Patterico's Pontifications

8/21/2023

Biden in Maui: Let Me Tell You About My Exaggerated Fire Tragedy

Filed under: General — JVW @ 8:09 pm



[guest post by JVW]

President Joe Biden ventured out to our fiftieth state today to try his hand at consoling the families impacted by the terrible Maui fires earlier this month. As is his wont, he oafishly attempted to interject his own story in there, and it unsurprisingly fell flat:

As we’ve mentioned before, Joe Biden is indeed a man whose life has been touched by tragedy, tragedy that none of us would ever want to endure. Yet as we have also discussed, he seems to feel entitled to augment that tragedy through exaggerations and fabrications, a weird personality disorder that makes him at once pathetic and aggravating. He took the horrible death of his first wife and infant daughter and spun it into a self-serving lie about a drunk trucker driving recklessly, and later turned the sad story of his oldest son’s death from cancer into an unsubstantiated tale of being caused by burn pit exposure, adding when he is at his worst repeated false claims that Beau Biden died in Iraq rather than at Walter Reed Hospital in Maryland. Now he is embellishing the story about a small house fire which was contained to one room, the kitchen, and put out within 20 minutes of the arrival of firefighters and comparing it to a raging blaze that ripped through important and historic parts of the island and has killed over 100 people with more than 800 still unaccounted for. He tries to deny the comparison by prefacing it with “I don’t want to compare difficulties,” and then of course delivers the “but” and proceeds to do exactly that, and he fibs about nearly losing his house when contemporary news reports indicate the fire wasn’t a particularly big deal.

As if that is not bad enough, the President makes light of the fire at his home by pointing out that he nearly lost his 1967 Corvette and his cat (after claiming to have “almost lost my wife” who no doubt scurried out of the home unharmed as soon as the fire started). From the video it appears that nobody laughs, but the President immediately transitions to “All kidding aside. . .” and carries on. There were undoubtedly people at that event who lost loved ones in the fire and had to sit through that demented stumblebum joking about the narrowly-missed tragedy of his mid-life crisis automobile. Because Joe Biden is a Democrat and because he is — brace yourself — the party’s best chance of holding on to the White House next year, the media is going to once again give him a pass on his blundering insensitivity and tall tales, because that’s what they do. Indeed, an Internet search at this moment suggests that only the usual suspects — Fox News, the New York Post, the Washington Examiner — have deigned to point out how disgusting this part of his speech truly was. The Washington Times has the best headline: “Biden compares Maui wildfire devastation to that time lightning almost killed his cat.” Somehow I think the big boys at the New York Times, Washington Post, CNN, PBS, AP, Reuters, etc., would have a much different reaction had a Donald Trump said something this oafish and obnoxious.

What a complete asshole.

– JVW

49 Responses to “Biden in Maui: Let Me Tell You About My Exaggerated Fire Tragedy”

  1. “Republicans pounce!”

    JVW (1ad43e)

  2. I’m guessing you guys might be discussing this in the Weekend Open Thread (I haven’t gone over to look) so feel free to move it here, late though this post may be. We’ll see if tomorrow some mainstream media outlets start to notice how wretched were the President’s remarks and may broach the topic beyond the usual “Republicans were quick to condemn the President. . . “

    JVW (1ad43e)

  3. A good one here:

    If Biden had a chemical spill story to tell, he would have gone to East Palestine in an instant!— Janice (@jannyfayray) August 22, 2023

    JVW (1ad43e)

  4. Biden is tone deaf. Drop out and retire. It’s the right thing to do.

    AJ_Liberty (da7ad8)

  5. You go to battle trump with the doofus you have not the doofus you want! (rummy) Gavin newsom is doing his best impression of Iago. @1 republicans already pounced ;but they landed on the back of godzilla who turned is long fire breathing neck and said Hi there! I am the abortion issue.

    asset (394834)

  6. Joe could have compared the Maui fire to burning his finger on a hot stove, and Hawaiians would still vote for him in 2024. It’s a very blue state. The Governor, Lieutenant Governor, both Senators, and both Representatives are all Ds.

    norcal (06b1da)

  7. The Governor, Lieutenant Governor, both Senators, and both Representatives are all Ds.

    This is true, but the President’s actions reverberate well beyond his audience and tend to make international news. Hawaii might still stick with him as they have every Democrat since Ronald Reagan left office, but I wonder what your average married suburban mom thinks of the President’s foolishness.

