"I wish [critics of the administration's jobs bill] had some notion of what it was like to be on the other side of a gun, or [to have] a 200-pound man standing over you, telling you to submit [to rape]." -- Vice President Joe Biden, Oct. 18, University of Pennsylvania
"... at a time when our discourse has become so sharply polarized, at a time when we are far too eager to lay the blame for all that ails the world at the feet of those who think differently than we do, it's important for us to pause for a moment and make sure that we are talking with each other in a way that heals, not a way that wounds." -- Barack Obama, Jan. 12, 2011, Tucson, Ariz.
Joe Biden is not a big effing deal, as he might say.
In fairness, few vice presidents matter, and Biden suffers by comparison to his immediate predecessor, who mattered more than most.
As you know, the current vice president says dumb things, funny things, weird things. He talks like the sort of guy who sits right next to you on the bus even though there are plenty of empty seats -- just so he can explain how squirrels aren't mammals.
Indeed, in many respects, he's as close as American politics gets to a wacky sitcom character who's a couple fries short of a Happy Meal.
Remember when he told us how President Roosevelt went on TV to reassure America after the 1929 stock market crash? It wasn't until later that someone reminded him that no one had TVs in 1929, and that FDR wasn't president. Remember when he insisted that in Delaware, "You cannot go to a 7-Eleven or a Dunkin' Donuts unless you have a slight Indian accent. ... I'm not joking"?
He wasn't joking then, and he's not joking now when he says that if you oppose the president's jobs bill -- which currently enjoys bipartisan opposition in the Senate -- you're OK with more rapes and murders.
No wonder he thinks many Republicans acted like "terrorists" during the budget negotiations last summer.
And speaking of terrorists, my complaint about Biden has always been that he gets to behave like the late PLO leader Yasser Arafat. By that I mean Arafat got a free pass from many in the West because he would only say horrible things in Arabic while he would talk peace in English.
Biden's double standard allows him to enjoy a kind of political immunity that only encourages asinine impunity.
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