t do the research or write the bills they sponsor, either. They get up every morning, throw on a suit (probably taken to the dry cleaners by paid staff) and report to the big marble building on the hill. That’s it.

And in a relatively liberal state like Delaware, Biden never had to work too hard to keep his day job in Washington. Obama used to joke about how Joe was the only one who never lost an election.

The institutional customs, rules, procedures and practices of senators are attenuated from those living “out there” in the hinterlands, people who must earn their way or sometimes go belly-up. Biden couldn’t possibly have empathy for the “average” person because he’s never been one in his adult life. Sure, he’s experienced tragedy (his first wife and baby daughter were killed in an auto accident at Christmas time in 1972 and then he lost oldest son Beau to cancer five years ago), but Joe’s never needed to worry about paying a mortgage, shopping for health insurance or where his next paycheck would come from. As a former elected federal officeholder, his pension is great, too.

Donald Trump’s “experience” isn’t exactly akin to the “average” schlep either, but as a businessman responsible for the financial viability of his enterprises, he had to sign paychecks and take risks to advance further in life. Joe Biden’s never had to make a payroll and even his “employees” weren’t his responsibility. If they didn’t get paid, it was not his concern. The senate administration runs just about everything for senators, from personnel issues to booking travel. They even have their own elevators. Some senators probably wouldn’t even know how to pay a utility bill if the need arose. They’d just hand the matter to an intern and tell them to follow-up.

Trump has been a success at practically everything he’s ever done. His popularity has always been debatable but even his critics should concede that he’s led a remarkable life that didn’t depend solely on institutional means to make a living. Envious people assail Trump for being too rich and out-of-touch. But how “in-touch” is Biden? He rarely comes out of his basement these days.

Being a senator is about as easy as it comes. No wonder they all live long lives!

If Joe Biden is intelligent and empathetic, who would be considered dumb and arrogant?

As far as “intelligence” (Redford’s word, not mine) goes, who really thinks Joe Biden is gifted in any way, shape or form? He got poor grades as a youngster, plagiarized in law school (the school subsequently cleared him), then “borrowed” large passages of others’ speeches as a senator and presidential candidate. Getting reelected seven times doesn’t make one smart, does it? Is there anyone in Biden’s sphere who seriously argues he’s sharp as a tack?

Biden’s numerous brain freezes and frequent searching for words implies mental deterioration. And, if he’s not getting senile, maybe Joe’s just stupid.

Redford continued, “As FDR showed, empathy and ethics are not signs of weakness. They're signs of strength. I think Americans are coming back to that view. Despite Trump -- despite his daily efforts to divide us -- I see much of the country beginning to reunite again, the way it did when I was a kid. You can see it in the peaceful protests of the past several weeks -- Americans of all races and classes coming together to fight against racism. You can see it the ways that communities are pulling together in the face of this pandemic, even if the White House has left them to fend for themselves.”

Does Redford actually believe the country is “beginning to reunite again” based on the “peaceful protests” and “pulling together in the face of this pandemic?” Evidence would suggest otherwise. How many buildings remain boarded up after their windows were smashed? How many pedestals stand empty where just a month ago there were monuments? How many inner-city residents cower in fear at night wondering if the shooting will ever stop and pray that they -- or their loved ones -- won’t fall victim to the unchecked violence?

And the media says Trump exaggerates. Redford should win an academy award for hyperbole. He's an actor, isn’t he?

There simply is no community pulling together to fight this pandemic because there’s very little social activity “permitted” by the authorities, especially in large blue states where phased-in reopening is proceeding at a snail’s pace. Many of those same “communities” erupted last month, mostly due to young people being cooped up inside for weeks at a time.

Robert Redford lives in a fantasy “The Way We Were” world and Joe Biden ain’t no savior. Trump’s people could learn from Redford’s mindset and start laying more emphasis on Joe’s lifetime connection to the swamp and the fact the former vice president hasn’t really accomplished anything in his entire life other than managing to win election and reelection nine times (seven senate, two VP).

Joe Biden needs to learn what it’s like to be “normal”, and then we can talk about empathy, intelligence and unity. Voters can teach him that very lesson in November.

Grampa Joe Biden touts racism. Does he ever look in the mirror?

It doesn’t take someone as famous as Robert Redford to see something’s not right with Grampa Joe Biden’s campaign pitch. The vice-presidential sidekick to the first African-American president is going around telling people he’ll “restore the soul of America” if he’s given the chance as president. But is there anyone who’s led a more white privileged life than Obama’s number two?

Charles Hurt wrote at The Washington Times, “For the better part of five decades, Mr. Biden has toiled away at the only job he could ever hold — a long-winded, glad-handing, pompous politician in Washington. For five decades, he ran the only thing he could ever possibly run: His mouth...

“Joe Biden’s campaign is not just an attack on America in the wake of Mr. Trump. It is an attack on the America that Mr. Obama left behind. Even after eight years of Mr. Obama fixing things, America is still a systemically racist hellhole, according to Joe Biden.

“But Joe and Joe alone is going to fix it all. Everything Mr. Obama failed to fix or screwed up more, Joe Biden — after 47 years of stewing in his own White Privilege — is going to fix it all.”

No, he’s not. Joe Biden couldn’t fix the toilet handle on a leaky commode. Joe Biden couldn’t break up a fight between two nine-year-olds on a playground. Joe Biden couldn’t bring people together if he locked them in a small room and bound them to each other with rope.

America was not a racist country to begin with, but as Hurt alludes to above, why didn’t Obama and Biden extinguish all vestiges of bigotry during their eight glorious years on Pennsylvania Avenue? Wasn’t it sufficient time to ensure that police departments in Democrat-run cities were sponged clean of hate and prejudice if it really existed there?

Why now, Joe?

Unity is hard to come by in the United States today, and it certainly won’t be realized by electing Grampa Joe Biden to serve as the next president. The former vice president has spent a virtual half-century at the seat of power in the DC swamp and hasn’t accomplished much in his entire life. Where’s the empathy, Joe? Anyone? Anyone?

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