August 25, 2008
A Reason to Like Joe Biden

Do you remember the CNN debate last November (no, not the one I was in!), where some audience members were allowed to ask questions of the Democratic candidates? I was reminded of this tonight, seeing CNN's Suzanne Malveaux at the convention.

Malveaux offered the microphone to an audience member who asked, "if you are elected President, what qualities must the appointees possess?" Malveaux directed the question to Senator Dodd, and said, "in answering that question, also tell us require whether or not you would require your nominees to support abortion rights."

That laugh you hear in the background? That's Joe Biden. When the question came to him, Biden said, "Suzanne's decided. I'm not answering her question. I'm answering the question of the woman who was there, OK?"

Now, in fairness to Malveaux, it seems to me that it's likely that CNN had vetted these questioners previous to the debate, and that the woman was "supposed" to ask about Roe v. Wade, so she was just adding to the woman's question what she already knew the woman wanted to ask. Of course, that's a questionable practice too.

Regardless, it's an admirable characteristic of Biden that he is willing and able to stand up against the media like this. Frankly, Biden is a lot like Donald Rumsfeld in dealing with the media, and I say that as a true compliment to both men.


(Side note: Dodd's answer to the question, where he basically accused Chief Justice John Roberts of saying he would not overturn precedent, is a big fat lie, and Dodd knows it. He was taken to task by liberals for voting for Roberts, and he needed to come up with an excuse: Roberts said he wouldn't overturn precedent! He lied! It's not my fault! Except, of course, that not only did Roberts never say he would not overturn precedent, and not only did Roberts explicitly say he WOULD NOT say whether he would overturn precedent, but NO Supreme Court nominee would EVER say they would never overturn precedent. Dodd was just lying, pandering to people he hoped were ignorant.)

Cross-posted on <pudge/*>.

Posted by pudge at August 25, 2008 03:22 PM | Email This
Comments
1. Bush could've learned a few lessons from Biden about dealing with the media like that. Bush chose avoidance over confrontation with the media, and that's too bad, but I don't really blame him.

But that bit is not enough for me to actually like Biden. He, more than anyone else, has been responsible for the politicization of the judicial confirmation process. The fiasco that were the hearings for Bork and Thomas were because of him.

Posted by: Palouse on August 25, 2008 03:45 PM
2. Palouse:

I do confess I generally like most people, but given that, I like Biden, but not when he gets into a certain "mode." Basically, he has this mode where he becomes the partisan attack dog and logic and reason are abandoned. I agree this stinks about him.

However, he normally doesn't stoop as low as, say, Schumer and Durbin, and others who just flat-out will say absolutely anything, regardless of truth, to win their rhetorical points. He's bad, sometimes, but not AS bad, and not AS often.

So I think I agree with your criticism, just less with your conclusion. No one's perfect. But it's not like I am planning on voting for him or anything.

Posted by: pudge on August 25, 2008 03:52 PM
3. What I hear is that Biden wants to appoint his Dog Catcher to the Supreme Court. Sorry but I think he has been in the Senate to long. Time for him to go out, not up!

Posted by: ROCKETMAN on August 25, 2008 04:04 PM
4. Did you watch any of the Roberts confirmation hearings? Biden was excruciating. I was generally interested in hearing Roberts answers to questions, and from memory, he gave fantastic responses to Schumer and Durbin, who I generally dislike, but they were not nearly as annoying as Biden during that process. He would talk for 10 minutes in some incoherent rant before eventually asking a question, somewhere. Even the calm and collected Roberts looked annoyed at Biden's histrionics.

But I don't plan on voting for him either, so it doesn't really matter to me. He's intelligent, and qualified, so that's good, I guess.

Posted by: Palouse on August 25, 2008 04:05 PM
5. Palouse, I watched them all. I know exactly what you're talking about. Biden can be a total windbag, and he can subject his audience to very dishonest rhetoric.

Durbin was not as bad on that level, but was far worse to me, because the substance of Durbin's argument was far more dishonest.

Posted by: pudge on August 25, 2008 04:13 PM
6. I like Biden, but not when he gets into a certain "mode." Basically, he has this mode where he becomes the partisan attack dog and logic and reason are abandoned.

