Originally posted at Kunstler.com
Historians of the future, gathered round their campfires poaching armadillo tail-flaps in their own shells, will harken back to the wondrous day in 2024 when they could watch and compare two heads of great nations present themselves to the world for assessment. There was Mr. Putin of the land called Russia, calmly discoursing in fine detail on a thousand years of his country’s history. And there was Mr. Biden of the USA, facing the White House press pool, angrily refuting a special prosecutor’s glum conclusion that the President was not mentally competent to be tried in court on the finding that he’d indeed mishandled classified documents.
The contrast between the two figures might even alert the mandarins of our Ivy League that something has gone very wrong in this country for a decade or more, and could arouse suspicions among the faculties that they had been gulled into a false view of our recent history. Special Counsel Robert Hur’s report issued Thursday said it rather plainly:
In his interview with our office, Mr. Biden’s memory was worse. He did not remember when he was vice president, forgetting on the first day of the interview when his term ended (“if it was 2013, when did I stop being Vice President?”), and forgetting on the second day of the interview when his term began (“in 2009, am I still Vice president?”). He did not remember even within several years, when his son Beau died. And his memory appeared hazy when describing the Afghanistan debate that was once so important to him.”
The disclosure raises not a few uncomfortable questions. If Mr. Biden’s declining mental condition was apparent to federal attorneys interviewing him — admittedly not top psychologists — then wouldn’t the same picture present itself to the scores of assistants and subalterns busy toiling with the president around the clock for three years in the White House? Not to mention the myriad other government officials, agency heads, corporate nabobs, and news media notables streaming through the Oval Office every hour of the day? And yet, every last one of them has gone along with the pretense that Mr. Biden is doing just fine and is capable of running for reelection. Weird, a little bit.
If there has been any discussion about Mr. Biden being in possession of the so-called “nuclear football,” the briefcase full of launch codes for our arsenal of missiles and bombers, it has gone unnoticed in the press. I suppose a conspiracy to suppress that chatter would be labeled a “conspiracy theory,” which also suggests that Mr. Biden’s mental deficiencies have somehow infected the entire body politic of the USA. That is, much of the whole US population is mentally unwell, living in a national hall of mirrors. How did that happen? Is it possible that there are branches of our government dedicated to driving the population crazy. . . a kind of ordeal-by-gaslight?
That impression was only reinforced by listening to the president of our supposed adversary, Russia, Mr. Putin, in his confab with independent journalist Tucker Carlson. For one thing, Mr. Putin dared to express the likelihood that somebody, or group of somebodies, must be secretly running the executive branch of America’s government behind the mentally vacant figurehead “President Biden,” but Mr. Putin would not venture to guess who that might be.
What Mr. Putin displayed most of all was an air of prudence, an awareness that America’s behavior has become increasingly and dangerously unhinged over the years he’s been in power, requiring much delicacy and Christian patience not to worsen. Ukraine was at the center of the discussion, of course, since it has become a point of dangerous geopolitical inflammation. It is unclear whether the American audience was able to follow Mr. Putin’s detailed disquisition on the history of Ukraine, and how lately it eventuated in America’s bungling effort to wrest it out of Russia’s sphere of influence. He explained his view of events around the “Maidan coup” of 2014 and NATO’s repudiation of the Minsk Agreements that might have satisfactorily ended hostilities and provided a framework for reestablishing Ukraine’s status as a neutral borderland between Europe and Asia.
Mr. Putin also confirmed my own conjecture: that, after the fall of the USSR, Russia had one overriding concern in foreign affairs: to be re-admitted to the European family of nations as a once-again “normal,” member, especially in trade relations, after seventy-five years of its peculiar communist experiment. He spoke of this quite ruefully as a lost opportunity to shore up Western Civilization — now engaged in a mystifying act of mass suicide that Russia decidedly wishes to opt out of by strategically reorienting with the BRICs bloc.
This Friday morning, the USA is fraught with events unspooling. As I write, with dawn just breaking, there is almost zero opinion yet formed about these troubling matters on the vast Internet — but it will probably come in hot-and-heavy as the day ticks on. If Mr. Biden is truly mentally incompetent, as established more-or-less legally by Special Counsel Hur, then there is the obvious remedy of the 25th amendment — removal of a president for reason of disability. A debate over this would seem unavoidable now. The question also implies that Mr. Biden’s charade of running for reelection must come to an end. What will the Democratic party do about that?
A not inconsiderable part of our Ukraine problem has been that our chief executive was for years engaged in bribery and money-laundering misadventures there, for which there is abundant and powerful evidence, meaning he may have had very personal interests in keeping that country disordered — and sending billions of dollars there, some of it surely embezzled among the Zelensky government. You’d have to also be aware that the bag-man in those operations, the President’s son, Hunter, might well have misbehaved with drugs and prostitutes on his many trips to Ukraine as a board member of Burisma. Hunter’s self-compiled archive of round-the-world drug-fueled porn recordings on the laptop that (the FBI confirmed recently) was unquestionably his own, suggests that the Ukraine authorities may have their own recordings of him behaving similarly, or worse, and are using them to blackmail “President Joe Biden.”
We will also learn the judgment, probably with remarkable dispatch, of the Supreme Court in the matter of Colorado kicking Donald Trump off the election ballot. Meanwhile, the case against Mr. Trump in Fulton County, Georgia, is falling apart in DA Fani Willis’s pathetically comical scandal, now with a new “love nest” twist (paid for with public money). And Judge Engoron and AG Letitia James might be weighing the fates of their reputations in the shabbily-conducted and bogus real estate valuation fraud case against Mr. Trump, which will eventually be vivisected at some level of appeal. The old saying remains powerful: There are decades when nothing happens, and weeks when decades happen.
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