Permalink to A Letter to Joe Biden

A Letter to Joe Biden

 

Dear Vice President Biden, 

It was on Christmas Day, I believe, a few years ago. A family member on active duty was at Walter Reed recovering from a severe injury. Some of my family decided to forgo gift exchanges amongst themselves and instead travel to Walter Reed to spend Christmas with our family member there, along with the other troops. It was a unique and wonderful experience in which the family received at least as much comfort as they brought. Unhappily, I was not able to be there, but I received regular updates from the folks, including the story of your visit to the hospital.

While I’m sure there was a divergence of political opinions in the room, I’m told everyone there sincerely appreciated you spending part of your Christmas with those who have given so much for us all. Indeed, they tell me that the common bond of having a family member on active duty made it seem more like a visit between military families than a visit from a sitting Vice President. And it is for that very reason, and out of respect for your son’s service, that I haven’t really leveled serious criticism toward you in the past.

As a retired military veteran, I respect what you did and felt that I had an additional insight into the kind of person you are. I separated Joe Biden the politician from Joe Biden the warm-hearted man who was kind enough to visit with my family during a difficult time. But in light of your outlandish and petulant demeanor in a serious debate of issues upon which rest the future of our children and grandchildren, I think a reassessment is in order. 

Watching Congressman Ryan try to respectfully engage you in thoughtful discourse was like watching Emily Post try to take a gorilla to tea. You reminded me of people I’ve had the misfortune of trying to rationalize with in the past … people with whom I couldn’t fit an uninterrupted word in with a shoe horn, and with whom I eventually abandoned all hope of ever being able to complete a sentence. By the way, had you alerted the Guinness Book of World Records that you would be going for the highest number of interruptions within a 90-minute time frame? During the 40 minutes and 12 seconds that Ryan actually spoke, you interrupted him 82 times, for an average of one interruption every 29 seconds. If Hooters had a Boob of the Month calendar, you would have secured your place in it.

And if you weren’t jabbering like Gabby Hayes on ritalin while the Congressman was speaking, you were laughing at him. Was this meant to inspire confidence, or was it meant to distract the viewer from points that may have been injurious to your cause? Because whether the issue was Iran’s nuclear designs, our shoddy treatment of our ally Israel, our weakening national security, a lethargic economy, the tax and regulatory burden on the entrepreneurial class, or healthcare, when your opponent raised substantive issues, you responded with laughter and contempt. Your performance was, in short, an abominable affront to the very idea of civil conversation.

To my dilemma, then: Who is the real Joe Biden? Was it the gentle leader who took the hand of an injured service member and thanked him for his service? Or was it the clodhopping buffoon who galloped over another man’s words with nary a care for manners or substance? Was it the father of a veteran who spoke kindly to my family at Walter Reed? Or was it the unruly, overly animated, porcelain-veneered ass who did a disservice to the nation and his own office? Are you a good man who pretends to be a politician on the public stage, or a politician who pretends to be a good man in more private settings? Either way, it’s terribly disappointing, though I take subtle refuge in the fact that we have at least one thing in common. We both prefer Neil Kinnock’s words to yours. Meanwhile, as I look forward to a bit of laughter myself in November, I remain;

Yours Cordially,

Dave Carter

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Members have made 62 comments.

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  1. Profile photo of Wylee Coyote Member
    Freeven: Now, please, someone explain the Neil Kinnock reference to me. I don’t know who he is. Did I miss his being brought up in the debate?

    Neil Kinnock was a British Labour politician who became briefly famous in the US in 1987 when Joe Biden was found to have lifted a section of one of Kinnock’s speeches during his Presidential run that year. The plagiarism scandal doomed his bid.

    One of the secrets to Biden’s success is that he has so many jaw-dropping moments of chutzpah in his past that no one can keep track of them all. (PRO TIP: This works better if you’re a Democrat).

    • #1
    • October 13, 2012 at 1:03 am
  2. Profile photo of Melanie Graham Contributor

    Props Dave.

    • #2
    • October 13, 2012 at 2:02 am
  3. Profile photo of Crow's Nest Member

    I suspect, Dave, that the monstrous truth is that the true Joe Biden is both, and just as sincere in both situations. People aren’t either/or propositions and managing them requires finesse.

    Biden’s feverish interuptions and irritable gesticulations just called attention to his underlying character: he lacks self-control. Once upon a time, this was considered evidence of a man unfit for high office. Today, it is almost a pre-requisite.

