February 4, 2024

"The guy we’re running against, he is — he’s not for anything, he’s against everything."


I believe — based on this Hill article — that was yesterday and not at a campaign stop but at Biden's own campaign headquarters.

How can it be that Trump is not for anything? He's for a strong southern border, for example. Obviously, that can be rephrased into being against something: He's against an open border. What does Biden think he's saying? Was there some longer, more specific speech that enumerated good things that Biden supports and that Trump is against, and Biden decided to ditch the enumeration and substitute "everything"?

Meanwhile, Trump would like you to know he looks like Elvis. He's for Elvis. That's not nothing.

It worked for Bill Clinton:

Link to the NYT, October 27, 1992.

ADDED: My screen grab of the 1992 Greil Marcus piece doesn't include the whole text. Reading on, I see a funny connection to Biden's "he’s not for anything" criticism of Trump:
Despite Bill Clinton's growing lead, the President persisted into the fall....

"The President," at that time, was George Herbert Walker Bush. 

"I finally figured out why [ Clinton ] compares himself to Elvis," he said. "The minute he has to take a stand on something, he starts wiggling."

That didn't work too well for Bush. As Marcus put it:

The tone was sour, like 1950's bluenoses sniffing at "Elvis the Pelvis." You could almost hear Elvis objecting. (He hated the word "wiggle.")

And:

Elvis in a speech is a guaranteed sound bite on the evening news... For Russell Feingold, the Democratic senatorial candidate in Wisconsin, it was a charm.

Russ Feingold! Wisconsin! 

The candidate's primary victory was due in large part to a TV ad featuring an Enquirer-style "Elvis Endorses Feingold" story.

The ad:

Back to Greil Marcus:

Last week in Milwaukee, Mr. Clinton endorsed Mr. Feingold, saying: "The real reason that I so deeply, deeply support him is that Elvis supports him."

And for Bill Clinton, Elvis clearly helped. After the primaries, when he had fallen drastically behind Mr. Bush and Mr. Perot, he took his saxophone onto "The Arsenio Hall Show" and blew "Heartbreak Hotel." That moment may have turned the race around.... The spirit of freedom in Elvis's best music is a freedom of self-discovery -- and that night Bill Clinton accepted the gift....

Accept the gift! 

52 comments:

Leland said...

If progressives had a sense of humor, they would take Trump's post and do a similar one with E. Jean Carroll and Marla Maples.

gilbar said...

resident Biden is for LOTS of Things! for LOTS of MONEY coming in to the Biden Crime Family

Wilbur said...

Hmmm. I have no recollection of that Elvis nonsense in 1992. And I followed politics very closely back then.

I never had a high opinion of Elvis as an entertainer, but he seemed to have been a pretty good guy. The worshipful cult that surrounded him - and I suppose still does to an extent - remains inexplicable to this Boomer.

Lilly, a dog said...

Why does the Biden video freeze the picture while he's talking to the little kids? It's a conspiracy!

michaele said...

When he says, "We have to finish the job" I can't help but cynically think , "yeah. of ruining this country for so many." He sounded and moved like he was up waay past his bedtime.

WK said...

Mojo Nixon explains this belief pretty well in his song “Elvis Is Everywhere”. Nixon. Elvis. Trump. Coincidence? I don’t think so.

Gunner said...

His SJW staff mean that Trump isn't really "for" a strong Southern Border. He just hates Mexican people or something.

Joe Biden Is Corrupt said...

RFK jr. promises to close the border.

rehajm said...

The cadaverous President manages to present some decaying, moldy oldie Democrat rhetoric. Hey! We just put out a massive unsustainable spending bill! Where's their massive unsustainable spending bill? They don't even have a massive unsustainable spending bill!!! They don't stand for anything

Jersey Fled said...

I’m voting for the guy with the sense of humor.

Joe Biden Is Corrupt said...

Elvis?
So lame.

Wince said...

