By Rich Galen
There is a phrase among pilots that fully describes desperation: Out of airspeed, altitude, and ideas.
This is the desperate situation where Republicans find themselves in the matter of President Joe Biden v. Quadruple-Indicted Defendant Donald J. Trump.
Let’s be honest. Joe Biden is boring. He is the Tom Landry of politicians: Jacket and tie, fedora; directing his team (the Dallas Cowboys) on the sideline; his only emotion, tapping a rolled-up game program into an open palm. Not much to give the Monday morning sports shows to whine about. In nearly three decades as the head coach of the Cowboys, he won more than 60 percent of the time.
Joe Biden was elected to the U.S. Senate when he was only 29 years old. The U.S. Constitution requires a person to have reached the age of 30 to be a Senator. Happily, Biden’s birthday is November 20, so he turned 30 before having to be sworn in. Unhappily, his wife and three children were in a car accident during that period, which killed his wife and infant daughter and left his two sons badly injured.
After counseling from older Senators, Biden took his seat and spent the next more than three decades as a Senator from Delaware. Add eight years as the President of the Senate when he served as Barack Obama’s Vice President, and you get some idea of his concept of public service.
Biden was not a Senator who sought out the press on a daily basis. The beat reporter from the Wilmington (Delaware) News-Journal knew where to find him, and Biden knew where to find the reporter. While serving in the Senate, Biden went home to Wilmington every night to be with his boys. Seventy-four minutes each way, each day, to be home with his boys. On Amtrak.
Compare and contrast that commitment to country and family with Defendant Trump, who has spent his entire life spending his father’s money and trying to escape an inescapable fact: he was born in Queens. But for people who were born in Manhattan, you can never escape Queens.
It is not clear to me that Trump has ever ridden on Amtrak. Before he changed his residency, he traveled from his gauche apartment in New York to one of his golf courses, to Atlantic City to oversee the bankruptcy of one of his casinos, or to Mar-a-Lago to play at being a somebody.
Unlike Biden, Trump needed to see his name in the papers every day. Still does. He even stooped to calling reporters using fake names (John Baron, John Miller, and David Dennison, to name but three) to brag about his business or sexual conquests.
Joe Biden, as far as we know, has just been old Joe Biden his whole life.
As President, Trump fooled everyone who thought he would grow into the role. It was clear from his very first day in office, when he forced his first press secretary, Sean Spicer, to falsely claim, “This was the largest audience to ever witness an inauguration, period, both in person and around the globe.”
That, in turn, led counselor Kellyanne Conway to redefine lies as “alternative facts.”
From that day onward, Defendant Trump told lies every day. The Washington Post counted them up. Over the four years of Defendant Trump’s Presidency: 30,573 instances of alternative facts. So far in Joe Biden’s first term? Zero. Mistakes? Maybe. Lies? None.
Trump had someone ghostwrite “The Art of the Deal.” Biden learned the art of the deal in the committee rooms and private offices of the U.S. Capitol. He also learned the art of patience. Without Vice President Biden, there would never have been an Affordable Care Act. Without President Biden, there would have been no simultaneous reduction in inflation and unemployment, no NATO support for Ukraine, no reduction in crushing student loan debt, and no maintenance of the U.S. economy – the strongest in the world.
While Defendant Trump was cow-towing to the likes of Russia’s Vladimir Putin and North Korea’s Kim Jong-un, President Biden was meeting with the G-20 leaders and didn’t shove a single head of state out of the way to get a better photo position.
While Defendant Trump refused to go to the American Cemetery in France because it was raining, President Biden flew all night to attend a summit in Vietnam.
Defendant Trump will be convicted on at least some of the 91 counts that have been leveled against him. President Biden will, in spite of MAGA Republicans in the House and Senate, calmly roam the sidelines, calling the plays and winning the games.