Monday, June 20, 2005

Say It Ain't So, Joe

I watched Face the Nation yesterday for some odd reason, since I dislike the format of these Sunday news shows and the simplistic flacking that they feature. When Joe Biden's startling visage appeared, complete with gaudy hair plugs and a smile that beams on and off like a lighthouse in the fog, I was tempted to turn it off but doing so would require putting down my coffee cup and Biden isn't worth that much effort.

Biden is considered a "moderate" Democrat, which these days has nothing to do with political ideology. Today's "moderates" are ones who have, DLC-style, sold their souls to the big money of corporate lobbyists (Biden, both Clintons, Lieberman) or who have spouses who are war profiteers (Feinstein). Interestingly enough, our corporate media almost exclusively features either Biden or Feinstein as representatives of the Democratic point of view, trotting these two out to the exclusion of actual Democrats whenever they need an "opposition" voice (insert hysterical laughter here). This is why I wasn't surprised to see Biden and his hair plugs for the millionth time on a Sunday morning carrying water for his corporate benefactors.

Biden, it must be said, voted for the Iraq War Resolution and was one of the biggest hawks in the Senate pushing for this war. Now that the tide is beginning to turn and the majority of the public is rejecting this misadventure, Biden is trying to negotiate the head of the pin he finds himself on. How he did so yesterday morning was, to say the least, interesting. He began by taking Cheney and Rice to task for their recent optimism in assessing the insurgency in Iraq.

Ms. TUMULTY: So, do you think the administration is telling the American people the truth?

Sen. BIDEN: No, they're not telling the truth. Look, I try to put the - let me put the best face on this that I can. Why would the Vice President say what he said? Why would Secretary Rice characterize it the way she says it when I don't know anyone who believes that to be the case? "The last throes'. 'We're almost there'. 'Great progress'. Only thing I can figure out is that they don't trust the American people.

I mean, I've been saying on this program, and God love you, you've had me on a lot over the past two years, that I think the American people know how tough this is going to be. I think the American people if you lay out a plan and tell them the truth about how hard it's going to be and why you think it's important, they'll stick. I think the administration figures they've got to paint a rosy picture in order to keep the American people in the game, and the exact opposite is happening. The exact opposite. Otherwise, with all due respect, they're not fully informed or, well, they won't care.

Granted it's difficult to navigate the head of a pin, but according to Biden, the only difference between him and, say, Dick Cheney is that he'd emphasize that Iraq is a bloodbath, a meat grinder with an active insurgency that will continue to kill Americans and Iraqis alike, and that this refreshing, Biden-style frankness will keep Americans "in the game" because someone is finally doing some nasty truth-telling. And this tripe is presented with a straight face as the "opposition"!

What would Biden do differently in Iraq? Well, let's see...

Sen. BIDEN: The first thing I'd do is, I'd say, 'pick up the phone and call General Jones, our supreme allied commander, and he will tell you I believe that NATO has the capacity to take over that border on Iraq at this late date', that's number one. Number two, I'd say 'Mr. President, please take advantage of what the French, the Germans, and the Egyptians have done to offer to train up Iraqi police and Iraqi military'. Number three, "Change the way you distribute the funds there'.

Sounds like a dandy recipe for sucess, doesn't it? Make a few tweaks, do some random truth telling and keep us in Iraq for years to come. Biden, that rough renegade truth-teller, fails to note that the presence of our troops is the fuel for this insurgency, and as long as Biden and his friends keep our Imperial Army there they'll continue to be slaughtered and Iraq will continue to be in turmoil.

He almost falls off of his pinhead when, after criticizing the administration for painting a rosy picture of the nightmare in Iraq, he tells Karen Tumulty, "But the fact is, I think it still can be won, Karen."

Is it any wonder that Biden is a fixture on these "news" programs? This is the Democrat, after all, who said to torture advocate Alberto Gonzales "I think you're a solid guy" and "I like you, you're the real deal", who voted to confirm Rice, who was bought by MBNA to support the bankruptcy bill. Biden is in a perpetual green room because he's a "safe" Democrat who won't rock the corporate boat or disrupt the administration's plans for Empire. Note how he emphasizes "truth-telling" now, but is silent about the deplorable lack of "truth-telling" during the run-up to this war?

It's little wonder that the American people think the Democrats are indistinguishable from the Republicans when the only Democratic point of view the media will allow is of the simpering Joe Biden variety. The danger now, of course, is that the media will only promote Biden-like candidates for our nomination in 2008, which they've recently done with their constant hyping of Hillary Clinton and their trashing of Howard Dean, who actually is rocking the boat. An excellent, and frightening, example of this came at the conclusion of Face the Nation yesterday.

SCHIEFFER: Senator, let me ask you this. A lot of people are saying that --well, you yourself have said you're thinking about running for president. Since Howard Dean has sort of--so many Democrats seem to be disassociating themselves with remarks that he makes as party chairman, saying 'Well, he doesn't speak to me.' It seems to me more people are turning to you for comment and for the Democratic side of things. Are you--how far along are you on this idea for running for president? Is that a real possibility, or...

To this bullshit Biden nobly replied, "My intention now is to seek the nomination."

The media manipulation has begun early, and there's no doubt that they'll be shilling for the weakest pro-war "Democrats" they can find between now and the next primary season. The fact that they're promoting an execrable piece of shit like Biden should be a huge red flag for Democrats outside the beltway. He'll no doubt get the same "Joementum" that we gave his fellow piece of Joe-shit Lieberman last year, but in the meantime we'll have to suffer through dreck like the above for the next three years. Batten down the hatches.

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