    JVW (1ad43e)

  8. I wonder what your average married suburban mom thinks of the President’s foolishness.

    Hopefully not that his foolish VP becomes President

    norcal (06b1da)

  9. Hopefully not that his foolish VP becomes President

    Saints have mercy!

    JVW (1ad43e)

  10. BuDuh (3f3b66) — 8/21/2023 @ 9:17 pm

    Correct. That’s how bad Trump is.

    norcal (06b1da)

  11. I’ve never voted for a Democrat nominee for President in my life, but it’s looking like I’ll have to in 2024 so that Trump and his water carriers are resoundingly defeated.

    norcal (06b1da)

  12. Just when you think that the President couldn’t possibly look any more ancient and out of it.

    JVW (1ad43e)

  13. Oh gee, and he brought up the death of his wife and daughter within the first few minutes of his speech, after the usual banalities of introducing the local politicians. Pathetic. And it takes him around 90 seconds of discussing his heartache and pain before he remembers to bring it back to the suffering of the people of Hawaii, not his suffering from nearly a half-century ago. Nobody has ever told him that sometimes it is sympathy people are longing for, not empathy, or if somebody did tell him then he failed to take it to heart.

    JVW (1ad43e)

  14. I’m not sure which is worse, JVW, his walking or his talking.

    norcal (06b1da)

  15. Biden is and always has been a dimwitted fabulist. I reserve as@hole for the malicious, not the brain-dead.

    lurker (cd7cd4)

  16. @7/8/9 The average suburban mom thinks what if my teenage daughter needs an abortion and doesn’t know if the law will allow it. In some blue states have mixed or close legislatures.

    asset (394834)

  17. I reserve as@hole for the malicious, not the brain-dead.

    But Biden has been more than something of a jerk from the day he arrived in Washington DC, and probably well before that. Not just the stupidity or the bunkum, but he’s always been narcissistic, tetchy, condescending (even to those far superior in intelligence to himself), and petty. The media’s caricature of an avuncular, lovable, hail-fellow-well-met Joe was always a figment of their imagination.

    JVW (842aab)

  18. Only Trump could have gotten Biden elected.

    nk (a2dabf)

  19. Engaging asset is like wandering onto the set of Sling Blade.

    nk (44d48e)

  20. Good lord he’s terrible. I understand he’s trying to show empathy through a shared experience. But it’s so ridiculously misaligned it backfires.

    We really need some better alternatives for POTUS.

    Time123 (dd6608)

  21. At least Biden didn’t say something really stupid, like his experience with the lightning being his personal Vietnam.
    Biden will never stop his gaffes and his tall tales and his lies. It’s a minor incursion into America.

    Paul Montagu (d52d7d)

  22. I reserve as@hole for the malicious, not the brain-dead.

    lurker, when Biden said that Romney is “going to put you all back in chains”, he was in solid asshole territory. Similarly, his comments about the new Georgia voting law being Jim Crow 2.0, when several blue northeastern states like New York had similar restrictions.

    Paul Montagu (d52d7d)

  23. JVW,

    thank you for the post. Biden and his acts deserve to stand on his own.

    NJRob (eb56c3)

  24. Does this count for “in kind” campaign contribution for the eventual GOP nomination?

    whembly (5f7596)

  25. O.o
    https://twitter.com/bennyjohnson/status/1693799472118042802

    @bennyjohnson
    🚨 Maui residents gave Joe Biden a warm welcome to Hawaii today.

    “Here he comes after 13 days.”

    “F*** YOU”

    whembly (5f7596)

  26. What’s up with Biden’s communication people?! First, why not send the VP out there the earliest it was possible. Yes, she has her own communication challenges, but it’s a disaster area and the federal government should have publicly and clearly pledged all possible resources. It’s PR 101. Second, not everything needs to have a personal anecdote. Read the room….or have advisors and assistants who can read the room. I’m sure this is a case where Joe says “I got this”, but his team should have known better. Now, all of this is seen through a tribal lens. If you hate Biden, this just reinforces your beliefs. If you hate Trump, then this is much ado about nothing. His heart is in the right place even if his anecdote fell horribly flat. In the end, the US will send donations and government funds to help. Both sides should continue to demand better…

    AJ_Liberty (ec7f74)

  27. First, why not send the VP out there the earliest it was possible. Yes, she has her own communication challenges. . .

    “Fire. . . is what happens. . . when things burn. . . . And people. . . lose their homes. . . which makes them homeless. . . because their homes have burned down.”

    JVW (1ad43e)

  28. “Never meet your heroes.”

    Kevin M (ed969f)

  29. Gavin newsom is doing his best impression of Iago.

    Trump has already done that to the GOP, and most of them still think he’s helping them, too.

