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What Monsieur Biden Wished He Had Never Said Today

October 24, 2008

Let’s take a break from Palin’s unbearably unintelligent utterings and have a look at what the other ticket’s far more learned and, most of all, civilised VP candidate has said lately. (By the way, I hope you’re enjoying the Democratic alternative to Palin, Peggy Noonan. It’s so good that you can always switch to the other side where the grass is so much greener VP candidate is so much smarter, isn’t it?)

This Biden quote is already quite known by now:

And here’s the point I want to make. Mark my words. Mark my words. It will not be six months before the world tests Barack Obama like they did John Kennedy. The world is looking. We’re about to elect a brilliant 47-year old senator president of the United States of America. Remember I said it standing here if you don’t remember anything else I said. Watch, we’re gonna have an international crisis, a generated crisis, to test the mettle of this guy. And he’s gonna have to make some really tough – I don’t know what the decision’s gonna be, but I promise you it will occur. As a student of history and having served with seven presidents, I guarantee you it’s gonna happen. I can give you at least four or five scenarios from where it might originate. And he’s gonna need help. And the kind of help he’s gonna need is, he’s gonna need you, not financially to help him, we’re gonna need you to use your influence, your influence within the community, to stand with him. Because it’s not gonna be apparent initially, it’s not gonna be apparent that we’re right. Because all these decisions, all these decisions, once they’re made if they work, then they weren’t viewed as a crisis. If they don’t work, it’s viewed as you didn’t make the right decision, a little bit like how we hesitated so long dealing with Bosnia and dealing with Kosovo, and consequently 200,000 people lost their lives that maybe didn’t have to lose lives. It’s how we made a mistake in Iraq. We made a mistake in Somalia. So there’s gonna be some tough decisions.

Never mind that M. Biden is asking his audience to blindly trust a President Obama who makes bad-looking policy decisions. Maybe Biden fears that the mainstream media and the official left will have difficulties to get out of their routine of using all their energy to smear the incumbent president by January 2009 or maybe he really expects huge mistakes from Obama and is working preemptively against a loss in popularity. Biden may have noticed that Obama is not the type to easily stomach low approval ratings.

The more interesting part in this quote is actually what I have emphasised here. Obama will need “help” in the form of “influence within the community”? How is that supposed to look like? President Obama makes a decision that is so unpopular that his ratings sink into the cellar and people with “influence within the community” are supposed to change the public’s mind with some sort of “President Obama knows best – beware of losing your faith during these times of testing lest Karl Rove lures you into the belly of the GOP”- line?

“Mais, non! Stop being silly”, you’re saying, “Of course you will be allowed to question a President Obama.” But what about what Biden says a bit later:

Because I promise you, you all are gonna be sitting here a year from now going ‘oh my God, why are they there in the polls, why is the polling so down, why is this thing so tough? We’re gonna have to make some incredibly tough decisions in the first two years. So I’m asking you now, I’m asking you now, be prepared to stick with us. Remember the faith you had at this point because you’re going to have to reinforce us.

And yet a bit later:

Let’s not be, for those of a different faith remember St. Peter denied Christ thrice, you know? We don’t need anybody denying us, this is gonna be tough.

Biden is actually saying that the blind faith – needed now due to lack of profane evidence – that Obama will be a good president will also be needed if Obama actually becomes the president – due to lack of profane evidence or to the existence of evidence to the contrary. And on top of that he asks people with “influence” to “reinforce” the president when he makes “tough decisions”. Call me naive, but I think it’s sort of a vital part of a democracy that people are allowed to dislike their president’s decisions. Biden implying that some citizens will have to get other citizens to like a President Obama dispite his unpopular decisions sounds very creepy. (On the other hand we have already heard the call to “get in their face” by Obama himself. Nothing new here. Yawn. Tell me about Palin’s second hand tanning bed she bought with her own money.)

And here is what follows:

There are gonna be a lot of you who want to go ‘whoa, wait a minute, yo, whoa, whoa, I don’t know about that decision.’ Because if you think the decision is sound when they’re made, which I believe you will when they’re made, they’re not likely to be as popular as they are sound. Because if they’re popular, they’re probably not sound.

Translated this means: “You, the here present elite, are so smart that you will see the genius in President Obama’s and my decisions, while the others, the unlearned masses, won’t. (Which also means that if you don’t see the genius, you belong to the unlearned masses. But I expect you not to belong to them, obviously.)”

Funny how Biden’s efforts here might just bear fruit while by the same logic (and I do not deny the truth in the “sound decision doesn’t mean popular decision” notion) the current President Bush has done a lot of things right. But, of course, that is a totally different case! M. Bush simply isn’t a “lightworker”.

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