Kathryn Lopez

Biden insisted on playing the constitutional lawyer during prime-time television, a role he clearly can't hack. The doughty senator clumsily attempted to pin Cheney to the ropes with this weak jab: "The idea he doesn't realize (sic) that Article I of the Constitution defines the role of the vice president. That's the executive branch. He works in the executive branch." A small detail for Biden: Article I of the Constitution defines the legislative powers of the federal government. And the veep shows up there.

And from Cheney, we can move onto another branch of the federal government, so we've covered all three in discussing the problem that is Biden. When Clarence Thomas went before the Senate Judiciary Committee in 1991, Biden put on a show, as he tends to. He quoted Thomas allegedly supporting judicial activism. Thomas didn't remember the quote. That's because he never said such a thing, he learned from his researchers after the debate. Biden took him completely out of context.

In his book, "My Grandfather's Son" (Harper Perennial, 2008), Thomas recalls his interaction with Biden: "Throughout my life I've often found truth embedded in the lyrics of my favorite records. At Yale, for example, I'd listened often to 'Smiling Faces Sometimes,' a song by the Undisputed Truth that warns of the dangers of trusting the hypocrites who 'pretend to be your friend' while secretly planning to do you wrong. Now I knew I'd met one of them: Senator Biden's smooth, insincere promises that he would treat me fairly were nothing but talk."

A dangerously inconsistent senator full of "smooth, insincere promises" doesn't exactly sound like change we can believe in, does it?


Kathryn Lopez

Kathryn Jean Lopez, editor of National Review Online, writes a weekly column of conservative political and social commentary for Newspaper Enterprise Association.