The Democrats’ nomination horror flick “Weekend at Bernie’s” has turned into an even dumber horror movie: “Grumpy Old Men.”
Watching Joe Biden and Bernie Sanders slug it out Sunday night — elbow-bumping from six feet apart in a social-distancing TV studio — was beyond bizarre. Perhaps it was a perfect reflection of what this whole process has been from the start — a goofball primary of un-seriousness during a global pandemic.
The most mind-boggling part of the whole debate performance was trying to wrap your mind around the idea that one of these two old coots will actually wind up being the Democrat nominee.
In these harrowing times, such a blank statement must come with some caveat, however. The Democrat nomination has come down to these two old, white septuagenarians. But in these turbulent times, it is entirely possible that something so wild and unforeseen happens that neither of these men actually wind up being the Democrat nominee come November.
But as of Sunday night, they were America’s only choice.
No moment encapsulated the ridiculousness of it all more than when Mr. Biden accused Mr. Sanders of being propped up by no fewer than nine so-called Super PACs, those nefarious political action committees fueled by “dark money” that Democrats despise — unless they are bankrolling Democrat candidates and Democrat causes.
This would be a major chink in Mr. Sanders‘ claim to be beholden to no one, even if the charge was leveled by a guy who is entirely beholden to and propped up by the entire Democrat/media political establishment in Washington.
“You get rid of the nine Super PACs you have?” Mr. Biden asked Mr. Sanders directly.
“I don’t have nine Super — I don’t have ANY Super PACs,” sputtered Mr. Sanders, clearly flustered and laughing nervously.
“You have nine. You want me to list them?” Mr. Biden shot back like John Wayne slinging a six-shooter.
“Yeah, you go ahead and list them,” Mr. Sanders replied.
Suddenly, Mr. Biden’s John Wayne moves left him completely.
“OK, c’mon, give me a break,” the former vice president said weakly, turning back to his podium.
“No, I won’t give you a break on this one!”
But Mr. Biden’s six-shooter was out of ammo. And it turned out to be a pea-shooter anyway. With a bent barrel.
Lord, have mercy, we are doomed if this is the best Democrats can come up with.
Here you have two men with 155 years of combined accumulated wisdom here on planet Earth. Together, they have served in Washington a combined 76 years. And they are squabbling like a couple of schoolchildren about irrelevant nonsense on the playground.
When you try to take them seriously and consider their actual records and the issues they have devoted their most to during their decades in Washington, things get even bleaker.
Mr. Sanders has spent pretty much his entire adult life on the public teat. His two areas of expertise in recent years has been his service as chairman of the Senate Veterans’ Affairs Committee and then ranking member of the Senate Budget Committee.
If there are two sterling jewels of accomplishment in the crown of your federal government, it would certainly NOT be in the areas of veterans’ affairs or budgeting.
Mr. Biden, meanwhile, was vice president for eight years, yet for most of this primary he has been running away from that record to embrace zanier and zanier crackpot positions to keep up with all the young, crazy kids who were running for the nomination.
Before serving as vice president, Mr. Biden was among the most widely admired sages on Capitol Hill — in the area of foreign policy! I mean, if there is one area that totally unifies regular, tax-paying Democrat and Republican voters across the country, it is that America’s foreign policy out of Washington has been a smoldering manure fire for decades.
As former President Barack Obama might say, “Thanks, Joe!”
But so far, Mr. Obama won’t even say that much on behalf of his old right hand man.
• Charles Hurt can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org or @charleshurt on Twitter.