At a more carefree time in American history — actually, just a few years ago — “Sports Illustrated” featured a tongue-in-cheek digest of offbeat stories under the heading “Signs the Apocalypse is upon us.”
For many readers, that periodical’s very own apocalypse came in 2020, when the magazine morphed into a monthly publication.
In November of that same year, it was reported that Joe Biden was elected as our 46th president.
Perhaps it is more curiosity than coincidence, but signs and wonders — or, more accurately, “signs that make you wonder” — have proliferated during the Biden presidency.
A trio of recent news items provides intriguing examples. Though not all of them directly involve Joe Biden, they have happened “on his watch,” which undoubtedly has been punctuated by plenty of presidential naps.
Biden cites Franklin — not Benjamin, but Aretha
Rather than invoking the memory of a Founding Father, Ol’ Joe’s misfiring memory prompted him to recall a catchy tune from the “Queen of Soul.” Attempting to mount a rhetorical defense of his oft-criticized absence from the disaster site in East Palestine, Ohio, the chief executive stumbled into a verbal quagmire.
Quoth the commander-in-chief, when asked about a possible visit to eastern Ohio: “At this point, I’m not. I did a whole video, I mean, what the hell on…”
A reporter quickly intervened, asking “Zoom?”
“Zoom! All I can think of every time I think of Zoom is that song in my generation, ‘Who’s Zoomin’ Who,’” responded the Leader of the Free World.
Mayor Pete’s tenure at Transportation
Once considered a rising star for the Dems, current transportation secretary and former South Bend, Indiana, Mayor Pete Buttigieg has seen his political prospects dim drastically, given that his grasp of sound public policy is tenuous.
So intent were the progressive personnel experts on pursuing their definition of “diversity” for the Biden cabinet that they ignored the sobriquet South Bend residents had adopted for their ex-mayor: “Pothole Pete.” Not a great nickname for a transportation secretary.
Identity politics and an overhyped intellect combined to propel leftist hopes sky-high for Buttigieg. But a stalled international supply line, severe holiday airline delays, and several aircraft near-misses brought those great expectations crashing to earth.
And then came his visit to East Palestine, Ohio — 20 days after the train wreck.
The term “train wreck” aptly applied to the secretary’s excursion. Residents and authorities got a good look at Buttigieg’s sour facial expression, earning him a new nickname: “Pouting Pete.”
When faced with the enormity of a major train derailment and ensuing chemical spill, the novelty of a gay adoptive father possessing the musical prowess of a concert pianist mattered not a whit.
He had trouble speaking English, muttering this unfortunate pun at a press conference: “I lost my train of thought.”
New presidential priority: ‘Putting Ukraine first’
Short-term memory loss isn’t just for the octogenarian occupant at 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue.
White House strategists believe it likewise affects the American population at large — though not through collective aging. Instead, it arrives via “information overload.”
With a news cycle seemingly updated by the nanosecond, it’s impossible for John and Jane Q. Public to keep pace. Adding to the confusion is the reality of our leader “being of two minds” — bellicose toward Russia, benevolent to Ukraine — and relying at home on his muscle memory of “Medi-scare” to blame political opponents — all while spending as if there’s no tomorrow.
On Feb. 17 — 10 days after accusing Republicans of plans to raid Social Security and Medicare — and three days before his surprise visit to Ukraine, Biden promised propping up similar programs “over there” with American tax dollars: “It’s gonna allow pensions and social support to be paid to the Ukrainian People, so they have something … something in their pockets.”
Yep, from our pockets to theirs … with even more in the pockets of Ukraine’s leader?
Meantime, “Bidenflation” has taken buying power away from family budgets in the United States; Ol’ Joe’s Pentagon “Brain Trust” is more concerned with protecting gender-fluid pronouns than responding effectively to Chinese provocations; and “homeland security” has become as oxymoronic as “jumbo shrimp.”
So put down your old copy of “Sports Illustrated,” pick up your headphones and listen to Barry McGuire’s 1965 hit “Eve of Destruction.” Sounds as if the apocalypse is upon us.