I tend to agree. Biden has a certain seriousness that many of his fellow democrats don't...sometimes.

I admire it when it's there, and because of that and his feisty manor with the media, I've always liked him more then your average Dem politician.

That said, to paraphrase something I've heard somewhere else (can't remember where), "Biden is one of the only men in the world who is constantly fighting with his conscience...and losing."

That seems to sum it up for me. He usually genuinely tries to be fair-minded and intellectually honest, although he more-often-then-not won't stick it out when it gets too tough or when the partisan debate gets intense.

While that's not the most admirable characteristic of a man, when you compare him to, say, Barbara Boxer or Ted Kennedy, it's a welcome break that one of them seems to at least TRY to look at something beyond their own short term partisan interests.

Posted by: Cliff on August 25, 2008 04:35 PM
7. Biden is a typical Irish Catholic guy who grew up middle class and can't quite believe that he's managed to "blarney" his way into a lifetime membership in the US Senate. He can't help shooting off his mouth and actually doesn't realize how ridiculous he sounds when he tries to act pretentious. On the plus side, having gone through a horrible personal tragedy he does actually have some compassion for individuals who are facing difficulties. His attacks on John McCain are simply the way that the game is played and they both know it - just like Ronald Reagan and Tip O'Neill were friends "after hours" even though they were rivals on Capitol Hill. I wouldn't have voted for Biden for President because I disagree with many of his positions but in no way does he scare me like Barack Obama, who is possibly the most dangerous candidate our country has ever seen!

Posted by: suzihomemaker on August 25, 2008 05:01 PM
8. "Biden is one of the only men in the world who is constantly fighting with his conscience...and losing."

Cliff, that's brilliant, I love it. It's so perfect. I truly believe Biden is a decent guy, but sometimes he just goes completely off the rails for obvious partisan advantage.

suzi: yes, I am not so concerned about his attacks on McCain; indeed, I enjoy them, because then we get to point out when they go against EVERYTHING HE HAS EVER SAID BEFORE about McCain. :-) Yes, it's the way the game is played, and McCain does it too, but less personally against others, and less partisanly.

Posted by: pudge on August 25, 2008 05:26 PM
9. I sure would like to see the dims walk their talk ONCE in my life.
I remember the squawking they performed about Bob Dole not maintaining his seat in the senate when he ran. Let's hear them now.

Posted by: PC on August 25, 2008 06:20 PM
10. It's obvious that, in the end, Biden should end up with Hillary and John Edwards be the Nelly for Bill. It's the natural order of things. Karma.

Posted by: Doc-T on August 25, 2008 06:57 PM
11. Pudge@2 writes: "I like Biden, but not when ... he becomes the partisan attack dog ... this stinks"

Talk about the pot calling the kettle stinky!

Posted by: Bruce on August 25, 2008 08:53 PM
12. Biden has a certain seriousness that many of his fellow democrats don't...sometimes

Right...that's the problem! Democrats actually think that somehow a government program can come in and make people happy. Biden is the typical "True Believer" who thinks it actually all matters. Even Barack Obama seems to have the smirk of a John Kerry, who famously said after being asked what if he doesn't get to be President "Well, I'll just go back to being a Senator with a rich and beautiful wife."


Posted by: John Bailo on August 25, 2008 09:36 PM
13. Bruce:

You illogically snipped out the portions I stated that combine for "this stinks:" when "logic and reason are abandoned."

If I abandoned logic and reason, surely you'd be able to point that out, no?

Posted by: pudge on August 25, 2008 09:43 PM
14. Palouse--

I think I join you in your assesment of Senator Biden. There are times when the Senator could be mouthing my own words...and then! bango! Mars!

A great guy to work for, or have working for you. But in charge? Only if it is his own money.
.

Posted by: OregonGuy on August 25, 2008 10:45 PM
15. I realize that WA has a very low church going population and by and large they are not interested in religious matters.

Some of us however are Catholic and this whole Biden nomination thing to pick up the Catholic block is heating up and blowing up.

