It’s odd. I just watched one of those dreary year-anniversary treatments of the Joe Biden presidency, and it left out his most important achievement.
In newsroom talk, that’s called “burying the lede.”
Staying in journalism mode, I’m going to pronounce it the editorial omission of the century.
It’s easy to explain, given the nature of the news beast – to treat it all like a horse race and each matter a zero-sum pronouncement.
Not surprisingly, the rehash focused mostly on Biden’s frustration — how two conservative members of his party helped the party on the outs prevent great things.
Even when focused on his accomplishments, which have been substantial, the spin was “what might have been.”
The amazing thing is that a quite lengthy treatment of Year 1 left out the most important “would have been” if not for Joe Biden: Donald Trump still would be president.
You can put everything else aside – the defeat on voting rights, the frustration on climate change and extending the expanded child tax credit. You can also set aside saving the lives of millions through vaccination and dogged pandemic precautions.
Set it all aside, because nothing – nothing at all – outweighs this:
Donald Trump is not president.
The person who got the most votes – 3 million more – is our president. Novel, eh?
The person who thought he could snake his way back to office by pandering to southern bigotry and Rust Belt desperation could not.
Now he can’t deliver pardons to anyone, certainly not to “patriots” who brutalized Capitol police, who defecated in Capitol halls.
He can’t do a thing for those who otherwise broke the law in all manner of ways to do his bidding.
Rudy Guiliani no longer is on retainer from us. Roger Stone is no longer on Line 1.
When Steve Bannon and Michael Flynn come up with their latest scheme to end democracy, they aren’t ushered into the East Entrance.
Donald Jr., Eric, Ivanka, and Jared no longer are making a buck in the mold of the Great Grifter, not even leaving fingerprints on our furniture.
We no longer are paying for White House lawyers whose job is to make sure we as citizens know nothing whatsoever of what this man, our foremost employee, has done or is doing with the office a minority of voters awarded him.
We no longer are paying for photo ops that frame a thousand lies. That Bible the Great Miscreant held up after the gassing of protesters is back in its “In case of emergency: break glass” holder.
That bunker in which he hid when the heat got intense has been fumigated and disinfected.
The civil case the DA in Manhattan is investigating about the Trump Organization’s corruption is Trump’s burden to bear, not taxpayers’. So, too, with the criminal case in Georgia where he threatened election officials who balked at his demand to “find 11,780 votes.”
Because Donald Trump is no longer in office, our attorney general no longer is his caddy, his concierge. The AG is an independent law enforcement official investigating the former president’s role in the Jan. 6 coup attempt.
In the extenuated rehashing of Biden Year 1, we of course heard about our Afghanistan exit and how disastrously that shook down. We heard that 13 Americans died in the process. What we didn't hear about were any of the Americans who didn’t die last year because they weren’t fighting a forever war.
Oh, and in each rehash we heard about Biden’s not-so-hot poll numbers. But guess what? As I write this, his average approval rating, 42 percent, towers like a colossus next to Trump’s rating — 29 percent – as he slunk off in the most disgraceful way imaginable.
Whatever Joe Biden does or fails to do, nothing will compare to causing that exit.
Longtime newspaperman John Young lives in Colorado. Email: firstname.lastname@example.org.