George Weigel is a very smart fellow, a brilliant fellow I’d say, and always worth paying attention to. He always has something useful, something thoughtful to say, and his insights and observations, here at the bottom of this short “ramble on a theme by Weigel”, are both enlightening and helpful.
You see, he writes a little about Joe Biden in his article, and as I read it a thought occurred to my mind once again which had occurred before. I have been thinking about Vice President Joe Biden, the former Senator from Delaware, the kid from Scranton who never really left tough town. I’ve followed this Mr. Malaprop for a few years, now, and been by turns embarrassed for him and for the country, and angry. Sometimes, back when he was a Senator, I would find myself wondering about the average IQ of the people who voted for him, who put him into office and kept him there year after embarrassing year.
I came to think of him, as he rose through the ranks of the Senate into positions of leadership, and then became a candidate for president some years ago, as a kind of thug, or perhaps merely a drunk, an out of control drunk; the kind of guy who likes a good fight after several boilermakers. The kind of guy who starts the fight and never wins one, but nevertheless thinks he’s a hell of a tough guy. In other words, a jerk. Then I wondered about the people with whom he worked, his peers in Congress and in the Democratic Party, and wondered what motivated them to put up with, to “follow” this character from a bad 1940’s low budget comedy, this potato head with hair plugs?
It is a question I think I may have found the answer to, finally. For me, anyway, it seems to fit on some weird cosmic joke kind of level. It explains how Joe (not Joseph) Biden, who is really a cartoon character right out of Loony Tunes, has been endured all of these years. He is meant to be the Vice President in an Obama administration. A more perfect fit could not be found in the world; in the universe.
You see, I think Joe Biden serves the same kind of role in the Obama administration that Stepin Fetchit served in the films in which he appeared way long ago, a dimwit good only for a laugh. The fellow whose stage name was Stepin Fetchit, Lincoln Perry, was actually a pretty intelligent man who parlayed his stereotype into becoming the first black actor to be a millionaire. But Joe Biden, who is by no means the brightest bulb on the tree, could not do that. He has been a comic foil, and perhaps a backroom bouncer, who knows, all these years. In a strange and shivering way his loud mouthed, stumble bum, Ralph Cramden persona does serve a purpose, has served a purpose for all of the crooks and cronies, the boozers and bamboozlers we have had to endure down there in the SOG. With a Joe Blow around, why even a Nancy Pelosi looks good..
Why then should he not be the perfect foil for Sportin’ Life, our current president. The two of them would be a great vaudeville act, and I sometimes wonder if that isn’t what our government isn’t really all about. the longest running sit-com with the highest production cost of any program ever, West Wing with a laugh track.
Only I ain’t laughing. I’m damn near tears.
Anyway, read Mr. Weigel’s brief reflection which contains the truth about Joe- Blow Biden.