I’ve been wondering since the vice presidential candidates’ debate this past Thursday night: how can Democrats have been pleased by Joe Biden’s performance? His behavior was almost beyond belief. But for his excellent articulation, one might have taken him for a loudmouth drunk — until he shifted his dynamics into the stage whisper of the last half hour. As many have observed, his behavior was rude, boorish, bordering on the unhinged.
His behavior set off a debate of its own. Did it most resemble that of The Joker in the Batman series, or that of the Jack Nicholson character in The Shining?
There may have been deep thinking strategery behind his performance. Perhaps he was trying to throw Paul Ryan off his game. Perhaps he was seeking to assert his dominance. Perhaps he was seeking to humiliate. Perhaps he was seeking to send a thrill up the leg of Obama supporters depressed by Obama’s performance in the first debate.
As I watched, however, I thought: If this guy were a Republican, I would be embarrassed. I would think he is not fit for high public office.
Liberal Democrats in politics and the media formerly known as mainstream have not reacted as I did to Biden’s performance. I would like to raise the question why.
I don’t have a good answer, but I speculate that it has to do with the contempt in which they hold their political opponents. Obama frequently expresses such contempt in his own way. He even did so famously in Ryan’s case after Ryan unveiled his budget plan. (In case you need a refresher, Neo-neocon reviewed the incident most recently in this post.)
The liberals’ contempt is a companion to the tyrannical impulse that governs their politics. They want to run our lives. Indeed, they think they are fit to run our lives and they we are unfit to run them ourselves. William Buckley used to proclaim with a glint in his eye that a liberal is someone who wants to reach into your shower and adjust the temperature of the water. Man, oh, man, was he right.
The tyrannical impulse underlying modern liberalism is inconsistent with the democratic temper founded on the proposition that all men are created equal. Manners are the relic of an ancient past. They are obsolete. They are dead as the dodo.
Why aren’t our liberal “friends” (to use Biden’s term) embarrassed by Biden’s behavior? Or if they are, why don’t they say so? I don’t have the answer, but I think it bears examination.