Harry Truman once said Richard Nixon was so dishonest that if he caught himself telling the truth he’d immediately lie just to keep in practice.
Well, Richard Nixon had nothing on Joe Biden. The current chief executive makes Bill Clinton seem like Honest Abe. And compared to Trump? The former president had and has his flights of fancy. But you always got the idea he personally knew the veracity level of what he was saying. Almost every day Joe Biden seems so out of it that he may really believe some of the constant lies he tells.
Conservative pundit Tammy Bruce puts it this way, “When Joe Biden was first confronted with the Penn Center discovery, he was Sergeant Schultz from the ‘Hogan’s Heroes.’ He knew nothing. He was told, remember, by his lawyers to not ask questions. ‘You don’t want to know. You don’t need to know.’ So he didn’t know. He had no idea. He was shocked and appalled. What we have since learned is that by the time he was asked and by the time of Fox News’s report in early January, past the first week, he had already known that more documents were found at his home. That was discovered on December 20th. He already knew that there were multiple sites. … And yet the president of the United States’ first inclination was to lie about the details, did so with ease and comfort. And then when finally confronted by Peter Doocy, he turned to belligerence and anger and some grinning and some laughing that they were next to the Corvette. ‘They are safe.’ The same man who had no idea. This has to be translated to every serious issue in the country: Afghanistan, the economy, the border, everything we’re facing. That is what we see here is the lack of character, the willingness to lie, the pathological nature of it, and the ease with which it was done.”
It is true, as Sir John Keegan noted in his brilliant book The Mask of Command, that leaders often have one public persona and one private persona. The lying, sometimes for operational security, they professionally engage in is only a tool, if they are mentally well balanced. It does not consume their personality.
As George C. Scott, as General George Patton, replies in the film Patton after a colonel tells him sometimes the men are not sure when he’s acting, “It’s only important that I know.”
Joe Biden doesn’t know anymore, if he ever did. He is so addled that his ability to tell reality and history from his own lies is seriously impaired if not gone altogether. Chief of Staff Ron Klain, Nurse Jill, and KJP can only enable him for so long. There will be a reckoning. It will be sooner than they think.