Thursday, August 6, 2009

The Gaffemeister

A Joe Biden post.

As brilliant a politician as Obama seems to be (and I mean that sincerely), I can't imagine that even his most ardent supporters were thrilled with Biden as his VP choice. It was certainly not an example of thinking outside of the box. One would think that with his vast amount of knowledge, Biden would not be prone to the stumbles he has exhibited over the last six months.

And yet . . .

I mean, if you thought Bush was master and commander of the English language, or Dan Quayle was captain of the Good Ship Verbal Gaffe, then you must be cringing ever time the Veep opens his mouth, which appears devoid of any neural connection to his brain. As Jay Ambrose wrote in The Washington Times, "has anyone noticed Joe Biden is a persistent, unreformed, downright clownish bungler whose gaffes are simply too many and too wild to be considered perfectly excusable slips of the tongue?"

Some screamers from the campaign trail:

". . . tackle the number-one job facing the middle class, and it happens to be, as Barack says, a three-letter word: jobs. J-O-B-S, jobs."

"A man I'm proud to call my friend. A man who will be the next President of the United States — Barack America!"

"When the stock market crashed, Franklin D. Roosevelt got on the television and didn't just talk about the, you know, the princes of greed. He said, 'Look, here's what happened."

Perhaps we should excuse the last one, as recently Obama remarked to ABC News that "I'm always worried about using the word 'victory,' because, you know, it invokes this notion of Emperor Hirohito coming down and signing a surrender to MacArthur."

More recently, using his amazing medical mind, Dr. Biden warned everyone about the dangers of public transportation during the recent swine flu outbreak. He also indelicately summed up the administration's approach to stimulus spending:

"People, when I say that, look at me and say, 'What are you talking about, Joe? You're telling me we have to go spend money to keep from going bankrupt?" he said at a stop in Virginia. "The answer is yes."

Gee--I wish I had known that a few years ago.

Now, Bigmouth Joe has insulted the Russians, which has never been a good play in the foreign relations playbook. It was bad enough when Hillary presented them with the "Reset button" (did she order that from the Spencer's Gifts catalog?), but Biden has taken it a step further. In an interview with the Wall Street Journal, Biden said Russia's economic difficulties are likely to make the Kremlin more willing to co-operate with the United States on a range of national security issues.
"I think we vastly underestimate the hand that we hold,""They have a shrinking population base, they have a withering economy, they have a banking sector and structure that is not likely to be able to withstand the next 15 years, they're in a situation where the world is changing before them and they're clinging to something in the past that is not sustainable," Biden said in the interview.It’s a very difficult thing to deal with, loss of empire," Biden added.

The Russian response was predictable. "Joe Biden unexpectedly returned to the rhetoric of the previous Bush administration," the newspaper Kommersant wrote. Moskovsky Komsomolets said Biden showed what the Obama administration really thinks about Russia. "We should respond to the Yankees in the same way," the newspaper wrote. "Any other language, unfortunately or fortunately, they do not understand."

Maybe there are significant problems in Russia demographically and economically. But the heart of what makes someone a diplomat, and the core of foreign diplomacy, is tactful candor. What Biden may have in candor (some might call it boorishness) he completely misses in tactfulness. Yet this is someone that Obama continues to tout as great asset to his administration.

And you thought misspelling "potatos" was bad . . .


Anonymous said...

... and this is someone that McCain continues to tout as a great asset to his campaign:

yet Republicans continue to consider her the next Ronald Reagan (speaking of gaffe machines, that guy was incredible!):

"I would have voted against the Civil Rights Act of 1964."
--Ronald Reagan, Los Angeles Times, June 17, 1966

"If there has to be a bloodbath, then let's get it over with."
--Ronald Reagan (Governor of California), quoted in the San Francisco Chronicle, early morning edition, May 15, 1969. (Reagan reveals how he intends to quell student protests in the city of Berkeley, California. Protesters were teargassed and fired upon with buckshot, killing one, blinding another, and wounding 128. Reagan would later declare a state of emergency in the city and send in 2,700 National Guard troops.)

"Today a newcomer to the state is automatically eligible for our many aid programs the moment he crosses the border."
--Ronald Reagan, in a speech announcing his candidacy for Governor, January 3, 1966. (In fact, immigrants to California had to wait five years before becoming eligible for benefits. Reagan acknowledged his error, but nine months later said exactly the same thing.)

"...a faceless mass, waiting for handouts."
--Ronald Reagan, 1965. (Description of Medicaid recipients.)

"Unemployment insurance is a pre-paid vacation for freeloaders."
--California Governor Ronald Reagan, in the Sacramento Bee, April 28, 1966

"We were told four years ago that 17 million people went to bed hungry every night. Well, that was probably true. They were all on a diet."

"[Not] until now has there ever been a time in which so many of the prophecies are coming together. There have been times in the past when people thought the end of the world was coming, and so forth, but never anything like this."

