Streetwise Professor

April 18, 2023

Joe Biden: A Husk of a Hollow Man

Filed under: Politics — cpirrong @ 2:34 pm

Biden was recently in Ireland, where he reveled in his Irish roots.

I only exaggerate slightly when I say that if you ate Lucky Charms for breakfast, you are about as Irish as Joe Biden. He is more Irish than Elizabeth Warren is Native American, but not by much.

Biden has two Irish great-great-grandparents. As do tens of millions of Americans. By that standard, I am as Irish as Joe Biden. Exactly the same: a great-grandfather had two parents who immigrated from Ireland. Meaning that my mother and uncle–of Biden’s generation–are twice as Irish as he. But they never went on babbling for years about returning to the auld sod.

Interestingly, Biden’s last and middle names are of English origin. You know, the “Brits” that he has denigrated for years and gratuitously insults today. Biden–English name. Robinette (his middle name)–also English.

Biden’s celebration of his thin Irish roots goes back years. His Secret Service code name was “Celtic,” for God’s sake.

This is all quite revealing about Biden, and part of a longstanding pattern. And revealing of a hollow man, always grasping for power, and creating a facade to achieve it.

Biden has no fundamental convictions, and no real, organic identity. Irishness is an assumed identity. He assumed it at a time when it was politically advantageous. In his era, every Democrat with presidential aspirations posed as the next JFK (cf. John Kerry, Gary Hart, and on and on). Instead of “Kiss me, I’m Irish” it was “Vote for me, I’m Irish–just like JFK.” And no doubt Biden also found dancing the political jig was a great way to suck up to Teddy Kennedy in the Senate to work his way up the greasy pole there.

In other words, Biden’s Irish persona is just another biographical construction, a fabrication, a piece with all the other lies about his life that he has told–and continues to tell even long after they’ve been proven lies. There is no there, there. Just a hollow vessel festooned with fantastical decorations.

(It is nauseating how the press to a large extent bought into and amplified Biden’s Irish fantasy.)

Joe Biden has always been a hollow, convictionless, ambitious man. And now he is a husk of a man as well. His trip to Ireland was littered with the now familiar confusions and muttering of an old man: on one occasion, Hunter had to explain a small child’s question to him. The cringe moments came one after another.

But he swears he is going to run again. We had better hope that Bismarck was right.

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  1. He’s really an idiot, isn’t he?

    “I may be Irish, but I’m not thick.”
    So dialling into an old English slur about the Irish. (How to confuse a spud: show him two shovels and ask him to take his pick. And so on.)

    As an old nation we English are experts in denigration, of anyone
    not from Cornwall
    from Norfolk
    living south of the Thames
    from North of Watford
    West of Bristol
    coming from Essex
    I could go on but you get the picture

    If he runs against Trump this senile old booby could actually win. (Would he have to ditch Harris to do so?)

    Comment by philip — April 18, 2023 @ 3:40 pm

  2. “Biden has two Irish great-great-grandparents”: then he’s probably less Irish than I am.

    Mind you my Irish grandpa was actually born in England so I suppose my claim to Irish-born Irishness may be only two great-grandparents. I say “may be” because I don’t know where they were born. Given the Irish success at destroying many of their State Records in their nasty little Civil War after independence it may be that I’ll never know. (Which does make me a little suspicious of some Irish genealogical claims – they may be pretty hard to substantiate.)

    Comment by dearieme — April 18, 2023 @ 4:29 pm

  3. @Prof: According to USA Today: “Ten of Biden’s 16 great-great-grandparents are from Ireland”.

    1. The Irish did not set out to destroy their state records, had no desire to do so and in fact were happy to just keep the occupied buildings under siege until the dispute was resolved. The Four Courts were attacked because the British threatened to do it themselves if the Irish government did not. Given British brutality in Ireland up to that point, there is little reason to believe that they would not have followed through, nor that the Irish forces could have stopped them, nor that they would have treated the records any better.
    2. The census records from 1821, 1831, 1841, and 1851 were destroyed. However, unless somebody happened to be born, married and deceased within those 30 years, there will be record of them before and/or after. Also, plenty of other records survive from that period, so piecing together a family history is generally possible without any need to be “a little suspicious”.

    Comment by HibernoFrog — April 19, 2023 @ 6:26 am

  4. ALSO, there was a big project recently to rebuild as much of the old archive as possible, during which, ironically enough, colonial-era British duplicates of Irish records were very valuable. So there are huge volumes of data available.

    Comment by HibernoFrog — April 19, 2023 @ 6:29 am

  5. Do you use “colonial-era” to refer to the years 1821-51? If so that would be remarkably duplicitous of you. As my Grandpa used to say “All Irish history is lies”.

    Comment by dearieme — April 19, 2023 @ 2:13 pm

  6. Biden didn’t win in 2020 and won’t win in 2024, either. In present times, not winning doesn’t mean he won’t occupy the White House.

