The fact that former Vice President Joe Biden, now on his third try for the presidency, remains the last "moderate" standing says more about his now-vanquished rivals than about Biden. The same media that post running tabs on President Donald Trump's "lies" ignore, downplay or otherwise dismiss Biden's gaffes, memory lapses and frequent incoherence.
He's Uncle Joe, the regular guy from Scranton, Pennsylvania, who understands the common man. So what if he says, without proof, that he worked to "desegregate restaurants and movie houses of Wilmington, Delaware"? So what if he says since 2007, "150 million people" -- almost half of the U.S. population -- "have been killed" due to gun violence?
So what if he boasts about his "arrest" in South Africa for supposedly attempting to visit Nelson Mandela, an effort Mandela allegedly later thanked Biden for attempting? Never mind that none of it is true -- not the arrest, not the attempted visit and not the thank you from Mandela. According to the Daily Beast: "Biden finally admitted that the story was much different than he'd initially described, saying he told police while on a congressional delegation to South Africa that he was 'not going to go in that door that says white only' and separate from his black colleagues." And so what if Biden, who voted for the Iraq War resolution and publicly accused Iraqi leader Saddam Hussein of possessing weapons of mass destruction, now claims he "didn't believe (Saddam Hussein) had those weapons of mass destruction"?
More disturbingly, Biden lied on at least two occasions about a man named Curtis C. Dunn. Dunn was the tractor-trailer driver who, in 1972, tragically struck and killed Biden's wife and his infant daughter. Along with many other news outlets, the Huffington Post, in 2008, described the accident this way: "Delaware's Senator-elect would face a more difficult challenge soon after his election, when a drunk driver struck the car carrying his family, killing his wife Neilia and daughter Naomi and severely wounding sons Hunter and Beau."
Based on Joe Biden's account, the Huffington Post got it right. Dunn was driving drunk. After all, in a 2001 speech at the University of Delaware, Biden said, "An errant driver who stopped to drink instead of drive and hit -- a tractor-trailer -- hit my children and my wife and killed them." But the then-Delaware prosecutor, now a judge, who investigated the accident says, "The rumor about alcohol being involved by either party, especially the truck driver (Dunn), is incorrect." Furthermore, the tractor-trailer driver had the right of way, and Dunn immediately got out of his truck and tried to render assistance. He was no drunk driver.
Disturbed by Biden's drunk-driver version of the accident, Pamela Hamill, Dunn's daughter, wrote to Biden. The Newark Post wrote:
"In 2001, (Hamill) wrote a heartfelt letter to Biden expressing her father's profound grief after hearing Biden make a post Sept. 11 speech in which he told the audience that, given his history, he could empathize with victims.
"'Growing up, my dad never talked about it. He always got very solemn around Christmastime because the anniversary was Dec. 18, and he never wanted to celebrate the holidays,' Hamill said. 'When newspapers had anniversary articles (about the crash), we hid them from dad.'
"Biden responded in a handwritten note, which, in part, reads, 'All that I can say is I am sorry for all of us and please know that neither I or my sons feel any animosity whatsoever.'"
Biden, it appears, got the message. Both families suffered a terrible tragedy. Why add to the pain by falsely portraying the remorseful Curtis Dunn as a drunk driver?
But a few years later, Biden did it again.
In a 2007 speech at the University of Iowa, Biden said: "Let me tell you a little story. I got elected when I was 29, and I got elected November the 7th. And on Dec. 18 of that year, my wife and three kids were Christmas shopping for a Christmas tree. A tractor-trailer, a guy who allegedly -- and I never pursued it -- drank his lunch instead of eating his lunch, broadsided my family and killed my wife instantly, and killed my daughter instantly, and hospitalized my two sons, with what were thought to be at the time permanent, fundamental injuries."
In 2008, Hamill demanded that Biden make a public apology. Hearing nothing from Biden, she sent him a registered letter. The next year, after an accurate CBS television report on the accident, Hamill said she received a phone call from Biden. Hamill told Politico: "He apologized for hurting my family in any way. So we accepted that -- and kind of end of story from there."
Joe's calling card is decency, an affable man without a malicious bone in his body. Yet he allowed Dunn, who died in 1999, to go to his grave having been falsely shamed by Biden as a drunk driver responsible for the death of Biden's wife and newborn daughter. What "decent" man does that?
Larry Elder is a bestselling author and nationally syndicated radio talk show host. His latest book, "The New Trump Standard," is available in paperback from Amazon.com and for Nook, Kindle, iBooks and GooglePlay. To find out more about Larry Elder, or become an "Elderado," visit www.LarryElder.com. Follow Larry on Twitter @LarryElder. To read features by other Creators Syndicate writers and cartoonists, visit the Creators Syndicate website at www.creators.com.