Thursday, March 26, 2020

Why Is Democratic Presidential Candidate Joltin Joe Obidenbama Missing In Action?


jacobinmag |  Let’s look at the state of things for a second. The world is currently grappling with a deadly global pandemic, one that has already led to cities across the world being placed into lockdown, and looks to be leading to an unprecedented economic crisis. Despite bungling the response in a way that could be called criminal, the president has now gotten out in front, holding daily press briefings that have allowed him to feed misinformation directly to the public, and taking steps that, while grossly inadequate for the moment, have already outstripped the Obama administration’s economic response in 2008 — with the result that, for the moment at least, a large majority of Americans now approves of Trump’s handling of the crisis.

Being an election year, there are several things a Democratic challenger should be doing. One is exuding a sense of calm, stability, and competence, to convey “presidentialness” and contrast with Trump’s chaotic behavior. Being the Democratic Party’s prospective leader, they should be helping to set the legislative agenda and drive the party’s ideas about the response to this unprecedented emergency. And they should be communicating with the public as much as possible, providing reassurance and guidance while denying the president a monopoly of the airwaves.

Biden, like Sanders, first held a press conference on March 12, the day the crisis first became real for many people, which started half an hour late due to technical difficulties. He then held a virtual town hall the day after, which saw Biden falsely claim credit for the Endangered Species Act before wandering off camera, an event so marred by technical difficulties that the “disjoined effort,” in Biden’s words, had to be ended early. Then came the debate, in which Biden was allowed by the moderators to brazenly lie about almost every aspect of his record, a contrast from debates in the past.
In the lead up to the last Tuesday’s elections — even as the coronavirus death toll climbed, cities went into lockdown, and health and government officials urged people to stay inside at all costs — Biden’s campaign encouraged voters to turn out, falsely assuring them it was safe. The result was a day of chaos and confusion that almost certainly assisted the virus’s continued spread. Biden then gave a brief victory speech that ended in another odd moment that quickly went viral, now par for the course for the campaign.

And until today, that was the last almost anyone saw of the Democratic frontrunner. For almost a whole week, as the crisis has exponentially worsened by day, Biden seemed to have vanished off the face off the earth, surfacing only last Friday in a call with the press. He was “desperately” trying to “be in daily or at least, you know, significant contact with the American people and communicate what I would be doing,” he told reporters, as if regular, successful livestreaming hadn’t already been accomplished by both his opponent and millions of teenagers.