Just how out-of-it can Joe Biden act and sound before Democrats realize that he’s not just a lost cause, but an irresponsible choice?
Item I: At a New Hampshire rally a week ago, claimed that as Vice President he had once been asked to travel to the dangerous Kunar province in Afghanistan to pin the Silver Star on a war hero who had rappelled down a steep wall to retrieve the body of a fallen comrade. Biden said he ignored others who warned him not to go. “We can lose a Vice president,” Biden said he answered boldly. “We can’t lose many more of these kids.”
When he pinned the medal to the soldier’s uniform, the Navy captain told Biden that he didn’t deserve the medal because he hadn’t been able to save his comrade’s life. “This is the God’s truth,” Joe told the audience. “My word as a Biden.”
Now the Washington Post has fact-checked the story–the paper’s goal is to get Kamala Harris the nomination, in case you’re tempted to think that the Post is suddenly being objective—and concluded that “almost every detail in the story appears to be incorrect.”
Hilariously, or typically, or disgustingly, CNN’s ridiculous April Ryan—another unprofessional journalist that no respectable and trustworthy network would continue to employ, but you know…CNN— attempted to rationalize and defend Biden telling a fake story and calling it “God’s truth.”
Ryan, appearing as an “analyst” on CNN’s OutFront was spinning like mad dervish for host Jim Sciutto, saying,
“Jim, what you have to look at—we are in a climate of lies being thrown at us from the president of the United States, and we’re so hypersensitive about issues of lies. People who are prone to gaffes, we are now holding them to the same standard, putting a bright spotlight on—looking at it as a lie, like this president tells, versus saying, ‘Oh, that’s Joe Biden. He’s prone to gaffing…We have someone in the White House who we know is a liar point-blank, and now this person who is running for president is known to gaffe,. He needs to get it right if he tells a story, but was it intentional? That’s the question. And I don’t think it was.”
Got it. If Trump gives an account that isn’t backed up by a fact-check, then he is lying. Biden, however, is “gaffing.” I would estimate that most of the time Trump makes a misstatement he is accurately describing his own perception at that moment. In any case, nobody knows whether he is deliberately misstating facts or not, just like Ryan doesn’t know whether Biden was deliberately enhancing a story for effect.
Do note, however, that Ryan’s statement is desperate nonsense.
Item 2: In an article headlined “The Women in Line to Hug Joe Biden” (“Front-Runner Is Literally Still Embraced By Female Voters” in the print edition), the New York Times quotes several 70-something Biden fans rationalizing his compulsive hugging/groping/sniffing habit—called sexual harassment, sexual assault and plain old sexist when conservatives do it—and sounding clueless and anachronistic in the process…just like Joe.
“If you like somebody, you hug them,” gushed Elizabeth Walek-Sowin, 74.“It doesn’t take a Ph.D. to figure that out.”
Wrong. That theory is little different than reality star Donald Trump ‘s blather when he was telling Billy Bush how celebrities like him could kiss women right on the lips without any objections or resistance. A Ph.D who hugs women he “likes” gets fired today, and maybe sued. Try to keep up, Elizabeth.
In the throes of the same 1970s delusion, Mary McWhorter, 72, told the Times, “We’re in a period of time right now where we need hugs. I was thrilled to get to hug Joe Biden. Hell, I’d be happy — he can put his hands on my shoulder any day of the week. I might return the favor, with my husband right here.”
That’s a good one, Mary: prominent men can just hug women at will if we’re in a period where we “need” hugs. Who makes that assessment? Joe? You?
How can the Democratic Party maintain its increasingly cynical pose as a champion of women’s rights and the #MeToo party if it gives such an indefensible pass to its Presidential standard-bearer? It can’t. It’s as simple as that.
“In this new era, it’s important for male politicians to recognize that not everyone will be comfortable with candidates being in their personal space,” Rebecca Kirszner Katz, a female progressive strategist who is at least trying to take a stand for consistency and integrity, told the Times. “When told that your touching is making some women uncomfortable, your defense can’t be, ‘Well, some women are O.K. with it.’”
But that is basically Joe’s defense. He’s hopeless.
Former State Assemblywoman Lucy Flores of Nevada and other women broke ranks among Joe-enablers to say that Biden’s touchy-feely ways made them uncomfortable. Now she says that Biden’s defenders arebeing willfully ignorant.
“It doesn’t have to rise to the level of sexual assault or illegal sexual harassment in order for it to be wrong,” she told the Times. “Because it is at the lower end of the spectrum in terms of bad behavior, and women are just now starting to speak out about it, people are of course dismissing it, minimizing the behavior, both women and men.”
Wait…I thought the Party of Women—you know, the one that had the national convention celebrating feminism in 2012? The one where Bill Clinton was the star speaker?—understood that sexual harassment was intolerable, that it marginalized women, that it was an abuse of power. But Joe is special, is he? He can harass and assault women and still be anointed as the one to unseat that sexist Donald Trump?
The Democratic Party has to decide if it stands for anything, or if it is only a mindless engine of “the resistance,” with principles and values that shift with the breeze. Only the latter kind of party—the phony kind—could nominate Joe Biden.
Post Script: I almost forgot: Joe is now insisting that his account of the medal-pinning episode is accurate, and the Post’s fact are wrong. This is exactly the scenario that led to three years of derision over the President’s penchant for “alternate facts.”