Joe Biden Explains It All

Vice President Joe Biden broke form and did everyone a favor during his June 14 Meet the Press interview when he told the country that "no one realized how bad the economy was" in the run-up to February's passage of the so-called "economic stimulus" package that nobody read.

The former presidential candidate and proven serial plagiarizer (far beyond the infamous Neil Kinnock incident) is still the best reason for hoping that President Barack Obama, for all his very considerable faults, has an ever-vigilant Secret Service detail.

As long as Obama's protection is in place, Biden can continue to be the gaffe-prone politician who has almost surely piled up more flubs and follies since his August 2008 selection as VP than the thirty Dan Quayle allegedly accumulated in four years. At least Quayle could count to four (Biden has shown that he can't) and knows the difference between a plus sign and a minus sign (Biden doesn't, at least when talking about Louisiana). As long as the president is safe, we can relax knowing that Biden's ego-aggrandizing rewrites of history will be of no significance beyond their entertainment value.

Economically speaking, as long as he is kept away from serious future duties, Joe Biden will be best remembered as the alleged "friend of the little guy" who, as senator from MBNA -- er, I mean Delaware -- supported 2005's one-sided, creditor-financed, consumer-hostile effort known as bankruptcy "reform" that did virtually nothing to rein in abusive lender practices. At the time, columnist David Broder accurately noted that "the Senate ... shot down virtually every attempt to separate the sheep from the goats and carve out protections for the average family trapped by circumstances."

But let's get back to the vice president's Meet the Press comment. There's a reason the White House didn't appreciate how bad the economy was early this year, and it's simply this: they didn't realize how much damage their party's leaders had done to it going back to June of last year.