Ever notice the eerie physical resemblance between 1970’s era Joe Biden and Peter Boyle in the “off-the-hippies” exploitation film Joe? I was thinking about this last night, watching Iowa .
If you haven’t seen it, Joe was a pop waystation between Easy Rider and Death Wish. Cartoonish and heavy-handed, it flattered the conceit of liberals thus: after a couple of drinks, blue-collar white guys are homicidal bigots. You know they are.
Fifty years on, this most comforting cultural template has moved from being an art-house movie plot to the factory setting for much of the American media.
Now both of these guys are now running for President, in a manner of speaking.
Joe (the character) is not Trump, but he is a stand-in for Trump supporters, as viewed from the ramparts of power.
Since 1972 Biden has positioned himself, less credibly with the passage of time, as a representative of the white working class. Amtrak Joe. Joe from Scranton, Pa, but with a facelift and veneers and family members living large by way of his connection. Only now, in his emeritus years, there is little room left in his party for Les Deplorables, the very people who once put him in office.
In a last attempt at the presidency, he seeks the blessing of an electorate that has been counseled to scorn what he represents. He will be running against his own history. Which is to say, not well.
Which might explain why the morning after the Iowa caucuses, we have no “results”, even with hard precinct numbers in hand indicating a fourth-place finish.
Bernie, on the other hand, has Jack White. Whatever your politics are, this will be entertaining.