Joe Biden “has the experience. He knows what needs to be done,” said former Secretary of State and First Lady Hillary Clinton to Jimmy Fallon last month.
Biden’s “experience with Congress and with foreign leaders made him a critical resource when you had a government priority like an epidemic,” said Ben Rhodes, a former national security advisor to President Barack Obama.
“I have the experience to rally the world,” said Joe Biden about Joe Biden.
“Joe Biden would make such a lousy president that I think I’ll try and assassinate Obama,” thought Osama bin Laden, apparently.
Democratic presidential nominee-apparent Joe Biden sure likes to talk up his experience, as do his fellow Democrats in Washington and in the news media (but I repeat myself). There’s no doubt that Biden has experience, and lots of it. When Biden was first elected to the Senate in November of 1972, I was still too young for kindergarten. This Saturday, as he prepares to assume his party’s mantle, I’ll turn 51. Aside from the last four years he’s spent either running for president or preparing to run, Biden has held public office at the highest levels since before the end of the Vietnam War, since before stagflation, since before the bloody birth of Iran’s Islamic Republic, since bell bottoms were in fashion the first time around, since before the death of disco, since before the birth of disco for that matter, since…
…well, I could go on, but I’m sure you get the point. I’d just add that Time magazine named Biden one of the “200 Faces for the Future” in 1974, and 46 years later you can’t deny that this is the future all right.
Set all that aside for a moment and ask: How much is all of Biden’s many years of experience really worth?
Very little, perhaps less than nothing, as you’ll see from the bipartisan list of complaints about Biden’s “accomplishments” I’ve collected for you today.
If you’re a conservative, you probably have problems with:
“And many, many more” as the old TV ads for Greatest Hits record collections used to say.
If you’re a libertarian, Biden really isn’t your guy either:
Shoot, Biden’s even spent years pissing off loyal Democrats and Progressives.
And those are just the complaints about Biden’s weird domestic agenda. When it comes to foreign policy, Biden has been so all over the place — despite his long-held seat on the Senate Foreign Relations Committee — that you might give yourself an aneurysm trying to figure out exactly what foreign policy school of thought he adheres to — if any. Biden was:
• Against the 1991 Gulf War that prevented the Middle East oil supplies from being held hostage by Saddam Hussein.
• In favor of the NATO expansion that fueled Russian paranoia while doing nothing to increase our security.
• Ditto the 1999 Serbia bombing and Kosovo War.
• Voted for the 2003 Iraq War but against the 2007 surge that prevented the situation from going completely Tango Uniform.
• Led the 2011 withdrawal from Iraq that allowed ISIS to rise.
• Advised Obama not to take out bin Laden in 2012.
• Was in favor of the illegal and disastrous Libya bombing campaign which he called “a job well done.”
What would all that experience lead Biden to do tomorrow? Who knows!
And if you’re a human being, one who isn’t totally black and rotten inside, you might just take issue with:
• Accusing an innocent man of being a drunk driver, in the deaths of his wife and daughter, again for political gain. (Thanks for the reminder, Calvin!)
Did I forget to mention all the strange and useless made-stories about his past, and his plagiarism?
It’s a better thing than anyone knew that President Barack Obama finally gave the go-order to kill Osama bin Laden because as Gregg Re reminds us today, the terrorist mastermind dreamed about killing Obama first so that “totally unprepared” Vice President Biden would take charge.
For the country, the sudden loss of Obama would have been “out of the sous vide and into the fire.” By that I mean, like the old adage about the frog in the pot of water, Obama usually knew just how far or how quickly he could push the United States into little things like insolvency and global irrelevancy. Biden through his long career has rarely shown such discretion. He’s all over the place. A Joe Biden decision is as unpredictable and as incomprehensible as a Joe Biden sentence.
You might think that after five decades of experience with public policy both foreign and domestic that you’d be able to discern Biden’s governing philosophy, even given his inability to express a coherent thought. But you’d be wrong. The lessons and experiences that inform a person’s decisionmaking seem to pass completely through Biden’s brain without leaving a trace of residue.
Biden is the Bourbon dynasty of modern American politics: He has learned nothing and forgotten nothing.