Comment of the Day: “Joe Biden, The Republicans, And The Lawn Chair Test”

"Cheer up!" said the voice. "Things could be worse!" So I cheered up, and, sure enough, things got worse!

“Cheer up!” said the Voice. “Things could be worse!” So I cheered up, and, sure enough, things got worse…

This will be the second Presidential election for Ethics Alarms. As I learned in the first one (2012), keeping politics out of the posts and discussion are futile. Nonetheless, I will work to stay away from policy debates unless there is clear ethical content,  as  with illegal immigration, abortion, income distribution or gun control. Leadership is the second topic that Ethics Alarms encompasses, in part because character and the ethical handling of power are so important to ethical leadership. Competence is also an important component. An indirect message of the recent post about Joe Biden was that the United States, though it always needs competent leadership in the White House, needs it even more than usual, and potential candidates for the job do not appear to have it.

Veteran Ethics Alarms commenter Michael R has delivered a useful and troubling addendum to what I wrote. Here is his Comment of the Day on the post Joe Biden, The Republicans, And The Lawn Chair Test:

I am looking at the problems the US will face in the next term and they are daunting. Things weren’t great when Obama became president, but he didn’t have to follow Obama as president. Obamas policies have created a lot of problem that need to be addressed. Unfortunately, I fear that Biden’s position on these problems is that he is in favor of them.

-Massive debt

Bush added about $5 trillion to the national debt. Obama unbelievably added $10 trillion more. We need a leader who can work with Congress to reduce this debt, not spend wantonly.

-Corruption and incompetence in government agencies.

It isn’t hard to see the corruption and incompetence in the DOJ, the Secret Service, the EPA (recently confirmed to have massively polluted western waterways), the State Department… Forty seven of the 78 Inspectors General wrote a letter to Congress complaining that they are unable to do their jobs because of President Obama. Our President has decided (by Executive Order) that the IG’s can only have access to the documents that the head of the department they are investigating will allow. That’s right, IG’s only have access to the material that the people they are investigating will allow. Homeland Security has over 53,000 employees who have been on paid leave for more than a month and 100 for over a year (up to 3 years). These are people on leave because of misconduct, insufficient security clearance to do their job, or unfit to do their job. We need someone who can make the government functional again and understand that these agencies exist to perform a function and not to employ federal workers.


We have reached the point that judges in California will change the birth certificate and name of a US citizen to that of an illegal immigrant to allow them collect food stamps, Medicaid, and Social Security, while turning the citizen into a nonperson. It also appears the judge changed the name on the Social Security file. When convicted, the illegal immigrant was sentenced to 1 night in jai

Who is going to challenge the notion that people who walk across the border to take advantage of this countries social programs are a privileged class of people who have superior rights to US citizens?

-The world around us is falling apart.

Our current president has ceded the role of “Leader of the Free World” to Europe, since they are better than us. This has led to sheer chaos. Europe is now accepting all the people of Darfur, Syria, Iran, Iraq, and Afghanistan as refugees and pressuring us to do the same. People in Germany and even Sweden are setting the refugee centers on fire at such a rate that they are running out of placed to put people. Romania, Bulgaria, Poland, and probably others have stopped shipping AK-47’s to the US civilian market because the Middle East is paying more for them and their own governments are demanding large shipments to expand their armies. Iran has already tested a ballistic missile in violation of their current sanctions and also violating President Obama’s heralded new agreement before it even begins. Who is going to rebuild our military and our world prestige to counter the chaos that is likely in the near future?




5 thoughts on “Comment of the Day: “Joe Biden, The Republicans, And The Lawn Chair Test”

  1. We need a leader with the ability to choose extremely competent and smart cabinet leaders and allow them to do what they do best, the smarts to create consensus and cooperation among lawmakers, a leader who knows his own and American values so well that he can’t be fooled even by people who agree with him, and who can inspire people to be their best. Sadly, the person I’m describing is not electable in the current social and political climate.

    • One of my favorite sayings, gleaned from my grandmother; “Folks that are smart enough to be President are also smart enough not to run.”

  2. Good summary. However, the damage that has been done to the economy, national security, American prestige, the education system, the churches and the culture are to such a staggering degree as to guarantee that no single administration- no matter how well motivated and competent- can hope to make more than major inroads. This will be the work of a generation or more. However, if there’s to be any hope of an American recovery in to greatness and prosperity once more, that work must begin as soon as possible.

  3. I forget who made the comment over the past weeks that the democrat party, with the greatest electoral advantages simply refuses to acknowledge the *real* problems facing the country, or when doing so simply defaults to the “let’s throw money” at the problem in hopes we’ll kick the can down the road.

    This isn’t really a new thing.

    The original premise of the Democrat party was to perpetually push off problems to later generations. Slavery could have been solved in the 1820s and the inevitable Civil War (yes, it was inevitable) could have probably been fought and resolved in a far less bloody mess then as well.

    But no, the Democrat Party formed and created a national campaign strategy to keep Democrats in political positions to avoid addressing slavery for a further 2 generations, until it became a real mess to solve.

    The whole strategy of “Get Power and Keep Power” trumping the notion of “Push for a Vision and Hope that Vision Jives with the people” has pretty much been their campaigning philosophy time immemorial.

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