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In Defense of Biden


I’m not responding to Yuval’s post below so much as to the email I’ve been getting about Biden’s statement. Of course, everyone knows what the guy meant to say. He’s simply missing  “candidate,” or “presidential candidate” to be more accurate, after African-American:

“I mean, you got the first mainstream African-American who is articulate and bright and clean and a nice-looking guy,” he said. “I mean, that’s a storybook, man.”

And, if you don’t count Colin Powell — which you shouldn’t since he didn’t run — and if you read him as saying Obama’s the first mainstream black Presidential candidate, Biden’s right.

Biden has a not unrare condition in which the gear box that normally regulates the speed of your mouth has been ground down to a nub and so his mouth can rev at great speeds heedless of where his brain intends to steer it. Those flashes from his enormous teeth are really the equivalent of flashing your brights; he’s saying “GET OUT OF THE WAY, I CAN’T STOP THIS THING!”

Yes it is infuriating that when conservatives make similar mistakes, we’re automatically interpreted in the most damning way possible. And, yes, of course, if Bush said something like this — and given his staccato speaking style that’s not  unimaginable  — the usual suspects would be calling Bush a bigot or fool (again). But I see no reason for conservatives to play the same game dishonestly. Of course, if you really think Biden believes Obama is the first clean, nice-looking or bright African-American, ever, by all means have at him.

Now, there is a bright side for partisans. A fair reading of Biden’s statement clearly draws the reader to conclude that Biden is calling Jesse Jackson  and Al Sharpton filthy, ugly, and dim-witted. Hey, that’s not me talking. That’s the Democratic Senator from Delaware.


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