Ken Blackwell is Senior Fellow, Family Empowerment at Family Research Council. This article appeared in The American Thinker on September 6, 2014.
"Don't forget about me," Joe Biden pleaded earlier this summer. With all the focus then on Hillary Clinton's disastrous book launch, the Vice President wanted everyone to remember that he is standing by, ready and willing to step into the breach.
Or step into something, anyway. How could we ever forget Joe Biden? Remember how President Obama put Joe in charge of rooting out waste, fraud, and abuse in the Trillion-Dollar Stimulus bill passed in the early days of this administration? The President named his Number Two man because, "Nobody messes with Joe." Apparently, Solyndra didn't get the memo. This moss-covered Green Energy company went belly-up and took $535 million in taxpayer dollars with it. Solyndra is but one of the many failed or failing companies that messed with Joe.
The President promised to spend that huge amount on "shovel-ready" jobs. He even invented the term. Somewhat later, however, he had to admit "there really is no such thing as 'shovel-ready' jobs." For a lesser fraud, Ivan Boesky went to prison. But whenever there is a mess around, you can rely on Joe to be there; he's even shovel ready.
Then, of course, there was the famous scene in the White House's august East Room at the signing of the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act in 2010. Scene it was when the Vice President of the United States marked the occasion, forgetting he had been "mic-ed," to say: "This is a big F---ing deal." We had the Square Deal, the New Deal, the Fair Deal, so Joe Biden thought it was time for the big _______ Deal! Since that big, er, deal, we've learned that patients need protection from that act that is neither affordable nor escapable.
Joe's history is not one we should forget soon. He goes way back. Entering the U.S. Senate as a mere stripling at 30 in 1973, Joe Biden was soon jetting around the world, meeting every world leader. That fact alone should give us pause. When French President Valery Giscard D'Estaing first met our Commander-in-Chief, Gerald Ford, in the 1970s, he turned to one of his aides and said: "Je n'ai jamais rencontrez un tel imbécile." Which was diplomatically translated for us as: "I've never met such a well-informed American statesman." Giscard must never have met Joe Biden!
Well, the leaders of the Kremlin sure did. Joe Biden spent his midnights in Moscow in 1979. There, according to the City Journal's careful investigative reporter, Claire Berlinski, Biden let the KGB know that we didn't really care about human rights. What the U.S. most wanted from the Communists was arms control. (Take that and put it in your Russian "re-set" bonnet, Hillary!)
Of course, the Kremlin bosses took Joe's intelligence briefing at face value. They jailed hundreds of human rights activists and Jewish dissidents and then stonewalled our efforts at arms limitation for another decade.
Nor did Joe Biden slacken his efforts on the home front. He used to believe, he has said, that a Supreme Court nominee's judicial philosophy was not what we should consider when giving him or her a lifetime appointment on the High Court. So long as there was no moral turpitude -- Joe Biden tells us he used to think -- the President should be free to name those who shared his constitutional philosophy to the bench.
But, he soon became wiser, Joe Biden said. He soon learned that judicial philosophy is exactly what you should go after. So, as Chairman of the Senate Judiciary Committee, Joe helped Ted Kennedy invent "Borking." Chairman Biden stood by -- judiciously impartial -- as Judge Robert Bork was savaged by Ted Kennedy and his cohorts. Anti-Bork activists -- motivated by a zeal to defend our privacy -- ransacked Judge Bork's video rental records looking for smut. They found only Broadway musicals. Alabama's mountainous Howell Heflin asked Judge Bork -- who was under oath -- to describe his religious beliefs. Doesn't the U.S. Constitution say something about "no religious test shall ever be required" for federal office?
Joe Biden wasn't satisfied with Borking Judge Bork. He assured Judge Clarence Thomas of a fair hearing. Then, he summoned Anita Hill, a disgruntled former employee of Judge Thomas, to savage his reputation with the silliest of accusations ever to take up the time of the Senate Judiciary Committee. Miss Hill claimed she heard Clarence Thomas make some off-color remark in her presence and she charged that was sexual harassment. He never touched her or even talked about touching her. (Come to think of it, could all Americans who heard Joe Biden's obscene talk in the East Room in March, 2010 sue him for making America "a hostile work environment?")
Then, there was Joe Biden's big risk. He voted for that blank slate, David Souter, for U.S. Supreme Court. Joe accepted behind-his-hand assurances from fellow liberal Sen. Warren Rudman (R-N.H.) Rudman describes their joyful, tearful embrace on an Amtrak railroad platform after Souter began voting regularly with the pro-abortion bloc:
Joe had agonized over his vote for David, and I knew how thrilled he must be. We started running through the crowd toward each other, and when we met, we embraced, laughing and crying."
An ecstatic Biden wept tears of joy, telling Rudman over and over: "You were right about him [Souter]! ... You were right!"
The two men were so jubilant, so giddy -- practically dancing -- that Rudman said onlookers thought they were crazy: "[B]ut we just kept laughing and yelling and hugging each other because sometimes, there are happy endings."
The millions of unborn children whose lives have been taken as a result of Biden and Rudman's "tears of joy" were not permitted to share in that happy ending. We are indebted to Grove City College Prof. Paul Kengor for digging up that gem of history.
As Chairman of the Judiciary Committee, Biden learned that you had to look beyond moral turpitude to judicial philosophy. That was the starting gun for the bull- and bear-beating contests that Senate judicial confirmations have become. If you're disgusted by such ugly sessions, called "grilling" by the media, you can thank Joe Biden. No, we won't forget his unique contribution to trashing American public life.
Of course, Joe Biden himself has never been subjected to a grilling. When he ran for President the first time, in 1987, he was discovered in that pre-Google era to have plagiarized word-for-word the powerful stump speech of Britain's Labour Party leader, Neil Kinnock. No one who had done such a thing would ever get through the front door of the Judiciary Committee, so let's not forget about Joe Biden.
One other thing we should all remember. Joe Biden sat in the Senate from 1973 to 2009. In those thirty-six years, not one of his fellow Democrats ever suggested making him their Majority Leader. They didn't forget Joe Biden, either!