Joe Biden’s Secret Superpower Is Just What America Needs
He’s effectively banished Trump and his henchpeople to the Phantom Zone by revealing how two-dimensional they were all along.
Joe Biden is an unlikely superhero, but it is time to acknowledge that America’s 46th president has a superpower.
Almost unique among our nation’s leaders, Biden has demonstrated that he has the ability to resist the potent force field emanating from Donald Trump that has held Americans in its thrall these past four years. Unlike most of the rest of us, Biden seems to be able to tune his predecessor out, to give him precisely the amount of attention a washed-up game show host deserves. Biden is even able to turn his predecessor’s mutant ego-driven tractor-beam against him. You can almost hear the howls of pain from Mar-a-Lago as Biden simply goes about his daily business, doing his work and ignoring Trump altogether.
What better way to troll the Trollmaster of the Twitterverse than by simply doing the work of the president without committing crimes, inciting insurrections, or selling America out to overseas enemies? By simply showing up each morning, Biden deftly, quietly, without breaking a sweat diminishes his oversized tangerine-colored adversary from the Planet Excess. By not surrounding himself with a motley mob of slavering toadies, conspiracy-theory spewing former military officers, pillow salesmen, bad lawyers, corrupt cronies and family members and in laws with top-secret security clearances, Biden effectively banishes Trump and his henchpeople to the Phantom Zone by revealing how two-dimensional they were all along.
The events of this past week only underscore how remarkable Biden’s special powers are. Consider your own reactions as you may have watched or read about the first days of Donald Trump’s second impeachment trial. When the House impeachment managers showed their video of the events of Jan. 6, your blood probably began to boil. When lead impeachment manager Rep. Jamie Raskin concluded his superb opening summation with heartbreaking personal reflection, you may have wept, as I did. (Of all my anticipated reactions to this week’s events, sitting, gutted, with tears streaming down my cheeks was not one of them.)
When you listened to Trump’s lawyers and their meandering, incoherent, ridiculous arguments that the impeachment trial should not take place (including their amazing “bill of attainder” argument that somehow the impeachment clause of the Constitution was itself unconstitutional), you perhaps thought, as I did, that Trump would have been better served were his attorneys his dim-witted son Eric or, Lawyer Cat, the social media sensation.
Perhaps, next, you reached stratospheric levels of fury as you saw all but six Republican Senators vote in support of the insupportable, reflexively defending Trump out of misplaced loyalty or fear, ignoring their own oaths to the Constitution or demonstrating their awareness that if Trump could be held accountable for inciting the January insurrection so too could some of their colleagues—and I mean you, Senators Hawley and Cruz.
Perhaps it was watching the footage of Trumpist crowds inflamed with bloodlust while beating police with steel poles and smashing through capitol doors that infuriated you and broke your heart. Of maybe, even after all those horrifying images and what they represented, what was you off was listening to closed-minded defenders of the president brushing aside the plainly apparent facts, betraying their oaths and saying that this airtight, deeply disturbing case was, as GOP Sen. Rick Scott called it, "a complete waste of time.'
The fix, she is in. That was painfully clear. The senators in the GOP have fed the Constitution to the sharks that swim underneath Trump’s office floor in Florida and sworn eternal allegiance to their Supervillain-in-Chief.
There will be no justice. There will be no accountability. Trump and his lunatics and his Oath Keepers and his Proud Boys and his white supremacists and his Roger Stones and Steve Bannons and his vacuously dancing Kim Guilfoyles can literally launch a coup and try to end democracy in America as we know it and the vast majority of Republican Senators will defend them. They don’t have between them the collective conscience of an inflatable latex HOV lane dummy.
It would be enough to drive a lesser man or woman insane with anger. But not Joe Biden. Joe Biden’s response was to show up for work. His implicit message was: “The nation is in a public health crisis, an economic crisis, and a social crisis. Now is not the time for the president to play politics. It is time that someone in this town focused on governing and helping the American people in a time of dire need.” He met with colleagues on the $1.9 trillion COVID relief package. He announced sanctions on the coup leaders in Burma. He did the work of being president.
It is not that he is ignoring the threat to democracy posed by Trump and the GOP. He has given the greenlight to Democrats on Capitol Hill to address that. Rest assured they would not be proceeding as they are without his OK. That is smart political leadership. Because not only does it demonstrate that the current governing party has the ability to walk and chew gum at the same time, it is a recognition that the best way to ultimately defeat the Trumpists is to show that Trump is a political loser and the best way to do that is for Biden to deliver on his promises to help America out of our multiple crises, to show American voters that, despite 40 years of GOP trash talk, government can work for them, and to demonstrate that the scorched-earth politics of division and destruction embraced by the GOP are no match for the politics of helping Americans do better, feel more secure, regain hope.
It is not that Biden is unaware of the threat posed by the anti-democratic forces at work in America today. It’s that his particular superpower—call it perspective or experience—lets him see the big picture. The House managers and the Senate can handle the impeachment. An independent Department of Justice can ensure the law is fairly enforced.
What Joe Biden must continue to do is wield Trump’s kryptonite—paying no attention to him, revealing him to be the deeply damaged loser lurking within all comic book villains—and then showing the superior results people can expect from that approach. You might call it “truth, justice and the American way.”