Given recent events and statements coming out of the Obama administration, citizens across the country could rightly be confused about who is running the show. Joe Biden shows up where the President should. Obama tends to speak more in terms of “we”, while Biden talks about “I” and “me.” Perhaps, with Obama’s real interests being in apologizing for American behavior and imposing international climate regulatory schemes, he has given up the rest of his office to Biden.
Not since Grover Cleveland has a President of the United States ditched the Gridiron Club’s white tie dinner in Washington. It is just not done. But, Barack Obama did. He sent Joe Biden instead. Biden gave a hilarious speech, including several jokes aimed at his Commander-in-Chief. Said Biden about Obama and Easter, “He thinks its about him.” The crowd roared. No word on Obama’s reaction.
After the Gridiron dinner, Obama sent Biden to do another of the President’s more prominent ceremonial roles — throwing out the first pitch to start baseball season. In fact, so treasured a role is it for Presidents, Biden became the first Vice President ever to throw out the first pitch. Meanwhile, Barack Obama was in Europe apologizing for the United States being arrogant. Then he was off to Turkey to clear up any misconceptions that the United States is a Christian nation.
Perhaps surrendering the ceremonial duties of the Presidency to Joe Biden, while keeping Camp David for himself, has led Biden to conclude he has become President.
Wolf Blitzer and Gloria Borger conducted an interview with Vice President Biden over the weekend and had this curious exchange.
BORGER: But wouldn’t you use your leverage that you have on an issue like this, which you call outrageous, the president himself has said is abhorrent?
BIDEN: Yes, but that’s not — I am not prepared to send American troops to die for that.
BIDEN: I am prepared to send American troops to protect the United States of America to kill al Qaeda, to root out extremists and to prevent them being able to use Afghanistan once again as a platform to attack the United States of America.
Note the use of the word “I” in relation to committing American troops. Biden said he, not the President or the administration, he is “prepared to send American troops” out on missions.
What other powers has Barack Obama ceded to Joe Biden that we don’t know about? Perhaps the annual pardoning of the Thanksgiving turkey will turn up more powers now possessed by Joe Biden.
Emanuel Cleaver (D-MO) Thinks Repressive Regimes Give the World “Diversity”
While a lot of commentators have talked about the Congressional Black Caucus’s trip to Cuba, few have paid any attention to comments made by Congressman Emanuel Cleaver to NPR’s Melissa Block.
At the 2 minute mark in the interview, reporter Melissa Block asks, “Well, Congressman, you well know that supporters of current Cuba policy, supporters of the embargo, say if you lift sanctions you are going to just aid and justify a repressive regime, you are going to kill any hope of democracy — that regime will just use more resources to become more oppressive than it already is.”
Cleaver’s response: “Well, the world operates at its best when there’s diversity. Every nation does not need to be like the United States. And, frankly, we already have ties to diplomatic nations. And, frankly, if there is repression in Cuba we didn’t see it.”
Block then pointed out that Cleaver did not meet with any Cuban dissidents at all during the entire trip. Cleaver’s response was that "it’s not going to be helpful for us to throw our fingers in the face of the Cuban leadership while we’re saying to them dialogue is possible."
What makes this more disgusting is that Emanuel Cleaver sits on the Senior Advisory Committee of the National Democratic Institute. On February 10, 2006, then Chairman of the NDI, Madeline K. Albright, sent out a letter which began as follows:
As Chairman of the National Democratic Institute (NDI), I am writing to seek your support for peaceful democratic activists in Cuba. This March will mark the third anniversary of the “Cuban Spring,” when 75 independent journalists, human rights activists and independent trade union members were summarily tried and condemned to prison terms of up to 28 years, solely for seeking the basic freedoms that the Cuban government has long denied them.
Among those that continue to suffer under harsh prison conditions are 45 organizers of the Varela Project, a grassroots movement that draws on a provision in the Cuban constitution that enables citizens to introduce legislation when accompanied by 10,000 signatures. Despite the Cuban government’s illegal rejection and repression of the project, organizers have managed to collect and submit more than 25,000 signatures to the Cuban National Assembly calling for a referendum on establishing a free society with open elections, freedom of speech and assembly, and freedom for political prisoners.
Emanuel sits on the Senior Advisory Committee of an organization that recognizes Cuba lacks "basic freedoms" for its citizens and thinks Cuba "does not need to be like the United States". He willfully closes his eyes to that which he already knows, telling NPR, "if there is repression in Cuba we didn’t see it."
The most pertinent question is this: does Emanuel Cleaver think the United States needs to be like the United States?