    Kevin M (ed969f)

  30. whembly (5f7596) — 8/22/2023 @ 7:37 am

    I’m sure they will then reject the federal largesse (just the cleanup could cost $1B; with full recovery over $5B) and that’s not even counting the cost of military assets used in rescue operations.

    Rip Murdock (d2a2a8)

  31. The Governor, Lieutenant Governor, both Senators, and both Representatives are all Ds.

    They elected and re-elected a Republican governor in 2002 and 2006. It’s not out of reach if the Democrat governor screws up.

    Kevin M (ed969f)

  32. I’ve never voted for a Democrat nominee for President in my life, but it’s looking like I’ll have to in 2024 so that Trump and his water carriers are resoundingly defeated.

    A redounding defeat will just be proof of how rigged the election was.

    Kevin M (ed969f)

  33. His heart is in the right place even if his anecdote fell horribly flat.

    #BlindLoyalty.

    BuDuh (4214e4)

  34. What’s up with Biden’s communication people?!

    He could have sent Obama, too. After all, Obama was born is from there. HE may also be an assh0le, but he’s not nearly so obvious about it.

    Kevin M (ed969f)

  35. Rip Murdock (d2a2a8) — 8/22/2023 @ 8:42 am

    “It is not the people’s tax money being returned to them. Biden is a benevolent dictator and they should kiss his butt.”

    Very instructive, Rip.

    BuDuh (4214e4)

  36. “It is not the people’s tax money being returned to them. Biden is a benevolent dictator and they should kiss his butt.”

    Very instructive, Rip.

    BuDuh (4214e4) — 8/22/2023 @ 8:53 am

    Not sure who said that, but it wasn’t me.

    Rip Murdock (d2a2a8)

  37. LOL

    BuDuh (4214e4)

  38. I’ve never understood what people expect from a visit to a disaster area by the President (or anyone). It’s not like they are doing anything constructive except showing up.

    Rip Murdock (d2a2a8)

  39. @40

    I’ve never understood what people expect from a visit to a disaster area by the President (or anyone). It’s not like they are doing anything constructive except showing up.

    Rip Murdock (d2a2a8) — 8/22/2023 @ 9:13 am

    It’s good PR that shows that the government is helping. (when at times, it doesn’t).

    But, to me, if it’s just to give a speech and look good “on camera”, I’d agree with you as its almost pointless.

    But, if the POTUS arrives and starts demanding agencies to work better, cut through red tape, and pressure surrounding areas to help, I can see value in that.

    That’s what DeSantis did down in Florida in the aftermath of a Hurricane and when that apt building collapsed.

    whembly (5f7596)

  40. Humble suggestion:

    After a new President takes the oath, the Chief Justice should remind them: “Momento mori”

    Kevin M (ed969f)

  41. His heart is in the right place even if his anecdote fell horribly flat.

    What is the evidence for this? I mean, I can’t presume to know what is in somebody’s heart. Maybe Joe Biden is a compassionate fellow deep down inside, or maybe I am correct and he has this narcissistic personality disorder which resents it when anyone thinks they have a tragedy which surpasses his own. The reality is that people are judged by their actions, not their intentions, and Joe Biden continually fails in this regard.

    JVW (1ad43e)

  42. I’ve never understood what people expect from a visit to a disaster area by the President (or anyone). It’s not like they are doing anything constructive except showing up.

    I’ve told this story before, but my cousin lives down in North County San Diego, inland where the temperatures are hot and where wildfires are an annual problem. Some years back, during the Schwarzenegger administration, her area had a significant burn which fortunately for her husband and her did not reach their street. But my cousin spent several days volunteering during the latter stages of the fires, assisting people who had been displaced by the fires, delivering supplies like food and water to them and to the first responders who were helping out.

    She told me the story of when Governor Arnie came down to witness the devastation and give a pep talk to everybody. Naturally he arrived with a phalanx of security, aides, and various media jackals. This snarled traffic in and out of the recovery station, and at one point an ambulance couldn’t enter because some jackass media van was blocking an entryway. So yeah, I’m with Rip in failing to understand why politicians do this sort of publicity stunt, other than a pollster telling them it makes them look compassionate.

