This article appeared online at TheNewAmerican.com on Monday, September 2, 2019:
Democrat presidential hopeful Joe Biden is wearing out his welcome, even among his friends. His latest lie — a war story some version of which he has been telling for years — has finally caught up to him. During a campaign stop in New Hampshire last week, Biden relieved himself of the latest version:
This guy climbed down a ravine, carried this guy up on his back under fire. The general wanted me to pin the Silver Star on him. I got up there, and this is the God’s truth, my word as a Biden. He stood at attention. I went to pin it on him. He said, “Sir, I don’t want the damn thing. Do not pin it on me, sir. Please, sir, do not do that. He died! He died!”
But, as the Washington Post reluctantly pointed out, Biden got nearly every detail wrong: “Almost every detail in the story appears to be incorrect. Based on interviews with more than a dozen U.S. troops, their commanders and Biden campaign officials, it appears as though the former vice president has jumbled elements of at least three actual events into one story of bravery, compassion and regret that never happened.”
What’s worse, when Biden was confronted with this “jumble” and asked to explain himself, he added to the pile: “The central point [of the story] is it was absolutely accurate what I said — the story that he refused the medal because the fella he tried to save, and risked his life saving, died. That’s the beginning, middle and end.”
Biden got it wrong when he told and retold the story of how his first wife and daughter were killed by a drunk driver. But it was slander: The driver wasn’t drunk, he was never charged with a DUI, and later examiners concluded that she pulled out in front him without warning.
He got it wrong about his so-called scholastic achievements. He plagiarized parts of other people’s speeches without attribution.
What is wrong with the man? Is he losing his mind, as some are charging? Or has he lost all sense of honor? Kevin Williamson, writing for the National Review, doesn’t know: “If Biden here is lying with malice aforethought, then he ought to be considered morally disqualified for the office [of the presidency]. If he is senescent, then he obviously is unable to perform the duties associated with the presidency…. The evidence points more toward moral disability than mental disability.”
Williamson ticked off a few more of Biden’s lies:
Biden lies about matters great and small. He lies about his trip to Afghanistan. He lies about the death of his wife and daughter. He is wildly dishonest about his role in the Iraq War and the 1994 crime bill, landmark moments in his legislative career that later became political liabilities.
And whatever the state of his brain today, he was not senile back in 1987, when he plagiarized the words of Margaret Thatcher and Neil Kinnock for his own speeches. Like his lies, his plagiarism is part of a lifelong habit: As recently as this year, he was filling out his policy papers with uncredited — stolen — material from advocacy groups.
Left-liberal Salon magazine contributor Paul Rosenberg thinks Biden is a risk too great for the Democrat Party to nominate, not because of either his mental failings or his moral ones. Instead, Rosenberg looks to four primary reasons why Biden is unfit for the party’s nomination. First, he cannot run on the same old platform that Hillary used when she lost to Trump in 2016. Second, Rosenberg claims that he “has done a great deal to contribute to the dysfunctions of our criminal justice system”: mass incarceration, the militarization of local police, the perverse incentives of civil-asset forfeiture, and unfair sentencing for drug traffickers.
Third, Biden’s approach to foreign policy is far from clear. His support for the invasion of Iraq, wrote Rosenberg, “resulted in one of the greatest foreign policy disasters in American history. He shows no signs of adequately grasping the proliferating threats that unfolded since, and thus cannot be a stabilizing leader in confronting them.”
Finally, wrote Rosenberg, Biden’s isn’t progressive enough: “We’re in moment where a broad range of progressive policies addressing past failures have begun to gain traction. Biden’s backwards-looking ‘return to normalcy’ message makes him decidedly less capable of producing the stability [that] people wishfully project onto him.”
Another voice from the Left, the New York Times, raises a key question that Biden cannot answer: “Why do you want to be president?” Wrote the Times: “After all this time, Mr. Biden stumbles to come up with a clear answer.”
The best Biden can do is come up with these three reasons: 1) to lead the “battle for the soul of America,” whatever that means; 2) to restore the middle class, without making clear how he would accomplish that; and 3) unite the country. What is clear is that none of these qualify as a powerful “sound bite” for the people who will be deciding the issue next November.
And that is showing up in a number of ways. First, crowd size. As the Times noted, “Mr. Biden’s crowds have been undeniably smaller and less raucous that other candidates, namely Ms. Warren and Mr. Sanders.”
And his advantage in the polls continues to melt away. When the Economist/YouGov poll taken during the second week of August showed Biden leading by just three points (inside the margin of error), many thought it was an “outlier” compared to other polls showing Biden maintaining a double-digit advantage over his rivals. When that poll was run again a week later, the results were the same. Monmouth poll numbers over the same week showed Biden falling one point behind both Warren and Sanders.
The Economist/YouGov poll taken last week showed Biden’s lead at just four points.
So, not only are Biden’s mental failings and moral decrepitude showing up in the polls, his lead is vanishing thanks to policy failures from his past and his lack of “fire in the belly” that voters believe will be needed for him to have any chance against President Trump.
It increasingly appears that Biden is being shelved in favor of whoever is coming up behind him.