Rude. Condescending. Contemptuous. Overbearing. Also just plain wrong: about the only time last night that Joe Biden pulled a straight face was when he said that the Obama administration didn’t know that Chris Stevens had asked for additional security shortly before the U.S. consulate in Benghazi was overrun in the coordinated attack on September 11 (September 11, Joe: remember that date?). Nobody told them that things were hotting up in Libya, you see. They thought everyone was just fine: after all, as Secretary of State Hillary Clinton mumbled, we had helped liberate the Libyan people from Gaddafi: where was the gratitude for that? Where were the beneficent blossoms of the Arab Spring? And why are people talking about Chris Stevens and those three other murdered Americans anyway? These things happen. President Obama said it was too bad they were killed, but hey, these things happen. They were just “bumps in the road.” (“What was that, honey? I think I ran over something.” “Just bumps in the road. Drive on.”) According to Stephanie Cutter, Obama’s deputy campaign manager, the “entire reason” Libya is important is because Mitt Romney has made it a “political topic.” Our ambassador and three other Americans are murdered by al-Qaeda operatives and the Obama administration sends its ambassador to the UN to explain that it was because of an internet video, then, when that doesn’t work, it says that the whole subject is somehow Mitt Romney’s fault. Pathetic.
But was it more pathetic than Joe Biden’s performance last night? Some commentators think Biden won the debate. Most of the polls I’ve seen disagree. Yes, he had clearly taken an extra dose of Geritol before stepping on to the stage. But he apparently chased it with a snort of laughing gas. The resulting rictus of contempt was not just ungentlemanly, it was unhinged, disturbing. This is how the vice president of the United States reacts in a serious discussion about grave national security issues.
Joe Biden is laughing. Are you?