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BIDEN by Bill McConnell


Year One

by Bill McConnell

Pub Date: Jan. 11th, 2022
ISBN: 979-8799184377
Publisher: Independently Published

A satire furnishes a day-by-day chronicle of Joe Biden’s presidency.

McConnell begins his farce by providing a dictionary definition of satire, apparently apprehensive his readership won’t figure out his purpose is absurdist humor. What follows is an ambitious commentary on Biden’s presidency, expressed through the conversations the leader conducts with an unnamed aide. Biden is depicted as a superannuated fool who often doesn’t seem to remember he is in fact the president. He forgets what social media is, repeatedly confuses Russia and Ukraine, has no idea what bills he’s signing, and seems to need a lot of naps. He mistakenly calls the nuclear football a baseball, and suggests he will signal his concern regarding White privilege by abstaining from vanilla ice cream on his pie. The constant refrain that marks Biden’s ceaseless bewilderment is: “When did that happen?” This routine continues for 339 days, an exercise that delivers some amusing and intriguing moments. But there is no comedic fruit too low-hanging for the author, who sometimes traffics in the obvious. Consider this exchange between Biden and his aide: “Aide: ‘Sir, you’re going to impose new sanctions on the Russians.’ Biden: ‘I am? Why would I do that? Have you seen Putin with his shirt off? He’s pretty ripped.’ ” In a prefatory note, McConnell claims to aim not only at humor, but also an articulation of Biden’s “basic governing philosophy.” Yet such a presentation never emerges out of the hijinks. Readers will be impressed by the author’s stamina and comprehensiveness—he manages to cover just about every topic of political note. But that scrupulousness finally becomes a vice, as many readers will begin to wish for something a bit briefer.

A sometimes-humorous but uneven political satire.