I Will Not Mock Joe Biden

 
“You can resolve to live your life with integrity. Let your credo be this: Let the lie come into the world, let it even triumph. But not through me.
-Alexander Solzhenitsyn 

A few of months ago, I made a couple of (what I thought) were amusing posts on social media about Joe Biden’s gaffes on the campaign trail. They were generally good-natured little jabs about his tendency to slip up during interviews and how often he loses his temper in seemingly normal situations. At the time, they seemed funny, and my friends and I got a good laugh out of them. Now though, after some reflection, I’m beginning to think that my remarks about Biden weren’t nearly as funny as they were cruel, that perhaps I should hold myself to the same standards that I hold the world. I have decided, for the sake of my own moral character, that I will not mock Joe Biden.

Let’s begin with the most basic truth: I’m not a fan of Joe Biden. He’s a career politician that has been the architect of countless bad ideas and has generally pulled the country in the wrong direction for forty years. However, I do not hate Joe Biden. Hate is a counterproductive emotion, and hating someone simply because you disagree with their politics is destructive to both your moral character and political discourse. My personal disagreements with him do not justify any cruelty on my part toward Joe Biden as a human being. I hope that I am above that.

 
I only wish that the party that is nominating Joe Biden felt the same way.
 
It is clear that Mr. Biden is a diminished man. In countless interviews, the presumed democratic nominee has shown that he simply lacks the mental acumen to hold elected office. He stumbles over names, speaks incoherently about boilerplate subjects, and has obvious difficulty maintaining his train of thought. He is a man in decline, which is not that unusual for a 77 year old. In a better world, he would be at home spoiling his grandchildren, holding his wife, and reflecting on his accomplishments after four decades of public service.
 
We, however, do not live in a better world.
 
For reasons that are beyond me, the democratic party has decided to pitch their efforts behind Biden, in what has become something of a ghastly spectacle. Each day, they trot out a new video of Biden rambling on about the issues of the day. With each new installment, I am driven to point of pity. Encouraging this man to engage in a highly stressful activity when he is clearly not at his best is cruel, and I wonder about the health of an institution that would allow it to go on unabated. I understand the that desire to beat Trump (of whom I am not a fan) has reached a fever pitch on the American left, but is it worth your basic human dignity to do so?
 
In my imagination, I foresee what a debate might look like between Trump and Biden: an insecure, petty political animal vs. a man that quite literally has no faculties with which to defend himself. It will be a bloodbath of epic proportions. We, however, will watch with bated breath. One of the hallmarks of our decadent society is our bottomless appetite for the blood-sport of partisan politics, and nothing, not even the destruction of a fellow human being on national television, will sate that hunger.
Perhaps if a better man were on stage with Biden, he would say something like this:
“I understand that the democratic party has already formally nominated Mr. Biden for president, but it has become clear to me that the stress of this campaign and his general mental decline has made him unfit for office. It is beneath my dignity to tear down a man simply because I am running for political office. With that in mind, if the democratic party chooses to replace Mr. Biden with a more capable candidate, I will offer no opposition. I fully understand that replacing Mr. Biden may lessen my chances of winning this election, but no election–even the presidency–is worth destroying a fellow human being. Please, for the sake of human decency, consider my offer.”
These, of course, will not be the words that Trump speaks. They might have been the words of a Ben Sasse or a Mitch Daniels, but our current political process is built to self-select those most willing the inflict damage on their fellow man for partisan gain. It is a process that rejects decent men and women as defective and promotes the mast savage and craven among us. What we are currently witnessing is the apex that process–I hope.
No, I will no longer mock Joe Biden. I will not participate in a process that destroys another man. I may not be able to stop the disease of American political culture from soaking into the very marrow of our moral fiber, but I will not invite into my soul. Let it take over the world, but not through me.
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  1. Bishop Wash Member
    Bishop Wash
    @BishopWash

    One is thing about this Biden campaign are the reports of him and his family being so rich through typical political corruption. I remember (maybe incorrectly) talk in 2008 that Biden had a small net worth and was a humble political servant. Does anyone else remember this?  I’ll see if I can find any articles. 

    • #31
  2. Bishop Wash Member
    Bishop Wash
    @BishopWash

    I found this recent article saying he didn’t make it big until leaving office in 2017 and always was one of the congressmen with a small net worth.  At least Hunter was cashing in on the Biden name. 

