As Election Day fast approaches, the right wing seems to have run aground in its attempts to character assassinate Joe Biden.
In absence of anything of substance with which to spin a scandal, Biden's opponents seem to have settled upon mocking Biden for seeming to be a good father, an approach that has left many scratching their heads.
This tactic reached a new level of absurd yesterday when conservative pundit John Cardillo made a bizarre attempt to sexualize an affectionate photo of Biden and his son Hunter, and Twitter all but melted down in response.
Does this look like an appropriate father/son interaction to you? https://t.co/XDMIsgjUKI— John Cardillo (@John Cardillo)1603327529.0
In the tweet, which features a black and white photo of Biden embracing and kissing his son on the cheek, Cardillo added a caption that posed an innuendo-laden question:
"Does this look like an appropriate father/son interaction to you?"
Cardillo's calculation seems to have been that when a Democrat is leading in the polls by a double-digit margin and substantive policy arguments against him are hard to come by, the next best move is to imply the Democrat wants to have gay sex with his son.
While certainly the most bizarre, Cardillo's tweet was only the latest example of what has come to seem like an outright obsession on the right with Joe Biden's fatherly relationship with Hunter.
Previously, right-wing pundits and media outlets attempted to spin supposedly leaked photographs of Hunter and text messages between him and the former Vice President during Hunter's time in rehab into a something meant to be embarrassing for the former Vice President.
The move backfired--partly because the leak itself seemed to many news outlets to have been faked in the first place--but also because it accomplished the exact opposite of what was intended: an image of Joe Biden as a father dedicated to loving and supporting his son unconditionally during his darkest hour.
On Twitter, Cardillo's bizarre gambit inspired a similar level of outrage, mockery and headscratching.
@johncardillo I wish my dad was still here to hug me like that. So, yes.— Ben Stiller (@Ben Stiller)1603338055.0
@johncardillo John, if your father never gave you a hug and a kiss on the cheek, I'm truly sorry for you. Maybe it… https://t.co/Ad9Vhvm5Ek— Duncan Jones (@Duncan Jones)1603332247.0
We doing this bud? https://t.co/NJC0uKyTGO https://t.co/VnklpbM9GZ— Josh Gad (@Josh Gad)1603346657.0
@johncardillo I don’t know John lemme think about it while watching this clip of Trump talking about how stacked hi… https://t.co/Sx33nVwn7V— shauna (@shauna)1603366219.0
I remember when my dad died. There were lots of things unspoken. Had he embraced me like this I might be a differen… https://t.co/QX5B4c2c2m— S.E. Cupp (@S.E. Cupp)1603342927.0
I want to thank @johncardillo for, even in his sad, disgusting ignorance, sparking an important and valuable conve… https://t.co/8aIvgUM6Or— Richard Marx (@Richard Marx)1603347961.0
This is a picture of a father who has buried two children in unimaginable tragedies embracing his last living son. https://t.co/QCywkxDhrP— Susan Hennessey (@Susan Hennessey)1603337742.0
Yes, actually, it does — that is, if you’re not distracted by toxic masculinity, patriarchal insecurity, and a dead… https://t.co/zTjujsGzBe— Michael Eric Dyson (@Michael Eric Dyson)1603354407.0
@johncardillo Yes. Very. Now do Donald. https://t.co/OtuK4OCTol— Dana Goldberg (@Dana Goldberg)1603332251.0
@johncardillo parents, make sure your children understand that you love them, so they don't grow up to be John Cardillo— Jeff Tiedrich (@Jeff Tiedrich)1603368695.0
It sure beats whatever alternative made you like this. https://t.co/H0kWyPJgPQ— Anand Giridharadas (@Anand Giridharadas)1603363549.0
sickening. hunter should be 16 and a girl https://t.co/BUwYHa2bcL https://t.co/mmlCbbzz8Q— Rekha Shankar (@Rekha Shankar)1603335106.0
The Right's bizarre gambits to paint dedicated fatherhood as a weakness haven't seemed to work.
Though it has tightened slightly, the newest round of nationwide polling reveals a race in which Biden is ahead of Donald Trump by an average of 10 percentage points.