8The Bidens have a new addition to their family, and he made his first public appearance when he delivered the State of the Union address. Officially named Joe Biden, he should be called Angry Joe because of his over-the-top manner of speech that evening.
Instead of attempting to unite our country, a promise he made countless times during his 2020 presidential campaign, he castigated many Americans by accusing Donald Trump (referred to only as “my predecessor”) and MAGA Republicans of being a threat to democracy.
In all honesty, Angry Joe, or some version of him, has appeared in public before, but without the extreme aggression or menacing tone that was on display when he addressed Congress. Biden yelled non-stop for over an hour, attempting to project an image of a strong and confident leader. While it is a mystery to me where he found this sudden energy, it seemed, at least for the evening, that he was a new man.
One early prototype of Angry Joe is Dark Brandon, a figure in numerous memes in which the president looks simultaneously demonic and heroic.
This image was created by Biden supporters as a response to a conservative anti-Biden chant, “Let’s Go, Brandon,” whose meaning contains profanity unsuitable for publication. What was originally meant to be an insult was turned into an avatar that represented a tough and fearless leader. Dark Brandon is the visual equivalent of the Hellfire and Brimstone orator delivering the State of the Union address.
A second prototype emerged in September of 2022 right before the midterm elections when Biden delivered a speech in Philadelphia in which he predictably accused the MAGA Republicans of being a threat to democracy. This version of Biden was a kind of Dark Brandon redux, only with a scarier background. Speaking in front of Independence Hall, of all places, Biden looked like a creature from the underworld with blood-red lighting designed to make him look frightening and powerful. This backdrop did not frighten me. It made me look at Biden and see a second-rate Vincent Price who didn’t know when to leave the stage.
This Joe Biden, Angry Joe, should not be confused with the other Joe Biden, someone I call Addled Joe because of his difficulty exiting the stage after a speech or his curious habit of discussing recent telephone conversations with world leaders who have been dead for decades. I wouldn’t be surprised if he announced that he soon has a lunch date with Winston Churchill.
Addled Joe may have trouble remembering names or keeping his balance, but he does have one area of expertise—he knows how to enjoy his ice cream in public. This skill is especially impressive when he is discussing foreign affairs with a journalist while savoring his frozen treat.
When I think of American presidents, I think of George Washington crossing the Delaware during the Revolutionary War, Abraham Lincoln delivering the Gettysburg Address, or George W. Bush standing atop a pile of rubble at Ground Zero shortly after 9/11 and assuring us we would defeat our enemy. I do not think of a president whose most memorable image reminds us of a six-year-old at a birthday party wiping ice cream off his lips.
Joe Biden may have two different public personas, the Tough Guy and the Blunderer-in- Chief, but he isn’t fooling anyone about his inability to be a good leader.
He isn’t fooling members of his own party, who simply deny his shortcomings to create the impression that all is well. He isn’t fooling conservatives who know his policies are disastrous for this country. And he certainly isn’t fooling our adversaries, who see a weak man willing to tolerate their malign behavior.
And no amount of yelling, inexplicable energy, or ice cream will change the fact that neither one of the two Bidens is a good president.

(Photo courtesy of rawpixel.com)

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