On Sunday evening, President Joe Biden probed new depths of absurdity during a calamitous press conference in Hanoi, Vietnam. According to the Daily Mail, Biden’s latest series of incoherent public statements ended abruptly when press secretary Karine Jean-Pierre interrupted the babbling president and jazz music began playing in the background. “But I tell you what, I don’t know about you, but I’m going to go to bed,” the sleepy octogenarian said moments before Jean-Pierre’s interruption. “Thank you everybody. This ends the press conference. Thanks everyone,” the press secretary said as the president continued speaking. Biden did not know that his mic had been cut. The most underpaid employee in the world might be the current White House transcriptionist. One can only imagine what it takes to turn Biden’s spoken words into readable text. Indeed, the White House’s transcript of the president’s remarks in Hanoi illustrates the Herculean task of making Biden intelligible. The president opened with an attempt at a joke. “Well, you know, there is that — one of my staff members said, ‘Remember the famous song, you know, ‘Good Morning, Vietnam’?’ Well, good evening, Vietnam. And good morning back in America,” Biden said. First, there were the halting transitions –“there is that — one of my staff members said” –signified by horizontal lines in nearly every paragraph. And those were the president’s prepared remarks. Then, of course, there was the joke itself. The hit 1987 film “Good Morning, Vietnam,” starring the late Robin Williams, criticized the U.S. military for concealing harsh truths about the Vietnam War. One wonders how the Vietnamese people enjoyed Biden’s casual humor about an apocalyptic era in their history. The president then fielded five questions from foreign reporters. “And now, I will take your questions. Let me see. They told me — they gave me five people here,” Biden began. No doubt the president’s team cringed at this admission. A Reuters reporter asked Biden about China. “It’s not about isolating China. It’s about making sure the rules of the road — everything from airspace and — and space and in the ocean is — the international rules of the road are — are — are abided by,” the president said in the course of a rambling reply. Later, a reporter from the French international news agency AFP asked about the so-called climate crisis. After a pointless commentary on trees and farming, Biden treated the reporters to some good old-fashioned homespun. “And there’s a — my — my brother loves having — there’s famous lines from movies that he always quotes. You know, it’s — and one — one of them is — there’s — there’s a movie about John Wayne. He’s an Indian scout. And they’re trying to get the Ap- — I think it was the Apache — one — one of the great tribes of America back on the reservation,” Biden said to the foreign reporters as if they should know John Wayne or the Indians of North America. It got worse. “And he’s standing with a Union so- — so he’s — they’re all on their — and they’re on their horses in their saddles. And there’s three or four Indians in headdresses, and the Union soldiers — and the Union soldiers are basically saying to the Indians, ‘Come with me, we’ll take care of you. We’ll — everything will be good.'” Wait for it now. “And the Indian scou- — the Indian looks at John Wayne and points to the Union soldier and says, ‘He’s a lying, dog-faced pony soldier.'” Yes. He actually said that. The president took his “lying, dog-faced pony soldier” line to Vietnam. Believe it or not, Biden thought he was making a substantive point. “Well, there’s a lot of lying, dog-faced pony soldiers out there about — about global warming, but not anymore,” the president said. Biden then meandered through a response to one more question before announcing that he planned to go to bed. Even then, he kept talking, though no one could understand him. “We — it wasn’t confrontational at all. He came up to me. He said (inaudible) –” Biden mumbled before Jean-Pierre’s interruption. Thus, the spectacle concluded with jazz music and a bewildered president shuffling off stage. Sometimes language fails us — not only Biden but all of us. Describing such scenes as unfolded at that Hanoi press conference poses challenges enough. How can one hope to attach meaning to it? One possibility consists in contextualizing Biden’s gaffes. No president, not even George W. Bush, has had such an adversarial relationship with words and sentences. On the other hand, this goes beyond gaffes. Biden’s farcical presidency defies belief. It must defy belief because it unfolds daily in front of people who pretend not to notice. In that sense, the joke was not on the president but on the reporters who kept asking questions and on everyone else who behaved as if the scene were perfectly normal. This article appeared originally on The Western Journal.