I’m sorry, but Joe Biden looked ridiculous wearing a Michael Jackson mask and sunglasses that covered most of his face on Memorial Day.
It was his first outing in more than 10 weeks from his Delaware basement and should have been an opportunity to project strength and hope for the campaign ahead.
Instead, it was a total downer.
Politics is about perception, and the image of Biden that history will record shows a frail and muzzled Democratic presidential nominee.
The black mask only accentuates the impression with an extra dash of weirdness.
As Biden shuffled out to his limo Monday, hand in hand with wife Jill, a large boom microphone hovered overhead to catch any bon mots. Which he duly delivered, but they were so muffled, you couldn’t hear a word.
It was a surreal scene, and you expected any minute that someone would burst out laughing. Yet this pandemic kabuki passes for virtue signaling in the modern-day Democratic Party.
Look what a good boy Joe is. He does what he’s told. Unlike that irresponsible Mr. Trump.
Inevitably, Bondage Biden was mocked online. He was likened to the tiny man-fly hybrid crying “help me” at the end of the horror movie “The Fly.”
If the intention was to look tough, it backfired big time.
Biden could have kept his appearance low-key with a normal surgical mask. Instead, he had to make a political point with the most ostentatious facewear his campaign could find, with his entourage kitted out in matching ensembles. The getup reeked of overthinking and micromanagement.
Even if Biden’s campaign is clueless, the symbolism of a black mask on the momentous occasion of his emergence from the basement can’t be overlooked. In every culture, it has gloomy overtones, the opposite of what America needs right now.
Biden keeps telling us he is following the orders of “my governor” or “docs,” but he was just driving down the street from his home with his wife and Secret Service detail to place a wreath at a veterans park for a private photo opportunity.
The only interaction with members of the public was as he was leaving, when he briefly greeted two men in masks standing 10 feet away.
In other words, overkill in the mask department probably wasn’t strictly necessary.
After all, the CDC recommends masks only “in public settings where other social-distancing measures are difficult to maintain.”
The president, who went bare-faced during two wreath-laying events, couldn’t resist a dig, retweeting a post from Fox News’ Brit Hume that said, “This might help explain why Trump doesn’t like to wear a mask in public,” over a photo of Biden.
In his first face-to-face interview in weeks, sitting maskless 12 feet from CNN’s Dana Bash Tuesday, Biden responded by branding Trump “a fool, an absolute fool.”
“Every leading doc in the world is saying we should wear a mask when you’re in a crowd . . .
“Presidents are supposed to lead, not engage in folly and be falsely masculine.”
But if Biden aspires to be the leader of the free world, he should be mindful of the message he sends to the rest of the world. Is America on its knees, or is it going to bounce back from adversity? Perception matters.
When Democrats berated the president for not wearing a mask to the Ford factory in Michigan last week, they overlooked the geopolitical optics.
It’s no accident that Chinese President Xi Jinping went barefaced at the opening of the National People’s Congress in Beijing last week, where almost everyone else was wearing a mask.
The same goes for other leaders, such as Germany’s Angela Merkel and Britain’s Boris Johnson.
Masks are a necessary evil for the rest of us. But national leaders have a special symbolic role. Even if they wear masks behind the scenes, they cannot face their people in disguise, with their words muffled.
In any case, they have security guards to maintain physical distance from others. They are virus-tested all the time.
Each to their own, but if Biden is like this now in a safe, stage-managed outdoor setting, how on earth will he be able to campaign around the country?
Is the plan to gaslight us into believing excessive masking and extended quarantining is essential until Election Day so that Biden can remain in witness protection?
Maybe he’ll do the debates muffled in a mask. That way, his staff can provide the subtitles, and no one will know what he really said.
Twitter’s ‘fact police’ just embarked on a slippery slope
For Twitter to impose a biased new fact-check system targeting the president five months before an election is an intolerable effort to influence the political process.
When it slapped a fact-check alert on two of President Trump’s tweets about voter fraud, Twitter went from freewheeling social-media platform to a publisher with all the curbs on its freedom and legal vulnerabilities that entails.
It’s a slippery slope.
Now that Twitter has set itself up as the arbiter of truth on a Republican president’s posts, will it also go after fact-challenged liberals?
It could start by retrospectively adding fact checks to the millions of tweets that propagated the Russia-collusion conspiracy theory that was proven false by the Mueller probe. A lot of blue “chekists” should find themselves permanently branded as fact-free zones.
Former CIA Director John Brennan, for instance, needs a slew of fact-check boxes on his rancid tweets accusing Trump of being “in the pocket of Putin.” Twitter could link to declassified material showing Brennan is a liar.
There’s a lot not to like about the president’s tweets. He should not be tweeting murder accusations against Joe Scarborough, for one thing. It’s not fair to the family of Scarborough’s deceased former intern, Lori Klausutis.
But if he wants to behave in a shamefully cruel way to a grieving family, he will pay the political price.
It’s not up to Twitter to censor the record.
‘Karen’ has paid enough of a price
Nobody likes a “Karen.” The generic term for a bossy, entitled, middle-aged woman who throws tantrums when she doesn’t get her own way is an insult that has become a form of social control.
But it’s gone too far with “Central Park Karen.”
Calling the cops to report “an African-American man threatening my life” after he simply asked her to leash her dog was reprehensible.
Amy Cooper deserves condemnation, but she’s paid a heavy price already. She’s lost her dog. She’s been fired from her job. She’s getting death threats. The Central Park Civic Association wants her banned from the park for life. The city Commission on Human Rights has launched an investigation. Legislators want new hate-crime legislation inspired by her actions.
Mayor de Blasio felt obliged to opine: “The video out of Central Park is racism, plain and simple.” No kidding, Sherlock.
This is overkill. It’s inhumane. Even Christian Cooper, the man she tried to get arrested, says it has gone too far.
The irrational thirst for blood on social media should not spill over into real life. Enough. Leave her alone.