Yes, Mr. Vice-President, it is a big f*ing deal! Shredding the Constitution always is. Joe Biden is of course a buffoon, and he might even be slightly crazy. (Boy-oh-boy, we sure are lucky we didn’t end up with that loose cannon Sarah Palin!) But every now and then, in his own inimitable way, he says something that is on the mark. The latest gaffe — dropping the F-bomb on an open microphone during the healthcare bill signing ceremony — being a case in point and, in this writer’s humble opinion, an understatement. But you probably know my views on the healthcare law by now. 1 For the present discussion, I want to focus on the illustrious Mr. Biden.
As I am sure everyone is well aware, Joe Biden is compulsively prone to making these kinds of wacky remarks, always, it would seem, at the worst possible moments. He has done so as Vice President, as a candidate for VP, and also over his long career as a United States Senator. Here is just a sampling of the rich repertoire of Bidenisms:
- As the titular head of the White House team that is supposed to keep track of stimulus spending, Biden was on the CBS “Early Show” touting a government-run website that allegedly tracks stimulus money. When he was asked for the site’s web address, he said: “You know, I’m embarrassed. Do you know the Web site number?” he asked an aide standing out of view. “I should have it in front of me and I don’t. I’m actually embarrassed.”
- And of course, we all remember his colorful remarks last year about the Swine Flu: “I would tell members of my family – and I have – I wouldn’t go anywhere in confined places now. It’s not that it’s going to Mexico – if you’re in a confined aircraft and one person sneezes, it goes all the way through the aircraft…. I would not be at this point, if [my family] had another way of transportation, [be] suggesting they ride the subway.”
- At a St. Patrick’s Day celebration at the White House, Biden took a moment to honor the memory of the Irish prime minister’s mother—a woman who is still very much alive. “God rest her soul,” Biden said. But he quickly corrected himself noting it was the prime minister’s father who had passed: “Wait … your mom’s still, your mom is still alive. It was your Dad (who) passed. God bless her soul. I gotta get this straight.”
- Finally, when recently asked to comment on why no one seems to pay attention anymore when he says something off-the-wall, he said, “A couple weeks ago, I insulted this disabled kid and a pregnant lady all in one day, but all anyone wanted to talk about was how President Obama was hating on the Special Olympics. I’ve gotta figure out ways to elevate my game.”
The temptation is to write off old Joe as the crazy but affable uncle of the Obama administration who they keep locked up in the attic of the White House (or in the cellar, if you prefer) and only let out when they have to—for special ceremonies and such. And even on these occasions it almost always looks like Obama is actually on the verge of tackling Biden before he blurts out some hellishly embarrassing thing in front of a live microphone. Though I have to admit that lately it seems the President has resigned himself to the Vice President’s risible verbosity. I mean, what can he do but laugh it off and hope no one is paying that much attention. And of course the Government Information Ministry, formerly known as the mainstream media, is more than happy to laugh along with the President over Joe’s gaffes as though it’s all a big joke and we needn’t worry that he’s only a heartbeat away from running the country.
So there is this temptation, encouraged by the media, to say, “Well, it’s just Biden being Biden” and to ignore whatever he has to say. And make no mistake; a lot of what he does say is indeed rambling nonsense. But bear in mind, he sits in on all national security briefings and other top level meetings with the President and the Cabinet. He obviously has the highest level security clearance which gives him access to all sorts of classified information. (I mean, he has to have that right?) And after all, he is next in line to be President if, God forbid, anything should happen! So one has to think that he knows about stuff, lots of stuff, and that he has known about it for a long time, going all the way back to the days of the 2008 campaign.
