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No Grace Under Pressure

I don't like being an armchair psychologist, but I think that it's true that you get a real glimpse into someone's character when they are under stress, confronted by adversity, find themselves challenged. And the current Democratic presidential ticket is facing that right now -- in spades.

Jim Treacher has an interesting article up, where he takes a look at Barack Obama. Treacher's conclusion -- and I think it's supported by the facts: Obama, when pressed, turns into a real asshole.

Yes, any of the individual incidents Treacher cites can be dismissed as an innocent error, a misunderstanding, a misinterpretation, a coincidence. The "scratching his face with his middle finger while talking about Hillary." The pig and lipstick reference. The "brush off your shoulder" moment. The repeated references to Palin as "mayor of Wasilly." The timing of the O'Reilly interview to coincide with the night of McCain's acceptance speech. Playing "Addicted To Love" as Bill Clinton's exit song. The "sweetie" moment with the reporter.

In many of these cases, it's clear that the audience got the message Obama insists he wasn't sending. Listen to the explosions of applause when he flips the bird, brushes his shoulder, drops the "lipstick on a pig" line -- all of which were perfectly innocent, of course.

After a while, though, credibility stretches beyond the breaking point, and the "aberrations" become the pattern. This is the first time (apart from his run for the US House, when he was soundly defeated in the Democratic primary) that Obama has faced real electoral adversity, the very first time he's had to compete with a strong Republican opponent, and he has no idea how to to deal with it. Simply being a good, loyal, faiithful Democrat ought to be have enough -- it's what has gotten him where he is today.

But enough of Obama. Instead, I want to focus some attention on the candidate who seems to be getting the least attention of late -- Democratic vice presidential nominee Joe Biden.

Biden has never been very good at talking off the cuff. No, that's not very fair -- he's very good at it, as long as you only listen to how he speaks and pay no attention to the content. Biden, like so many other politicians, is dearly in love with his own voice and lets his mouth just completely run away from him -- then thinks that everyone's staring at him slackjawed not because they're dazzled by his eloquence, but they're asking themselves "he didn't really just say that, did he?"

This has been in evidence this past week or so. During a visit to Nashua, New Hampshire, Biden went off on a tear about how wonderful Hillary Clinton was. But he couldn't stop himself from just saying she was wonderful, he had to keep going -- and ended up saying that she was better qualified to be vice-president than he was, and would have been a better choice than he was. If that's so, Joe, why are you on the ticket?

In Missouri, Biden was rallying with Democratic elected officials, singling them out for praise from the audience. When he got to State Senator Chuck Graham, he exhorted him to "stand up, Chuck, let the people see you."

Senator Graham chose to not rise from his wheelchair, leaving Biden to try to recover."Oh, God love you. What am I talking about? I'll tell you what, you're making everybody else stand up, old pal. I'll tell you what, everybody else stand up for Chuck. Stand up for Chuck!" One would think that an "old pal" would remember something as salient as the fact that Chuck can't stand up.

Biden's mouth also showed him to be an utterly classless asshole. Also in Missouri, Biden took on the Republican platform over stem cell research:

"I hear all this talk about how the Republicans are going to work in dealing with parents who have both the joy, because there's joy to it as well, the joy and the difficulty of raising a child who has a developmental disability, who were born with a birth defect. Well, guess what, folks? If you care about it, why don't you support stem cell research?"

Gee, who is currently the most prominent parent of a child with a developmental disability? If you didn't immediately think of Biden's counterpart, Sarah Palin, and her infant son Trig, then you're about as clueless and naive as Barack Obama pretends to be.

Oh, and Senator Biden, Palin is THE governor of Alaska, not A lieutenant governor -- as you described her after her speech at the RNC.

And his running mate? Biden was very impressed with Obama. "I mean, you got the first mainstream African-American who is articulate and bright and clean and a nice-looking guy. I mean, that's a storybook, man."

