Monday was Independence Day and the leftist media was, naturally, full of the expectedly ridiculous hot takes. But none were more overheated or ridiculous than that of Salon’s Matthew Rozsa, who on Sunday published an article with the headline “How Joe Biden is like America’s founding fathers,” and, as if aware of how hair-pullingly absurd this is, added: “— and no, I’m not kidding.” Rozsa, who is not just a Salon staff wonk but actually has an MA in History from Rutgers and is working on his Ph.D. in History at Lehigh University, should have been kidding, for if sanity ever returns to American academia (a big if, I know), his spin on Old Joe and the Founding Fathers could make Salon’s house historian an object of derision and ridicule for decades to come.
To be sure, there are similarities between Biden and the Founders, and we had some fun in the PJM lounge thinking about what they are. Matt Margolis said, “He’s as old as they would be…,” and Jeff Reynolds offered: “He’s like Mt. Rushmore, in that his head is filled with rock.” Now, come on, fellas, young Rozsa is deadly serious. He even leads off his article by fantasizing about his eventual vindication, long in the future, when people have forgotten just how much of a galloping disaster Joe Biden’s presidency really was. Rozsa tells the story of a young academic who “wrote a dissertation arguing that founding fathers like George Washington and Thomas Jefferson had taken economic positions that, by modern standards, were highly progressive.” Dismissed at first, this historian “retroactively vindicated” in his dotage, although Rozsa doesn’t say how, which is a shame, as it would have been nice to know how someone pulled off portraying these Founders as big-government socialists.
Even in sketching out the analogy of his eventual vindication, Rozsa slips on a banana peel, writing: “Far be it from me to imply that academics are just as inclined to stifle radical voices as everyone else in America with actual power.” Ah yes, as everyone knows, American academia is loaded with reactionaries who stifle “progressives” any way they can! But Rozsa is clearly given to fantasy, as when he finally gets to his point, he states it in all its bald and unapologetic ludicrousness. It turns out his analogy of the eventually vindicated academic was not about himself, but about Old Joe: “If Joe Biden’s presidency continues on its current track, he’ll be remembered…as a visionary, at least on certain domestic policy issues, who was largely ignored by his peers.”
Maybe Rozsa has a point. Maybe Old Joe is a visionary. Maybe it takes a visionary to mire the country in so very many crises in a mere year and a half in office. But what Rozsa would have us believe is that the real problem that Joe Biden, who arguably hasn’t had an original thought in his entire unsavory public career, has is that his amazingly great ideas aren’t being listened to. Thomas Jefferson’s “inability to realize his economic vision” shows “even revered statesmen can have important ideas that go nowhere,” and since Biden’s catastrophic presidency has been marked by legislative initiatives that went nowhere, he’s just like Jefferson, you see.
Old Joe is a new George Washington, too. The Father of Our Country, according to Rozsa, “is venerated today but was fiercely opposed by many during his presidency — had his share of failures.” That brings up another problem with this Salon article: it’s a good thing now for Biden to be like the Founding Fathers? But Leftists have spent the last few years insisting that they’re all racist slave owners and white supremacists who have nothing whatsoever to contribute to the modern age. So now they’re good again? When it comes to trying to bail water from Biden’s sinking canoe, absolutely.
The apex of Rozsa’s lack of self-awareness comes when he begins a paragraph by writing: “Let’s consider Joe Biden’s most conspicuous failures.” Biden’s attempt to force socialism on the United States is one of the chief reasons why he is not like the Founding Fathers and is a disaster as president, but Rozsa betrays no sign of realizing that. He laments the demise of Joe’s socialist agenda at the wicked hands of Joe Manchin and Kyrsten Sinema, and claims it’s all just a matter of the dice not coming up right: “To this point, the political fates have cursed Joe Biden with the same bad luck that afflicted Washington, Jefferson, Hamilton and other founding fathers at their most ambitious but least effective — but without granting him anything close to their storied accomplishments or historical legacy.”
Right. And if Joe had managed to impose all of his agenda upon us, his presidency would be even worse than it is now.
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