Is Biden the Punchline — or Is America?

 

Joe Biden is a punch line.

Our Vice President is more famous for his foolish pronouncements than he is for being second in command of the world’s greatest superpower. It has gotten so bad that a mere mention of his name provokes laughter, as late-night comics (and Clint Eastwood) can attest.

“That’s just Joe being Joe,” we’re told by the same Beltway courtiers who gleefully vivisect any stray utterance of “macaca” or “potatoe” by the other side. But Biden’s gaffes are ever more frequent and are beginning to damage America’s shakiest alliances.

Consider the Vice President’s missteps over just the last three weeks:

  • Sept. 16: Biden calls predatory lenders “Shylocks,” provoking an apology to the Anti-Defamation League.
  • Sept. 17: Biden calls a former Prime Minister of Singapore “the wisest man in the Orient,” provoking a sheepish clarification by the White House.
  • Sept. 17: Biden opens the door to committing ground troops to fight ISIS, contradicting the President’s statement that same day. The White House clarifies.
  • Sept. 17: Biden joked to a British reporter that he’s worried about his wife spending so much time on the arm of the sometimes caddish Prince Harry, if “you know what I mean.”
  • Sept. 19: Biden praised the pro-woman record of retired Sen. Bob Packwood, who resigned amid multiple sexual harassment allegations.
  • Oct. 2: Biden claims that our allies in the Middle East were “our largest problem” in the spread of ISIS. “The Saudis, the Emiratis; what were they doing?” He phoned apologies to enraged leaders of the United Arab Emirates and Saudi Arabia.
  • Oct. 2: Biden replied to the vice president of Harvard’s student body with, “the vice president thing… isn’t that a bitch?”
  • Oct. 2: Biden claimed that Turkey’s President Recep Tayyip Erdogan confided to him that he made a mistake in fomenting Syrian unrest by not properly sealing his nation’s border. Biden apologized after Erdogan angrily denounced the allegation to the international press.
  • Oct. 3: Biden commemorated the anniversary of the Joplin, Mo., tornado by claiming that 161,000 died. The actual total was 161.
  • Oct. 7: Biden claimed increasing the minimum wage to $10.10 an hour would lift “28 million people out of poverty.” According to the CBO, it would take less than 1 million out of poverty.

The occasional malaprop is harmless, but it is quite another when America’s number two routinely insults reluctant allies during a time of war. Is it impolite to wonder if Biden’s mental faculties are up to the task of official statements?

We Americans are used to “Joe being Joe.” But at this time of historic instability the international community needs an America striding across the world stage, not stepping on rakes. Increasingly, Biden is a verbal representation of an oafish, undisciplined and incompetent U.S. government. How long before our allies explain away our multiplying failures as just America being America?

Joe Biden has been a punchline for years. But we can’t afford America being one.

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  1. GLDIII Reagan
    GLDIII
    @GLDIII

    I thought  Biden has had a few TIA’s .

    Given that he is just a “heart beat away” why is he not subjected to the same physical and reporting standards as the president? I have seen this in several members of my parents circle, and it does to varying degrees changes their mental acuity. It one it causes a certain liberation of restraint in their shall we say “verbosity of impolitic views”.

    • #1
  2. lesserson Member
    lesserson
    @LesserSonofBarsham

    He makes one heck of an insurance policy…

    • #2
  3. Eeyore Member
    Eeyore
    @Eeyore

    You’re being pretty harsh, Jon. In the first minute or so of this video, you can see Joe show his true wisdom about one of the more contentious issues of our times, the 2nd Amendment.

    Links not working, but embedding does – who knew:

    • #3
  4. Nick Stuart Inactive
    Nick Stuart
    @NickStuart

    Like many a poor manager, Obama has picked people who are less competent than him to make himself look good by comparison.

    • #4
  5. Palaeologus Inactive
    Palaeologus
    @Palaeologus

    Y’know Jon, in my more cynical, misanthropic moments I’d be inclined to note that humanity is the punchline.

    This clown was a result of our experiment in self-government? Really?

    Then I consider the fact that VP (or often, Senator) isn’t really a job job… and I feel a bit better.