    • #3
    • October 13, 2012 at 2:38 am
  4. Profile photo of HVTs Member

    It’s always a challenge to sort out which Dave Carter line is the most memorable, the most evocative. It’s probably time to start polling it. While one of you experts out there is deciding the appropriate ‘likely voter’ weighting, I’ll go ahead and cast my ballot for tea time with Emily Post and a gorilla. In this case, it’s a toothy, white haired gorilla.

    • #4
    • October 13, 2012 at 2:52 am
  5. Profile photo of Johannes Allert Inactive

    P.S. – President Empty Chair must endure a lot of sleepless nights having you as his sidekick. Sucks to be him.

    • #5
    • October 13, 2012 at 4:01 am
  6. Profile photo of Sandy Member

    Thanks again, Dave. So much for pre-debate worries about Biden’s affability.

    • #6
    • October 13, 2012 at 4:15 am
  7. Profile photo of Keith Preston Member

    My wife and I knew all we needed to know about what a slimebag Biden is while reading Clarence Thomas’ autobiography, My Grandfather’s Son. It should be required reading on Ricochet.

    Biden was chair of the Senate Judiciary during those hearings and promised Thomas all kinds of fairness and then proceeded to stab him in the back repeatedly and violate every promise of even-handedness in an effort to derail his nomination. It was one of the most reprehensible examples of political skullduggery I have ever read about in a lifetime of interest in things political.

    He’s truly a spawn of Satan in my book.

    • #7
    • October 13, 2012 at 4:17 am
  8. Profile photo of Cper Member
    HVTs: It’s always a challenge to sort out which Dave Carter line is the most memorable, the most evocative. It’s probably time to start polling it. While one of you experts out there is deciding the appropriate ‘likely voter’ weighting, I’ll go ahead and cast my ballot for tea time with Emily Post and a gorilla. In this case, it’s a toothy, white haired gorilla. · 1 hour ago

    I also like “Gabby Hayes on Ritalin.”

    • #8
    • October 13, 2012 at 4:18 am
  9. Profile photo of Fricosis Guy Coolidge

    I had no idea that Emily Post had tried to take Joe Biden to tea. Literally, of course.

    • #9
    • October 13, 2012 at 4:43 am
  10. Profile photo of Mrs K Inactive

    Dave – You are a much better person than I am. You remind me that politicians are more than just characters in the public sphere. I have to admit that I have always had a negative opinion of the VP based on stories of how ugly he was to some people who appeared before him in the Senate Foreign Services Committee. And I think it was here in Ricochet that I read about the lack of respect the young Senator Biden showed to Israeli PM Begin in the 1980s.

    But the same politician we dislike may also be capable of great acts of kindness. He may be someone’s beloved spouse or the hero in his children’s eyes. Thank you, Dave, for reminding me to be more charitable.

    • #10
    • October 13, 2012 at 4:56 am
  11. Profile photo of liberal jim Inactive

    I guess if one could produce evidence that Stalin visited wounded troops on Christmas that would make him a warm-hearted and kind person. Janitors clean toilets, politicians visit wound troops; generally speaking I find the janitors to be the better people.

    • #11
    • October 13, 2012 at 5:01 am
  12. Profile photo of GreenCarder Member

    Great letter, Dave.

    Several days before the debate much was made of the fact that Axelrod, for my money one of the most odious individuals in politics, was taking over the VP’s debate preparation. I think Biden’s whole performance had the Axelrod (& Alinsky) fingerprints all over it.

    • #12
    • October 13, 2012 at 5:22 am
  13. Profile photo of Pencilvania Member

    Dave, will you really send the letter? How interesting it would be to receive a reply. If he’d read this it might actually make him think, for a minute or two.

    • #13
    • October 13, 2012 at 5:27 am
  14. Profile photo of Jimmy Carter Member

    bi-den [bye-den]

    noun

    1. an unruly, overly animated, porcelain-veneered ass who did a disservice to the nation and his own office.

    Works for Me.

    • #14
    • October 13, 2012 at 5:54 am
  15. Profile photo of Railroad Bridge Guy Inactive

    Although it is wrapped in a thick blanket of ego, I believe that Joe Biden got into politics to help people. As the Right, we disagree with his means and methods. We don’t believe his intentions are evil.Joe Biden may be a decent man but the desire to win politically has challenged that decency. Now all that is important to Joe Biden is to win so he can continue to “help people”.

    • #15
    • October 13, 2012 at 6:36 am
  16. Profile photo of HVTs Member
    Jimmy Carter:bi-den[bye-den]

    noun

    1. an unruly, overly animated, porcelain-veneered ass who did a disservice to the nation and his own office.

    Works for Me.