If you were to examine the logic of Biden’s “against everything” argument, you’d be left with a Venn diagram of a single circle resembling a zero.

rehajm said...

Biden is the die on the potty Elvis. Not the hard living, drug induced collapse in the bathroom Elvis but the 'made it to the end of life and slipped off the potty because there weren't enough handrails' Elvis.

Eva Marie said...

What’s the deeper meaning behind Biden’s rambling message?
Vote Trump.

wendybar said...

Trump is for closing the border to Bidens illegal invasion. Trump is against Biden inviting millions of illegals in, paying them up to $1000 a month, free lodging, free education and free healthcare, whilst American citizens are barely making it, and having to dish out MORE of THEIR money to support Joes newest voters. That is enough for me.

I am against Joe Biden blaming everything that he did on MAGA, when the delusional one has no clue where he even is. It's a joke that he is even our president, even though he was installed....and anybody who votes for this fool deserves 100 illegal invading single men to live in their home so THEY can support what they voted for.

Amadeus 48 said...

Parsing Biden is a waste of time.

Call in Shakespeare: Biden's but a walking shadow, a poor player who struts and frets his hour upon the stage and then is heard no more. Biden's talk is a tale told by an idiot, full of sound and fury, signifying nothing.

Kevin said...

Listing what Trump is for makes you want to vote for him.

Kevin said...

His handlers can’t take the chance Joe might start to think Trump would make a good President.

Bob Boyd said...

Trump's against Biden being President and being President is everything to Biden. It's what keeps him going. When it's over, his life will be over.

Dave Begley said...

How did Russ Feingold do in cutting the deficit?

boatbuilder said...

Being "against everything" that the Biden Administration is pushing is Trump's highest and best attribute, to this voter.

Ann Althouse said...

@WK

Thanks. I was just about to do a search to look for that but I had such a vague memory that I didn't have the title. I just had the idea that there was a thing about saying that in everyone there is a little bit of Elvis.

Original Mike said...

"What does Biden think he's saying?"

Made me laugh.

mezzrow said...

Like many things Trump puts forward, this is both ridiculous and plausible. And funny. He's a supremely disagreeable man.

Many people think this is what we need. Hang tight.

Dogma and Pony Show said...

"I never had a high opinion of Elvis as an entertainer[.]"

You must have very high standards. Perhaps you didn't like his music, but all that excitement and adulation gushing out from the audience should tell you he was an incredible entertainer.

JAORE said...

"How can it be that Trump is not for anything?"

How can it be that every utterance by Biden is not automatically suspect?

The sun might not set in the west tonight, but that's the way to bet.

gspencer said...

Fedgov was intended to be restricted, not to be an unrestrained force of positive powers.

-----
It wasn’t what government did that made America great; it was what government was prevented from doing that made the difference,

What set America apart from all other lands was freedom - for the individual. Freedom to work, to produce, to succeed and, especially, to keep the fruits of one’s labor.

America became great precisely because the stifling effects of too much government had been prevented.

However freedom in America was not totally unrestrained. Americans overwhelming chose to limit their actions with moral codes such as the Ten Commandments. Personal morality and limited government is the combination that characterized America and made it the envy of the world.
.
When our Founding Fathers decided they had enough of British oppression they broke away and declared independence. They stated as self-evident truth in the Declaration of Independence that men are endowed by their Creator with certain inalienable rights. In other words, God gave man his rights. And that among them are life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness. And in the very next sentence, the Founders defined the proper role of government when they stated that to secure these rights governments are instituted.

This is the entire philosophical base of our nation. Here the government can not legitimately redistribute the wealth, assume power over the people’s lives, and dominate man’s existence with oppression taxation, regulation, and control.

