Sen. Joe Biden of Maryland, the U.S. senator who once appeared to be going nearly hairless but who got rid of the comb-over and now appears merely patricianly gray (how do they DO that?), also appears to have survived the bizarre 1987 campaign meltdown in which he admitted he plagiarized not just the campaign speeches but whole sections of the autobiographies of other politicians, most notably British Labor Party leader Neil Kinnock.
In the world of Democratic presidential hopeful Barack Hussein Obama, busy trying to convince the younger generation that he’s the Second Coming, apparently there’s no better credential when it comes to foreign policy expertise than having actually pretended to BE a foreign leader, so word is Biden may be Barack’s vice presidential kind of guy.
Sen. Biden is now running first in the Democratic VP stakes, if the AP can be believed, “in large part because he can address two of Obama’s biggest weaknesses — his lack of experience, especially on world affairs, and his reluctance to go on the attack.”
For those who missed it, Barack Obama’s naivete vis-a-vis foreign affairs was on pretty clear display as he and GOP opponent John McCain responded to Russia’s Aug. 8 invasion of neighboring Georgia.
“Russia should immediately and unconditionally cease its military operations and withdraw all forces from sovereign Georgian territory,” McCain said. “The U.S. should immediately work with the EU and the OSCE to put diplomatic pressure on Russia to reverse this perilous course that it has chosen.”
Now, Americans are not going to war to defend Georgian territorial integrity. No one here is currently ready for a replay of the pointless Crimean War. The bigger question is whether we’d go to war to defend Poland, and at this point in history I’d say, “Don’t count on it.”
So these candidate responses are largely symbolic. Under the circumstances, McCain said about all any responsible American leader responsibly can.
But rhetoric can be important. Khrushchev was emboldened to put missiles in Cuba in 1962 because he found young JFK thoroughly weak, vacillating and unimpressive in their meetings in Vienna. In that context, here’s Barack Obama:
“I strongly condemn the outbreak of violence in Georgia, and urge an immediate end to armed conflict,” Obama said in an Aug. 8 written statement.
“Now is the time for Georgia and Russia to show restraint and to avoid an escalation to full-scale war.”
See the difference? The Chicago ward heeler, whose main “foreign policy” experience has been to sit at the knee of some friend-of-the-family old Communist labor organizers in Hawaii, condemns “Georgia and Russia.” Georgia, which has just been invaded by the enormous Red Army, should “show restraint” as it reels backward in defeat.
This is equivalent to some Nazi sympathizer saying “Germany and Poland should both show restraint” as the Wehrmacht rolled across the Vistula in the fall of 1939.
This is like proposing the Americans, British and Dutch should “show restraint” in 1942, sitting down and making peace with Hitler and Hirohito once they’d pretty much conquered everything they wanted, rather than vowing to rebuild our fleets and make the bastards pay.
This is a man who appears to believe foreign wars of aggression can be handled with the equivalent of “I don’t care who started it; you two kids go to your rooms till you can make up.”
I talked to my mom in Connecticut on the phone today. Mom, a lifelong Democrat, says Barack should nominate Hillary as his running mate — he’s going to lose without her. “Mom,” I said, “if he does that, he’ll wake up dead in Fort Marcy Park like Vince Foster, and Hillary will BE the nominee.” Mom replies, “That would be fine with me. She should have been the nominee in the first place.”
82 years old and suddenly mom thinks political homicide is an acceptable option.
Come to think of it, maybe that IS progress.