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Opening Arguments

Big deal

Lord knows I hate sticking up for Joe Biden, but too many people are making way too much of his latest verbal mishap. Especially annoying are those who say he somehow ruined what should have been a momentous occasion:

 Experts weigh in:


  • The Biden brouhaha marred an otherwise historic day and "sullied" the passing of landmark health legislation, the editorial staff at the Hartford Courant blogs. Biden's remark deflated "a significant moment for the president," the Courant staff writes. "Oh, Joe. Way to mark the occasion," they blog. "That quote may be forever linked with the Obama administration's finest moment."
  • The VP's battle with foot-in-mouth disease could mean he'll go down in the history books as another bumbling second-in-command, Richard Adams writes for the UK's Guardian. "Biden should remember the words of John Nance Garner, vice-president under Franklin Roosevelt," Adams writes, "who said: 'The vice-presidency isn't worth a pitcher of warm piss."

Geez. Lighten up, everybody. Anybody reading this post who never used the f-word? Anybody reading this post shocked to know our politicians might have potty mouths, too? Anybody remember the stories about Lyndon Johnson's vocabulary in private moments?

That's the thing -- private moments are becoming a thing of the past. Almost anything we say or do under almost any set of circumstances could end up recorded by somebody and playing on YouTube 24 hours a day. That's the really (expletive) scary part of this.

Besides, those of us on all sides of the health care debate have to acknowledge that Biden was exactly right. I hate everything about this ugly mess they have the gall to call reform, and to me it is a very big (expletive) deal.

(Funniest thing I've heard so far about it: A comedian on the radio this morning said that, with the passage of the health care bill, Biden having his foot in his mouth no longer counts as a pre-existing condition.)


Wed, 03/24/2010 - 9:19am

There's a story, which may be apocryphal, that a ladies' group asked Mrs. Truman to stop her husband, Harry, from using the word "manure" so often.
Mrs. Truman replied "It took me 10 years to get him to say 'manure'."

tim zank
Wed, 03/24/2010 - 4:15pm

I still maintain what Joe meant to say was "This is a really F'd up deal.

Wed, 03/24/2010 - 4:57pm

Nobody likes a sore loser, Tim.
Except me, of course. I like everybody. I guess you're looking forward to April 19, anniversary of the Waco disaster and the Oklahoma City bombing.
Please tip me off as to what you're planning to blow up, so I'll have a fair chance of keeping a safe distance.

tim zank
Wed, 03/24/2010 - 7:26pm

Stay classy Littlejohn, stay classy.

Wed, 03/24/2010 - 8:41pm

Tim, my friend, I must confess I'm not good at figuring out what people mean when they're just making a joke or being sarcastic.
Don't get me wrong, I obviously do those things myself.
Did I say something incorrect about the date?
I'm thick-skinned; hell, I enjoy a joke at my own expense. But I'm a little dense. Can you dumb it down for me a little?
I guess this is just a little personality quirk of mine, and I beg your patience.

Lewis Allen
Thu, 03/25/2010 - 6:53am

I agree that it's no big deal, and anyone who believes that most politicians don't cuss has to be incredibly naive. You'd think these guys, though, would start to catch on that a live mic picks up a lot of stuff.

tim zank
Thu, 03/25/2010 - 8:19am

Littlejohn, thanks for the bait, I'll pass.

Thu, 03/25/2010 - 10:31am

Sen. Robert Byrd of West Virginia never cusses. Seriously, I know the guy and he visibly winces if someone says so much as "damn" within earshot.
Otherwise, yeah, I assume just about everybody cusses - we just usually don't do it in front of a microphone.