One Biden gaffe I'm willing to cut him some slack on is his confusing battalions and brigades. To be perfectly frank, I can't keep the hierarchy of military units straight myself. I couldn't tell you which is larger without consulting some reference books. (OK, here it is... a brigage is usually composed of three battalions.) But then again, I'm not running for Vice-President Of The United States, so the standards for me are a bit lower.

I don't know how the two parties chose their animal symbols, and I don't know the reasoning behind them, but now more than ever I think that the Democrats perfectly emblemized their ticket this time around: an ass at the top of the ticket, a braying jackass on the bottom.


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Comments (25)

I think Biden's gaffes are ... (Below threshold)

I think Biden's gaffes are truly unintended. Obama's? Calculated and cynical.

It's odd that I've become more fond of Biden since his nomination than before. I'm still not voting for that ticket... but, Biden is a sort of endearingly bumbling likable goof.

And the Republicans too Jay... (Below threshold)
JFO:

And the Republicans too Jay. Ahem, for the absolutely huge quantities of you know what which fall from the Elephants back end.

:}

Can't get enough biden. He... (Below threshold)
moseby:

Can't get enough biden. He just loves the taste of his own foot. There's gotta be someone off camera tellin this guy to breathe...

"I don't know the reason... (Below threshold)
P. Bunyan:

"I don't know the reasoning behind them,"

The Democrats picked the donkey as their symbol because of the donkey's reputation for stubbornness. I guess they didn't realize at the time the double entendre that is so entirely appropriate today.

After the Republican party was formed shortly before the Civil War, they quickly rose to prominence in national politics and after winning so many elections they became know as the "Grand Old Party" and chose the elephant as their symbol, as it appears to be a grand old animal.

As for Biden, I think his numerous gaffs are not so prominent because Obama makes even more, and even bigger gaffs on a regular bases. Why go after the Veep candidate when it's so easy to go after the head of the ticket?

Gee, who is curren... (Below threshold)
Kapow:
Gee, who is currently the most prominent parent of a child with a developmental disability? If you didn't immediately think of Biden's counterpart, Sarah Palin, and her infant son Trig

Great point - except that it makes no effing sense at all. Downs is a genetic disorder, not a developmental disorder. Furthermore, therapies based on Stem Cell research have the potential to ameliorate any number of dreadful diseases, however Downs is not one of them. Every cell in the body of a Downs Syndrome sufferer has an extra chromosome - pretty hard to picture how transpanting a few cells here and there could change that.

But who cares about pesky details when it sounds like such a great hit on Biden? Given the current penchant for faux outrage in the McCain camp, I fully expect this to make it to the top of Republican whining points very soon.

I still think Freud could m... (Below threshold)
GarandFan:

I still think Freud could make much of Obama's problem with women in positions of power. How he treats them may have something to do with his relationship or lack of with his mother.

Perhaps someone in the MSM will take this and run with it. Could make an interesting story.
Hahahahahahahahahahaha!!!! Yeah, that'll be the day.

Wierd thing is - I believe ... (Below threshold)
JLawson:

Wierd thing is - I believe this has been the way the Democrats have been for the last 30+ years - it's just never been on such display as this before. You can only hide so much for so long, and then the pressure gets too much and you have leaks.

But the Democratic and MSM response to leaks seems to be to increase the pressure on the system in an attempt to cover things ups. Which doesn't seem like a sane strategy if you're worried about the entire system splitting under the pressure...

"Furthermore, therapies ... (Below threshold)

"Furthermore, therapies based on Stem Cell research have the potential to ameliorate any number of dreadful diseases, however Downs is not one of them."

It still remains that Biden's remark was, if not purposefully dishonest, at least pandering and had all the appearances of being ill-informed. You seem to agree by your own argument.

I noticed how you used the generic term "Stem cell research" and not "embryonic stem cell research", which is exactly what Biden did. And I also noticed your use of the word "potential" to describe "stem cell research" when it not only has the potential but has produced actual results. Embryonic stem cell research, on the other hand, has so far only been described as potential.

