“He’s a good liar. Always has been, ever since high school.”–Charles Marsh, “Storm Warning” (1950)
In the embarrassing annals of foot-in-mouth comments by American elected officials, Joe Biden’s recent, race-baiting faux pas is one of many over the years by the doofus vice president. And he has righteously been taken to account for what he said.
As a result, three weeks after Biden’s ill-advised comments before a predominantly Black crowd on Aug. 14 at a campaign stop in Danville, Va., much of the country is still talking about his unseemly words. And they are still hard to believe.
After telling an outdoor audience that Republican presidential nominee Mitt Romney wants to undo Wall Street reforms, Biden blurted out the following: “He [Romney] said in the first 100 days, he’s going to let the big banks once again write their own rules. Unchain Wall Street.” Then he put his foot straight into his mouth with a contrived Southern accent. To wit: “They gon’ put y’all back in chains.”
Can you believe it? Then, just before finishing, Biden told the gathering in Virginia, “With your help, we can win North Carolina again.” What spews from Biden’s mouth is almost unbelievable, but he has a long history of verbal missteps. More later on this.
Following this egregious blunder–for which he has refused to apologize–Biden, 69, is being called a joke, buffoon, doofus, goofy, loopy, bumbler, stumbler, goofball, loose cannon and Mr. Foot-in-Mouth. And each is embarrassingly accurate.
Here’s how the great U.S. Rep. Charles Rangel (D-N.Y.) described Biden’s “back in chains” gaffe: “Was he talking about slavery? You bet your ass he was. Was he using the vernacular? Yes, he was. Did he think it was cute? Yes, he did. Was it something stupid to say? You bet your life it was stupid.” And Rangel is a loyal, dedicated Democrat.
Predictably, Biden’s ludicrous “chains” comment has strongly galvanized countless Republicans and is reflected in many pointed letters to the editor in big-city newspapers. The writers leave no doubt as to their negative feelings. Following are a few excerpts:
“Biden is a buffoon, but a dangerous one, inasmuch as most of his remarks are not amusing. He’s of an age where wisdom should have been achieved by now.”
“Everyone makes a gaffe now and then, but Biden does it on a regular basis. He always puts his foot in his mouth with some real beauties. In the past few days, he didn’t know what state he was in, what century it is and went over the top with [his] ‘putting y’all back in chains’ comment.”
“That Biden is a heartbeat away from becoming president is scary. Forget Obama’s college records and Romney’s tax records. I’d like to see Biden’s medical records.”
“Let’s all pray for Obama’s health at least until January 20.”
These sentiments clearly express why Biden’s atrocious “chains” gaffe–one of many over the years–has caused a growing number of Americans to see Republican Paul Ryan as a viable VP alternative. And it’s why many believe the 42-year-old Ryan will clean Biden’s clock–as did Sarah Palin in 2008–when they debate on Oct. 11.
Biden’s well-known propensity to talk endlessly while asking questions during Senate hearings presaged his initial high-profile flirtation with trouble in 1987. In his first run for the White House, he quoted long passages from British Labor Party leader Neil Kinnock without attribution. After news reports exposed his plagiarism, he dropped out of the race.
In 2006, Biden was castigated for telling an Indian-American supporter, “You cannot go to a 7-Eleven or a Dunkin’ Donuts unless you have a slight Indian accent.” During his failed 2007 presidential campaign, Biden proposed that Iraq be divided into three parts: Sunni, Shia and Kurdish–a fundamental violation of international law.
That same year, he also was slammed for calling Barack Hussein Obama “the first mainstream African-American [candidate] who is articulate and bright and clean, and a nice-looking guy.” In addition, he openly proclaimed his admiration for Sen. John McCain (R-Ariz.) and said he would be proud to run with him on the same ticket. Huh?
During the 2008 campaign, Biden foolishly told Obama on a live microphone that enactment of Obamacare was a “big f–ing deal.” And like the soft Obama, he never served in the military, but that didn’t stop him from voting to use force in Iraq. But again, like Obama, he opposed the highly successful troop surge. Go figure.
Also in 2008, he had another goofball moment in front of an open microphone. To wit: “An hour late. Oh, give me a f–king break.” Yikes and triple erk!
Biden’s 2012 gaffes also include the following: “Folks, where’s it written we cannot lead the world in the 20th century in making automobiles?” “Well, I’ve known eight presidents, three of them intimately,” and “I promise you, the president has a big stick.”
Finally, Biden’s intemperate “chains” remark of Aug. 14 was exactly the wrong thing at the wrong time. Americans in general, and Black people in particular, really don’t need to be reminded of the bad old days when slavery was a way of life in the South.
There is widespread political unrest among independents–such as this writer–and Republicans, to which Biden has contributed. As of this writing, Biden remains Obama’s running mate. If you’re a Democrat, you better hope he’s dumped for Hillary Clinton. Big mouth Biden is a drag on the Democratic ticket. And that’s the name of that tune.