Bidens own Bishop is warning him against receiving the sacraments.

Burch also highlighted the fact that, "Biden's own bishop, Bishop Michael Saltarelli of Wilmington, Del., has said that the issues pertaining to the sanctity of human life are the 'great civil rights issues of this generation'."

Bishop Saltarelli denounced the notion that politicians can 'personally oppose' abortion, but refuse to pass laws protecting the unborn. In fact, Bishop Saltarelli has made clear that pro-abortion Catholic politicians should refrain from receiving the Eucharist.


The Bishop of Denver has publicly condemned Pelosi.

As much as the Democrats are playing Catholic, and pretending to be pro-life, they haven't fooled Archbishop Chaput.

KUDO's to Archbishop Chaput!

Pro-Catholic groups have called Biden pick a "Slap in the Face to Catholics".

Fidelis warned late last month that the choice of a pro-abortion Catholic as a vice presidential candidate would offend many Catholics who have struggled with the scandal of prominent pro-abortion Catholic politicians like Senator Biden.

In light of Obamas infantacide record, in light of the hypocrisy of so called "Catholics" like Kennedy, Pelosi, Kerry, Dodd, BIDEN, Gregoire, Murray, Cantwell in light of the 'finger-in-the-wind cowardice of Archbishop Brunett, I applaud and cheer this Pope, these Bishops and lay who are exposing this hypocrisy, condemning it and most importantly shining the light of truth on it. The lying SOB's who pretend to be Catholic disgust me.

Barry opened the door on this issue at Saddleback whe he hemmed and hawed about when life began, he invited trouble in when he chose Biden and stupid vacuous Peloist sealed the deal when she followed Barry's playbook. If they are too damned stupid to keep one issue that makes them look and sound like the baby-killing hypocrites they are off the table they certainly are too damned stupid to take my money and run my country.

You baby-killing hypocrites would do well to remember that you need catholics far more than we need you.

Posted by: Ragnar Danneskjold on August 25, 2008 11:31 PM
16. Pudge@13, I point out your illogic all the time. E.g., in another thread today I wrote that I think government should require licensed pharmacists to fill valid prescriptions regardless of their moral opinions. You claimed that I was illogically applying my own morality (no: I said I wanted to live in a society where patients didn't have to deal with a pharmacist's moral judgments) and therefore concluded I hate liberty! Anyway, we can debate this ad nauseum, but I couldn't let your comment about Biden pass without pointing out the irony.

Posted by: Bruce on August 25, 2008 11:51 PM
17. Bruce:

I point out your illogic all the time.

Well, no, you don't. You try, and utterly fail. Very consistently.


E.g., in another thread today I wrote that I think government should require licensed pharmacists to fill valid prescriptions regardless of their moral opinions. You claimed that I was illogically applying my own morality (no: I said I wanted to live in a society where patients didn't have to deal with a pharmacist's moral judgments) and therefore concluded I hate liberty!

Incorrect. This is a good example of why you fail: you don't have a firm grasp of the facts, and draw false conclusions.

First, I didn't say you were "applying your own morality." What happened is that you said pharmacists should not IMPOSE their moral judgments on others. I said, you are doing that to pharmacists. And you are, absolutely. You want to force pharmacists to dile out these drugs because you think it is immoral for them to not do so. You are imposing your morality on pharmacists. There is no question about it.

Second, I did not conclude from this that you hate liberty. I concluded from your entire anti-liberty argument that you hate liberty. Which part of this do you disagree with? Your argument clearly is anti-liberty; again, there's no denying that. You believe someone should not have the right to NOT provide a consumer product to another person just because some doctor somewhere signed a slip of paper. You don't get much more anti-liberty than that. This is entirely equivalent to saying that a food store should be forced to stock meat, or an auto parts store should be forced to stock parts for a Japanese cars.

You have never in your life pointed out any illogic on my part. You've only vainly defended your own poor arguments.

Posted by: pudge on August 26, 2008 12:07 AM
18. Pudge's lie: I didn't say "just because some doctor somewhere signed a piece of paper". I said (and the law says) the pharmacist can exercise medical and business judgment. But I said the pharmacist should not be allowed to refuse to fill the prescription because he doesn't approve of the patient's morality.

