When our kids were pre-teens, our family toured Europe on Eurail passes. One day, we planned a much-needed break from touring and went to Nice, France, for a day on the beach. After being on the train all night, we arrived at daybreak to a nearly empty train terminal. While Gil took the kids and went to get money changed, I found a locker, parked my purse with our passports and other valuables where I thought it would be safe between my feet while stuffing our coats, briefcases and duffle into the locker. Suddenly a man touched my shoulder; I turned to see a guy making funny faces, weirdly laughing, gesturing wildly, rolling his eyes and generally acting strangely. As I turned back to the locker, he frantically began punching my shoulder and acting even more bizarrely in attempting to keep my attention. I turned back to him to dismiss him when he sudden stopped his antics, grinned at me, saluted, and calmly walked away. I immediately looked down, and my purse was gone. The only person nearby was what appeared to be a monk sitting with his robes all around his feet. I went for the police and when we returned, the “monk” was gone and the policeman merely shrugged nonchalantly. I knew I’d been had.
I thought of this incident for the first time in years while I watched Vice President Biden’s antics at the Danville, Kentucky, Vice-Presidential debates. Clearly, Mr. Biden was the decoy distracting our attention while those things that are priceless and irreplaceable about our nation our freedoms, financial stability, economic opportunities, and religious rights are being stolen right from under our noses. Only the most determined were actually able to hear the excellent arguments and evidence presented by Congressman Paul Ryan through the 80-plus interruptions and bizarre behavior of Mr. Biden.
Of course the Obama Administration wants to distract the public from the dire realities of the economy the fiscal recovery is sluggish and most Americans are not better off now than they were four years ago. Median household income has declined by $4,520 (8.2 percent) across the board during Mr. Obama’s term of office. Neither the President nor the Vice President want to talk about the latest estimates of economic growth that showed an increase of 1.3 percent in the second quarter of 2012 or unemployment at 7.8 percent. They definitely don’t want to talk about the jobless rate of 14.7 percent when those who have quit looking for work are factored into the picture or the debt and deficit crises. Nor do the two top Democrats want to talk about gas prices and how Obama’s policies end up curbing U.S. petroleum development while assisting Brazil and other nations to the tune of billions of dollars with their petroleum development.
Anytime Mr. Romney or Mr. Ryan talk about Obamanomics excessive spending, complicated tax codes that hurt small businesses, financial regulations that are choking business development, the cronyism with Wall Street and entites like Solyndra that has created a global financial crisis, stimulus money that went who knows where and accomplished who knows what, and support for Dodd-Frank that has enabled big banks to monopolize markets, pay huge bonuses to big banks and squeeze out local banks Obama and Biden shift to their race and class warfare rhetoric. Mr. Obama was able to deceive American voters in 2008 by talking in generalities (hope, change, transformation); now he continues to distract with a vague theme of “Forward.”
The vice-presidential debate focused on very serious foreign policy issues the tragedy of four American deaths in Libya and Iran’s nuclear development, yet Joe Biden laughed his way through those topics as though there was no need to justify why Obama and others of his administration had been trying to con the public with a cock-and-bull story of how the Ambassador’s death had been the consequence of a spontaneous riot in Benghazi over an anti-Islam video rather than what it was plain for all to see: a planned terrorist attack by an Al-Qaeda affiliated group. Biden’s antics were equally bizarre during the discussions about the economy and unemployment.
Having been a college debate coach of a nationally ranked team, I was appalled at Vice-President Biden’s calculated bullying, condescension and disdain toward Mr. Ryan; there was nothing subtle or artful about his obnoxious attempt to distract his more inexperienced opponent. The Danville Debate reached an all-time low with the failure of the moderator to demand compliance with the standards of debate not to mention common decency, good manners, and basic principles of public discourse. Debaters know that opponents resort to attacks and belittling when they are not armed with facts and evidence to support their case. Smirking, laughing, interrupting are behaviors that are clearly out-of-bounds in civil discourse, and the moderator was absolutely shameful in her failure to assert control of the debate and maintain proper decorum; in fact, Mr. Biden looked at the moderator during most of his despicable behavior as if sharing his contempt for his opponent with her.
I for one wish to put the President and Vice President on notice that their distractions are wearing thin and the American public are looking for a truthful assessment of our grave situation not foolish and disrespectful obfuscation. Voters see the hypocrisy when a Washington insider of 40 years like Biden pretends to be a middle-class voter from Scranton; they are more interested in getting back their own lost savings than they are in a hypocritical campaign to save public funding for Big Bird whose career has been so lucrative as to make him a member of the 1 percent.
Elections ultimately come down to a basic question for the voting public: Which candidate do you trust? In 2012 that question is especially pivotal. Biden adamantly demanded the audience to trust him even as he served up falsehoods such as his assertion that the ObamaCare contraception mandate would not infringe on the religious liberties of Catholic hospitals and universities; the Bishops beg to differ! As the great Founding Father and President, John Adams, said, “Facts are stubborn things; and whatever may be our wishes, our inclination, or the dictates of our passions, they cannot alter the state of facts and evidence.” Anyone who cannot be trusted to present the facts truthfully cannot be trusted to control the public purse.