    • #32
  3. jeannebodine Member
    jeannebodine
    @jeannebodine

    Bishop Wash

    One is thing about this Biden campaign are the reports of him and his family being so rich through typical political corruption. I remember (maybe incorrectly) talk in 2008 that Biden had a small net worth and was a humble political servant. Does anyone else remember this? I’ll see if I can find any articles. 

    I can promise you that Joe Biden was never a humble anything, let alone a humble public servant. His enormous ego, puffery and over-the-top braggadocio has been his defining quality since he joined Congress. Perhaps you weren’t privy to his 1988 presidential run? I had a front row seat; even the Pinky (nickname for the Philadelphia Inquirer because of its communist sympathizing) presented him as a blowhard liar and continued demonizing him right up until the time he looked like the only game in town.

    As to a small net worth, Mr. Biden and his family have had their hands in the state and federal government’s pockets since he entered government. I don’t have exact figures; I only have the recollections from reading Delaware and Philly’s papers about deals, the appearance of impropriety, opaque transactions, suspicious bids and contracts for the past 40 years.

    • #33
  4. jeannebodine Member
    jeannebodine
    @jeannebodine

    Bishop Wash

    I found this recent article saying he didn’t make it big until leaving office in 2017 and always was one of the congressmen with a small net worth. At least Hunter was cashing in on the Biden name. 

    Bishop Wash, this is only one recent article. Note that it says:

    First elected to the Senate in 1973, Biden was one of the least wealthy members of the chamber. By the time he left the White House, he and his wife, Jill Biden, reported assets between $303,000 and $1 million, as well as liabilities between $560,000 and $1.2 million.

    In other words, Joe and Jill Biden remained one of the least wealthy members of Congress when Joe left with a net worth close to $0 in 2017. It is strange how a $150,000+ earning Senator and a $230,700-earning Vice President for eight years could remain so poor.

    The above paragraph is beyond absurd. Do we actually believe that any 45+ year Senator and Vice-President leaves office with a net worth of ZERO? If anything, this only proves that everything about him is a lie. Heck, his poorly-disguised Amtrak deals alone would’ve enabled Joey Choo-Choo to live in luxurious comfort for the rest of his life.

    I’m out now. I don’t have time to document all the corruption through the years especially since most of it has been buried by Google. Heck, Google his name and you’d be hard-pressed to find a negative article about him in the first 100 results. Biden is not worth another minute of my time and besides, people don’t change their minds anymore. To each his own but G-d help us all if he becomes the President of the United States.

    • #34
  5. Roderic Reagan
    Roderic
    @rhfabian

    Biden speaks such nonsense and foolishness that it’s impossible speak of his ideas without sounding like you’re mocking him.  Sorry, the guy is running for President of the United States.  Nothing can be off the table for such as he.  It is foolish to pull punches on a man who would destroy the country.

    Compassion can wait until he’s safely tucked away in a nursing home.

    • #35
  6. Matt Bartle Member
    Matt Bartle
    @MattBartle

    M. Brandon Godbey:Perhaps if a better man were on stage with Biden, he would say something like this:
     

    “I understand that the democratic party has already formally nominated Mr. Biden for president, but it has become clear to me that the stress of this campaign and his general mental decline has made him unfit for office. It is beneath my dignity to tear down a man simply because I am running for political office. With that in mind, if the democratic party chooses to replace Mr. Biden with a more capable candidate, I will offer no opposition. I fully understand that replacing Mr. Biden may lessen my chances of winning this election, but no election–even the presidency–is worth destroying a fellow human being. Please, for the sake of human decency, consider my offer.”

    Sorry, but this is simply insane. Elections are about winning or losing. It’s not Trump’s fault the Dems put up Biden. Compassion is for after Trump destroys Biden in November. Until then it’s pedal-to-the-metal do everything within the law to win the election. 

    • #36
  7. Susan Quinn Contributor
    Susan Quinn
    @SusanQuinn

    Congratulations on being Lileks’ “Post of the Week”! Woo-hoo!

    • #37
  8. Phil Turmel Coolidge
    Phil Turmel
    @PhilTurmel

    jeannebodine (View Comment):
    But based on the way that Joe Biden has lived his life, not only doesn’t he deserve a pass, I will do whatever is necessary and within my power to prevent this evil man from becoming our president, including mocking him if that is effective.

    This.  All the way.

    Plus everything @franco said.

    The gratuitous reference to Trump as a “an insecure, petty political animal” recasts the arguably admirable tone of the OP into a dirge for the last hope of a competent opponent for Orange Man Bad.  Virtue signaling much?