Pudge's illogic: A medical need is "entirely equivalent" to meat and auto parts?

Posted by: Bruce on August 26, 2008 12:52 AM
19. Obama/Biden will win in November. Embrace the suckiness of it, Republicans. You've lost the upcoming election already because of the Iraq mess, primarily.

Concentrate on 2010 and 2012. Remember the bright spot is that Hillary will never be president. That should cheer you up a bit.

I'm still looking at writing-in Ron Paul, but I may vote Libertarian instead.

Posted by: Politically Incorrect on August 26, 2008 01:42 AM
20. "A medical need is 'entirely equivalent' to meat and auto parts?"

...and you appear to confuse a medical need with a medical want, Bruce. If you can find 95-99% of Pharmacists that will fill the perscription, I'm not sure why the small percentage that choose not to can't have their personal moral convictions respected. This is Amercia remember?

Posted by: Rick D. on August 26, 2008 05:46 AM
21. Anyone who would ever vote for a B. Hussein O/Biden ticket should be sent to a re-education camp.....or locked up for being mentally derainged. If you enjoy the freedoms that our Republic has, then NEVER vote for two marxists. Keep you powder dry.

Posted by: Allan Rothlisberg on August 26, 2008 06:14 AM
22. PI

Hmmm if you think the dem's are going to win with Obama. Please explain to all why his numbers haven't gone up thur the roof.
Heck they haven't moved at all.

By the way, when has the dem party ever won an election by picking two libs?

Been quite sometime.

Posted by: Army Medic/Vet on August 26, 2008 06:25 AM
23. I would just like to see Sen Biden sing 'the villages' at the Dem convention this week. The U-Tube version was without music (but not without sauce) and I'm sure it would improve with the accompanyment of the fine band they have there in Denver. :)

As an aside: Nancy Pelosi = what a frickin joke! Does anyone pay ANY attention to her???

Posted by: Duffman on August 26, 2008 06:27 AM
24. Biden is a smarmy snake isn't he? I think the only person less likable is John Edwards and perhaps (up)Chuck Schumer.

Check out this question posed at one of the DNC debates about who took a private jet and look at Biden's reaction...is that a hand trying to raise but can't quite come up with the ethical integrity to do so? I'd like to have the press look into whether he lied on that question. Then got a pass when Bill Richardson was asked a follow up question.

Not a whole lot of Global warming friendly liberals on that stage was there?...but then again, with that party, their definition of leadership is to "do as I say, not as I do".

Posted by: Rick D. on August 26, 2008 06:59 AM
25. Bruce:

Pudge's lie: I didn't say "just because some doctor somewhere signed a piece of paper". I said (and the law says) the pharmacist can exercise medical and business judgment. But I said the pharmacist should not be allowed to refuse to fill the prescription because he doesn't approve of the patient's morality.

Have you ever heard of "context"? Of course they can exercise business and medical judgment. It's a "lie" that I didn't give every possible exception in a context where that was already understood? What are you smoking?


Pudge's illogic: A medical need is "entirely equivalent" to meat and auto parts?

First, question-begging fallacy: you believe that this pill is a medical need. That is your opinion; it is not a fact. And you still refuse to answer my question: show an example where someone did not get their pills simply because the pharmacist refused to supply it, where they had no other possible way to get it by planning ahead.

Second, meat is a physical need for many people, including myself.

Third, auto parts are a need for people to be able to get to and from their (in your world, government-supplied) job.

Posted by: pudge on August 26, 2008 07:01 AM
26. PI:

So if the Iraq War is such a big political problem for the GOP, why did Obama pick a big initial supporter of the war, and of continuing funding of the war?

Picking Biden COMPLETELY undermines Obama's argument that McCain lacked judgment on Iraq, and the public isn't stupid: they know it.

It's a toss-up. Neither side should feel like they have this won.

Remember, the only Democrats since FDR to get 50 percent of the "popular vote" for President were LBJ and Carter. Truman didn't do it, JFK didn't do it, and Clinton didn't do it. Oh, and Gore didn't do it, either. Oh, and Carter only got 50.081 percent.