    • #5
  6. GLDIII Reagan
    GLDIII
    @GLDIII

    Palaeologus:Y’know Jon, in my more cynical, misanthropic moments I’d be inclined to note that humanity is the punchline.

    This clown was a result of our experiment in self-government? Really?

    Then I consider the fact that VP (or often, Senator) isn’t really a job job… and I feel a bit better.

    Not worth a warm bucket of spit, or so I have heard

    • #6
  7. user_657161 Inactive
    user_657161
    @SimonTemplar

    ‘cept “Good ole Uncle Joe” is as mean as a junkyard dog and every bit as evil as his boss, Screwtape.

    • #7
  8. Valiuth Inactive
    Valiuth
    @Valiuth

    I just can’t wait for his inevitable run for president in 2016. Run Joe, run! You are the only Democrat I would even consider voting for. Where is the draft Joe Biden website?

    Joe, Joe, Joe, Joe….

    • #8
  9. Kim K. Inactive
    Kim K.
    @KimK

    GLDIII:

    It one it causes a certain liberation of restraint in their shall we say “verbosity of impolitic views”.

    In our family, when we hear someone doing this, we say their filter has come off.

    • #9
  10. RushBabe49 Thatcher
    RushBabe49
    @RushBabe49

    The average person on the street doesn’t even know who Joe Biden is!  I heard on the radio this afternoon some reporter on the street asking passersby who he was.  Not even one person knew.

    • #10
  11. otherdeanplace@yahoo.com Member
    otherdeanplace@yahoo.com
    @EustaceCScrubb

    And yet Sarah Palin is still more often the punchline than the person in office. Speak truth to power… right.

    • #11
  12. virgil15marlow@yahoo.com Member
    virgil15marlow@yahoo.com
    @Manny

    Only a Democrat could get away with that kind of stupidity.  I’ve tried to figure out a political angle for all that stupidity, a political angle that provides him some sort of advantage.  I can’t seem to think of any.  He must be really that stupid.

    • #12
  13. user_494971 Contributor
    user_494971
    @HankRhody

    I’m going to jump in in defense of Biden.

    Jon Gabriel, Ed.:Joe Biden is a punch line.

    • Sept. 17: Biden calls a former Prime Minister of Singapore “the wisest man in the Orient,” provoking a sheepish clarification by the White House.
    • Sept. 17: Biden opens the door to committing ground troops to fight ISIS, contradicting the President’s statement that same day. The White House clarifies.
    • Oct. 2: Biden claims that our allies in the Middle East were “our largest problem” in the spread of ISIS. “The Saudis, the Emiratis; what were they doing?” He phoned apologies to enraged leaders of the United Arab Emirates and Saudi Arabia.
    • Oct. 2: Biden replied to the vice president of Harvard’s student body with, “the vice president thing… isn’t that a bitch?”

    Increasingly, Biden is a verbal representation of an oafish, undisciplined and incompetent U.S. government. Joe Biden has been a punchline for years. But we can’t afford America to be.

    Not going to try cutting this into individual quotlets. “Wisest man from the Orient.” Why is the word “Orient” offensive? Why should I care if someone uses it? I’m against political correctness generally, and “Orient” is one of the least offensive quasi-slurs out there.

    Biden contradicts the president on ISIS. That isn’t Biden being Biden, that’s the Obama White House being the Obama White House. Remember when Kerry had the same trouble over the Ukraine? If our allies worry about the fecklessness of our executive branch I assure you it isn’t just Joe running off his mouth.

    The Saudis, the Emiratis in the middle east. What Biden said is largely true. The Saudi export of Wahabism has been breeding trouble for us for years. I’ll grant it was impolitic for our administration to actually say it though.

    The vice president thing. He used a bad word. On the other hand his point is well taken.

    Look, this guy says a lot of stupid things, and I’m not going to defend him on most of this list. But just because Biden says it doesn’t mean it’s wrong. There’s just a strong correlation.

    • #13
  14. Percival Thatcher
    Percival
    @Percival

    Ah but Hank, as far as the Middle East goes, Joe committed the one unpardonable sin of diplomacy: he spoke the simple unvarnished truth. Neither Foggy Bottom nor our “allies” can tolerate someone doing that.

