Vice President Joe Biden is the gift that keeps on giving to Republicans. He pumps out the final absurd reduction of Obama policy with a frequency that dismays conservatives who were really looking forward to performing that absurd reduction themselves. For several years, he’s delighted audiences by reading every third word in his talking-point memos, and blurting out hilariously inconvenient truths while holding forth in front of cameras.
Everybody has their favorite Bidenism. Mine came recently, when – in the course of explaining why the GOP is “absolutely strong enough” to defeat his ticket in 2012 – he described the stark choice facing Americans next year as follows:
What I’m counting on, what I read out there, the judgment of the American people to decide… They know the hole we’re in, they know how far we’ve come out, they’re dissatisfied how fast we’re going, and they’re gonna have to choose whether or not the path we have set the country on is the path that we should continue to go, or that we should go back to liberating the economy in the terms… of…
Hell, none of the Republican presidential candidates have expressed the choice between the Obama death spiral and economic liberty with such clarity. It’s a pity Biden realized what he was saying and shut up before finishing that last sentence. I’d love to know what he thinks the Republicans would liberate the economy in terms of.
Biden’s generally neutral treatment in the press is nothing less than a marvel to everyone who remembers the bottomless contempt shown to Dan Quayle, almost entirely based on two events: his statement on the proper spelling of “potato” at a spelling bee, after he was given a flash card with the word spelled “potatoe,” and his citation of the fictional character Murphy Brown during a discussion of how single motherhood is presented to young people by Hollywood.
As to the latter, he was making a debatable comment about the dangerously unrealistic pop-culture portrayal of single motherhood, not expelling a Biden-level blast of pure stupidity. Furthermore, after mulling over what Quayle actually said for a few years, instead of writing snarky “dumb Veep argues with TV character” dross, the media began to grudgingly admit that “Dan Quayle Was Right.”
Quayle’s name nevertheless became pop-culture shorthand for idiot politicians. He still pops up in throwaway jokes on TV shows and movies watched largely by people born after he left office. To this day, if you obtain the lowest possible score in the current version of the popular computer game Civilization, your performance is ranked as equivalent to Dan Quayle’s leadership skills.
Joe Biden pumps out witless statements and incredible gaffes at a pace that Dan Quayle could only achieve with a combination of amphetamines, tequila, and a Joy Behar marathon. The media largely ignores Biden, even though his clear unfitness for office reflects enormously on Barack Obama’s judgment. Even when Biden was caught referring to Tea Party activists as “terrorists” – and then caught lying about it – the media wasn’t interested in discussing the mindset of desperation and paranoia that would lead one of the highest Administration officials to castigate a huge population of Americans in such ugly terms. They didn’t just let him off the hook. With Biden, there is no hook.
Alas, it’s time for the Biden clown act to come to an end. Conservatives really shouldn’t have let it continue for so long, just because he amuses us. Contrary to the traditional “warm bucket of spit” evaluation of Biden’s office, America deserves a minimally functional Vice President, not least because he could be tasked with taking over the Oval Office, if the President becomes incapacitated.
And Joe Biden is not minimally functional. Recently, he’s been pushing President Obama’s moribund “jobs” bill by warning that if the Administration which drove America to record heights of debt is not given more money to spend, a shortage of police and first responders will result, leading to higher crime rates. Of course, this metric is never applied to the fantastic sums Obama has wasted or given to his cronies. Only the refusal to pay higher taxes and agree to more government spending leaves those police and fire-fighter jobs dangerously unfilled.
Biden trotted out this foolishness again at a University of Pennsylvania speech on Tuesday… and retooled it to the brutally stupid wish that opponents of Obama’s “jobs” bill could be raped, so they would understand the consequences of defying the President’s demands. As transcribed at Big Journalism, the Vice President was upset by the assertion that Obama-style “stimulus” jobs tend to be temporary:
[Opponents of Obama’s jobs bill say] this is just temporary. Well, let me tell you, it’s not temporary when that 911 call comes in and a woman’s being raped, if a cop shows up in time to prevent the rape–it’s not temporary to that woman. It’s not temporary to the guy whose store is being held up and has a gun pointed at his head, if a cop shows up and he’s not killed, that’s not temporary to that store owner… I wish they had some notion what it’s like to be on the other side of a gun or a 200-pound man standing over you telling you to submit.
(Emphases mine.) The old-guard feminist movement sold its soul to keep Bill Clinton in office after the Lewinsky scandal, when it began offering mulligans for the formerly devastating crime of sexual harassment, to those with the right Party credentials. Has it recaptured enough of its soul to express outrage against a Democrat, seated in the second highest federal office, who trivializes rape to push a partisan campaign agenda? It doesn’t even qualify as a “political” agenda, since the Obama “jobs” bill was always intended as a campaign instrument, not a serious piece of legislation.
How about it, feminists and journalists? The Vice President of the United States, looking to work up public pressure on behalf of a bill that died in the chamber controlled by his own party, just told a crowd of college students that he wishes his opponents – many of whom are women – could find themselves underneath a 200-pound rapist, so they could appreciate the need for trillion dollar tax hikes. Are you cool with the great issues of the day being debated in such mindless and ugly terms? Do Republicans get to wish Democrats would be sexually assaulted so they could understand the need for respecting the Second Amendment rights of women?
If Biden was a Republican, he’d be out of office by the end of the week. With sincere apologies to Dick Cheney, I invite you to turn back the clock and imagine the round-the-clock editorial firestorm that would have resulted if Bush security policy had been peddled this way to a university audience. I’ve read a few press accounts of Biden’s University of Pennsylvania speech, and the rape comments have been very carefully edited out of them all.
It obviously makes a world of difference to the media that Biden has a (D) after his name. Let’s find out if that world of difference orbits anywhere within the solar system of intellectual honesty and common decency.
It’s time to go, Joe.
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