    Me too.

    Can’t resist . . . Did you hear the VP has a new Secret Service call sign? It’s “February.” That’s because [bye-den] he’ll be working on (another) autobiography like Obama.

    • #16
    • October 13, 2012 at 6:47 am
  17. Profile photo of Eeyore Member
    Dave Carter
    Eeyore
    Dave Carter: Your performance was, in short, an abominable affront to the very idea of civil conversation.

    Mr. Carter, in short, what you consider an affront is what they consider their golden road to victory. …

    And why in blazes is everyone calling me Mr. Carter? I keep looking around the truck for my Dad, and he’s not here at the moment. C’mon now, Mr. Eeyore. 

    In this particular case, sir, you gave the Vice-President his appropriate nominative of address and I was responding in kind. You didn’t begin your letter with Hey, [CofC]!

    I heard Alphonse when he jus’ say You sho’ do hang out with some sillyass folk, ma fran.

    And I respond to him…..uh……well…..So?

    • #17
    • October 13, 2012 at 6:57 am
  18. Profile photo of HVTs Member
    Railroad Bridge Guy: Although it is wrapped in a thick blanket of ego, I believe that Joe Biden got into politics to help people. As the Right, we disagree with his means and methods. We don’t believe his intentions are evil.Joe Biden may be a decent man but the desire to win politically has challenged that decency. Now all that is important to Joe Biden is to win so he can continue to “help people”.

    “Nearly forty years after I first got involved, I remain captivated by the possibilities of politics and public service. In fact, I believe that my chosen profession is a noble calling. That’s why I wanted to be a part of it.” – Joe Biden

    I’m sorry … the only thing that “captivates” Joe Biden is his reflection in a mirror. After 38 years in the Senate, can you name one piece of legislation with which he’s associated? With his putative expertise in foreign policy, can you name one significant initiative he championed let alone got passed? He’s a clown. The Dimwit from Delaware and the Crook from Chicago … a dream team if you’re running against them.

    • #18
    • October 13, 2012 at 7:03 am
  19. Profile photo of Dave Carter Contributor
    Dave Carter Post author
    HVTs
    Railroad Bridge Guy: Although it is wrapped in a thick blanket of ego, I believe that Joe Biden got into politics to help people. As the Right, we disagree with his means and methods. We don’t believe his intentions are evil.Joe Biden may be a decent man but the desire to win politically has challenged that decency. Now all that is important to Joe Biden is to win so he can continue to “help people”.

    “Nearly forty years after I first got involved, I remain captivated by the possibilities of politics and public service. In fact, I believe that my chosen profession is a noble calling. That’s why I wanted to be a part of it.” – Joe Biden

    I’m sorry … the only thing that “captivates” Joe Biden is his reflection in a mirror. After 38 years in the Senate, can you name one piece of legislation with which he’s associated? …

    Not right off hand, now that you mention it. But as another member noted, I do remember the savaging that Robert Bork and Clarence Thomas suffered under Biden’s leadership of the Senate Judiciary Committee.

    • #19
    • October 13, 2012 at 7:09 am
  20. Profile photo of Dave Carter Contributor
    Dave Carter Post author
    liberal jim: … Janitors clean toilets, politicians visit wound troops; generally speaking I find the janitors to be the better people. · 2 hours ago

    I think you’re right on this one. 

    • #20
    • October 13, 2012 at 7:10 am
  21. Profile photo of Chris Campion Thatcher

    Biden has the (apparent) gift of being able to forget the things he’s said immediately after he’s said them, which is also a fine trait if you’re a serial plagiarist. It allows one to stroll, unstained, through life, as you simultaneously create a present “you” that fits whatever is convenient today, and re-writes the former “you” to mesh, perfectly, with the present “you”.

    No wonder he’s smiling all the time. Nothing he’s ever done is wrong, and everything he’s going to do is right. This, I’m afraid, is the result of re-electing the same clowns to office for decades. They no longer live amongst us, the people they purport to represent. They are creatures unto themselves.

    And they have got to go.

    • #21
    • October 13, 2012 at 7:49 am
  22. Profile photo of David Williamson Member

    Wait a minute – didn’t Peter say Biden won the debate?

    I. Don’t. Think. So. Neither does anyone else except Mr Biden and Bill Maher (but I repeat myself).

    My prediction of the week – no slowing in the Mittmentum.

    • #22
    • October 13, 2012 at 8:31 am
  23. Profile photo of David Murphey Inactive

    As usual, thought provoking and insightful.

    May I add this perspective? Perhaps Mr. Biden is both of the people you describe. Since we are both flesh and spirit, each can be manifested at different times.

