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Wednesday, January 31, 2007

Like we said...

He'll never be president.

PSAYINGS.5A.13. This is an I-told-you-so entry, with no new insights, but it might be interesting because of its old insights. Joe Biden did himself proud again today, which should have surprised no one, even though Drudge called it a "shock" that the senator would say of Obama, "'I mean, you got the first mainstream African-American who is articulate and bright and clean and a nice-looking guy..."

Here's part of a post we wrote back in March 2005. It is relevant.

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Diamond State Dimwit

Now for some comic relief from our comic relief. I live about ten minutes away from a tiny state called Delaware, which is a tad larger than Rhode Island in area but populated by fewer than a half million souls. Still, as a state of the union, Delaware has two senators, one of which is named Joe Biden. We once wrote about Mr. Biden in the Year 2000 edition of Shuteye Nation. The entry was fictionalized to show how dead serious it was.

Joe Biting. The most sanctimonious member of the U.S. Senate, Biting represents the most insignificant state in the union, Dullaware, but achieved national prominence via his tour de force performances as a character° assassin in the Senate trials of Supreme Court° nominees Robert Boink and Clarence Remus. Colleagues marvel at the dizzying level of condescension Biting consistently attains in his political and personal discourse, despite being afflicted with the first and worst hair transplant in the U.S. Senate. It is reported by female senate staffers that he can sneer even in his sleep, which is still filled with dreams of a Biting Presdency, though that opportunity disappeared in reality some years ago during a brief campaign which foundered on the disclosure that he had been a devout plagiarist during his academic career. Rumor has it that Bill Broadley’s decision to resign from the Senate was prompted by his inability to wrest the championship from Biting in the chamber’s annual Delusions of Grandeur Tournament.

Now, it seems, Senator Joe may be contemplating another shot at the presidency. The March 13 edition of The New Yorker carried a long piece on Biden, which declared among other things that:

...Biden and Kerry are also rivals—for primacy among the forty-four members of the Democratic caucus in the Senate and, presumably, for the Party’s Presidential nomination in 2008 as well.

Part of the setup for this was the following assessement:

At sixty-two, Biden has a cheerful vanity and an exuberant restlessness that make him seem far younger. Since the election, he has become a leader of a modest-sized faction—“the national-security Democrats,” in the words of Richard Holbrooke, an ambassador to the United Nations under President Clinton—that includes the most hawkish members in the Democratic Party. Among them are Senator Hillary Rodham Clinton, the former Vice-Presidential candidate John Edwards, Senator Evan Bayh, of Indiana, and Governor Bill Richardson, of New Mexico, along with a number of Clinton Administration foreign-policy officials, now in exile at think tanks scattered about Washington.

The New Yorker piece demonstrates his "muscularity" in matters of foreign affairs with anecdotes like the following:

“The decision to go to war was the right one,” Biden said recently, “but every decision they’ve made since Saddam fell was a mistake.” In particular, Biden blames Secretary of Defense Donald Rumsfeld for the troubles of postwar Iraq—for the Abu Ghraib torture scandal, for the failure to anticipate an organized insurgency, and for the difficulties encountered in the training of Iraqi soldiers. He told Condoleezza Rice, at her confirmation hearing, “For God’s sake, don’t listen to Rumsfeld. He doesn’t know what in the hell he’s talking about on this.”

In proof of just how upset Biden was over the Abu Ghraib affair, the official record shows that the senior senator from Delaware voted against the nomination of Alberto Gonzalez as attorney-general, presumably because he regarded it as unconscionable to humiliate known and suspected terrorists in an American theater of war.

We can surmise how impeccable his judgment of such matters is from his remarks about -- of all things -- the subpoenas issued to major league baseball players. Reuters reported on March 17:

The witnesses include ex-slugger Jose Canseco, who alleges widespread use of steroids in the game despite claims to the contrary by Major League Baseball.

Democratic Sen. Joseph Biden of Delaware acknowledged there was very little Congress could do, but said lawmakers should "embarrass the living hell out of these people."

It's apparently okay for Joe Biden to embarrass "the living hell" out of American citizens, while it's impossible to discover any mitigating circumstances for U.S. troops to humiliate and embarrass enemy combatants who may be conspiring against their lives.

This last, I hasten to add, is not a new point. At least one of Rush Limbaugh's dittoheads pointed up this curious fact on the radio, but it leads to another point that is only obliquely hinted at in The New Yorker piece:

Biden can be eloquent in defense of his party, and in his criticism of President Bush, but his friends worry that his verbal indiscipline will sabotage any chance he might have to win the Democratic Presidential nomination in 2008.

Verbal indiscipline. Okay. The piece goes on to cite as an example a convoluted tale of he said/he said regarding Biden's unflattering characterization of Kerry's response to the Bin Laden tape released just prior to the the 2004 election. But here's the funny part. The New Yorker also apparently played accomplice to another episode of "indiscipline" embedded within the Kerry anecdote that says far more about who Biden is as a person than anything else in the article. Here's the quote:

That night, I got off that trip, from Scranton, I got off the plane, Wilmington airport, only private aircraft, get off, pick up a phone, call a local place called the Charcoal Pit before it closes. They have great steak sandwiches and a milkshake. Triple-thick milkshake. And I hadn’t eaten. I’m going to pass it on the way home. They’re literally sweeping the floors. A woman, overweight, forty years old, a little unkempt, had a tooth missing in the side, not in the front”—he showed his flashing white teeth, to demonstrate—“walks up to me to give me my steak sandwich. ‘Senator Biden, I’m so glad you’re here. I’ve got a problem.’ And I take out a piece of paper, maybe Social Security for her mother, and she said, ‘I heard you’re for Kerry.’ And she said, ‘You’re so strong and he’s so weak.’ ”

Biden looked at me, to make sure I understood what he seemed to think was a point of considerable nuance. “I’m gonna tell you why I’m going to vote for someone,” he said, addressing the woman of the story. “Look, you’re working here tonight. If the Republicans have their way, you won’t get paid overtime. When you stay here tonight, you’re already closed. Besides that, what they want to do with your health care.” Then he quoted what the woman had replied: “But you’re so strong, and he’s so weak. And President Bush—he seems strong.”

Once again, I'm going to intervene here with a personal perspective. The Charcoal Pit is a real place, situated just where Biden said it was. Here's a picture of it.



By implication, the woman in the story is also real. "A woman, overweight, forty years old, a little unkempt, had a tooth missing in the side, not in the front”—he showed his flashing white teeth, to demonstrate—“walks up to me to give me my steak sandwich."

Here's the nub. Biden doesn't care who he embarrasses, patronizes, slanders, or humiliates. For the transparency of that, he is a walking joke and he will never become President of the United States. And I hope the good woman of the story puts something nasty in his next steak sandwich.

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It doesn't actually matter whether or not the MSM gives Joe a pass on his latest 'verbal indiscipline.' He'll keep making them, and sooner or later, one of them will do him in for good.







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