Strengthening Constitutional Self-Government

No Left Turns


Taking Joe Seriously, Part II

It was Memorial Day yesterday and Vice President Joe Biden was offered a chance to speak at Arlington Cemetery.  It is easy to understand why serious people have a difficult time concentrating the mind when such a profoundly un-serious person is elevated to a lofty position like Vice President of the United States and stands before them offering a meaningless stew like this.  There was no of mention of liberty; no mention of the threats to liberty.  To be sure, there were a few gratuitous remarks about the military being our "heart and soul" and then "spine" (though it is unclear to me why he thinks a spine trumps a heart and soul).  He had some genuine words of sympathy to offer to grieving Gold Star families--employing the usual (and, may I say, lazy?) practice of singling out a few and telling their stories to illustrate his point (and take up space).   But sympathy, in Biden's case, had everything to do with personal loss.  He even made reference to his own personal loss and tragedy--well-meaning and heart-felt, I have no doubt--but still, beside the point of the occasion.

Sorrowfully lacking in all of this display was any recognition of what the nation lost when these men gave their "last full measure of devotion."  All honor to those families and friends whose hearts are aching for a brave soldier who gave all on behalf of our freedom.  But we miss the point, entirely, if we don't recognize how much we lose in permitting such sacrifices to be made.  Part of what makes our freedom so valuable, after all, is its cost.  And, consequently, we can never fully understand when and if those sacrifices are worthwhile if they are only presented outside of their larger context. 

There is a place for acknowledging and honoring private grief.  And it may even be the case that there is a place for it on Memorial Day--for their sacrifice is as much a part of the cost of our freedom as was the loss to the nation of a good citizen and soldier.  Yet, if we fail to put these sacrifices in their larger context, we fail to honor the dead.  Instead, we do what Biden did . . . we feel pity for their families and we come close to insulting both family and fallen.  .  Yet this, too, is revealing of the thinking of Biden and his associates.  It is part and parcel of the profound lack of understanding that this administration has shown when it comes to our fighting men and women and the cause for which they enlisted to serve.  Joe Biden--though unworthy of the ground where he stood yesterday--did us a service in revealing the true sentiment of this administration on these matters.  Again, we ought to pay attention when this court jester speaks.  
Categories > Military

Discussions - 6 Comments

"It is easy to understand why serious people have a difficult time concentrating the mind when such a profoundly un-serious person is elevated to a lofty position like Vice President of the United States..."

New rule, Julie, which I have a hunch might apply to you:

If you voted for George W. Bush for president, you can't insinuate yourself among the "serious people" who get the vapors at the thought of "un-serious" Biden as VP.

And if you voted for GWB twice or ever participated in the cheering section for.. (ahe "Our Sarah," well, you've put the last nail in irony's coffin with that line...

What a simpleton and a blowhard. I wonder whether 2012 will restore some real leadership to Washington. We haven't seen that commodity since Reagan.

By "simpleton and blowhard" I was referring to Joe Biden, not Craig Scanlon ... though I suppose you could take it either way.

Biden has succeeded in rendering that rule void.

Michelle - you serious person, you - I do believe you just called me two names. That kind of seriousness just shakes me to my very core.

I am not sure whether Joe Biden smokes dope or not, but he could very well be the poster child for not legalizing pot.

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