Senator Joseph Biden is the Mouse That Roared

Joe Biden, a long term Senator from Delaware cum Vice Presidential candidate, has taken upon himself the mantle of the attack dog for his running mate, Barack Obama. But is it working, or is Biden finding himself trying too hard to make himself heard?
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In Leonard Wibberley’s novel and the subsequent Peter Sellers movie of the same name released in 1959 The Mouse that Roared, a small and insignificant country does the unthinkable, with hilarious results; they attack the United States. While the truth is indeed often stranger than fiction, in the novel, and the movie, the theme works, and the upstart little nation wins, by losing.

Joseph Biden, while not necessarily an insignificant political candidate, has, however, taken on a task that it could be argued that he isn’t up for. Biden has undertaken to attack Republican Presidential candidate Senator John McCain over issues of foreign policy. Biden, of course, as chair of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, seems to think he has the upper hand on understanding how to handle foreign relations over John McCain, and possibly, in his own way of thinking, he does, as he in a recent speech criticized McCain over several points, including McCain’s attitude toward Russia:

John McCain has gotten it wrong on so many fundamental issues. Imagine; imagine if we had listened to John McCain when he tried to remove Russia from the G8. That’s the industrial nations, last year. Such a move would not have done anything to stop Russia from the inextricable and unfair and overwhelming invasion of an independent country of Georgia. But I tell you what it would have done: it would have triggered a crisis in our alliance since no one else in Europe thought that action should be taken. An alliance we now need, we now need to help us in dealing with Russian aggression.”

Is Biden saying here that Russia was stopped from invading Georgia? I don’t know what news outlet he was watching or where he was getting his information, but Georgia was in fact invaded by the Russians this summer and there are still, today, Russian troops occupying territory inside what is sovereign Georgian territory. Of course, Senator Biden has a record of changing things a bit to suit his own purposes, himself, having supported, initially, the war in Iraq and then changing his position on that, as well as supporting military action in Bosnia.

Perhaps there is another issue that needs to be addressed in the case of Senator Biden in examining his attacks on John McCain over issues of foreign relations. Biden, who has been a lawyer and a politician for his entire working life (Biden is one of the six longest term senators to hold office in the nation), Biden doesn’t have the up close and personal experience in dealing with representatives of foreign nations in the worst of times that McCain has:

John McCain’s capture and subsequent imprisonment began on October 26, 1967. He was flying his 23rd bombing mission over North Vietnam, when his A-4E Skyhawk was shot down by a missile over Hanoi.[30][31] McCain fractured both arms and a leg, and then nearly drowned, when he parachuted into Truc Bach Lake in Hanoi.[30] After he regained consciousness, some North Vietnamese pulled him ashore, then others crushed his shoulder with a rifle butt and bayoneted him.[30] McCain was then transported to Hanoi’s main Hoa Lo Prison, nicknamed the “Hanoi Hilton”.[31]

Although McCain was badly wounded, his captors refused to treat his injuries, instead beating and interrogating him to get information, and he was given medical care only when the North Vietnamese discovered that his father was a top admiral.[33] His status as a prisoner of war (POW) made the front pages of major newspapers.[34][35]

McCain spent six weeks in the hospital while receiving marginal care.[30] Now having lost 50 pounds (23 kg), in a chest cast, and with his hair turned white,[30] McCain was sent to a different camp on the outskirts of Hanoi[36] in December 1967, into a cell with two other Americans who did not expect him to live a week.[37] In March 1968, McCain was put into solitary confinement, where he would remain for two years.[38]

A far cry, it would seem, from state dinners and conferences. McCain is often criticized by opponents and naysayers about having no experience outside of politics and military service. That same scrutiny can be applied to Senator Biden, who is one of the six longest term senators to serve in Washington, and to Barack Obama, as well, whose work as a “community organizer” is a dressed up name for “lobbyist.” Adding to that Biden’s failure twice to win in a bid of his own for his party’s nomination for party candidate for the Presidency, Biden, in what could be considered a conciliatory position as Vice Presidential candidate, could be, himself, that roaring mouse trying to make a bluster and noise bigger than he is capable of achieving.

Once and Always, an American Fighting Man

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