Alright, I think I’m convinced that there’s something afoot, and a new article from Axios is cementing my perception. In the piece, which is a bit of an emotional rollercoaster given the predictable attempt to soften what was reported, Joe Biden is described as borderline abusive, and in some of the interactions described, it’s fair to ask if he even crosses that line.
Far from the decent, loving human being that the press has long tried to paint Biden as, he’s revealed to be a vulgar, angry man with no sense of boundaries. Boundaries, I might add, that most people would get fired or sued for crossing in the real world.
Let’s dive into some of the accusations.
Behind the scenes, Uncle Joe turns into Angry Joe, reports @axios. He yells at staff: “God dammit, how the f**k don't you know this?!," "Don't f**king bullsh*t me!" and "Get the f**k out of here!" https://t.co/i3f2xW2Mkf
— Miranda Devine (@mirandadevine) July 10, 2023
In public, President Biden likes to whisper to make a point. In private, he’s prone to yelling.
• Behind closed doors, Biden has such a quick-trigger temper that some aides try to avoid meeting alone with him. Some take a colleague, almost as a shield against a solo blast.
• The president’s admonitions include: “God dammit, how the f**k don’t you know this?!,” “Don’t f**king bullsh*t me!” and “Get the f**k out of here!” — according to current and former Biden aides who have witnessed and been on the receiving end of such outbursts.
Why it matters: The private eruptions paint a more complicated picture of Biden as a manager and president than his carefully cultivated image as a kindly uncle who loves Aviator sunglasses and ice cream.
What a detestable way to act as the President of the United States. In fact, things are so bad with Biden’s treatment of his staff that some have taken to what appears to be Stockholm Syndrome, assuring themselves that his obscenity-filled rants are actually a sign of respect.
Huh. A sign of respect? You don’t say. pic.twitter.com/cNY7bOxkRW
— Philip Melanchthon Wegmann (@PhilipWegmann) July 10, 2023
In any other scenario, having a boss who shows “respect” by cursing out employees would be considered emotionally abusive. That’s probably because it is emotionally abusive by the common definition. It’s sociopathic behavior that shouldn’t be excused in any setting, much less in a professional environment like the White House.
Unfortunately, while the Axios article does a good job exposing Biden’s deplorable behavior, it also gives voice to a lot of bad-faith actors (mostly former Biden staffers) trying to spin his unstableness as a strength. According to them, he abuses his staff because he just cares so darn much.
“If there is something that’s not in the brief, he’s going to find it,” he said. “It’s not to embarrass people, it’s because he wants to get to the right decision. Most people who have worked for him like the fact that he challenges them and gets them to a better decision.”
I wasn’t aware that the only way to find out more information during a briefing is to scream curse words at one’s staffers. The more you know, I guess. The abused parties have even come up with a name for the treatment they endure. It’s called learning to “speak Biden.”
“Speaking Biden” is a particular skill, they said. It can take years to learn to navigate his moodiness, and anticipate what information he’s going to ask for in a briefing.
The spate of recent reports from the mainstream press attacking Biden has led to renewed speculation about 2024. Is there a concerted effort to force him onto the sideline? That seems probable given not only the failures of his administration but also the president’s ability to showcase to the world his mental failings. On that note, I’d mention that an inability to control one’s temper, resulting in vulgar outbursts, is a common symptom of Alzheimer’s disease.
With that said, the article points to Biden’s behavior being unacceptable even when he was a senator. One former aide described him as an “egomaniacal autocrat” who ruled his staff through fear.
Jeff Connaughton, a former Biden campaign and Senate aide who was chief of staff to Kaufman when he filled Biden’s seat in the Senate, wrote about Biden’s temper in his 2012 book on Washington corruption, “The Payoff: Why Wall Street Wins.”
• Connaughton wrote that as a senator, Biden was an “egomaniacal autocrat … determined to manage his staff through fear.”
• He told of a time during the 2008 presidential campaign when a 23-year-old fundraising staffer got into the car with Biden.
• “Okay, senator, time to do some fundraising calls,” the aide said. Biden responded by looking at him and snapping: “Get the f**k out of the car.”
Still, while the portrait of Biden being decent and caring has always been false, his advanced age and mental decline may be further agitating what was already present. I’d already posit that he’s impossible to control as things stand, and his handlers can only gloss over so many public fumbles and outbursts.
I’ll end by noting the hypocrisy here. Accusations of Donald Trump having a temper (and if he did this kind of stuff to his staff, that’s bad as well) were treated by the press as “terrifying” and disqualifying. On the other hand, while Axios deserves credit for writing its report, the outlet undercuts its own work by having Biden loyalists explain how being abused is actually a good thing. That would never have been printed if a Republican were involved.