Well, tonight’s the big night, the night we’ve all been waiting for. The most-anticipated vice-presidential debate in history, with Joe Biden taking on Sarah Palin. And with all the attention being put on Ms. Palin ever since John McCain chose her as his running mate, I felt a little bad for old Joe. He deserves a bit of the spotlight, too, so I figured I’d remind folks just what Joe will be bringing to the match.
And just to be fair, I’m going to limit myself to just things he’s said in the current campaign season.
The only problem is, I don’t know where to begin.
Let’s start off lightly. Joe thinks that one of the problems we have is that the government doesn’t have enough money. To solve that, he says that it’s not only our patriotic, but religious duty to pay higher taxes.
And we can trust Joe on religious matters. He’s a devout Catholic, and an expert on that church’s teachings. Just ask him. Especially when it comes to the Church’s position on abortion.
Speaking of the Bible, Joe seems to think that he just might have divine powers. At a campaign rally in Missouri, he tried to heal a paralyzed state senator with the power of his voice. “Chuck Graham, state senator, is here. Chuck, stand up! Chuck, let ’em see ya! Oh, God love ya, what am I talking about? I’ll tell you what, you’re making everybody else stand up, pal. Thank you very, very much. I tell you what, stand up for Chuck! Thank you, pal.”
It seems that Democrats in wheelchairs just bring out the worst in Joe. When the current economic crisis started coming to a head, he blasted the president’s response, noting that when the stock market crashed in 1929, President Roosevelt went on TV to reassure the nation.
Apparently Senator Biden was absent from school on the day they covered the facts that 1) President Roosevelt was still Governor Roosevelt in 1929, and would not be elected until 1932; and 2) there wasn’t a heck of a lot of TV in 1929. Indeed, Roosevelt was most famous for his “fireside chats” on the radio.
Biden is also a bit out of step with other prominent Democrats of today as well. He made a point of saying that he thought an ad attacking John McCain as technologically impaired was “terrible.” More specifically, “I thought that was terrible, by the way. I didn’t know we did it and if I had anything to do with it, we’d have never done it.”
I guess Biden was just trying to balance things out with his running mate. Back when they were rivals, Biden praised Obama: “I mean, you got the first mainstream African-American who is articulate and bright and clean and a nice-looking guy … I mean, that’s a storybook, man.”
Itt isn’t just articulate, bright, clean African-Americans that Biden inappropriately praises. He also thinks the world of Indian-Americans (the ones from India, not Native Americans). “In Delaware, the largest growth in population is Indian-Americans, moving from India. You cannot go to a 7-11 or a Dunkin Donuts unless you have a slight Indian accent.” With that, he just sewed up the vote of Apu and every Kwiki-Mart franchisee.
You can trust Biden on India. He not only has a lot of constituents from there, he’s been in that area numerous times. In fact, he had a brush with death practically next door, in Afghanistan. “If you want to know where Al Qaeda lives, you want to know where Bin Laden is, come back to Afghanistan with me,” Biden said. “Come back to the area where my helicopter was forced down, with a three-star general and three senators at 10,500 feet in the middle of those mountains. I can tell you where they are.”
Biden’s helicopter was caught in a snowstorm, and the pilot chose to land for a while to wait the storm out.
Biden also caused a flurry of controversy when he thought it would be a good idea to praise Hillary Clinton. There’s nothing wrong with that, but as usual, his mouth ran away from him. “Hillary Clinton is as qualified or more qualified than I am to be vice-president of the United States of America. Let’s get that straight.She’s a truly close personal friend…quite frankly, it might have been a better pick than me. But she’s first rate, I mean that sincerely, she’s first rate.”
I could go on and on, but I think I’ve made my point — and I’ve only scratched the surface.
The really disturbing thing, though, is that these are not the most dangerous things to come out of Joe Biden’s mouth. The fun Biden gaffes are great for laughs, but that’s because they jump out at us as so absurd.
No, the really disturbing Bidenisms are the ones that sneak under the radar, the ones that don’t leap out as ludicrous — but only after you have a little time to look at the details of what he says.
I discussed this a while ago, with a principle I called “The Three B’s Of Joe Biden.” When Biden is challenged, he has a three-step response that he unloads to silence his critics: he Bullies, he Blusters, and he Bullshits. And it tends to work — people are put back by his bullying and blustering, and don’t have the presence or the facts to expose his bullshit.
During the first McCain-Obama debate, the McCain people were seriously on their game. They noted that Obama kept saying “I agree with John,” and put out an ad almost before the debate was over highlighting those statements..
Here’s hoping that the McCain camp has a legion of fact-checkers at their keyboards ready to go over every wild claim Biden makes tonight, because he’s pretty much guaranteed to toss of at least one major line of bullshit.
Hey, that could actually be a fun contest — how many howlers will Biden spout before the debate ends? How many things will he simply make up to make some point?
I’m gonna give Joe some credit. I’ll say two. I’m sure his handlers are pounding him to not do any, but I have faith that he’ll overcome them.
(Yes, I am recycling an earlier title. It was such a good one, I couldn’t resist.)