Basement Biden tells supporters to skip in-person inauguration
Barring some unanticipated legal and political wizardry when Congress gathers to certify the presidential election results next month, Joe Biden will take the oath of office as America’s 46th president on Jan. 20.
It’s not the outcome President Donald Trump’s fans wanted. But it will mean that, after many months, Biden will have to leave his basement and the Delaware-Pennsylvania region and actually do the job he said he wanted – and that 81 million Americans apparently elected him to do.
But we shouldn’t expect any disputes over crowd size on Inauguration Day.
Biden’s handlers are urging his supporters to stay away because of COVID-19.
A cynic – or a Trump fan – may argue that they issued that warning because more people actually wanted Trump out than necessarily wanted Biden in.
A month ago, for instance, Monmouth University released a poll that found 52 percent of people were either happy or satisfied that Trump lost, while 51 percent felt the same about Biden’s triumph. As Patrick Murray, director of the independent Monmouth University Polling Institute, noted in a press release, “This election was always about the incumbent first and foremost. The thought of his loss provoking a stronger positive reaction than the idea of a Biden victory is just one more example of that.”
Or as sports writer and TV personality Jason Whitlock put it on a Fox News broadcast, “Biden supporters hate Donald Trump. That is their energy source. It has nothing to do with Joe Biden.”
Nonetheless, Team Biden issued a series of tweets explaining the decision.
While the inauguration will look different, we will continue to honor the inaugural traditions Americans have always known: an official outdoor swearing-in ceremony, community service events, a reimagined parade, and virtual celebrations that bring the country together. (3/5)
— Biden Inaugural Committee (@BidenInaugural) December 15, 2020
Biden and Vice President-elect Kamala Harris “will be inaugurated during a time of unprecedented crisis for our country,” Biden’s campaign said.
“It is their top priority to protect the health and safety of Americans, while demonstrating the strength and resilience of our country. While the inauguration will look different, we will continue to honor the inaugural traditions Americans have always known: an official outdoor swearing-in ceremony, community service events, a reimagined parade, and virtual celebrations that bring the country together,” the statement continued.
“We’re inviting all Americans to be a part of this inauguration by watching from home, rather than traveling to Washington, DC, in accordance with public health guidelines. The 59th Presidential Inauguration will be a historic and exciting event that showcases the strength and diversity of our nation — and one that every American can enjoy from their home.”
Whether they listen remains to be seen. But undoubtedly, many Biden supporters will believe staying home is doing their patriotic duty.
But, remember, these were the same people who said COIVD-19 was not a problem, and they were making America better, if crowds took to the streets to protest “systemic” racism, police brutality and, more generally, America’s founding ideals.
Then again, after almost a year of promoting fear of the coronavirus, and when Trumpsters outnumbered his supporters at some of his rallies, we should not be surprised that the man who spent the entire campaign in his basement should tell his supporters to stay in theirs.