When Democrat Barack Obama brought Sen. Joe Biden on board, pundits of every stripe referred to it as a move to add gravitas to the ticket. This theory was not disputed, and it appeared Obama was indeed betting on the foreign policy experience of the “great statesman” to lift his campaign above the arguments about Obama’s own inexperience. As the public waited for Biden to give his convention speech in Denver last week, they anticipated being wowed by the knowledge and insight he would bring to the table.
But it was not to be. Biden gave his speech, and while the public was still digesting it and the spin doctors were still spinning it, Republican John McCain announced Governor Sarah Palin as his running mate and crashed Biden’s party. As a matter of fact, now that McCain has named Palin as his V.P., I can’t even remember what Biden said in his speech. And I bet most other Americans don’t, either.
Poor Biden: his attempts to land a gig in the White House have never gone smoothly. When he tried to secure the Democrat nomination for president in the 1988 race, he had to drop out because people discovered that he was plagiarizing the speeches of a British Labor Party leader named Neil Kinnock. (Actually, he not only stole Kinnock’s words. Biden hijacked his whole life story).
When he ran for his party’s 2008 presidential nomination, he had to drop out in the midst of the primary elections because no one cared whether he was in the race or not (he only drew 1% of the vote in the Iowa caucus in January 2008). And now, in what promised to be his best run for a national office yet, he finds himself facing off against a beauty queen-turned-governor from Alaska, who has the tenacity of Margaret Thatcher and Ronald Reagan’s conviction that peace comes through strength.
Just for kicks, I looked up the text of Biden’s convention speech and tried to re-familiarize myself with it. (It just seems like it was so long ago since he gave it now.) As I reconsidered it, I realized I had given him too much credit by originally thinking his speech was average. In reality, his speech was nothing less than an attack on the ideals of a free society and an admission that his years in Washington have taught him that people ought to rely on government rather than themselves. This was evident from the way his opening lines about how his parents taught him to be responsible for himself soon gave way to “I’ve never seen a time when Washington has watched so many people get knocked down without doing anything to help them get back up.”
Biden also talked about loyalty in his speech, and how his parents had instilled the importance of it in him. Then he described McCain as a friend, and proceeded to verbally assault him with an endless array of half-truths and insinuations. Is this the loyalty his parents taught him to show to friends?
One other quick point before moving on. After recounting the tough, rugged-individualism his father had instilled in him, he said, “I wish my dad was here tonight.” Why did he say this? Why would he want his father to see that he doesn’t have a friend he won’t turn on to draw applause, and that he has traded the ideals of self-reliance for the enslaving philosophy of socialism?
Contrast this with Palin. When her parents look at her, they see a woman who not only remembers the values she was taught but also promotes them. When the television cameras in her parents' Alaskan home broadcast their reaction to her V.P. nomination, you could see the pride in their eyes, albeit through their tears.
And they have so much to be proud of. She is the wife of a real man, a mother of five (who refused to avail herself of Biden’s abortion procedures to kill any of her babies along the way), a strong supporter of the U.S. military and a proud American. She wants to “drill here, drill now,” and just to prove it, she informed us that she’s already constructing a “$40 billion natural gas pipeline [in Alaska] to help lead America to energy independence.”
Think about it. Palin is actively pursuing the expansion of domestic oil production, including ANWR, and Biden is record saying, “Drilling in ANWR… is a very short-sighted, small-yield solution that will have devastating long-term effects.” Palin is a life member of the NRA, whose hobbies include fishing and hunting, and Biden is life member of the Democrat Party, whose hobbies include accusing our Marines of killing innocent civilians for kicks (you didn’t think we’d forgotten that did you, Senator Biden?)
When Democrat Jack Murtha accused eight Marines of slaughtering innocent civilians in Haditha in Novermber 2005, Biden was right there with him. And in an interview on Meet the Press with the late Tim Russert, Biden argued that the alleged crimes should force then-Secretary of Defense Donald Rumsfield out of office. He put it this way: “There is a system of accountability. The system of accountability is…a gentlemanly thing, as they say, when you make serious mistakes, you step forward and you acknowledge them and you walk away. Presidents can’t and shouldn’t do that. Secretaries of defense can and should.”
Can Senators do that Joe? Can they do “the gentlemanly thing” and “step forward and acknowledge” that since seven out of eight of those Marines have already been proven innocent, the allegations were obviously false? Can they then do the honorable thing as false accusers and walk away? What would your father say, Joe? Do you wish he was here to see this too?
Brave men like Palin’s son, who joined the Army to defend our freedom, and courageous Marines like those upon whom Biden heaped shame, deserve our undying support and homage rather than fabricated accusations. We are free because of those who serve in our military. Yet, like the arrogant Obamas and Clintons of this world, Biden is so full of himself that he cannot stop and think of the price others have paid to secure for him the freedom to pompously flaunt his bristly hair plugs as he parades back and forth upon stage after stage during this election cycle.
Somebody needs to tell Biden that the stage doesn’t represent real life. Thousands of miles away, far behind the lights, the applause, and the camera flashes, our troops sleep in holes in the desert ground and wonder if they’ll live to see to their families again while Biden sleeps in plush hotels and considers slow room service an unbearable facet of life.
I cannot wait till Biden has to share the stage with Palin in the V.P. debates. I long for the moment when he has to look into the eyes of the one who has banished him to obscurity and hear her describe why she refused to abort her child with Down Syndrome; why she’s so proud of her son and of our military in general; and why she’s proud to serve alongside a man like McCain, whose military experience included sleeping in a cage for years in Vietnam while facing every degradation imaginable.
What will Biden do when Palin unashamedly (and ferociously) defends small government, the Second Amendment, winning the war on terror, energy independence through expanded drilling, and the sanctity of life? It’s anyone’s guess how the arrogant statesman will react, but I have a feeling that deep in the recesses of his egocentric mind, beyond the small supply of useful knowledge and the meager amount of wisdom he has stored on the shelves, his sleeping conscience will awaken just long enough to inform him that we know he’s a conniving fraud who wishes he had at least an ounce of the gravitas Dick Cheney brought to the Bush/Cheney ticket in 2000.
By the time Palin finishes with him, he’s also going to wish Obama had chosen Hillary for V.P.