According to the Founders, government was to be a negative force which leaves people alone. Its sole function is to protect citizens from one another, and from foreign government, and especially from their own government itself. The Founders did not create a government to be a positive force, to do things for people, to take from some to give to others. They understood that when government starts do something for one citizen it has to take from another to do so, and in the process it gains control over both.
-----

Partial narration from Overview of America,
https://jbs.org/video/featured/overview-of-america/?mc_cid=aab99f82ce

stlcdr said...

You can almost see the women throwing their panties at Bill playing the sax...

mikee said...

The prequel for the classic documentary movie, Idiocracy, is coming in 2024 and has the title Gerontocracy. The opening minute of the movie shows the two old fart 2024 presidential candidates debating each other, throwing less and less comprehensible insults back and forth, ending in a clumsy old-men-falling-over brawl live on national TV. This somehow leads to the 2028 presidential victory of Kamala Harris, and an era of even worse government than we've seen for the past several administrations. Smart people start moving out of the US, fast.

Kamala, it turns out, is the direct lineal matriarch of the political dynasty leading to President Dwayne Elizondo Mountain Dew Camacho. Thus setting up the final movie in the trilogy, Revenge of the Redneck, in which Florida Men create a recovering nation devoted to pickup truck accessorization and recreational drugs.

donald said...

Nobody deserves a nice debilitating aneurysm like Joe Biden. I’d pay to see him go down flailing. Extra to watch his whore wife’s reaction.

cfs said...

Yesterday, there was a meme on 'X' showing an aging picture of Elvis. It morphed from Elvis when he was young into a current picture of Trump. I assume that is what Trump was referring to in his Elvis comment.

Yancey Ward said...

"Why does the Biden video freeze the picture while he's talking to the little kids? It's a conspiracy!"

Almost certainly for the reason you suspect- he started nuzzling the little girl. He does this every single time he is around young girls.

Skeptical Voter said...

Ah Joe--you never figured out when to quit talking. What a sad sack.

Jupiter said...

“I’m feeling good about where we are, I really am,” Biden said.

Keep in mind, F. Joe Biden has a rather narrow horizon. He felt pretty good about running an international corruption racket with his deranged crack-addict whoremaster son and his worthless shitheel grifter brother. Winning! Living our best lives! It's great to be a Biden! He also felt pretty good about denying his grand-daughter's existence, and he still feels fine about never once having met her (Of course, this means that he has never showered with her. We all have a few regrets). F. Joe is a creature of his immediate environment, focused upon his immediate concerns. As long as Dr. Jill isn't angry, he feels pretty good. He likely feels pretty good about that warm sensation in his diaper. "Aaaaaah! That feels good!"

ThatsGoingToLeaveA said...

Doesn't all this Clinton/Trump/Saxaphone/Elvis stuff represent the shrugg-it-off energy and hope that alot of people want in their own lives so that they can respond to their own problems more successfully like them?

Robert Cook said...

I would say that Trump is "not for anything" in the sense that he is entirely opportunistic and self-serving. He has no perceptible core ethical beliefs or convictions. He is for that which will benefit him, and that which will benefit him the most is that which is the most for. He is for a "secure southern border" inasmuch as this is a concern of all or most of his base. (It is a familiar and tried-and-true appeal to an ages-old human impulse: xenophobia.) If his base predominantly clamored for a single-payer, "Medicare-For-All" style health coverage system in the US, he would very likely be for that.

Mr Wibble said...

"Republicans are the party of 'No'!" has been a Dem talking point for at least a decade. It works in part because the GOP does have a hostility towards any sort of government program or intervention. Part of the reason "Build the Wall" worked so well is that is was a positive message. "We're going to do SOMETHING, we're going to build a wall!"

gilbar said...

and not at a campaign stop but at Biden's own campaign headquarters.

i dis-concur. It WAS a campaign stop.. AT he OWN campaign headquarters..
resident Biden is Desperately Trying, to persuade his OWN Staff to support him.. Who Else does he have?

Last time Joe campaigned from his basement.. Occasionally giving speeches to nearly empty parking lots
That isn't ANYONE in the country that is FOR Joe..
Of the EIGHTY-ONE MILLION Votes that they counted for Joe last time, they were from people either:
a) voting democrat, because they'd vote for a yellow (D)og
b) voting against Trump, because he'd get us into a wars in Europe.. And the Mideast
c) that signed a paper that someone at their doorstep held in front of them
d) didn't Even know that they voted

Rich said...

Oh look the impersonator is doing the old, fat, drug addicted Elvis! Let’s hope he won’t be singing Jailhouse Rock in the future.

wendybar said...

Rich said...
Oh look the impersonator is doing the old, fat, drug addicted Elvis! Let’s hope he won’t be singing Jailhouse Rock in the future.

2/4/24, 1:54 PM

Still better than looking and acting just like the dead guy from Weekend at Bernies.

Richard said...

[WAGSTAFF]
I don't know what they have to say
It makes no difference anyway
Whatever it is, I'm against it
No matter what it is or who commenced it
I'm against it

Your proposition may be good
But let's have one thing understood:
Whatever it is, I'm against it
And even when you've changed it or condensed it
I'm against it

I'm opposed to it
On general principles, I'm opposed to it

[STUDENTS]
He's opposed to it
In fact, indeed, he's opposed to it

[WAGSTAFF]
For months before my son was born
I used to yell from night till morn
"Whatever it is, I'm against it."
And I've been yelling since I first commenced it
I'm against it

Humperdink said...

R Cook said the following with a straight face (not kidding): "I would say that Trump is "not for anything" in the sense that he is entirely opportunistic and self-serving. He has no perceptible core ethical beliefs or convictions. ..... He is for a "secure southern border" inasmuch as this is a concern of all or most of his base .... If his base predominantly clamored for a single-payer, "Medicare-For-All" style health coverage system in the US, he would very likely be for that."

Self-serving? What an idiotic statement. I suggest to you that Trump lost money being president and is subsequently being taken to cleaners by people of your ilk. Being president was a financial loser for him. Now let's look at Slo' Joe net worth growth over the years. It's like magic, $$$ falling from the sky..

Trump's for a secure border ... as are most Americans (now). Even the lib governors are joining that freight train. BTW, how many illegals are you housing?

Medicare-For-All? As league leaders in national healthcare, that would be Canada and the Brits, collapse under their own weight, that will be hard sell even for the lemmings on your side of the aisle. Your side might be all-in on the Chinese healthcare system where they kill people to harvest their organs. Lower the population to fight Climate Change and get rid of the political opposition, a veritable win-win.



Rusty said...

Robert Cook said...
"I would say that Trump is "not for anything" in the sense that he is entirely opportunistic and self-serving. He has no perceptible core ethical beliefs or convictions. He is for that which will benefit him,"
It just makes me wonder where you get these stupid statements. Is it like,"Well. The whole world knows!" "Everybody with eyes can see!" Who is telling you to say these things?
Under a lot of congressional stoinewalling he attempted to close the boarder. He got NATO to pay their own way. He increased employment for minorities. He brought indistries and jobs back to the US. He made more progress to bring peace to the middle east than any other administration.
What was in it for him to do all that?

Jupiter said...

"I would say that Trump is 'not for anything' in the sense that he is entirely opportunistic and self-serving."

Cookie, Donald Trump is a multi-billionaire, with a beautiful wife and a happy family. I suppose we must admit, that the desire to be President must somehow arise from some sort of self-admiration, and being President must somehow be gratifying to those who manage it. God only knows how, but it can't be denied.

But with that said, your implication that Trump wants to be President in order to serve some ill-defined personal interest is even more bone-headed than your usual semi-Communist claptrap. I have been reading your screeds for at least a decade. I have never yet seen you defend anything. The World is just not good enough for Cookie. Nonetheless, entirely for our own benefit, and with no hope or expectation of personal gain, you persevere. Are you, perhaps, an avatar of the Buddha?

Prof. M. Drout said...

" He is for a "secure southern border" inasmuch as this is a concern of all or most of his base. [tendentious name-calling omitted] If his base predominantly clamored for a single-payer, "Medicare-For-All" style health coverage system in the US, he would very likely be for that."

This is supposed to be a CRITICISM? Very confusing!
That someone who got elected by millions of people who thought (correctly) that their concerns had been subordinated to the personal enrichment and empowerment of a cartel of officials, media people and financiers would, especially in his THIRD campaign, focus most intensely on the issues those people care about hardly seems like a character flaw (or a strategically poor decision). Who else should he listen to, exactly? The people who hate him and his supporters?

Also, this kind of militates against the whole "Trump as Hitler" or "Trump as Dictator" thing, doesn't it? Rather than imposing his vision upon the country, he would be implementing the vision of his supporters. Maybe that's something we should try out.

Visions of the supposed elites being imposed on the masses have a pretty poor track record over the past 220-230 years, whereas the implementation of the desires of people for peace, prosperity, stability, property rights, the rule of law rather than the rule of men, deference to traditional religion and customs, etc. has done pretty well.

Old and slow said...

Robert Cook said...
"I would say that Trump is "not for anything" in the sense that he is entirely opportunistic and self-serving"

I largely agree with this, and I think that it describes virtually all politicians, and I am okay with that. The part you left out is that in Trump's case, the things that suit his needs coincide closely with my own desires. With most Washington politicians, this is not the case.

You call a desire to secure the border xenophobia. I think this is grossly inaccurate and unreasonable. I have no quarrel with Johnny Foreigner. In fact, I would like to welcome many millions of them to move here. I just believe that we should have close control over who they are, much like Australia and New Zealand do. Have you ever looked into emigrating to either of those countries? I have, and you quickly realize that anyone qualifying to move there would be a real asset. The US is a very attractive place for potential immigrants, why shouldn't we pick the best from the pool of people who would like to move here?

As Trump said in him inimitable way: "They aren't sending their best". Or something like that... .

Rich said...

Bill Clinton's presidency ended 23 years ago.... and he's still younger than the two current candidates.

Yancey Ward said...

See you next Tuesday, Rich.

Kirk Parker said...

Old and slow,

"I have no quarrel with Johnny Foreigner."

Neither do I (outside of those who mean to do me harm.) However...

"In fact, I would like to welcome many millions of them to move here."

Not just no, but hell no! This would be a bad idea even in an ideal world, but in the world we actually live in right now -- an unmitigated disaster.

There are two problems with large scale immigration like this:

1. In our current situation, given that we no longer have even the slightest hint of an assimilationist ethic, it means a further into "diversity + proximity = war".

2. (This is the part that would still exist in a better world) It also means depriving the places these immigrants come from from millions of their most capable, most creative citizens. They can hardly afford that.

Old and slow said...

Kirk Parker said...
"Not just no, but hell no! This would be a bad idea even in an ideal world, but in the world we actually live in right now -- an unmitigated disaster."


Nonsense. Skilled and productive English speaking immigrants would be a huge benefit to the US, and would increase wealth for everyone. These sorts of people would absolutely assimilate into American society. Immigrants are a self selected group, and if nothing else they are obviously not an indolent bunch, having gone to all the effort of coming here. Take away the possibility of claiming welfare benefits, and you would have a very motivated bunch of arrivals. More of the right sort of people do not represent a cost, they are an asset.

Rich said...

Yancy: As I understand the recent Primaries vote in Iowa. Eligible voters in Iowa number just in excess of 2.5 million. Only 50,000 (approx) voted in the Primaries, of which Trump won the majority of votes. This majority represents approx 3% of the total of eligible voters in Iowa. Turnout in Primaries is far below turnout for the main event. Happy to be fact checked but I don’t think Trump can take much comfort from this result?

Yancey Ward said...

Rich, your cluelessness is simply gobsmacking.