I was eating two pieces of black morning toast with a touch of cream cheese, sitting back in my chair, sipping from a cup of coffee in my favorite greasy spoon in Revere, Massachusetts the other morning when I looked up at the flat screen and saw Joe Biden talking with the early morning heads on a popular everyday show.
The three person panel, two women and a man, one of the women black and the others white, all of them under 50, were tossing softball questions at the former vice-president who hit them all out of the park like a champion during a batting practice session where he was allowed to hit home runs.
I’m not even sure what he was saying because my toast tasted so good.
What I noticed mainly was Biden’s voice — smooth and calm — so calm you’d think whatever he was saying had to be right.
He reminded me a lot of a male Hillary Clinton, you know, the male version of a woman you know is lying the moment her lips are moving.
Except Biden wasn’t lying about anything — and again — it is his tone I noticed most, not what he was saying.
His tone is that of a lifelong Democrat who utters gorgeous, beautiful nothings to the talking heads all-agog that he is there with him sharing his narrative.
I am totally jaundiced and put off by all our politicians.
They are to me and to so many other clear thinking Americans, quite frankly, an unto themselves, waste of space, greedy bunch of slick talking nitwits at this point.
What they say bears little to no relationship to the reality on the ground in America, and hasn’t in quite some time, years actually, decades.
Their knowing manner, as though what they are saying has any meaning, is part of their act to satisfy the television protocol.
Biden is presently the king of the pack.
Now don’t get me wrong, Biden is a gentleman, a nice man, an older handsome guy who is not rich, for whom money is not his God, who recently lost his eldest son, who was the attorney General of Delaware, and by all accounts, a very nice man like his father.
What’s wrong with Biden is what’s wrong with all our national politicians, they are, too a person, wed to this notion that they are fair, they are humble, they are working hard for the American people, and that they matter in the general scheme of things in today’s upside down world.
Back to Biden’s interview — and please don’t ask me what station he was on or the names of the talking heads interviewing him.
Listening to Biden answer the softball questions with his steady, Democratic voice — the well oiled voice that says we do it right and everyone else does it wrong, left me, as usual these days, empty.
His slick studied somewhat worn out tone, his well done and accomplished actor’s attempt at sincerity, his taken aback style was never more polished when asked: “What did you think about President Trump’s takedown of Senator Gillibrand?”
That softball hit Biden like a ton of bricks.
He stepped back from the plate, out of the box, composed himself, put his bat back into his hands and replied: “It was just terrible. I’m mortified by what the president said. Terrible. Just terrible,” he seemed to say. I’m not sure those were his exact words and his exact words don’t really matter other than to say he was expressing the belief with every bone in his body that the president had somehow violated Senator Gillibrand by denouncing her for asking him to resign.
Yes. Senator Gillibrand asked President Trump to resign and somehow, the talking heads — all the talking heads wherever they pontificate about our nation, were all very shocked the American president would have something negative or caustic to say about a junior senator from New York who has publicly called for his resignation.
Where I come from, when you are attacked, you generally respond or you will be attacked again and again.
This is not a lesson in politics. It is a lesson in life.
Biden’s nicely mannered, slow and easy denunciation of the president for answering back Senator Gillibrand is what I remember most about the interview as I finished my black toast and got ready for the day at my office.
Mainly I was impressed with how discouraged he was with the president calling out a US Senator for asking him to resign — as though Biden wouldn’t in his own way done exactly the same.
He expressed shock and deep concern. Couldn’t believe the president answered her back as if to say, what are we coming to?
I don’t think there is an ounce of misogyny these days treating women like men. After all, we’re all supposed to be equal these days.
With my last sip of coffee I was left to hear the last parting comments from the television talking heads, speaking their hushed and impressed tones to Biden as though he is a conquering hero or that he might be remember for anything he did during his lifetime in public service when he is oneday gone — as all of us will be gone.
I saw his lips moving, his hands clasped neatly in front of him. Couldn’t really make out what he was saying except that it was slick and studied, calm and appealing to my early sense of what is right and wrong in the early morning when nothing really matters more than your morning coffee. The talking heads nodded, smiled, praised him and effusively thanked him for coming onto the show for such a private moment on national television.
With hushed voices and the eternally corrupt tone of politicians, they all smiled at him and might have wept as the interview ended and the camera faded away from Biden and the talking heads began anew with a story about a new food recipe that they all smiled about and had a great laugh about.
I left for work wondering about our politics but thinking much more about how I am going to do most of my holiday shopping on Amazon.
After all, Jeff Bezos would have been a more compelling interview.
What is better than Amazon.com?
Not Joe Biden and not the talking heads and certainly not our sorry, empty, vacuous politics.