From the Left



Demented Thinking About Joe Biden

Ted Rall on

Dementia frustrates. As its victim's inner life becomes harder to articulate to others, the victim occasionally lashes out in disproportionate anger. We've seen this more and more with Biden, watching a famously affable guy with a patented aw-shucks grin deteriorate into nervous hardness and even rage.

And dementia befuddles. It mixes your knowledge and memories and opinions into a blender; though you often sound OK, what spews out of your mouth increasingly approaches randomness. That's what happened to Biden during his presser. He obviously conflated two bits of news: the parliamentarian's ruling that a proposed minimum wage increase be stripped from the coronavirus relief bill, which grabbed news attention, with the question about the filibuster. Vice President Biden would never have done that. Sen. Biden wouldn't have either. He knew/knows this stuff too well.

Everyone forgets stuff. It happens more with age. What's happening to Biden isn't the occasional senior moment, nor is it stuttering -- as Biden himself has said. Biden crashing and burning on a question about Senate procedure would be like me messing up questions about Photoshop or Central Asia, two things that have been central to most of my life. If I start mixing up RGB and CMYK and Ashgabat and Astana, topics I know forward and backward and about which I am obsessed, that will point not to "whatever; no biggie" but to worrisome cognitive decline.

Biden supporters who deny the visible signs of Biden's mental deterioration are acting no more rationally than the Trumpies who made excuses for the former president's crazy behavior. You can feel relief that Trump is gone and believe Biden to be an improvement while conceding that Biden isn't up to the job and should step down in favor of Vice President Kamala Harris. This is the U.S. presidency. Good enough is anything but.

The fact that "Biden has dementia" is a Republican National Committee/Fox News talking point does not make it incorrect. Denying obvious truths -- Trump is a racist jerk; climate change is real and caused by mankind; masks help fight COVID; Biden has dementia -- makes you look stupid and silly, and no one should listen to you.


Trump's war against truth was toxic. His supporters and enablers undermined decency and logical rhetoric, essential foundations of civil discourse. Democrats who refuse to watch Biden's dismal, unscripted public appearances, who fail to question the president's unwillingness to face the press at the same rate as his predecessors and who omit mention of his frequent mental breakdowns are no better than Trump and the Republicans.


Ted Rall (Twitter: @tedrall), political cartoonist, columnist and graphic novelist, is the author of the biography "Bernie." You can support Ted's hard-hitting political cartoons and columns by sponsoring his work on Patreon. To find out more about Ted Rall and read features by other Creators Syndicate writers and cartoonists, visit the Creators Syndicate website at

Copyright 2021 Creators Syndicate, Inc.



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