"Because Vietnam was not a declared war, the veterans are not even eligible for the G. I. Bill of Rights with respect to education or anything."

"Maybe the Lord brought down this plague" because "illicit sex is against the Ten Commandments." referring to AIDS.

"I'm no linguist, but I have been told that in the Russian language, there isn't even a word for freedom."

Yep, that Biden is a real gem.

Small Town Doc said...

Last time I checked, the year is 2009. Our elected leaders are Obama and Biden, not McCain or Palin. And which Republicans are touting her as the next Ronald Reagan? Certainly not the ones at Vanity Fair.

So, to counter Biden's lack of tact (or maybe just to avoid the subject) you put up a bunch of 30--wait, make that 40 year old quotes from Reagan. This is relevant how?

I'm not sure how that gets Biden off the hook.

And BTW--we've still got almost 10% of the population unemployed--despite a huge stimulus bill that was passed almost 6 months ago, "shovel-ready" projects and all.

Hope and change!

Anonymous said...

The mind bending thing is how Biden is the gaffemeister, after 8 years of Bush.

Unemployment report that came out yesterday was lower than expected and the DOW is up almost 40 percent. For shovel ready projects, please see your creationist Governor for that. Half of the recent stimulus was tax cuts. Where was the outrage for Bush's unfunded Medicare Prescription Drug plan, projected to cost 12 trillion dollars? Republicans are completely phony on this and every other issue.

Also please visit:

Small Town Doc said...

Bush garbled the language? No way!

Surely, that's yesterday's news (and jokes, and T-shirts, and SNL skits, etc.)

The point is--Obama is supposed to bring change and a freshness and along with Biden, a new sense of intellectual ability. It just ain't happenin'.

My goofy creationist governor didn't lose 247,000 jobs last month. That's Obama's numbers.

Some other numbers? Rasmussen says 71% of American voters think Obama has increased the size of the deficit. That includes 52% of Dems, and 79% of independents. I wonder why?

And you can hang the birth certificate trash on the Republicans as soon as you guys take ownership of the 9/11 troofers.

What's that you say? Not Democrats?
Howard Dean entertained the "theory" that Bush was "tipped off" by the Saudis but let 9/11 happen anyway. Rosie O'Donnell argued that the conspiracy was so advanced that the inside job was “the first time in history that fire has ever melted steel.” That Rosie--so damn funny!

Your pal Michael Moore insisted that Bush knew where Osama Bin Laden was but the president was simply keeping him on ice (Moore also believed OJ was innocent, for the record). What insight!

Oh and let's not forget all of the nonsense during, and in the wake of, Hurricane Katrina when several prominent figures made all sorts of crazy statements. Randall Robinson said that blacks — and only blacks — were eating the flesh of the dead almost immediately after the flooding. Spike Lee and others insisted that the levees might have been bombed by the Bush administration in order to kill or scatter black residents of New Orleans. Cynthia McKinney says the American forces rounded up and executed 5,000 "prisoners" and dumped in the swamps of Louisiana.

Clowns to the left of me, Jokers to the right . . .

Anonymous said...

Yes, I read that Anne Coulter article too, and it didn't make any sense to me then either. On the other hand, I've got two (maybe six) words for you:

Government Sponsored Euthanasia of the Elderly!

The day you can show me that only 42% of Democrats believe that Bush did not have something to do with 9/11, then we'll talk.

Small Town Doc said...

That wasn't an Anne Coulter article--but I see you choose not to dispute the facts. They really are stubborn things.

You are right though--I don't think the bill has any provisions for euthanasia. But really--who knows? None of the Dems claim to have read the thing.

Please don't turn me into I'm your brother, not a swastika-carrying Unabomber. And you've completely turned Mom against me--how dare you!

Petronia said...

btw, is the real deal?

Anonymous said...

And you're not disputing the fact that only 23% of people in the South actually believe that Obama was born in the US.




Anonymous said...

I also heard that anyone who gets reported to flag@whitehouse... will be rounded up and put into FEMA camps, and will be fed Soilent Green made out of Euthanized Seniors (which is not that bad, but can be a little tough if you don't cook it long enough).

Anonymous said...

Speaking of ancient history: Just a couple of weeks ago the Republicans were all about being respectful to the police, especially in your own home!

That's right, this dipshit is actually yelling "arrest me" over and over at the cops and they let him go.

Fight the power, people (if you're an old white guy).

Small Town Doc said...

Petronia--real deal, and it just might violate all kinds of privacy laws. Now, if Nixon would have done this . . .

Anon--I don't know how much stock I'd place in a DailyKos poll. But the best thing is to just nuke the South--nothing but stupid racists there . . .

I'm pretty sure that it wasn't just Republicans arguing that it makes sense to be respectful to police. But I guess since in this instance they didn't arrest the white guy, that means that Crowley is a racist, rogue cop.

And as long as we are "looking the other way," how 'bout those non-intimidating Black Panthers?