AUSTIN PETERSEN: Trump v Biden was verbal jiu jitsu vs airhead aikido

Debate week has come and gone and the White House can no longer tell us not to believe our lyin’ eyes. Biden’s dizzy performance saw him stuttering, stammering, and losing his place so often that even Van Jones’ post debate analysis was an almost tearful “Old Yeller” moment saying how much he loves him but had to do it.

White House Press Secretary Karine Jean Pierre had been using the term “cheap fake” to explain the endless series of videos showing President Biden wandering off, staring into space, or shaking hands with people who aren’t there. “Cheap fake” refers to videos that are edited, but the footage that we are seeing often comes from multiple angles and sources so the lie detector test determined that was a lie.

In the past month, President Biden had frozen up at a Juneteenth celebration, a high-dollar LA fundraiser, and even wandered off during a meeting with Italian PM Giorgia Meloni. These moments, captured on video and witnessed by millions, were dismissed by White House spokesperson Karine Jean-Pierre as right-wing propaganda. But Biden’s clear struggles with speech, mental fog, and confusion are now impossible to ignore. Instead of addressing these concerns, the administration attacked journalists and pushed a narrative that everything was normal. Behind the scenes it appears that top officials were even protecting the White House’s domestic workers from coming into contact with the president for fear that they might see him in his utter state of disrepair.

The administration's strategy of deception has extended far beyond Biden’s health, as seen with DHS head Alejandro Mayorkas’ border crisis denials and KJP’s misleading claims about Bidenomics. This disregard for public intelligence is not only patronizing but also ineffective, as polls are indicating growing skepticism. 72% of registered voters in a CBS poll responded that they don’t think that Joe Biden is mentally fit enough to serve as president.

Even Bill Maher wasn’t buying that national poll which had showed Biden pulling ahead recently. Biden’s 14 point loss among Hispanics, 43 points among Black voters under 50, lower favorability among student debt holders, and even losing 8% of women since 2020 makes that poll seem sus. Who’s the conspiracy theorist now, Bill? And while it seems unlikely that Frank Luntz’ claim that only 4% of voters have made up their minds on who they’re going to vote for, the proposed 2nd debate, if it were to occur, may get us to that point.

While Trump made short work of Hillary Clinton in 2016, dominating her rhetorically and putting her on the defense, Trump was unable to land the same kind of blows against Biden in 2020. Clinton’s face when Trump put her in the triangle choke of “yeah cause you’d be in jail” was a finishing move. In this debate, that moment was achieved when Trump responded to Biden trailing off by saying, “I really don’t know what he said at the end of that sentence. I don’t think he knows what he said either.” Hillary fatefully tried to meet force on force, and she faltered. No one can stand up to Trump’s low blows and arm bars. Challenging him head to head on the ground is a losing venture. Siege tactics against Trump do not faze him, in fact he welcomes attacks. He’s the proverbial expert at rolling. You’d better have a good rash guard or else you’re walking away with sore, chapped nipples; if he lets you walk away at all. Trump’s verbal jiu jitsu invites his opponent to tussle with him on the ground and in the mud, where he is strongest. When he leans back and beckons, only a fool would rush in. Rand Paul, God love him, took Trump’s bait in 2016, it did not go well for him. Speaking of sore, chapped nipples… Uncle Sam vis a vis Joe Biden is looking at ending Trump’s tax cuts. There’s not a rash guard in the world that will stop the pain of that kind of tax increase.

Biden’s greatest weakness was also his greatest strength in 2020. He’s a master of Airheaded Aikido. Think Steven Seagal with the martial skill of the 1990’s but still mostly catatonic and fighting mostly while sitting in a chair so he doesn’t do an oopsie. Biden’s lack of awareness, dopiness, and unwillingness to drop to Trump’s level was Donald's kryptonite in 2020. He could ignore Trump’s jeers, wittingly or not. Is Joe cognizant enough to recognize the insult? It didn’t matter. Biden’s default blank stare is as effective as a well executed wheel throw. Trump’s own momentum was used against him. Simply staring into space was the right move. Biden’s Airheaded Aikido makes him more of a stand up striker, not a grappler.

President Biden’s State of the Union address showed he was still able somewhat to stick and move earlier in the year. He could still wisecrack and rejoinder, jab and counter. But any semblance of that Biden was gone. If Biden was healthy enough to dodge Trump’s submission attempts, and could have landed a few rhetorical roundhouses, that’s all his diminishing base would have needed to claim he won the debate. To her credit, Nancy Pelosi is still out there advising Joe to go on, and claiming that Trump is the one who appears to have dementia. Biden looked weak, frail, and frankly, like he was lost and afraid. I’ve seen that look in the eyes of a dying loved one, fraught with dementia, jaundiced and disoriented. When they lose track of who they are, they look around in terror just like Biden did many times. This is the kind of elder abuse that then Attorney General of Delaware Beau Biden encouraged people to call a hotline over.

Trump changed strategies. Instead of trying to dominate the debate, he played the game, stayed calm, looked and sounded presidential, and didn’t come off like he was bullying someone’s grandpa in the mental ward. Some people say it’s too late to take Biden off the ballot, but as a 20 year political veteran, and a Missourian who remembers Mel Carnahan getting elected after dying in a plane crash (his wife took the job), I say anything’s possible. The laws may say it’s too late, but when have laws ever stopped Democrats from doing anything? The fact is they’re the government…and you’re not. I expect Vivek Ramaswamy to be proven right, and for a Newsom, a Harris, or even Big Mike to take over soon.

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