Furthermore, the argument has been about the two, very clear, distinctions. AND the fact that the Embryonic stem cell research argument is predominately in regards to government funding for it. Especially when the "moral" aspect of the argument comes into play; some in our government readily fall back on the morality of social programs, but reject morality when it's inconvenient.

But, you know, "who cares about pesky details" when we can deflect?

Kapow beat me to it. You do... (Below threshold)
sierra:

Kapow beat me to it. You don't have to have a medical degree to know that stem cell therapies have no application to genetic disorders such as Down's. If a Republican candidate were to have said something that ignorant, there'd be no need to finish this sentence.

And to further the point *I... (Below threshold)

And to further the point *I* think Jay was trying to make, yet seems to have failed to clarify for you who look for a way to reject his arguments is this:

When he said, "Gee, who is currently the most prominent parent of a child with a developmental disability? If you didn't immediately think of Biden's counterpart, Sarah Palin, and her infant son Trig, then you're about as clueless and naive as Barack Obama pretends to be."

I think it's possible that Jay was trying to say, if Sarah Palin's baby had some other condition, Biden would have referred to whatever it was because his main point was in trying to imply some form of hypocrisy and Palin is the most prominent person right now. We saw that happening when Charles Krauthammer was a focus and was slapped with the hypocrisy-label over the disabilities/stem cell research argument.

If I'm wrong, Jay can correct me.

Kapow: Biden was clearly re... (Below threshold)
sierra:

Kapow: Biden was clearly referring to the item from Palin's convention speech, and thus to Down's. To assume, because Biden's claim on behalf of stem cell research is baseless, that he could not have meant it, is illogical.

I'm sorry - what now? ... (Below threshold)
Kapow:

I'm sorry - what now?

I was pointing out that it's a huge stretch to imply that Biden was taking a shot at Palin when he discussed the Stem Cell isssue. McCain/Palin and Obama/Biden have different positions on the Stem Cell funding issue - that's what he was pointing out - a difference in policy between the two campaigns. Palin's kid has NOTHING WHATSOEVER to do with it, and if you're going to try and read something into this then God help us...

I mean does McCain's criticism of "Community Organisers" mean that he's an unreconstructed racist and thinks Martin Luther King was a shmoe? Of course not - to conflate the two would be absurd, just as it is absurd to try and take Biden's words on one policy topic and try and bend them to an(unrelated) aspect of Palin's life.

Obama is becoming the poste... (Below threshold)

Obama is becoming the poster child for textbook passive-aggressive behavior.

While reading this post, I ... (Below threshold)
dooz:

While reading this post, I had to scroll back to the top several times to make sure I was still at Wizbang, not at Laugh at Liberals.

Something even sillier than these candidates, though (if that's possible) is the fact that they are unquestioningly supported by the party and the press.

Bugs Bunny must have known these people: "What a bunch of maroons!"

If the Obama/Biden ticket wins the election, watch for Brittney Spears to become CEO of GM.

Kapow, I don't think you're... (Below threshold)

Kapow, I don't think you're being honest with yourself. Who recently said, in her acceptance speech, "To the families of special-needs children all across this country, I have a message: For years, you sought to make America a more welcoming place for your sons and daughters.

I pledge to you that if we are elected, you will have a friend and advocate in the White House."

Was it not a highlight of her speech? When was that a major issue during this entire campaign season? When was it a subject of national conversation? I'm not talking all the way back to when it was an issue during the Kerry/Bush campaigns. Biden said, "I hear all this talk about how the Republicans are going to work in dealing with parents,..." To what or who do you think he was referring? You may argue that he would have brought it up had Palin NOT said that, but I'm not buying it.

And since when does "working with parents" have anything to do with preventative research?

Biden is a dickhead. A lovable and entertaining dickhead, but a dickhead nonetheless.

Yet you chose to ignore my points preferring to focus on the bee in your bonnet and not the hive.

