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Well, so much for the "Joe Biden is such a nice guy, he'll bring back civility to the political discourse" argument.
Just hours before he declared a "revival of decency and honor and character" during his Michigan primary victory speech, he berated a Michigander as a "horse's a**" who was "full of s**t" for accurately quoting the presidential candidate's position on gun restrictions.
The interaction with a UAW member named Jerry Wayne is illustrative of multiple facets of the presumptive Democratic nominee for president, including his inability to recall his own position on something as critical as gun control. Or, perhaps, it demonstrates his blatant lies about his position on the matter. After all, Wayne cited that he wants to take guns away, and Biden did, in fact, affirm that fact to Anderson Cooper in an interview in August.
COOPER: So, to gun owners out there who say, well, a Biden administration means they're going to come for my guns?
BIDEN: Bingo. You're right if you have an assault weapon.
There are multiple disconcerting moments in the video like this one. Moments that display Biden's ability to lie to a voter's face, bully a voter with physical threats, throw profanities at a voter who challenges his positions and his aggressive "shushing" of a female campaign staffer trying to mitigate the damage of the confrontation. We could breakdown any one of these moments to illustrate Biden's mendacity or his possible mental instability.
But, there is one over-riding takeaway form this exchange that not only meshes with other unfortunate encounters Biden's had on the campaign trail with everyday American voters ("look fat," "You're a lying, dog-faced pony soldier," etc.). And, this takeaway also meshes with his behavior as a U.S. Senator and as vice president over the past several decades.
It's this: Joe Biden is an angry man who just doesn't like you.
I know the mainstream media characterization of Joe Biden is that he's just an amiable, happy guy who everybody gets along with, and that may be true as it pertains to his fellow senators and members of the media with whom Biden wishes to curry favor. But his direct interaction with voters, especially voters who dare to question or God forbid challenge the former vice president, indicates that he has very little regard for our opinions or beliefs and, for that matter, our knowledge of the facts and issues that matter most to us.
This is not new.
Most American political observers cite the Robert Bork confirmation hearings as a turning point in modern political relations and behavior in Washington, D.C. The hearings represent a moment when a certain respect, collegiality, and deference was burned in a dumpster fire and left on the side of the road. The Bork hearings marked the beginning of the modern, cage-match style of D.C. politics where anything goes and any accusation can be hurled at a person, no matter how despicable or thinly supported by facts.
Joe Biden was the leader of the Bork inquisition. He is responsible for it and every other atrocious display of character assassination disguised as "advice and consent" ever since.
Before Bork, nominees for the Supreme Court, or any job on the federal bench, or for any cabinet position for that matter, were valued and respected if they had a long paper trail of decisions and experience and a documented track record of achievement. Because of Biden's behavior as Chairman of the Judiciary Committee overseeing the Bork confirmation, experience, track record and achievement is no longer valued, it is avoided.
Biden and his inquisitors ruthlessly combed through every line of Bork's writings and twisted his words to distort his views and his life's work. They bullied him at the hearings and treated him with contempt. Biden led the way. Just as he did several years later at the Clarence Thomas hearings.
You think Biden is a nice guy? Ask Clarence Thomas. Ask Robert Bork's family. Ask them how nice "lunch bucket Joe" is.
In 2012, one of his former aides, Jeff Connaughton, wrote a tell-all book describing Biden as an "egomaniacal autocrat" who was "determined to manage his staff through fear." That's not typical in Washington. There are a lot of jerks in this town, but it's rare for a former staffer to tell the world, in writing, about all the jerky things congressmen, senators, and presidents do. The fact that Connaughton did tells you something.
Watch some of the old videos of Biden's conduct as a senator on C-SPAN. It's enlightening. His attitude is imperious, condescending and arrogant, but always to those who dare to challenge or question him. He's happy-go-lucky "Uncle Joe" as long as you give him the deference he's sure you owe him. But if you dare to stand up to him, he's in your face.
I know, I know. Trump has some of the same characteristics. I know, Trump also uses foul language and can come across as belligerent. I know, people have written books and said what a monster Trump can be or has been in his decades in the business world. I know. Fine.
But Biden is running for president as some sort of "healer." He wants you to think that he's a kind man who is ready to bring our nation together, but his history (as well as his current behavior) informs us that he is everything but what he is claiming to be.
Do your own research. Check the archives yourself. See what kind of man Biden is. Go ahead. He has a long paper trail. And, just as Biden destroyed Robert Bork by combing through his vast record, perhaps it would be poetic justice to use the same tactic against Biden the bully.
Larry O'Connor hosts two separate radio programs on WMAL in Washington DC and on KABC in Los Angeles. He has a daily, 30-minute podcast covering U.S. Politics and featuring interviews with newsmakers and pundits on the biggest stories of the day. Subscribe here.