Joe Biden's remarkably absurd and outrageous comments last month in Brussels were noted here on these pages
with righteous indignation. But apart from that sound judgment, it seems that the remarks have been given the usual pass from both the right and the left. "It's just Joe being Joe," people are apt to say. Perhaps dismissal of this kind is to be expected when one earns for himself the reputation of being a moral
idiot on the one hand, and a useful
idiot on the other. But, because this conclusion is so easily arrived at, perhaps we shouldn't be so eager to draw it?
It should be noted that Biden has, on more than one occasion, used his reputation for general idiocy to his and to his benefactors' benefit; and this may be another such occasion. Conservatives, especially, ought to avoid the temptation to roll their eyes when Biden speaks. All the more true when one notes, as Jonah Goldberg
does here, that Biden's remarks in Brussels were no "off the cuff" gaffe. They were part of a prepared speech. They reflect his--and the administrations'--true sentiments. Given that, Biden's idiocy ought to be more useful to us than it is to his patrons. He is not a clever enough student or politic enough as a speaker to learn the subtleties of selling the outrageous opinions of his clan. He takes to them with childlike wonder and cannot imagine why anyone might take exception to these notions or differ with him and his betters. Like a puppy with a bloody offering, he lays it bare and presents it with pride in all its horrific glory--and he seems genuinely hurt and confused when he is repulsed for his good efforts. He thought that he was doing good work on behalf of a big "*ing" deal, after all.
So the next time Joe speaks, open your eyes and your ears. A friend of mine likes to say that "stupid people are dangerous." Yes, they are. But we ought to make sure that this particular stupid person is more dangerous to those who embrace him than he is to those of us who are too easily tempted to ignore him. Dangerous people, after all, should be observed with more care than are the benign.