    Comment by Pat Frank — April 19, 2023 @ 4:52 pm

  7. @Dearieme:
    I see… so in your mind the Acts of Union were passed by popular vote in Ireland? Changing a colony’s name (and granting a fig-leaf of democracy to a minority of the population) does not make it any less a colony (i.e. a relationship that was largely extractive and against the will of the majority).

    “All Irish history is lies”
    An unsupported and needlessly inflammatory statement, usually parroted by Brits who are upset that the Irish aren’t licking their boots in thanks for being the least-bad of the former colonial powers. Britain has many admirable achievements to her name, but as with any country, they also have many which are decidedly are not. Those who accuse the Irish of grievance mongering are usually those simply dislike being reminded of this obvious fact.

    Comment by HibernoFrog — April 20, 2023 @ 3:22 am

  8. “All Irish history is lies” was coined by my grandpa who grew up in the sort of Irish slum that’s endlessly sentimentalised – you know the sort of thing, full of people who were violent, drunken, dishonest and priest-ridden.
    He loathed it all, especially the endless lying and hypocrisy. He hung around to support his mother (his older siblings entirely ignoring the old girl), and when she died he fled.

    As for “Colonial”, you were indeed being duplicitous. You presumably know perfectly well that Ireland was over-represented in the UK parliament, not underrepresented.

    Moreover the dogma that the “relationship that was largely extractive” took a bit of a hit when Irish independence revealed that the subsidy had been flowing from Britain to Ireland, not vice versa. That’s why the Republic of Ireland was still a bit of a third world slum right into the 1970s.

    Comment by dearieme — April 20, 2023 @ 4:12 am

  9. “you know the sort of thing, full of people who were violent, drunken, dishonest and priest-ridden”
    I do indeed, and will be the first to admit that after a very good start post-independence, Ireland quickly turned economically and socially backwards for decades through our own choices and fault, and that a great deal of evil was shamefully tolerated.

    “Ireland was over-represented in the UK parliament”
    A laughable claim.

    The British Empire clung on to Ireland through ever more repressive and violent means because they were just so desperate to keep subsidising it? That seems less likely than Ireland’s economic under-performance being due to A: Incompetent economic policy, B: Ireland starting a needless and damaging trade war with the UK, C: Ireland losing the majority of it’s industrial base to Northern Ireland D: Starting a new country is hard, E: The Great Depression F: Probably many other factors besides the loss of a modest public-budget subsidy which in no way enough to offset other predatory behaviour e.g. the potato famine.

    Comment by HibernoFrog — April 20, 2023 @ 6:36 am

  10. So, in which way isn’t Biden then typically white American, speaking about hollow people without real identity but being ambitious? The good thing about the Irish in America was they needed flesh genes to mix with and they’ve done not well enough, cause never do you hear of people of colour talking about their Irishness, which seems overrated anyway. And look at Ireland nowadays, vaccinated sheepish control state freaks. I hear from people, what was known as Irish culture and friendliness didn’t survive the 70ties, did it? Bo-NO…

    Comment by Mikey — April 20, 2023 @ 12:18 pm

  11. Fresh genes, of course…

    Comment by Mikey — April 20, 2023 @ 12:20 pm

  12. “A laughable claim.” Look it up dear boy: the ratio of seats to population was higher for Ireland than for England or Scotland. God knows why, but themz the facts.

    Comment by dearieme — April 20, 2023 @ 2:48 pm

  13. The merchants go abroad.
    The spivs follow the merchants.
    The spivs plant the flag.
    The soldiers follow the flag.

    Any exploitation of foreign lands was not done by the British tax payer. (Unless we charged sales tax / VAT on opium.)
    The benefits flowed entirely to the merchants and colonisers.

    No use asking for our money back for the Indian railways, I suppose?

    Comment by philip — April 20, 2023 @ 3:33 pm

  14. @Mikey:
    “vaccinated sheepish control state freaks”
    Sorry, what was that? I could hear you over all the noise of our successful economy and non-polarised governance…

    “what was known as Irish culture and friendliness didn’t survive the 70ties”
    It’s true that some of the good stuff was lost, but it took priests and protectionism with it, so that’s a small price to pay, frankly.

    @Dearieme: I’m happy to take your word for that, I assume it was an attempt to appease the restless Irish, or to give outsize parliamentary representation to well-connected, land-owning Brits (a very real possibility). But granting the vote to a small minority of the population (Owners of land, or large renters) is hardly “representation” in the true sense of the word, as was clearly revealed by the island continuing to export enormous quantities of food during the famine. It was the behaviour of colonialism as usual, just this time wearing an unconvincing fig leaf of democracy.

    @Philip: “The benefits flowed entirely to the merchants and colonisers”. Absolutely hitting the nail on the head there. That’s why the UK was subsidising the Irish public budget – it was good for the business interests of the well-connected classes. Quite why modern British people have so much nostalgia for their empire is beyond me. Modern Britain is a much better place.

    Comment by HibernoFrog — April 21, 2023 @ 2:57 am

  15. As a detached observer from the U.S., I’ve been fascinated with the back and forth of this comments thread. Old wounds die hard. As such, we have our own versions of this over here. .

    Comment by Howard Roark — April 23, 2023 @ 7:24 am

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