I never watch debates in real time. If my side falters, I prefer to hear the worst all at once in an after-action news report. Tonight, I may hang out at one of the few fast-food joints with an open dining room. Or I'll give the dog an extra-long walk.
Frankly, I fear that something bad will occur. My paranoia button has been well-and-truly pushed.
The GOP has made Joe Biden's alleged "dementia" a non-stop talking point. Here's one example; I could cite a dozen more.
Trump also routinely accuses Biden of doing drugs. It's a strange line of attack: Trump often sounds nuttier than a jar of Peter Pan, and his Adderall abuse is pretty well established by this point. (We even have photographic evidence). There have also been credible claims that Trump has used, and may still use, cocaine.
What if this smear campaign is something more than a mere smear campaign? What if this is a set-up?
Let us consider several examples from the past.
In the '90s, I had a long conversation with Carl Oglesby, former SDS leader and author of an influential book called The Yankee-Cowboy War. Since he is no longer with us, I can reveal something he told me privately: Just before he testified at the Chicago 8 trial (which became the Chicago 7 trial), he was dosed with acid. He knew what was happening to him, because he had tried LSD previously.
I later read the relevant portion of the trial transcript and saw that, despite this impairment, he did quite well. But a 77 year-old Biden might not handle the acid test as well as a mid-30s Carl Oglesby.
The Nixon era offers a much more notorious example.
In 1972, the candidate that Richard Nixon most feared was Ed Muskie of Maine. Tall and Lincoln-esque, Muskie had far more mainstream appeal than did the ultimate nominee, George McGovern. Muskie seemed unstoppable -- until he had a bizarre emotional outburst while telling off a reporter who had taken an unfair shot at Muskie's wife.
It was rumored that an infiltrator in Muskie's entourage had drugged him. The rumors were heard not just in Democratic circles but at CIA headquarters. Notorious spook Miles Copeland spoke about this incident in 1973:
Copeland suggested that Muskie had been the victim of a "dirty trick" by E. Howard Hunt or one of Hunt's White House Lieutenants. Copeland revealed that the CIA and the Army had developed an LSD-like chemical that would cause people to behave irrationally and to cry.
As it happens, there really was an infiltrator within the Muskie campaign -- a man who worked directly for a young dirty trickster named Roger Stone. This WP story demands your attention:
Stone did not merely engage in dirty tricks; in 1972, the then-19-year-old Stone was assigned by CREEP official Herbert “Bart” Porter to recruit a spy to penetrate the campaigns of Democratic presidential hopefuls. The secret Nixon agent, Michael W. McMinoway, introduced himself successively into the campaigns of Edmund Muskie, Hubert Humphrey and George McGovern. Stone became his case officer, receiving intelligence from McMinoway via a post office box in Washington.
In an earlier post, I argued that Stone planted a man inside Carter's 1980 campaign, and that this infiltrator played a role in what became known as the "Debategate" scandal.
Is there an infiltrator close to Biden? Close enough to slip something into his coffee?
I'll say this: It's impossible for me to imagine a campaign in which Republican dirty tricksters would not try to plant someone within the opposing camp.
The "Biden uses drugs" and "Biden has dementia" smear campaign reminds me of 2016. At that time, the right-wing press was filled with "Hillary is sick!" and "Hillary is dying!" smears. They even faked up medical records.
Then she took that infamous stumble at a 9/11 memorial event. It was soon revealed that she suffered from a bout of pneumonia. Of course, everyone on the right screamed in unison that the rumors were true -- that she really was dying.
(Hillary is still with us, and seems to be doing just fine.)
In this 2016 post, I argued that an infiltrator within her campaign poisoned Hillary. I wasn't the only person to make this suggestion: Respected neuropathologist Bennet Omalu came to the same conclusion.
Other people in Hillary's entourage were also stricken.
Paul Manafort is often thought to be behind the poisoning of Viktor Yushenko in Ukraine. And we all know what Putin does to his opponents.
My advice to Joe Biden: DO NOT EAT OR DRINK ANYTHING BETWEEN NOW AND 9 PM. If you must drink or eat, exercise total caution. Trust no-one. Paranoia is your friend.