Kapow, you're making a fund... (Below threshold)

Kapow, you're making a fundamental error: that Biden actually knows what the hell he's talking about. As I've shown, the man's a buffoon and just says whatever he thinks might sound good -- the details just don't matter.

J.

C'mon now Jay, Biden HAD to... (Below threshold)
ODA315:

C'mon now Jay, Biden HAD to know as he surely has a higher IQ than us (except Kapow and JFO, of course).

Kapow: Biden's first senten... (Below threshold)
sierra:

Kapow: Biden's first sentence refers to "all this talk" about Republicans supporting parents with developmentally disabled children. Since Republicans aren't exactly known for highlighting that issue, and since Palin pushed it so strongly in her convention speech, "all this talk" is a clear reference to Palin. It's thus not a "huge stretch" to consider the concrete case of how stem cell research might improve Palin's son's condition.

You have a valid yet narrow point that research on stem cells (embryonic: the only policy divergence) may potentially improve the lives of children suffering from certain non-genetic disorders, but it is not the subject of Biden's gotcha, and at any rate represents a baseless pander. Consider what we witnessed in the last election cycle, when the Kerry campaign promised to cure paralysis only days after Christopher Reeves' death. It's become such a persistent bit of rhetoric that Biden apparently don't even have to think twice about it. Because conservatives oppose it, embryonic stem cell research can cure any ill.

The Democratic DOnkey was f... (Below threshold)
David:

The Democratic DOnkey was first used by Jackson as his opponents called him mulish and he took the Donkey's stong points on some of his advertising. The symbol become popular a half century later when cartoonist Nast used it. Nast also inadvertantly invented the Republican Elephant around 1874.

Biden is full of it. Republ... (Below threshold)

Biden is full of it. Republicans and conservatives FULLY support stem cell research. Champion it, in fact. What we DON'T support is the dead-end **embryonic** stem cell research. There's no promise in that. Adult stem cell research, on the other hand, really is a proverbial gold mine.

So, regardless of how Jay wrote what he wrote, it doesn't change the fact that Biden is lying.

Jay, A couple of d... (Below threshold)
newton:

Jay,

A couple of days ago, I came to realize something about Barack Obama that may have a huge impact this November. From the way he treated his grandmother in the campaign, to Hillary, to Sarah, I have a feeling that he has zero esteem or regard towards white women in general.

True, his mom was white, but she was a Marxist, just like his dad. (I started to wonder what she would do to him right now were she still alive, though.) But there seems to be a resentment towards white women that is seeping out of his pores lately. The way he characterized his grandmother as a "typical white woman", to the way he treated Hillary during the primaries, and now Sarah and the "lipstick" comment, something just doesn't seem right with all this.

I also think he might have had this for a long time, but has been well-fed by none other than Michelle, his own wife. If anyone here has more bitterness and resentment seeping out of the pores than Barack, it is her. There's no denying it: I believe that is the reason why she has not been making so many public appearances. I believe the campaign managers have noticed it, too, and know that it may damage their boss more than anything else.

I also think that other white women are noticing this, and don't like what they're seeing.

newton's on to something h... (Below threshold)

newton's on to something here. Very interesting.

Candidate's wife as a decid... (Below threshold)

Candidate's wife as a decided and obvious liability... hmmm.

That WOULD explain her sudden lack of prominence in the campaign. "Out of sight, out of mind"? "Let's not remind the electorate what 'extras' come with the Obama package..." perhaps?

Oyster should be arrested f... (Below threshold)
Son Of The Godfather:

Oyster should be arrested for that vicious smackdown laid upside kapow's head...

And I think newton has a very interesting observation.

If Jay is correct, (and ... (Below threshold)
Knightbrigade:

If Jay is correct, (and I think he is) then WE have got some great twitches/signals/slips to look forward to. If the Obamasiah thinks he is stressed NOW??!!! LMAO....

Newton's observation is on track, BUT that road needs to be navigated VERY carefully...
Prepare for the screams and backlash spin otherwise.

I think I'll keep my current name instead of changing to "Knight-3-battalions"? lol....




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