I’m Done Laughing at Biden

Joe Biden becomes the 46th American President

Many of us understandably got into the habit of ridiculing President Trump. It helped us keep our sanity for four years. But we succeeded in firing him, and we now have someone in the job who takes it very very seriously.

Remember the moment Biden was sworn in? I cried with relief that the nightmare was over. Admittedly, at that moment I didn’t realize that the mass psychosis induced by Trump would continue. But still, the nightmare of President Trump is over!

And as far as I’m concerned, Biden is doing so much better than I ever could have imagined. Truly, I thought his Presidency would doom us to the same old, same old of accomodating mealy-mouthed Democrats. And his Inaugural Address about “unity” did not bode well. “Unity” sounded like an excuse for Biden to compromise on anything that might threaten the GOP and the ultra-rich in the least — But Biden is rising to the occasion. Who woulda thunk it? Not I!

He’s appointed some truly great people. All his “unity” nonsense has gone down the tubes and up in smoke — praise the goddess! He’s going mano a mano against the Republicans — and Putin! He’s giving stipends to all families with children for the first time in our history. He’s in the process of creating a 21st century New Deal. He’s actually going to end our involvement in Afghanistan.

Of course, he’s made choices that I thought are wrong. He’s made mistakes. Of course, we need to continue to hold his feet to the fire on progressive positions…

But I am done ridiculing him.

Yes, you could say that he almost invites ridicule with his telling of stories that mock himself and his sometimes spectacular clumsiness when he’s reaching for rhetorical heights.

But considering he’s doing his damnedest to save the world, I think we should….

Cut him a break!

Can’t we find his inappropriate self-mocking stories endearing? Can’t we smile fondly when he trips on the stairs up to Air Force One? Can’t we gently correct our good old Joe when he says that Republican efforts at voter suppression “make Jim Crow look like Jim Eagle”? That is not only awkward but completely incorrect and diminishes the seriousness of the Jim Crow era. But the important thing is our President is working like hell to stop those voter suppression laws.

Now, fighting voter suppression could be considered self-serving, because voter suppression makes it less likely that Democrats will win elections.

But getting us out of Afghanistan? That is a principled stand. Joe will certainly lose votes for that decision in the next Presidential election.

Yes, it would be lovely to have a President who could inspire us with flights of oratory like FDR. But FDR wasn’t perfect either.

I’m savoring this moment.

I just wrote, “FDR wasn’t perfect either.” I never thought I would write those words about President Biden. Ever since Bernie Sanders withdrew from the Presidential race, underneath all the emotional ups and downs I experienced since then, I had a sense of doom. I felt — no, knew — that the Democratic candidate for President could not possibly be equal to the enormous task before him. He had to not only undo all the destruction of Trump, he had to turn the country in a new direction. Bernie could have done this. Biden couldn’t.

I was wrong. Hallelujah, I was wrong! We’ve got the President we need.

It turns out that Biden has been open to progressive ideas in a way that was unimaginable. Let’s praise him and the incredible progressive movement and progressive Democrats in Congress who have led the way!

And while it has turned out to be relatively easy for Biden to turn to the left, he has more experience than anyone alive in getting things done in Congress. Could Bernie have done so well without the kind of insider knowledge and strong relationships that Biden possesses? I don’t know.

What I’m saying is: We’re lucky. The man for the job is in the job! And that’s no malarkey.

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Terry Baum is an actress, director, teacher, filmmaker, political activist, and award-winning lesbian playwright. Her blog BAUMBLOG is a “Top 100 LGBTQ Blog.”