I still have my old copy of Quotations From Chairman LBJ. The book was inspired by Quotations From Chairman Mao Tse-Tung (“the little red book”). Compiled by Jack Shepherd and Christopher Wren and published by Schuster in the annus horribilis of 1968, the book consisted of supposedly laughable quotes uttered by President Johnson. It was popular enough to go through multiple printings. My copy derives from the third printing. Despite its success as a publishing venture I can’t find much in the book that in the fullness of time has proved laughable or derisory except the attitude it displays toward Johnson as the left turned on him.
I don’t think any Democratic president since Johnson has inspired the same kind of book. The form has been dedicated to documenting the supposed stupidity of Republican presidents such as Ronald Reagan (Reagan Quotes, compiled by Mark Tracy from two books by liberals about Reagan) and George W. Bush (George W. Bushisms, compiled by Jacob Weisberg).
I tried to resurrect the form for President Obama in several posts I called Quotations From Chairman Barry. Has any president ever served up anything remotely like the ludicrous celebration of himself that Obama delivered in June 2008 in St. Paul to mark his winning the contest for the Democratic nomination for president over Madam Hillary? He actually said this: “I am absolutely certain that generations from now, we will be able to look back and tell our children that this was the moment when we began to provide care for the sick and good jobs to the jobless; this was the moment when the rise of the oceans began to slow and our planet began to heal…” Now that is risible.
In his Boston Herald column today, Howie Carr gets the ball rolling for Dementia Joe, as he calls him. He collects quotable quotes from the past week. Each one is risible, not for its megalomania or falsity, but rather for its incoherence and confusion. As I have been saying, the man has half a mind to be president.
Howie observes: “Practically none of this Biden babbling ever makes the network newscasts, because the ‘reporters’ are all Democrat stenographers with press passes. The campaign seems to permit no questions except from those card-carrying comrades reliably in the satchel.”
Here are two Biden quotes from Howie’s column:
“If you change the tax rate it went from 38 percent to 21. If you just send it back to 20 uh — 38%, um, if you — 36% to 28, that’s what we started trying to do.”
“He [i.e., Trump] promised his administration would enforce every last buy in American provision on behalf of the American people and what makes his wild claims and hopes, he now hopes we don’t notice what he said or won’t remember and when he does follow through or doesn’t do when follow through, the exact opposite.”
The humor will be harder to detect when the guy is elected president and takes up residence in the White House along with Dr. Jill “Edith” Biden.