First of all, let me apologize to the kookaburra, a large Australian bird with a raucous call resembling an inane, manic laugh. American troops stationed there during World War II referred to the bird as the “laughing jackass.” Yes, its call is annoying, even maddening. But it is just a bird-brain, doing what its instincts tell it to do. In no way is it comparable to Vice President Joe Biden, who is a human being and should know better.
Many people were deceived into believing that Biden is “good old Joe,” your eccentric uncle who tells bad jokes and embarrasses everyone – except himself – at family gatherings. Others believed he is “slow Joe,” who is a nice guy but just doesn’t quite get it. But both of these notions were proved incorrect during the vice-presidential debate with Congressman Paul Ryan.
Of course, this is no news to Judge Robert Bork and Justice Clarence Thomas, who were savaged by “good old Joe” during their confirmation hearings. Remember Thomas and his “high tech lynching”? Remember the sexual innuendoes against Thomas reminiscent of the KKK? And I suspect that Dick Cheney and Donald Rumsfeld would have something to say about Biden as well.
No, old Joe is neither good nor slow. Fixed, inappropriate smiles are signs of rude condescension, not good humor. Apparent inability to respond to the point under discussion is a shrewd tactic to avoid an embarrassing topic, not a sign of stupidity or senility. Consider:
● Laughing during discussions of an attack on our consulate in Libya that killed four Americans, including our ambassador, is not a lame attempt at humor, but a successful attempt to divert attention from a serious – no, a fatal – security breach.
● Smirking during a discussion of a struggling economy is not a lame attempt to minimize the suffering of millions of Americans, but a partially successful attempt to minimize Congressman Ryan.
● “That’s a lot of malarkey” is not a lame attempt to refute what Ryan just said, but a partially successful attempt to divert the audience’s attention from what he just said.
● “It’s mathematically impossible” is not a lame attempt to refute the idea that lowering tax rates can stimulate the economy and therefore raise tax receipts, but a partially successful attempt to divert the audience’s attention from the fact that prominent economists agree that this can happen.
● “It never happened” is not a lame attempt to refute the fact that Social Security’s chief actuary testified that ObamaCare will bleed Medicare of over $700 billion, but a partially successful attempt to rewrite recent history.
● Incessant interruptions and talking over Ryan out of turn are not lame attempts to correct errors, but partially successful attempts to shut Ryan up.
● “You’re not Jack Kennedy” is not a lame attempt to deny that Kennedy advocated a tax cut to stimulate the economy, but an even lamer attempt to belittle Paul Ryan.
● “Blah blah blah” is not a lame attempt to ridicule what Ryan was saying, but a partially successful attempt to ridicule Ryan, and a completely successful attempt to ridicule Biden himself.
The really sad thing is that Biden represents today’s Democratic Party – condescending, snarky, smiling a phony smile, nauseatingly self-righteous, and utterly intolerant of differing opinions to the point that it refuses to deal with them seriously.
During the Obama-Romney debate, we saw a reasonably intelligent Barack Obama attempting unsuccessfully to put forward arguments he knew to be fallacious. Of course Obama looked down often – he knew he was playing a losing hand.
But during the Biden-Ryan debate, we saw an enthusiastic, energetic, almost manic Biden doing his best to bluff on what he may – or may not – understand is a losing hand.
Obama is a relative newcomer to politics. He still has difficulty making counter-factual arguments. Reality sometimes intrudes into his consciousness. But Biden has been in politics since Noah’s Flood. He has no difficulty making counter-factual arguments – on the contrary, he revels in it, having so much practice. To him, reality is not found in the external world – on the contrary, it is found in political expediency.
I would not be surprised if Biden could pass a polygraph test. He has spent so many years fabricating a false reality to suit his politics that he has forgotten what reality is. He is the living embodiment of the Ruler of the Queen’s Na-vy: He always voted at his party’s call; he never thought of thinking for himself at all. But unlike the Gilbert and Sullivan character, he does not control a fictitious navy – he is one heartbeat away from controlling our nation.
And how would that work out?
Dr. Stolinsky writes on political and social issues. Contact: firstname.lastname@example.org. You are welcome to publish or post these articles, provided that you cite the author and website.