Monday, July 20, 2009

Please don't die Mr. President.

I won't lie to you. I am not a big fan of President Obama, especially as it relates to his handling of the economy and his views on health care and taxes. Even so, I say what follows with all sincerity: I pray to God every night for his health. Because, if he croaks, Joe Biden will become president, and then we will just be f*%ked.

I would like to think that the author of this NY Post opinion piece, which highlights Biden's propensity for gaffes, shares my views. My favorite parts:

The "gaffes," as we call unscripted thoughts, come delightfully often with Biden. The latest: Speaking before the AARP, Biden aarped up a peculiar formulation to explain the need to borrow 3.2 bejillion dollars in order to transform the American health care system, preferably by next week. He said people ask him "What are you talking about, you're telling me we have to go spend money to keep from going bankrupt? The answer is yes, 'I'm telling you.'"

[H]ow does this fit with Biden's other summer misstatements? Let's take a quick review.

Iran. Earlier this month George Stephanopoulos asked Biden if the US would stand in the way of Israel decided it was time to take out Iran's nuke program. Said the Veep: "We cannot dictate to another sovereign nation what they can and cannot do ... if they make a determination that they're existentially threatened and their survival is threatened by another country."

True. But wrong! The sensible thing is to say: "We are seriously concerned about Iran's nuclear ambitions, and strongly support serious efforts to be concerned, in coordination with allies whose serious efforts are concerned with -- hey, is that a mushroom cloud on CNN? Turn the sound up." Everyone knows Iran will give up the bomb, but in their own way: by putting it on a rocket and waving safe journey, Allah-speed. As the saying goes: If you love something, set it free. If the US isn't going to stop them, shouldn't Israel have the right to?

But that's not the official line, so YANK went the collar. Administration officials explained that the Vice President was using secret reverse-talking, and the allies remain committed to a sustained effort to frown and grip the podium while hoping there's no follow-up questions.

Swine Flu. Should we panic? "I would tell members of my family -- and I have -- I wouldn't go anywhere in confined places now," Biden said, adding, "When one person sneezes, it goes all the way through the aircraft." This statement was so true it was
retracted by the end of the day. When the experts -- i.e., cable-news reporters
on the medical beat -- start talking about Pig-Pandemic bringing down human
civilization, everyone's first reaction is to stay away from planes and trains. But a Leader is supposed to say something calming, like "if you're taking a flight full of feverish travelers back from Cancun, don't lick the tray tables."

The Economy. Also in early July, Biden said "We misread how bad the economy
was." This one is a bit different to explain away, since the administration billed itself as having super-genius comprehension of the problem and the necessary solutions. Now, many suspect, President Obama finds himself staring at a portrait of FDR, murmuring "Help me, Obi-Wan. You're my only hope."

What Biden meant to say, in his puckish way, that they misunderstood what an economy is, and how it works. Piling up a mountain of proposed taxes, mandates, regulations, do-nothing programs and pork unseen in such dimensions since Pink Floyd floated a dirigible pig over an outdoor concert might, in fact, prevent recovery.

My favorite Bidenism from those set forth above is his peculiar theory on the need to spend more money to avoid bankruptcy. It has been my experience that simply spending more money tends to increase, not decrease, the odds of a bankruptcy.

But the author missed the biggest Bidenism of all time. In a speech last week in Virginia, Biden claimed that that the stimulus was creating jobs "everywhere I go:"

"To those who say that our economic decisions 'have not produced jobs, have not
produced and simply have not worked' I say, take a look around," Biden will say
while visiting Cantor's home district.

"I say, 'Don't let your opposition to the Recovery Act blind you to its results. Come see what I see everywhere I go: workers rehired, factories reopened, cops on the street, teachers in the classroom, progress toward getting our economy back on the move.'"

Apparently, the Administration does not let Biden venture far from the metropolitan D.C. area because where I live, more workers are being laid off and factories closed.

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