    • #14
  15. Larry3435 Member
    Larry3435
    @Larry3435

    Hank Rhody:The Saudis, the Emiratis in the middle east. What Biden said is largely true. The Saudi export of Wahabism has been breeding trouble for us for years. I’ll grant it was impolitic for our administration to actually say it though.

    “Largely true”?  Telling the truth is the worst gaffe a Washington politician can make.  Especially in the Obama Administration.

    • #15
  16. Fricosis Guy Listener
    Fricosis Guy
    @FricosisGuy

    Hank Rhody:I’m going to jump in in defense of Biden.

    Jon Gabriel, Ed.:Joe Biden is a punch line.

    • Sept. 17: Biden calls a former Prime Minister of Singapore “the wisest man in the Orient,” provoking a sheepish clarification by the White House.
    • Sept. 17: Biden opens the door to committing ground troops to fight ISIS, contradicting the President’s statement that same day. The White House clarifies.
    • Oct. 2: Biden claims that our allies in the Middle East were “our largest problem” in the spread of ISIS. “The Saudis, the Emiratis; what were they doing?” He phoned apologies to enraged leaders of the United Arab Emirates and Saudi Arabia.
    • Oct. 2: Biden replied to the vice president of Harvard’s student body with, “the vice president thing… isn’t that a bitch?”

    Increasingly, Biden is a verbal representation of an oafish, undisciplined and incompetent U.S. government. Joe Biden has been a punchline for years. But we can’t afford America to be.

    Not going to try cutting this into individual quotlets. “Wisest man from the Orient.” Why is the word “Orient” offensive? Why should I care if someone uses it? I’m against political correctness generally, and “Orient” is one of the least offensive quasi-slurs out there.

    My dad used the term during a campaign for a foreign service association post. The term is in bad color because of our friend Edward Said. There’s a rap about how it objectifies Asians. He had to endure a self-criticism session and was forced out shortly after election.

    BTW, my dad is a paid-up member of the Democrat party, even worked in the Clinton WH. Couldn’t feel a bit of schadenfreude because, well, he’s my pop.

    However, he — or more likely my mom — moved his picture of him with Hillary and Socks to just above the guest toilet. I haven’t [expletive] that freely in years.

    • #16
  17. Howellis Inactive
    Howellis
    @ManWiththeAxe

    The newsworthy aspect of all this, to me, is the lack of interest in the press to cover, let alone explain, Biden’s many gaffes, misstatements of fact, embarrassing attempts at humor, and his excessively bombastic oratorical style. He makes GWB sound like Churchill.

    For Pete’s sake, according to much of the press Biden won the vice-presidential debate with Paul Ryan, when in fact, all he did was spout a bunch of malarky.

    • #17
  18. Tuck Inactive
    Tuck
    @Tuck

    Jon Gabriel, Ed.: Joe Biden has been a punchline for years. But we can’t afford America to be.

    Too bad we elected him… I figured that when Obama picked the dumbest guy in the Senate as his running mate he had instantly torpedoed his campaign, as even Democrats had long-since ceded that Biden was a buffoon.

    The only saving grace is that much of the rest of the world is run by bigger buffoons…

    • #18
  19. user_2967 Inactive
    user_2967
    @MatthewGilley

    Stand up, Chuck!

    • #19
  20. gts109 Inactive
    gts109
    @gts109

    This string of gaffes is, sadly, no worse than normal. I mean, he dropped the f bomb within feet of a microphone, outed Obama’s real gay marriage views, claimed that Romney wanted to put “y’all back in chains” to a largely black audience, advised people to indiscriminately fire shotguns in the air, suggested that Obama had a “big stick,” asked a paraplegic to stand, said that you can’t go into a 7-11 without a slight Indian accent (adding “I’m not joking” to punctuate a remark that one could only hope was said in jest), called Obama the first “bright and clean” black candidate, proposed sending a $200 million “no strings attached” check to Iran after 9/11 to prove to the Muslim world the U.S. wasn’t out to get it, passed off a British politician’s personal stories as his own, and lied to reporters about his academic background. Most of those are going back a few years, and the last two are way old, from the ’80s.

    Guy’s an idiot, always has been, always will be.

    • #20
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