Say it Ain’t So, Joe

Published: June 28, 2024

By Jim Lichtman
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Yesterday, during a nap, I had a dream. In the dream, a young boy looked up at a man whom he admired, a man who stood for the right thing, a man who persevered during the toughest of times. But when that same man was overwhelmed by an avalanche of lies, bowed his head and . . . gave up.

In the case of White Sox baseball hero Joe Jackson, one lie toppled him: He cheated and remained forever stained in baseball history.

“Say it ain’t so, Joe,” the young boy implored as his hero left the courthouse. “Say it ain’t so.”

Then I woke up and watched the first presidential debate last night.

Joe Biden never lied about his dedication to doing the best job he could for all Americans; he lied about something worse: his stamina and perhaps mental acuity to do the job he was elected to do.

“Say it ain’t so, Joe.”

What happened to the Joe three months ago, who was confident, energetic, and forceful in his presentation and response to those who attempted to mock him out of the House chamber during his State of the Union address?

What happened to the Joe Biden, who repeatedly stood up to the avalanche of lies told by former President Donald Trump?

What happened to the Joe Biden, who hit the campaign trail hard, whose demeanor and words said, “I’M WORKING FOR YOU! HE’S WORKING FOR HIMSELF!”

. . . Until last night.

He’s still working for us, and his opponent is still working for himself. But the President has gone from self-confident to wobbly, energetic to passive, from forceful to looking like he just got up from a nap.

What happened, Joe? And where does the country go from here?

But it didn’t end there.

Embed from Getty Images

I was numb the morning after the debate when the country was hit with more bad news.

The Supreme Court—in what can only be described as a bunch of legal argle-bargle—determined that the definition of obstruction is not what we all thought it was.

. . . that the thousands of supporters who were willfully, blatantly called to the Capitol on January 6, 2020 by then-President Trump to attend a “wild” party, whom many of the leaders of the attack testified in court interpreted it as a direct call to action . . .

. . . that the thousands who breached the lines surrounding the Capitol building, defying and attacking and injuring police . . .

. . . that the hundreds who willfully broke through windows and broke down doors to get inside both chambers of Congress shouting, “Hang Mike Pence,” and threatening House Speaker Nancy Pelosi . . .

. . . that those people were NOT obstructing a legal certification of states’ votes for President of the United States . . .

. . . in a country where morals and character use to count . . .

For the millions who watched last night’s debate where a former president lied more than 30 times and went unchallenged, and the millions more who watched the January 6 insurrection of the Capitol . . . I’m asking the same questions you are:

Who are we, and when will we wake up from this nightmare?


  1. When 30+ things happen, one just can’t retort to all of them.
    Halfway through, I went to the restroom and nearly threw up.
    I believe in this country and trust we have lots of great people and lots of good things happening…

  2. Wonderfully provacative example of the event that took place on MSM June 27th.

    The emotion felt by all Americans was individual, yet the same. Sadness, confusion, how did this happen, empathy, emotion and where do we go with the coffee we all drank in the morning.

    This piece offers a clear and emotional kind analysis of where we are and was an appreciative alternative to the political noise that ensued all day June 28, 2024.

    Not to mention the NY Times editorial that dropped at 6pm EST – timely Friday night escalation for the East Hampton Donor crowd happening this weekend.

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