    • #38
  9. WillowSpring Member
    WillowSpring
    @WillowSpring

    jeannebodine (View Comment):
    As to a small net worth, Mr. Biden and his family have had their hands in the state and federal government’s pockets since he entered government. I don’t have exact figures; I only have the recollections from reading Delaware and Philly’s papers about deals, the appearance of impropriety, opaque transactions, suspicious bids and contracts for the past 40 years.

    Read “Profiles in Corruption” by Peter Schweizer.  Joe managed to keep ‘clean’ while his entire family raked in money.  It’s not just Hunter, its his brother, son-in-law and so on.

    • #39
  10. Western Chauvinist Member
    Western Chauvinist
    @WesternChauvinist

    Joe Biden is cruelty in action. I repeat others here — watch the Clarence Thomas hearings. Or the VP debate with Paul Ryan in 2012. Joe metaphorically murdered Ryan on stage and I have this image seared in my brain of his demonic grin while he enjoyed doing it. Paul Ryan also refused to mock and we ended up with the corrupt and destructive second term of Obama/Biden, leading to unnecessary suffering throughout the world. Joe Biden shouldn’t be allowed to age out of consequences for his actions. 

    Some of us are trying to save the republic here. Others are polishing their virtue badge. On this Good Friday, maybe we need reminding that we’re all called to take up our cross and follow. That means you’re going to get a little bloody making your way through this life but, ultimately, it’s not about you and your efforts at sanctity. It’s about following Jesus on the path of self-sacrifice for the good of others (saving the republic) and letting him take care of the sanctity part (saving souls).

    • #40
  11. DrewInWisconsin, Negative Infl… Member
    DrewInWisconsin, Negative Infl…
    @DrewInWisconsin

    Franco (View Comment):

    “Trump… an insecure, petty political animal” 

    Really?

    But he’s not going to mock Joe Biden! That should polish up the ol’ halo real good. 

    • #41
  12. Western Chauvinist Member
    Western Chauvinist
    @WesternChauvinist

    Just wondering if this is out-of-bounds:

    • #42
  13. MISTER BITCOIN Inactive
    MISTER BITCOIN
    @MISTERBITCOIN

    It’s easy to say this in April.

    The real test will be in October.

     

    • #43
  14. Brian Watt Inactive
    Brian Watt
    @BrianWatt

    Western Chauvinist (View Comment):

    Just wondering if this is out-of-bounds:

    Biden is China’s choice for the Presidency. That much is clear.

    • #44
  15. Henry Racette Member
    Henry Racette
    @HenryRacette

    Brian Watt (View Comment):

    Western Chauvinist (View Comment):

    Just wondering if this is out-of-bounds:

    Biden is China’s choice for the Presidency. That much is clear.

    I would say Not-Trump is their choice, and at the moment that means Biden. (Whom it will mean by the convention, much less election day, is anyone’s guess.)

    • #45
  16. Brian Watt Inactive
    Brian Watt
    @BrianWatt

    Henry Racette (View Comment):

    Brian Watt (View Comment):

    Western Chauvinist (View Comment):

    Just wondering if this is out-of-bounds:

    Biden is China’s choice for the Presidency. That much is clear.

    I would say Not-Trump is their choice, and at the moment that means Biden. (Whom it will mean by the convention, much less election day, is anyone’s guess.)

    They already made a $1.5 billion down payment for their guy. Now they want results.

    • #46
  17. Bishop Wash Member
    Bishop Wash
    @BishopWash

    jeannebodine (View Comment):

    Bishop Wash

    One is thing about this Biden campaign are the reports of him and his family being so rich through typical political corruption. I remember (maybe incorrectly) talk in 2008 that Biden had a small net worth and was a humble political servant. Does anyone else remember this? I’ll see if I can find any articles.

    I can promise you that Joe Biden was never a humble anything, let alone a humble public servant. His enormous ego, puffery and over-the-top braggadocio has been his defining quality since he joined Congress. Perhaps you weren’t privy to his 1988 presidential run? I had a front row seat; even the Pinky (nickname for the Philadelphia Inquirer because of its communist sympathizing) presented him as a blowhard liar and continued demonizing him right up until the time he looked like the only game in town.

    To be clear, I’m not calling him humble. That was how he was being sold by others in 2008. I remember his treatment of Justice Thomas. 