But therein lies the pickle this administration finds itself in. Biden is the Vice President. But he is also Joe Biden. He is still the big, likeable, garrulous, grinning guy from Scranton, PA who can’t wait to tell everybody what he knows or to blurt out whatever’s on his mind, even if what he knows or what’s on his mind is a big f*ing deal, to put it in the vernacular of the Vice President. And so, every now and then, chatty Joe blabs about something that he’s not supposed to. He lets out something that he’s just heard, or read, or been told is a really big secret. I’m alluding to what Biden said back during the 2008 campaign. Remember? It was on the campaign trail and Biden had recently been selected as Barack Obama’s running mate. In fact, you could say this was one of his first gaffes as a member of “Team Obama.” He was at a fundraiser in Seattle, surrounded by the party faithful. He was in his element. He hadn’t realized that there were any press in the room (not that they make any difference anyhow) until after he had rambled on about some very revealing stuff. Here are some excerpts:
“Mark my words, it will not be six months before the world tests Barack Obama like they did John Kennedy… Remember I said it standing here if you don’t remember anything else I said. Watch, we’re gonna have an international crisis, a generated crisis, to test the mettle of this guy…. And he’s gonna need help. And the kind of help he’s gonna need is, he’s gonna need you — not financially to help him — we’re gonna need you to use your influence, your influence within the community, to stand with him. Because it’s not gonna be apparent initially, it’s not gonna be apparent that we’re right…. Because I promise you, you all are gonna be sitting here a year from now going, ‘Oh my God, why are they there in the polls? Why is the polling so down? Why is this thing so tough?’ … So I’m asking you now, I’m asking you now, be prepared to stick with us. Remember the faith you had at this point because you’re going to have to reinforce us… There are gonna be a lot of you who want to go, ‘Whoa, wait a minute, yo, whoa, whoa, I don’t know about that decision.’ … I probably shouldn’t have said all this because it dawned on me that the press is here.” (Emphasis added.) 2
As the then Chairman of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, Biden also touted his own credentials and said he would add value to the Obama ticket. “I’ve forgotten more about foreign policy than most of my colleagues know,” he said, “so I’m not being falsely humble with you.”
So what exactly was Joe, the humble foreign policy expert, talking about? What did the Obama people confide in him was going to happen? What kind of test? JFK had to deal with the Cuban Missile Crisis which brought the world to the brink of nuclear annihilation. Is that what he meant? Just what kinds of decisions were going to be coming down that would make folks say “Whoa… I don’t know about that decision!” Liberals (nervous liberals especially) will conveniently dismiss this as Biden just opening his big mouth. But I think Biden gave us a brief, rare glimpse into the inner sanctum here. He opened up a small window into the mind of this administration when it was in its infancy, sensing that victory was at hand and planning about all the fundamentally transforming things they were going to do, both domestically and on the international scene. And Biden was like a new convert who had just come out of a revival meeting, having heard the true Progressive Gospel for the first time; and he just couldn’t wait to spread the word, to tell everybody what he knows.
While this administration has seen its challenges in the international arena, a catastrophe of the magnitude that Mr. Biden was suggesting has yet to materialize. There have been no Cuban Missile-size crises or 9-11’s to deal with. So Biden’s prognostications as to timing have been wrong… so far. However, just about every week it seems like there is some new big f*ing deal. Some new push. Some new peeling away of the onion. Some new chipping away at the foundation. Gradually, the curtain is being pulled back on this President and his administration to reveal the inner-workings of the machine; the levers and pulleys of the mechanism of fundamental transformation. But none of these things rise to the level of actual crises. Certainly none have been “generated” by our enemies. They don’t even come from someplace else in the world. Rather, they are ginned up right here, at home, by this President and his administration.
For example just this past week, the Obama administration announced a new nuclear policy for the country. For the first time, we unilaterally and preemptively have said to the world that we are fundamentally altering our policy as to when and against whom we will and will not use our nuclear arsenal. In particular, the new policy actually allows certain nations to attack us with biological and chemical weapons and we will politely refrain to retaliate with a nuclear weapon. Without here debating the merits or recklessness of such a decision (i.e., whether or not our existing or potential enemies will be inspired to follow suit or actually emboldened to press an advantage) it is beyond dispute that such a move is unprecedented in the history of American nuclear security policy. In fact, it is a radical change in that policy. It is a meddling with something that does not cry out for meddling with, indeed, something that has stood us in good stead for some sixty odd years. And yet, this decision follows a pattern and formula that has become the hallmark of this administration. That being: fundamental change, for its own sake. Fundamental change, based on an intellectual argument. Fundamental change, whether you like it or not.
So again, what was Joe Biden talking about? What kind of long range plans and schemes did the Obama people let him in on (before it dawned on them they were talking to Joe Biden.) Did he hear something but misinterpret it? There is certainly a high likelihood of that! Maybe he got the “test” part right but mixed up the antagonists. Just who is testing whom here? Is it this President who, like John Kennedy, is being tested by the world? Or is it perhaps the other way around? We could ask Joe Biden, but he’d probably honestly say he doesn’t remember.
Fn. 1: In case you don’t, I expand on why this law is an affront to the U.S. Constitution in several prior posts. To read, start by clicking here: https://culturecrusader.wordpress.com/2010/03/20/why-you-don%e2%80%99t-have-a-right-to-healthcare/
Fn. 2: Source: