Sunday, March 03, 2019

Bad Followed By Bad

This guy is a presidential contender?

It's silly to say that if one can't stand up to MirandaHobbes that he won't be able to stand up to Kim Jong-Un. But really, Joe?

This exchange transpired because

Biden's comments about Pence came as he discussed foreign policy and how the international community had reacted to Pence during the vice president's speech at the Munich Security Conference earlier in February.

"The fact of the matter is it was followed on by a guy who's a decent guy, our vice president, who stood before this group of allies and leaders and said, 'I'm here on behalf of President Trump,' and there was dead silence. Dead silence," Biden recounted Thursday at the Chuck Hagel Forum in Global Leadership at the University of Nebraska at Omaha.

The former vice-president was not emphasizing the decency of the current vice-president, though he did imply that his successor would not call an opponent "crazy" and another a "nut job," brag about the size of his penis, or sell out the nation to aformer power. His message was that Donald Trump is held in such disrepute that simply stating the obvious- "I'm here on behalf of President Trump"- would be met with "dead silence. Dead silence."

Because the context of Biden's remark was clear, there would have been no need for him to apologize which- given that he did not say that he regretted labeling Pence "decent"- he avoided. However, there also was no need for Biden to retreat from his statement, given that Mike Pence does not compare in character to, say, Donald Trump or David Duke.

Pence's faults, especially on related issues such as reproductive choice and the right to discriminate against individuals on the basis of claimed religious belief, are numerous.  Moreover, the Vice President has remained loyal to Donald Trump, for whom endangering national security is simply the price of conducting business in the White House.

However, Biden never claimed Pence is an angel and did not suggest that the Democratic Party can play ball with "the monsters from inside The Bubble," as Charlie Pierce has described GOP legislators. (Give Joe time; he hasn't announced yet.) He was merely taking a shot at President Trump, which shouldn't be controversial to any Democrat or, for that matter, the politically unaffiliated.

Nonetheless, many independent-minded voters (as well as Republicans which, Biden may not realize, will not vote for any Democratic nominee) and a few Democrats will not be comforted by a candidate unable to tell a relative nobody like Cynthia Nixon to buzz off.  A voter doesn't have to admire Trump's fascistic celebration of strength to recognize a Democrat who folds upon application of the most minimal of pressure.   Cynthia Nixon was wrong. But when Joseph R. Biden folds like a cheap suit, it is reasonable to wonder if he is an empty one, too.

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