Jewish World Review March 25, 2011 / 19 Adar II, 5771
Biden Rails On
By Jonah Goldberg
Well, let's see.
And then there's Vice President Joe Biden. There's the Joe Biden who belches boring, scripted platitudes familiar to anybody who follows politics.
And then there's the other Joe. Crazy Joe. Wacky Joe. The Joe who punctuates his marathon-length run-on sentences with semaphore flashes of his enormous teeth, warning, "I can't turn off my mouth!" This Joe is like the crazy relative at
Biden has outdone both Stewart and Arafat, because he never acknowledges the fact that there are (at least) two Joes. While Stewart often has to run across the border to Comedystan to defend himself, and Arafat had to speak in an entirely different tongue, Biden switches back and forth seamlessly between the two personalities.
This in and of itself is not a new observation. Biden has been the subject of gentle mockery for decades. The number of Bidenisms more suitable for a sitcom's wacky-neighbor character is too big to count. Remember his response to the 9/11 terror attacks? While the towers were still smoldering, then-Sen. Biden turned to an emergency meeting of his staff and said, "Seems to me this would be a good time to send, no strings attached, a check for
The staff reportedly reacted like they wished he'd get back to the bit about the all-lentil diet.
What's different now is that the two Bidens seem not only to be merging, but to be gaining influence inside the
Biden, like a lot of eccentrics, loves to play with trains. What makes him different is that he prefers real ones. As a senator, he famously rode
Biden's real passion is high-speed rail, which wastes money at two to three times the speed of conventional passenger rail. Never mind that high-speed rail would destroy our freight rail system, which is the best in the world (and quite green), or that it would crush state budgets with federally imposed white elephants. Biden has convinced the president that this is the only way to "win the future." Obama made that case during his last State of the Union address. And just the other day, while campaigning in
Thank goodness they're not just figuratively focused on winning the future. They're quite literal about it.
And that's what's so dismaying: People are taking Joe seriously. Don't be surprised if after the next terrorist attack, the president proposes giving
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