Biden’s China Gaffe

Homer Simpson made some comments in China yesterday,,,wait, my mistake. It was Joe Biden.

I saw the transcript of the Vice President’s remarks in China yesterday, and several thoughts went through my mind:

 How craven. How callous.What a betrayal of decency and American values!


 This is what happens when a once-great country is a trillion dollars  in debt to a human rights monster.


I hesitate to speculate what other nations that look to the U.S. as the champion of human rights must think when they hear the American Vice-President call forced abortion “a policy which I thoroughly understand.”


Why is a perpetual gaffe machine like Joe Biden permitted to appear anywhere in which a language, any language, is spoken?


As it is a given that the conservative press and GOP presidential hopefuls will be all over this, will  the mainstream media  show any integrity and give Biden’s disgraceful performance the bipartisan criticism it deserves?


Will the Obama administration have the integrity to rebuke Biden’s idiocy, or will it dishonestly attempt to claim that he was misunderstood? 

Here is the segment of Biden’s comments at Sichuan University in Chengdu, China:

“But as I was talking to some of your leaders, you share a similar concern here in China.  You have no safety net.  Your policy has been one which I fully understand — I’m not second-guessing — of one child per family.  The result being that you’re in a position where one wage earner will be taking care of four retired people.  Not sustainable.”

 There is no ambiguity there. Biden is like the man who smiles approvingly at the racist as he praises Jim Crow, or who nods at the anti-Semite’s declaration that Hitler had “the right idea.” He is worse, in fact, since those evil policies are only nightmarish memories, while China’s one-child per family policy is currently going on. Biden “understands” the policy all right; he understands that it involves state–compelled abortion and desperate child-killing. Yet he says that he’s not “second-guessing” it.

Are we to take from this comment that the Obama administration would approve of a similar policy in the U.S. if it became “necessary”? I assume not. I hope not. I would hope that instead, this is merely Joe Biden, as always, his tongue only loosely connected to his brain, which itself has a few short circuits of its own, making a fool of himself (and all we heard during the 2008 campaign was about how untrustworthy the Republican VP candidate was…) . The problem is that Biden officially represents the United States of America, and he, speaking for the U.S.,  has said that a forced one-child policy as a means of social control is aces with him. I don’t think even muddled, silly Joe Biden believes that.

It is bad enough that he said it, howver. I was able to guess, before I read them, how the left-biased media, if it covered the story at all (that’s one question answered—it did, but it mostly covered the criticism, as in “those mean Republicans predictably are attacking Joe Biden over an innocent, if inartful, comment”) would try excuse to excuse Joe. NPR was typical:

 “Those who want to give Biden the benefit of the doubt will see this comment, culturally relativistic as it sounds, as his way of doing nothing that would add to the tensions in U.S.-Chinese relations. After a week in which Chinese and U.S. officials got into a shoving match at the Great Hall of the People and American and Chinese athletes got into an actual brawl, the vice president’s solicitude, if not choice of words, makes a certain amount of sense.

No, you pathetic, dishonest, state-funded toadies, it does not make sense. It does not make sense for the United States representative to endorse evil, to shrug it off as the equivalent of a U.S. EPA regulation or a tax on peanuts. Biden did not have to give a nod of approval to this totalitarian tactic; he didn’t have to mention it at all. He brought it up on his own, and then gave it a seal of approval…the Great Seal of the United States.

As to my question regarding how the White House would treat Biden’s utterly stupid statement, the depressing answer is spin, pure, disgraceful, insulting spin. The White House let Joe try to weasel out of this one himself, and left the response to the Vice-president’s flacks. “The Obama administration strongly opposes all aspects of China’s coercive birth limitation policies, including forced abortion and sterilization,” said Kendra Barkoff, the vice president’s press secretary. “The vice president believes such practices are repugnant. He also pointed out, in China, that the policy is, as a practical matter, unsustainable. He was arguing against the one-child policy to a Chinese audience.”

Oh….Biden was arguing against the policy! Show me the “argument.” That Biden weakly noted that it is “unsustainable” at best argues that it’s not going to work. Where does Biden suggest that it is wrong?

My initial reactions are confirmed, though some questions remain unanswered. The principle one:

Why is a perpetual gaffe machine like Joe Biden permitted to represent the United States of America anywhere in which a language, any language, is spoken?

15 thoughts on “Biden’s China Gaffe

  1. Why is anyone surprised – let alone you, Jack? (I get it – you’re not.)

    Biden has a long track record of this kind of stuff. He never bit down on his own tongue in time to keep ANYTHING from falling out of his mouth.

    Occasionally, what does fall out is (inadvertently, I assume) insightful and intriguing. Most of the time, it’s moronic and damaging – as in this case.

    That this boob was chosen to add gravitas and experience to the ’08 ticket speaks volumes about how woefully not ready the current admin really was. That he still says this kinda nonsense is indicative of how woefully not ready the current admin still is.

    • I’m surprised in the way I’m surprised when an alcoholic has his fourth DUI…isn’t there any comprehension of the risk? Who lets him get behind the wheel?

      Biden reminds me of Uncle Billy in “It’s a Wonderful Life”…in fact, I should have used his picture instead of Homer’s. And George was negligent to let that old idiot deposit the checks.