    • #47
  18. Jon1979 Inactive
    Jon1979
    @Jon1979

    Bishop Wash (View Comment):

    jeannebodine (View Comment):

    Bishop Wash

    One is thing about this Biden campaign are the reports of him and his family being so rich through typical political corruption. I remember (maybe incorrectly) talk in 2008 that Biden had a small net worth and was a humble political servant. Does anyone else remember this? I’ll see if I can find any articles.

    I can promise you that Joe Biden was never a humble anything, let alone a humble public servant. His enormous ego, puffery and over-the-top braggadocio has been his defining quality since he joined Congress. Perhaps you weren’t privy to his 1988 presidential run? I had a front row seat; even the Pinky (nickname for the Philadelphia Inquirer because of its communist sympathizing) presented him as a blowhard liar and continued demonizing him right up until the time he looked like the only game in town.

    To be clear, I’m not calling him humble. That was how he was being sold by others in 2008. I remember his treatment of Justice Thomas.

    Biden’s bumbling over the years has helped mask his mean streaks. The angry actions get overshadowed by the dumb and weird ones, to where people on the right playing up the dumb and weird stuff actually have helped people on the left brush everything off as just another wacky-but-lovable Uncle Joe story.  That’s also part of the reason Ryan was caught unprepared in the 2012 — he failed to expect angry and disdainful-of-the-rules Biden to show up at the VP debate. With Trump’s combativeness, it’s doubtful he’d make the same mistake if Combat Joe were to show up at a fall debate (unless Biden mentally is so far gone by September he tries to run over and take a swing at Trump on the debate stage).

    • #48
  19. Charlotte Member
    Charlotte
    @Charlotte

    Thanks to post author @mbrandongodbey for sparking an interesting discussion, to @fullsizetabby who in #18 perfectly expressed my thoughts, and to @jeannebodine for her magnificent rants!

    • #49
  20. Bryan G. Stephens Thatcher
    Bryan G. Stephens
    @BryanGStephens

    Politics is a blood sport. Too long people on the right ignore this. 

    If it bothers you so much, step aside and let the real men do the work needed. 

    • #50
  21. namlliT noD Member
    namlliT noD
    @DonTillman

    M. Brandon Godbey: In my imagination, I foresee what a debate might look like between Trump and Biden: an insecure, petty political animal vs. a man that quite literally has no faculties with which to defend himself. It will be a bloodbath of epic proportions.

    Heh-heh, that’s funny.   As you say, in your imagination.

    I don’t think that’s going to happen.  Donald Trump is more 6-dimensional chess than that.

    Trump doesn’t just need to win, he also has to flip congress.  And he knows full well that a “bloodbath of epic proportions” won’t serve that purpose.

    I think the President is going to use the debates, not to attack Biden, but instead to, oh… say… for instance… attack the Democrat Party organization that put Sleepy Joe in this terrible position.  That way Trump is seen as compassionate, not beating up on an old man, and can lure votes over from Democrat to Republican congressmen.

    • #51
  22. Henry Racette Member
    Henry Racette
    @HenryRacette

    namlliT noD (View Comment):
    Donald Trump is more 6-dimensional chess than that.

    I’ve reluctantly come to almost agree. But with a hefty dose of drunken lawn darts.

    That’s what keeps it so interesting.

    • #52
  23. kedavis Coolidge
    kedavis
    @kedavis

    The danger might be that, like in the “debate” between Biden and Paul Ryan, if Biden gets mean/aggressive again.  If Trump can confine himself to saying, as someone else mentioned elsewhere regarding the Biden/Ryan event, “Are you okay, Joe?  Do you need to take a break?” that might work, although it could also still be seen as – and would likely be portrayed by the media as – being mean himself, and/or making fun of Biden.  But it’s hard to see how to deal with Biden’s problems especially if Biden turns mean first, which seems likely, without appearing to be “the bad guy.”

    • #53
  24. CarolJoy, Above Top Secret Coolidge
    CarolJoy, Above Top Secret
    @CarolJoy

    I am not sure it matters what Trump should say or would say; he will be harangued none the less. Quite often he says one thing while I watch him make the statements during a press conference, and then the Associated Press creates entirely different quotes out of thin air for me to read about in the newspaper when I can bring myself to read one. I admire his restraint in calling outt the reporters for “fake news” – if I were him, by now I’d be flinging water balloons at the Press Elite on a daily basis.

    M. Brandon,it is wise to learn that public figures are people too and perhaps should not be the objects of scorn. I agree.

    I have no idea why the Dems are hanging onto Joe Biden, but they are.

