Biden on Obama: Avoid Responsibility

Let’s unpack this quote a little:

“Mark my words,” the Democratic vice presidential nominee warned at the second of his two Seattle fundraisers Sunday. “It will not be six months before the world tests Barack Obama like they did John Kennedy. The world is looking. We’re about to elect a brilliant 47-year-old senator president of the United States of America. Remember I said it standing here if you don’t remember anything else I said. Watch, we’re gonna have an international crisis, a generated crisis, to test the mettle of this guy.”

“I can give you at least four or five scenarios from where it might originate,” Biden said to Emerald City supporters, mentioning the Middle East and Russia as possibilities. “And he’s gonna need help. And the kind of help he’s gonna need is, he’s gonna need you – not financially to help him – we’re gonna need you to use your influence, your influence within the community, to stand with him. Because it’s not gonna be apparent initially, it’s not gonna be apparent that we’re right.”

Biden seems to be trying to effect a two-step avoidance of responsibility here.  One is on the part of Obama’s actions as president: the crisis is “generated”—not by him, but by some nefarious international forces.  Obama couldn’t have a gaffe, no, not with his long record of consistency on international policy.  (To be fair to Biden on this point: there usually does come a time in a new president’s term when he is tested by the international community/some other nation.)

There’s also a disturbing aspect in the second part of his statement: “we’re gonna need you to use your influence, your influence within the community, to stand with him. Because it’s not gonna be apparent initially, it’s not gonna be apparent that we’re right.”  Is he encouraging people to avoid their own senses of moral responsibility, to back Obama mindlessly, regardless of whether he makes the right decision or not?  It’s one thing to give the new guy a chance and the benefit of the doubt; it’s quite another to advocate for Obama-zombies chanting, He’s right because he’s Obama.  He’s right because he’s Obama.

Bill Kristol‘s got some more comments, as does Protein Wisdom.

Update: Thanks, Jeff G. (Update: and Dan Riehl),for the link.  You visitors might also enjoy some of the following posts: the Fairness Doctrine and the relicensing of stations, some Republican House pickup opportunities, the role of moderates in the Republican coalition, and the role of structural diversity for the right.  Come back often and look around!

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One Response to “Biden on Obama: Avoid Responsibility”

  1. Biden’s Gaffe: electing Obama likely to embolden just about every enemy of the US Says:

    […] update: More here. Posted by Jeff G. @ 10:14 am | Trackback SHARETHIS.addEntry({ title: “Biden’s Gaffe: […]

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