So really, the only Democrat with a commanding "mandate" victory since FDR was LBJ with 61 percent in 1964.

The chances of Obama doing what hasn't happened since 1964 -- what JFK, Clinton, etc. never did -- are not very high, so it's nonsense for anyone to be confident that Obama is going to win this year.

Posted by: pudge on August 26, 2008 07:09 AM
27. Rick D.:

No, I think Biden is MANY TIMES more likable than Edwards, Schumer, Durbin, Pelosi, Reid, and many other nasty, dishonest, Democrats.

Posted by: pudge on August 26, 2008 07:11 AM
28. Bruce, you are never going to score a point when the other side is judge, arbiter, juror and executioner all rolled into one. But, that is your definition of an attack dog. Good luck.

Posted by: swatter on August 26, 2008 07:49 AM
29. Obama and Biden are about as far left as a ticket can get. They are Socialist/Communists in there hearts. They use the word "Democrat" the same way that most Communists use it "The peoples DEMOCRATIC republic of (insert name)....??? This is a deception for those who think good ol American pie and home cooking still exists in the Democrat party. Don't be fooled. Adding up all of Obama's promises come to almost 2 trillon dollars of new spending... in other words they want government to control every aspect of your life in America. They want to control what your children learn, as Obama stated, government control of 0-3 education, government controlled health care, etc.. etc... they are essentially not Americans at heart. So if America is wise we need to look at ourselves and remember what our fore fathers built here. We need to ask, "Does the Constitution of the United States equal Communism? I say HELL NO..... vote for McCain!!!!

Posted by: TruePatriot on August 26, 2008 07:50 AM
30. swatter:

Yes, apparently I am not allowed to do what you and Bruce do.

Just because I am better at it than you two are doesn't mean that I am a worse person.

Posted by: pudge on August 26, 2008 07:52 AM
31. I'd lump Biden right in with the rest of that group and thrown in a Robert Byrd and Jack Murtha. Biden is merely a self serving windbag more concerned with getting face time than serving his constituents in the Senate. That is why he spoke for 24 of his alloted 30 minutes during the confirmation of SCOTUS chief Justice John Roberts.

I'd consider him a cad of the highest order.

Posted by: Rick D. on August 26, 2008 07:56 AM
32. If you think Obama/Biden is goiong to lose, you're deluding yourself. The leftist media will do what it takes to get their guy in there, and you know they control all media, from newspaper to the Internet.

They will probably use ridicule, mostly, to paint John McCain as a doddering old fool. That's the most effective tack for them to take.

Posted by: Politically Incorrect on August 26, 2008 04:22 PM
33. Republicans - L:ook on the bright side: four years of Obama beats the heck out of even four seconds of Hillary as prez!!

You'll survive it. After all, you made it through Jimmy Carter, didn't you??

Posted by: Politically Incorrect on August 26, 2008 04:25 PM
34. PI: If you think Obama/Biden is goiong to lose, you're deluding yourself.

If you think McCain is going to lose, you're deluding yourself. It is way too close to call (and it is trending hard toward McCain).


The leftist media will do what it takes to get their guy in there, and you know they control all media, from newspaper to the Internet.

Shrug. Same thing in 2000 and 2004, and Bush won anyway.


Republicans - L:ook on the bright side: four years of Obama beats the heck out of even four seconds of Hillary as prez!!

No. I'd much rather have Hillary. Now, I like Obama better as a person, and maybe even a leader. But I like Hillary much better as a policymaker.

Posted by: pudge on August 26, 2008 04:32 PM
35.
Republicans - L:ook on the bright side: four years of Obama beats the heck out of even four seconds of Hillary as prez!!


No. I'd much rather have Hillary. Now, I like Obama better as a person, and maybe even a leader. But I like Hillary much better as a policymaker.

Totally agree on both counts.

Posted by: Cliff on August 26, 2008 06:47 PM
36. Well, we'll all know how it turns out in just about 10 or 11 weeks!

Posted by: Politically Incorrect on August 27, 2008 11:18 AM
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