Wednesday could be the most important day of the 2008 Democratic National Convention.
Wednesday’s events are sandwiched between the bread and butter of Sen. Hillary Clinton’s Tuesday speech endorsing the rival who bested her, and presidential nominee Sen. Barack Obama’s Thursday acceptance speech.
But in this sandwich, Wednesday could be when America’s voters will find whether Mr. Obama and today’s Democratic Party have the beef to deserve election this November.
In the U.S. Constitution, the presidency is an office of secondary importance, despite the imperial trappings it has taken on in recent decades.
Article I gives Congress absolute control of the government’s purse strings and the ability unilaterally to create laws even in defiance of a presidential veto.
The real power of the president under our Constitution is in foreign policy, and in particular in the president’s war-making powers as commander in chief largely relinquished to the White House by a cowardly Congress. No American war since World War II has been authorized by a constitutionally-required congressional declaration of war.
Wednesday’s Democratic National Convention theme is foreign policy. One of the day’s featured speakers is Mr. Obama’s chosen running-mate Sen. Joseph Biden of Delaware. Another is former President Bill Clinton.
Biden was selected to plug the gaping foreign policy hole in Barack Obama’s thin job resume, and to provide “adult supervision” for inexperienced Obama in case voters risk America’s future by giving the most powerful job in the world to this young affirmative-action candidate.
Mr. Biden has been a U.S. senator from Delaware since 1973 — 35 years — and is widely liked on both sides of the aisle. He is currently chairman of the Senate’s Foreign Relations Committee. Like most other Democratic senators, he voted for President George W. Bush’s military incursion into Iraq and ouster of dictator Saddam Hussein.
But as for being the purported adult on the Obama-Biden ticket, Biden is in some ways as childish for his age, 65, as Obama, 47, is mature for his.
Joe Biden has always exhibited a smug sense of superiority. When caught plagiarizing an article at Syracuse College of Law, Biden successfully pleaded with the faculty not to expel him.
“If I had intended to cheat,” The New York Times in 1987 recounted him saying, “would I have been so stupid?”
Biden has tried to cheat “smarter.” He boasted that he graduated in the top half of his Syracuse Law class; in fact, Biden graduated 76th in a class of 85.
Biden helped lead the “borking” of Robert Bork, the brilliant legal scholar whose nomination to the U.S. Supreme Court let him be judged by Biden, a member of the Senator Judiciary Committee. Biden ridiculed, but failed to destroy, Supreme Court nominee Clarence Thomas. In both cases Biden behaved like an infantile idiot attacking giants whose shoes he was unworthy to lick.
Almost being expelled from law school for cheating did not end Biden’s crookedness. During his 1988 run for the presidency, Biden plagiarized a speech by British Labour politician Neil Kinnock that described his coal-miner father. Biden’s father was a used car salesman.
After Massachusetts Gov. Michael Dukakis distributed videotape of Kinnock and Biden’s plagiarism, Biden quit the race.
Biden ran for president again in 2008, winning 9,000 votes nationwide to Hillary Clinton’s 18 million votes. Despite this public repudiation, however, Biden soon might sit a heartbeat away from the presidency — and thereby, God forbid, become president by an act of fate, or of Satan.
How competent is Joseph Biden at foreign policy? He has proposed carving Iraq into three autonomous regions, much as Julius Caesar did with Gaul two millennia ago. (His plan oddly parallels what this columnist had earlier proposed, but I doubt he plagiarized me.)
Such partition policies historically have led to the relentless frictions of North and South Korea, North and South Vietnam, East and West Germany, and the like. But legislators like carving countries up, apparently because doing so is the way lawmakers reach split-the-differences compromises. Genuine political leaders, by contrast, are more like Solomon and recognize that caring people do not want their babies cut in half.
Nobody has ever suspected Joe Biden of having Solomonic wisdom.
In 1979 Biden backed Democratic President Jimmy Carter in helping topple our ally the Shah of Iran, who was replaced by a now-soon-to-be-nuclear-armed Islamist radical regime that foments global terrorism.
At the 2004 World Economic Forum in Davos, Switzerland, Biden told its mostly-foreign audience that Americans “don’t have much of a democracy ourselves.”
But at least Biden is a pro-working-class, no? No. Biden represents the giant corporations and banks chartered in Delaware, and he helped them tighten bankruptcy rules for credit card debt on middle class Americans. His son Hunter Biden’s law firm was being paid $1.8 million to lobby Congress by some of these same special interests, according to the Aug. 25 USA Today.
Biden successfully urged President Bill Clinton to use U.S. military force, without prior congressional approval, on the side of Muslim Kosovars against Christian Serbs in the Balkans.
And now Russia justifies its invasion of Georgia, a small U.S. ally, by pointing to the Clinton-Biden policy in Kosovo.
Will any reporter remind viewers that President Clinton used U.S. troops to oust a pro-American government in Haiti in order to install defrocked priest and madman Jean-Bertrand Aristide in power? Or that Clinton’s anointed Aristide had described Cuba’s Marxist dictator Fidel Castro as his “greatest hero.”
Will any reporter remind viewers Wednesday night that the so-called “prosperity” of the Clinton era came from President Ronald Reagan’s “peace dividend” from defeating the Soviet Union and ending the Cold War?
Clinton’s “prosperity” came from gutting America’s military and intelligence capabilities and from his spending spree, a wild party, with the $125 billion per year stripped from our national defenses. And 9/11 happened because Clinton indecision and profligacy blinded our intelligence capabilities.
But on Wednesday the liberal media will again tell Americans that Joe Biden and Bill Clinton are divine, and brain-dead Democrats will applaud.
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