Joe Biden In A Coma

I know, I know, it's serious.

Jon Stewart returned to The Daily Show last night, grayed, rested, and ready to cast his gimlet satirist’s eye on Joe Biden’s obvious cognitive decline. Because it’s permanently 1999 in Stewart’s soul and he hasn’t learned anything since we all had fun laughing about Al Gore’s idiotic lockbox, he opened the show by claiming that: "The stakes of this election don’t make Donald Trump’s opponent less subject to scrutiny. It actually makes him more subject to scrutiny.”

Counterpoint: No it doesn’t.

If I have a choice between cyanide and a hot dog, the stakes of my meal don’t make it even more important that I scrutinize the hot dog for rat shit. I don’t care! I will eat however much rat shit it’s got, because that’s better than death.

Joe Biden is a good looking Delaware lifeguard himbo who was a United States Senator for longer than I’ve been alive, and I’m not young. He’s an extremely old man, supposedly too “sharp” to take a cognitive test and mumbling on TikTok about cookies or whatever, but none of that matters. Joe Biden was never particularly sharp, and there is no level of cognitive decline that could make him a worse president than Donald Trump. Joe Biden’s most inexcusable presidential achievement is helping Israel murder tens of thousands of Palestinian civilians, and even there Donald Trump would be worse. I have no idea how, but Trump would find a more corrupt and loathsome way to kill even more Palestinians. Joe Biden in a coma would be a better president than Trump. Arguably Joe Biden in a coma would be a better president than either candidate.

And what is this “scrutiny” supposed to accomplish? Everyone already knows what both Trump and Biden are like. If we held the vote right now we’d get the exact same results as we will in November, no matter what happens between now and then, up to and including the deaths of both candidates. To fret over who deserves scrutiny you have to assume that it matters to anyone what Jon Stewart thinks, or what the idiots at Times Opinion think, or what I think, or what you think, when the truth is all of us already know how we’re voting.

Or is scrutiny meant to open a path to replacing Biden by some kind of party fiat, as Ed Kilgore in NYMag and Charlie Mahtesian and Steven Shepard in Politico speculate? And if so, replace him with whoms’t? Vice President Awkward Cop? The California Haircut? Mayor Wheat? Governor Hotel Chain Private Equity? Emails? Losers, all of them.

The fact is, we can all see that our old guy is sinking into a relaxing pink bubble bath of senescence. He seems cheerful about it, and so should we be. Ronald Reagan proved that far from being a handicap, a certain amount of forgetfulness can be a very useful thing in your second term.

In her generally positive Washington Post review of last night’s Daily Show, Lili Loofbourow pointed out

…Jordan Klepper’s mock-hostile response to Stewart’s return, in which he accused him of brainwashing voters to accept the status quo by laughing at it when they could be out in the streets effecting change. Klepper derided his “’90s brand of snark and bothsiderism — George Bush is dumb! Al Gore is so boring! Wow. Searing, Jon.”

Klepper turns out to be all smarm, of course; his hostility melts when he learns he’ll be hosting the rest of the week. It’s not a bad way to defuse the critiques of Stewart’s shtick. It’s also, in my view, a little beneath him.

But also also, it is a bad way to defuse the critique, which Loofbourow goes on to make in a much more pointed way than Klepper’s caricature of it:

The biggest point the well-attended March to Restore Sanity made was how effectively Stewart had forged a community of skeptics who believed themselves above the humiliating homogeneity that membership in a political group (any political group) implies. Some group identities are acceptable. “Daily Show fans,” for instance, were cool. Democrats, in contrast, were not.

The show offered a way out of the demoralizing trap of belonging to the electorate. Stewart punctured many holes in polished media narratives, took many politicians to task. But he also talked his audience out of subordinating their individual perspectives to the unnuanced battering ram any collective effort to effect change will at some point become.

This was always the problem with Jon Stewart, and clearly it still is. In trying to preëmpt this criticism, Stewart activated Civic Engagement Homily Mode:

If your guy loses, bad things might happen but the country is not over. If your guy wins, the country is in no way saved… The work of making this world resemble one that you would prefer to live in is a lunch pail fucking job, day in and day out, where thousands of committed, anonymous, smart and dedicated people bang on closed doors and pick up those that are fallen, and grind away on issues till they get a positive result. And even then, have to stay on to make sure that results holds.

So the good news is, I’m not saying you don’t have to worry about who wins the election. I’m saying you have to worry about every day before it, and every day after. Forever.

Okay! Sounds awful. I’ll probably just vote for my demented candidate in eight months and leave it at that. We’re tired, Jon.

S.P. Sullivan quoted a tweet by Grover the Muppet, which says: “As a news reporter, I always do my research before I break a story. I am confident to report that you are so special and amazing!” Sullivan adds: “I regret to report a hedge fund has since purchased Grover’s paper and laid him off”

It Happened To Me: I tried to read a whole feature story in Axios bullet-point format, and it gave me a traumatic brain injury. Paramount just “just hosted the biggest advertising bonanza in the history of television” but still fired 800 people to goose profits in the short term. A Russian blood artist claims to have put sixteen works of art in a safe in France and rigged them to be destroyed by acid if Julian Assange dies in prison, in the weirdest Schrödinger's cat ever. Victoria Song: “Ignore your fitness tracker and walk to Mordor instead.” Honestly this sounds pretty fun. “What is Venus' quasi-moon Zoozve?” I am always asking this.

Today in Books: Zoë with the two dots Schiffer’s book about Twitter comes out today and it’s called “Extremely Hardcore” so have fun Googling that. She opted to show feet in her author photo in the Washington Post which is definitely a choice. Schiffer was one of the best-sourced reporters during Elon’s Twitter takeover, and the book sounds very fun/depressing.

And Finally: If you need to pretend you’re working for a little while, here you go.

Today’s Song: Excomungado & d.silvestre, "Bon Appétit"

~ money for nothin’ and your tabs for free ~

Another day, another sign-off. People don’t take advantage of it enough but if you’re a paid subscriber one of the benefits specifically listed is that I will call you “boss” as needed. So if you are a paid subscriber just lmk any time you need that, and if not a subscription is only $35 for the first year. Seems like a good deal but what do I know.

Robo wants an Oreo.