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August 20th, 2012

Hope and Chains

By Patti Brown

President Obama should cut his losses and dump Joe Biden from the ticket not as a ploy to try to win another term in the White House but out of respect for the citizens of the United States and out of concern for our nation’s security. America deserves better.

The Vice President’s reckless comments at a rally last week at the Institute for Advanced Research and Learning in southern Virginia suggested that if elected Mitt Romney and the Republicans “are going to put you y’all back in chains” by deregulating the banking industry goes beyond the pale of acceptable political speech.

His words unfortunately reflect the mentality of many on the political left who believe themselves more enlightened, more progressive and more benevolent than Republicans. But the fact is the antislavery movement entered the American political arena through the Republican Party which was established in opposition to the Kansas-Nebraska Act of 1854.

That act, shaped in large part by Senator Stephen A. Douglass a Democrat from Illinois, would allow the settlers of the new Kansas and Nebraska territories to determine through a popular vote whether or not slavery would be allowed. The way the act was designed—putting the decision directly in the hands of the people—protected Douglass and others in Congress from having to take a position on the highly controversial matter of extending slavery.

At its first national convention in 1856 the Republican Party united against the Kansas-Nebraska Act on the basis that Congress did not have the authority to extend slavery in the territories. The Republican Party became the dominant party in the northern states. Four years later President Abraham Lincoln was elected.

Biden seems painfully unaware of this chapter of American history which led to the Civil War and to the freeing of some 4 million people held as slaves in the southern states. By no means did the Civil War or the 13th and 14th Amendments to the Constitution eradicate racial injustices, but the foundations of the Republican Party are rooted in the abolition movement.

The loquacious Biden, who is but a heartbeat away from the Oval Office, is especially blooper prone on race matters so much so that he comes off as a bigoted buffoon. On June 17, 2006 then-Sen. Biden who was running for president said, “In Delaware the largest growth in population is Indian Americans moving from India. You cannot go to a 7-Eleven or a Dunkin’ Donuts unless you have a slight Indian accent, and I’m not joking.”

In a January 2007 interview with the New York Observer Biden commented about Illinois Senator Barack Obama who was a rival presidential candidate, “I mean, you got the first sort of mainstream African-American who is articulate and bright and clean and a nice-looking guy. I mean, that’s a storybook, man.”

Imagine that, an African-American who is “articulate” “bright” and “clean.” For crying out loud, not only is Biden an idiot but you have to wonder about Obama who picked Biden as his running mate after that endorsement.

It’s not just his racist remarks that reveal the true Biden. The man simply doesn’t think before he speaks and when he does speak his comments are often insensitive, down-right ignorant or compromise national security. Last week Biden mocked a translator for the deaf. In September 2008 Biden exhorted then-Missouri State Senator Chuck Graham “Stand up Chuck, let’em see you.” Graham is a paraplegic who was injured in a 1981 automobile accident at the age of 16. At the 2009 Grid Iron Club Dinner Biden regaled the diners seated at his table with information about the now-no-longer secret bunker under the old U.S. Naval Observatory where Dick Cheney stayed after the attacks on 9-11. So much for discretion, Mr. Vice President.

Affecting a harsh southern cadence, Biden’s words about “putting y’all back in chains” have refocused the spotlight on the nation’s second in command and have Democrats and Republicans asking if Biden were to ascend to the presidency would he truly be up to the office?  Nine vice-presidents have become president by succession, which is about a one in four chance that a VP will inherit the job.

When Sen. John McCain selected Alaska Governor Sarah Palin as his running mate four years ago, the media and entertainment industry had a hayday trying to prove that Palin was not ready to be the chief executive. They mocked the natural cadence of her voice and the unique way she phrased responses in interviews as evidence that she was not ready to become president should McCain die in office.

The unleashed tongue of Joe Biden should give every voter who is considering supporting President Obama in November reason to demand that another running mate be selected. The American people deserve better than the risk of having him become their president. Documents released on the first anniversary of the death of Osama bin Laden revealed that the former al Qaeda leader had written to one of his top lieutenants about wanting to assassinate President Obama so Biden would become president. Bin Laden wrote “Biden is totally unprepared for that post, which will lead the U.S. into a crisis.”

Out of respect for the office of the presidency and the citizens of the United States, the sitting Vice President needs to be replaced before there is a crisis and he becomes our next president by default, God forbid.

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About the Author

Polly Twocents
Polly Twocents is the pseudonym for the political commentary of Patti Brown, a partner in the Iowa Policy Institute, a research and analysis firm specializing in public policy issues. Patti is an Iowa mother of five who has a masters degree in journalism with a minor in political science from Iowa State University and an masters in social work from the University of Iowa. Patti worked for many years as a social worker in hospital, hospice and mental health settings. In addition she has also been a staff writer and columnist for The Catholic Mirror and a writer for The Des Moines Register. She is unabashedly and consistently pro-life and pro-family. As a bleeding heart conservative, Patti believes in a limited, representative government, personal responsibility, individual opportunity, and free enterprise.

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