Come On, Man!: The Truth About Joe Biden’s Terrible, Horrible, No-Good, Very Bad Presidency
By Joe Concha
(Broadside Books, 272 pages, $29)
“By every metric, America has arguably the worst president of the television era residing in the Oval Office (at least when he isn’t in Delaware).” So asserts Hill columnist Joe Concha in his new book, Come on, Man!: The Truth About Joe Biden’s Terrible, Horrible, No-Good, Very Bad Presidency. He makes his case by citing the Biden administration’s 40-year-high inflation rate along with record-high gas prices, skyrocketing crime, illegal border crossings, and an “extremist education agenda.”
Concha believes that these horrible statistics are the result of a progressive program and that President Joe Biden’s gaffe-laden footprint is just part of the plan: “Biden may seem like a doddering idiot, stumbling from one mistake to the next, but it is funny how these mistakes always hew closely to liberal dreams for American policy.” Despite its title, Come On, Man! is less focused on Biden than on the political environment that spawned his presidency. Concha makes the well-trodden argument that Biden, who had a track record of incompetency and dishonesty, starting with the plagiarism scandal that derailed his 1988 run at the White House, would never have become president under ordinary circumstances. The 2020 presidential election, with the Democratic Party and the liberal media laser focused on extricating then-President Donald Trump from the Oval Office, provided the extraordinary circumstances that enabled Scranton’s native son to unseat his predecessor.
Concha is critical of key members of Biden’s senior leadership team, arguing that some of them were selected based on their political leaning as opposed to their professional experience. In the chapter appropriately dubbed “We Were Promised Adults in Charge,” Concha takes issue with the appointment of former Michigan governor and CNN analyst Jennifer Granholm as secretary of energy. He references a now infamous interview where she responded to a question from Tom Keene of Bloomberg about her plan to increase oil production in the U.S. by saying, “That is hilarious! Would that I had the magic wand!” He also finds fault with Secretary of Homeland Security Alejandro Mayorkas for “insisting that the border is closed” while also pointing the finger at the Trump administration for the surge in illegal migrants, which under Biden’s watch is forecasted to exceed four million by the end of 2022.
Come on, Man! provides commentary and context on the low points of the Biden administration, including the disastrous exit from Afghanistan, the cratering economy, the flawed response to the COVID-19 pandemic, and the Hunter Biden laptop scandal, not to mention the growing national political and cultural chasm. He also calls out the current commander-in-chief’s waning popularity among Democrats and juxtaposes it with Trump’s approval rating with the Republican Party, which according to Gallup was in the 90-percent range throughout his presidency. By contrast, a July 2022 New York Times poll shows Biden’s tracking at only a 36 percent approval rating with his party.
Not surprisingly, the book has multiple chapters dedicated to both the media’s role in protecting Biden against true scrutiny and the broader decline of “real journalism.” Concha includes a thought-provoking chapter entitled “The Death of Escapism,” where he mourns the loss of the days when movies and film-industry award shows were designed to entertain, not incite riots. He references the 57 million people who tuned into ABC to watch the Oscars in 1998, the year Titanic was the big winner, versus the 9.9 million who watched the 2021 awards show. People have tuned out because they don’t want to be lectured about police violence or other hot topics, Concha posits.
While much of the book’s content is familiar territory, Concha’s writing, which is peppered with pithy anecdotes and hilarious turns of phrase, elevates Come On, Man! above today’s standard political fare. The chapter entitled “Snap. Crackle. Corn Pop,” which depicts the 1962 confrontation about diving-board and bathing-cap protocol between the then-19-year-old summer lifeguard Biden and a young black man known as “Corn Pop,” is hysterical. Concha brilliantly satirizes Biden’s equating his enforcing pool etiquette to standing up to a gang leader.
Although the content of Come On, Man! is hardly revolutionary, Concha’s witty language and keen insights about the 46th president and the political and cultural ecosystem that placed him in the White House make it well worth the read.