    JVW (1ad43e)

  43. @42, Unprovable either way. Neither of us know him personally and only see the characterization that his people or his detractors promote. Probably both are selective and wrong. Certainly sincerity can be faked but this does not come out with Biden’s personal relationships with other Republicans over decades. Biden has not had the reputation of being unapproachable or a two-face devil…or insincere. Does he go back to his personal tragedy to try and build empathy? Here, clearly. Should I take that as cynically as possible or launch into “brain dead” this or “brain dead” that? Why? In the grand scheme of things, this will be forgotten…and even by the people of Lahaina once relief arrives and rebuilding starts. I get knocking him for a bad relief policy or FEMA being late on scene, if any of that is the case. The fact that he flubbed the sympathy address seems a little petty.

    AJ_Liberty (ec7f74)

  44. The fact that he flubbed the sympathy address seems a little petty.

    He flubs everything by making it all about himself. Charlie Cooke nails him on it today [I’m not going to make the effort of restoring the supporting links; check out Cooke’s piece for them]:

    After 13 service members were killed in Afghanistan — largely as a result of his own appalling lack of planning — Biden told the families that his son died in Iraq and was brought home in a “flag-draped coffin.” This was not merely inappropriate; it wasn’t true. On Memorial Day this year, Biden, asked to honor those who had died for their country, skipped merrily past that peskily narrow theme and discussed Beau again. Sure, Biden conceded, his son “didn’t perish in the battlefield.” But what’s that small detail on a day explicitly dedicated to the memories of those who did?

    Whatever the topic, Joe can make it about him. Civil rights? He doesn’t just support them; he is them, having participated in a sit-in in the 1950s (he didn’t), helped to desegregate movie theaters (never happened), and worked as a lawyer for the Black Panthers (nope). Gay marriage? Biden didn’t just change his mind on it, he remembered all of a sudden that, in the Scranton of the 1950s, his working-class Catholic father liked to endorse the sight of two men kissing in the streets. Race? Ethnicity? Religion? Biden is all of them at once. He’s Catholic, black, Jewish, Greek, Puerto Rican, Polish. One can only imagine what Biden might have said had he been president at other points in history. There’s been a mass suicide at Jonestown? “I, too, have had food poisoning.” A second plane has hit the World Trade Center? “Jill and I know all about flight delays.” The Japanese have attacked Pearl Harbor? “My Dad once had to sell his fishing boat.”

    There are three plausible reasons as to why President Biden keeps doing this. The first is that he is a narcissist who is genuinely incapable of thinking beyond his own frame of reference. The second is that he’s an amnesiac, whose collection of applicable anecdotes has now narrowed to the vanishing point. And the third is that he believes quite genuinely that this is what empathy looks like, and that there is nobody around him who is willing and able to correct his course. Whatever the cause, it’s a problem. Without any sign of guilt or self-reflection — and egged on by a press that is incapable of honestly holding him to account — the president has taken to playing Bereavement Bingo. When one learns that Biden intends to respond to a tragedy, the question is not if he’ll make the calamity about himself, but in what manner. Before long, one expects Las Vegas will be taking bets.

    In recent years, Americans have been cursed to suffer presidents who cannot distinguish between the office and themselves. Joe Biden has proved no exception to this pattern. Statesmen recognize the difference between a campaign rally and a consecration. Orators understand that the ceremony is of a different species than the confessional. Leaders grasp instinctively when to break that fragile fourth wall. Joe Biden does not. He is Prince Philip without the charm, Kanye without the genius, David Brent without the script and hidden camera.

    Why people want to continue with this “nice guy Joe Biden” charade is beyond me. You realize there are people in life who have had very positive interactions with Donald Trump too, right? That doesn’t mean that he doesn’t have something seriously wrong with his personality.

    JVW (1ad43e)

  45. JVW,

    partisans gonna partisan. At least some of us admit what they are.

    NJRob (1a903a)

  46. 45. Charlie Cooke:

    And the third is that he believes quite genuinely that this is what empathy looks like,

    I think is that people won’t believe he cares unless he can show it happened to him too…and the reason is because it genuinely doesn’t matter to him.

    https://www.goodreads.com/quotes/7132775-the-key-to-success-is-sincerity-if-you-can-fake <blockquote

    “The key to success is sincerity.

    If you can fake that you’ve got it made.”

    ― George Burns

    Sammy Finkelman (1d215a)

  47. 23: Paul Montagu (d52d7d) — 8/22/2023 @ 7:10 am

    when several blue northeastern states like New York had similar restrictions.

    But how many (young) people in Georgia knew that?

    People are mostly familiar with ow voting works in their own state in their own time.

    Sammy Finkelman (1d215a)

  48. #18

    Correct. By the way no other public figure resembles Donald Trump as much as Joe Biden.

    DN (1086eb)


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