    The man you describe visiting the wounded could very well be the Joe Biden displaying the “better angel” part of himself. But, like the world of lost sinners, he has a human side that has faults, failings, passions that are not pretty to see, even embarrassing.

    And I dare say that he is often surrounded by those who encourage this part of his nature to dominate. It’s this part of him that has led him to success in the world – through self-confidence, brashness, pomposity.

    But buried under that pride is likely a gentle, compassionate soul who, out of the sight of the cameras and crowds, he is willing to reveal.

    What a pity he has not found the freedom to be relieved of that need to find the acceptance of others by exhibiting his baser nature.

    Perhaps one day, he’ll find that it’s okay to love – at all times.

    • #23
    • October 13, 2012 at 8:53 am
  24. Profile photo of paulebe Member

    I’ll have to flush this out more over on the member feed, but I think we’re struggling with something here that’s bothered me for a while. Dave, as usual, has given poignant & eloquent voice to that something.

    Are the Right and Left (broadly defined) equally prone to behaving hypocritically? Are we blinded to the hypocritical behavior of our team when they behave in ways incompatible with our principles?

    As for an explanation for the cringeworthy, maddening, horrific performance of Biden Thursday, I can only say that he was either a) carrying out his assigned duties by his boss and his party – rough up the kid and show ’em that Tuesday’s “debate” is going to be brutal – or b) a potent mix of alcohol and oxycontin. 

    • #24
    • October 13, 2012 at 8:57 am
  25. Profile photo of Paladin Inactive

    Pre-debate letter to the Vice-President:

    Joey,

    If you know that you’re right and he’s wrong, there is no harm in letting Paul Ryan say whatever he wants during the debate because you can use your time to carefully point out why everything he said was false. If everything he says is a lie, it should be easy to refute.

    On the other hand, if he is making valid points for which you have no good response, you know that your record these past four years is pretty sad, and you’re very worried that if you let him talk it will become crystal clear to the world who is the better choice: you should probably interrupt him every 29 seconds and giggle to yourself as much as possible.

    • #25
    • October 13, 2012 at 9:01 am
  26. Profile photo of tabula rasa Member

    Dave: Jay Nordlinger helps answer the fundamental question you ask in your letter: which is the real Joe?

    The dismissive references made by Biden to Judge Robert Bork were well nigh unforgivable. The verb “borked,” meaning “to be run over by an uncrupulous mob of rabid politicians led by Joe Biden,” lives on.

    Here’s how Jay ended his NRO column on the debate:

    Two more things, before I sign off. 1) I thought Biden’s behavior was much worse than Gore’s in the first 2000 debate. And 2) Biden brought up Judge Bork — my friend Bob Bork, Robert H. Bork — as a bogeyman. He has been defaming Bork for 25 years now. Joe Biden isn’t fit to tie the shoelaces of that magnificent man. Not because Bork’s IQ is about a million points higher. No, it’s a matter of character.

    Dave: I think that answers your question. The real Joe is the northbound end of a southbound horse.

    P.S. The letter is magnificent. How can we make sure Biden reads it? Wait–I assume too much. How can we make sure someone reads it to him, very slowly (with a Cajun accent)?

    • #26
    • October 13, 2012 at 9:28 am
  27. Profile photo of Peter Robinson Founder

    Heartbreaking and hilarious. (How Dave does it, I cannot say.)

    • #27
    • October 13, 2012 at 9:37 am
  28. Profile photo of Jay Bhattacharya Inactive

    Really an excellent letter. Thanks, Mr. Carter.

    • #28
    • October 13, 2012 at 9:42 am
  29. Profile photo of Devereaux Inactive

    I believe, Mr. Carter, that the man you saw last night is the real Joe Biden – an ugly partisan who willfully and gleefully attempts to destroy anyone’s life who dares to disagree with him. Robert Bork might actually be a great example, but Justice Thomas is another.

    The left is an ugly thing. But not as ugly as the fact that too much of the nation actually listens to that drivel and awards it any importance, instead of driving them out in the snow.

    • #29
    • October 13, 2012 at 9:55 am
  30. Profile photo of Eeyore Member
    Dave Carter: Your performance was, in short, an abominable affront to the very idea of civil conversation.

    Mr. Carter, in short, what you consider an affront is what they consider their golden road to victory.

    Ask Ed Schultz, or Chris Matthews or Al Sharpton. I suspect they would say: “Joe, why did you let Ryan get by with saying so much?”

    • #30
    • October 13, 2012 at 10:00 am
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