  2. To be fair, Biden did not say he was in favour of forced abortions, just the one child policy. Officially, China doesn’t do forced abortions anymore. The one child policy operates by fining parents who have a second child and by denying them social benefits for that child. Unfortunately, the central Chinese government has provincial and municipal governments enforce the policy and they do all sorts of horrible things to meet targets like forced removal of second children from their families for adoption (for which the officials get a fee). Also, individuals might decide to commit infanticide to avoid having to pay the fine, although this is illegal.

    • Well saying to new second-parents-to-be something like “OK here’s the deal: You can have the child, and pay a stiff fine. Oh yeah, and after that, you’re on your own. The baby is born with problems, don’t come crying to us. Sure hospitals are expensive; you should have thought of that beforehand. School tuition? Maybe you can work something out, but not with us. Other issues: Not our problem. Oh, yes, and you would not believe the number of bureaucrats and other officials who are going to give you endless trouble in the months and even years ahead. OR. You can go to the local clinic—that’s it, just eight doors down—and have this little problem taken care of. Did we mention that it’s free? Any problems in the wake of it? Just think of us as Santa Claus.” That may not be, technically, a forced abortion, but it’s pretty strong-armed, all the same. Also, what are the choices available to a couple who have had a child in the face of opposition, but cannot afford the fine? Go into a Chinese jail, and you’ll find out why groups like Amnesty International exist. Kind of a Hobson’s choice, isn’t it?

      • I only wanted to point out that forced abortion (i.e. done completely against the parent’s will) is no longer official Chinese government policy. Strong incentives for an abortion are not the same thing as being forced to do so, otherwise the Chinese who do ignore the policy by paying the required fines would not be able to do so.

        • I don’t want to give you too hard a time on this, but if such a law were passed in America that compelled pregnant woman who did not have an abortion (after already having one child) to pay a fine, I guarantee that it would be described as mandatory abortion, just as the failure to get health insurance incurs a fine in Obamacare, and is called an “individual mandate.”. I’d say the distinction between an a abortion that is mandated by a fine as penalty and a “forced abortion” is pretty slim. No?

          • There is a difference between “forced abortion” and a “mandatory one-child policy”. A “forced abortion” is one in which a woman is forcibly tied to a gurney, sedated and has an abortion performed on her. A “mandatory one-child policy” is one in which a family has to pay a some penalty (a fine, imprisonment, or something else) for having a second child. The former is a much greater violation of human rights than the latter (the difference, is not, as you say, “slim”). The distinction is important because forced abortions were actually part of the one-child policy until recently and is probably still imposed by some local or provincial Chinese governments (although regulations from Beijing say it should not be).

            Using your “individual mandate” analogy, the mandate to purchase insurance can be enforced in many ways. People who do not buy insurance could be shot, tortured, imprisoned or fined. The first three would be an abhorrent overreaction to someone not having health insurance (the punishment would be grossly disproportionate to the wrong done). The last, on the other hand, might even be reasonable. How a penalty is enforced is a very important consideration when deciding whether or not it is an ethical policy.

            I actually agree that the one-child policy is an unethical policy, but I think someone could reasonably disagree about this. If forced abortions were involved, it would be much harder to reasonably believe that the policy was an ethical one.

  3. I’d call that, “To be compleely accurate.” rather than. “to be fair.” He casually shrugged off a policy that has involved official forced abortions, has induced an untold number of infanticides, has caused unwilling abortions, and is a core violation of human rights and autonomy. Do you want e to give Biden a Kewpie Doll because he didn’t say something even worse?

    • One can be for a policy without being for the methods used to enforce it. Maybe Biden is like this for the One Child Policy (he believes that limiting the number of births is a good idea, but not necessarily that forced abortions are). Kewpie Dolls for everyone, though.

      • Now you have jumped the rails. If he believes one child per family as a government policy is a good idea, than he doesn’t support and defend the Constitution, as his oath of office requires. Oh how I would love to see Biden use this argument! He would be run out of DC on a rail (not the same kind that you jumped, obviously), and with good cause.

        • I’m not saying that Biden does, but could Biden not believe that a one child policy is a good one for China but not for America? Double jeopardy also violates the Constitution, but would Biden fail to uphold the Constitution if he believed that Britain’s lack of a rule against double jeopardy was okay for Britain, or at least an understandable policy given the conditions that prevail in Britain.

  4. A person’s actual statement and what one may infer from it are very often two very different things. The Vice President’s acknowledgement of China’s one child program as “understandable” in the face of their billion plus population does not suggest that he endores abortion, euthansia or any other extreme measure to achieve that goal. Especially when one considers that there are so many acceptable measures including family planning and birth control that are widely available. Given that, to characterize the Vice President’s remarks as “craven and callous” seems a bit of a stretch.

    • They are callous and craven, and I think I was pretty clear why. Biden blurred the line between approval and disapproval…if a George H.W. Bush had said in South Africa that he “understood” and “won’t second guess” the policy of apartheid, would you make the same tortured rationalization? If Kennedy had told Khrushchev that he “understood’ the use of Gulags, how would that have gone over with the US press? What Biden said is in the exact same category. My god—I am stunned at the logical backflips people will go through to avoid admitting the obvious. Biden was sucking up to the Chinese, tacitly waiving objections to policies anathema to American values.

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