    Back before America’s great decline, that is, the removal of Craig Ferguson from Late Late Night TV, he took time to comment that he would not continue with his old habit of making fun of public people, as they were  not just the archetypes the media turns them into but actual real life people too. And yet to me he remained just as funny as before.

     

    • #54
  25. Western Chauvinist Member
    Western Chauvinist
    @WesternChauvinist

    kedavis (View Comment):

    The danger might be that, like in the “debate” between Biden and Paul Ryan, if Biden gets mean/aggressive again. If Trump can confine himself to saying, as someone else mentioned elsewhere regarding the Biden/Ryan event, “Are you okay, Joe? Do you need to take a break?” that might work, although it could also still be seen as – and would likely be portrayed by the media as – being mean himself, and/or making fun of Biden. But it’s hard to see how to deal with Biden’s problems especially if Biden turns mean first, which seems likely, without appearing to be “the bad guy.”

    The press has given Trump an advantage in this — they’ll characterize whatever he says as mean or stupid. Even if they realized how fake, biased reporting is damaging to their credibility (and they don’t appear to), they are totally unaware how it loosens the reins on an already untamed horse. 

    • #55
  26. David Carroll Thatcher
    David Carroll
    @DavidCarroll

    To mock?   Or not to mock?

    It is vitally important to publicize and emphasize Mr. Biden’s diminished intellectual capacity to the public during the he campaign.  This is a site of political junkies.  We know about it.  The general public is likely not so aware.  What is the most effective way to publicize it?  Whatever that is, it must be done.  If it is mocking, then so be it.  The public must be made aware by the most effective communication possible.

    I don’t like mocking the mentally infirm.  But he, by himself or through his surrogates, denies the infirmity.  And he is putting himself forward into the public arena for the nation’s highest office.  He is volunteering for the scrutiny and even one could argue volunteering to become an object of mockery.  He and his surrogates know it is coming.  The mistake is his for daring to run in his apparent condition.

    Mocking Joe Biden would be truly evil if he were a Walmart greeter just trying to make a living.  Mocking him to prevent his power trip to the presidency is of rather a different character.

    • #56
  27. Franco Member
    Franco
    @Franco

    David Carroll (View Comment):

    To mock? Or not to mock?

    It is vitally important to publicize and emphasize Mr. Biden’s diminished intellectual capacity to the public during the he campaign. This is a site of political junkies. We know about it. The general public is likely not so aware. What is the most effective way to publicize it? Whatever that is, it must be done. If it is mocking, then so be it. The public must be made aware by the most effective communication possible.

    I don’t like mocking the mentally infirm. But he, by himself or through his surrogates, denies the infirmity. And he is putting himself forward into the public arena for the nation’s highest office. He is volunteering for the scrutiny and even one could argue volunteering to become an object of mockery. He and his surrogates know it is coming. The mistake is his for daring to run in his apparent condition.

    Mocking Joe Biden would be truly evil if he were a Walmart greeter just trying to make a living. Mocking him to prevent his power trip to the presidency is of rather a different character.

    Wallmart greeter! Perfect job for Joe Biden! And then I wouldn’t mock him, unless he starts hair-sniffing….

    • #57
  28. David Carroll Thatcher
    David Carroll
    @DavidCarroll

    Franco (View Comment):

     

    Wallmart greeter! Perfect job for Joe Biden! And then I wouldn’t mock him, unless he starts hair-sniffing….

    Certainly a better job for him than President of the United States.

    • #58
  29. Brian Watt Inactive
    Brian Watt
    @BrianWatt

    David Carroll (View Comment):

    Franco (View Comment):

     

    Wallmart greeter! Perfect job for Joe Biden! And then I wouldn’t mock him, unless he starts hair-sniffing….

    Certainly a better job for him than President of the United States.

    He may be tempted to frisk young girls for stolen groceries or make strange remarks about some people’s ethnicity…so there is a liability issue for Walmart to consider.

    • #59
  30. Jon1979 Inactive
    Jon1979
    @Jon1979

    Brian Watt (View Comment):

    David Carroll (View Comment):

    Franco (View Comment):

     

    Wallmart greeter! Perfect job for Joe Biden! And then I wouldn’t mock him, unless he starts hair-sniffing….

    Certainly a better job for him than President of the United States.

    He may be tempted to frisk young girls for stolen groceries or make strange remarks about some people’s ethnicity…so there is a liability issue for Walmart to consider.

    Alternatively he could ignore his greeter job and spend all day down at the shampoo aisle, smelling women’s hair.

    • #60
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