Thursday, August 28, 2008

A Touch of Class

The Clintons are not lacking in political skills. Whether out of self interest or for “higher” motives, Hillary’s motion to nominate Barack Obama by acclamation, though announced beforehand, was dramatic and classy; and Bill’s speech was generous and unequivocal. Obama has exceptional political skills too, as evidenced by his very “cool” appearance on stage after Joe Biden’s acceptance speech. All in all, Day Three was not half bad. But, again, you’d hardly know it if you didn’t watch it uninterrupted by media clowns interviewing each other – the stock and trade of the cable networks, PBS, and, after 10:00 when they have only local news to preempt, the broadcast networks too.

Joe Biden’s speech had its moments as well; at times, in talking about “the middle class” – “working class” seldom crosses the lips of mainstream Democrats -- it rose to the level of a John Edwards stump speech. However, when he turned to his purported area of expertise, foreign policy, Biden revealed his true nature and, not incidentally, the shortcomings of Obama’s policies in relation to the former Soviet Union (Georgia, NATO expansion) and the former Yugoslavia. Fortunately, he spared us his views on Israel and Cuba. For Democrats now, being on the wrong side in parts of the world where influential lobbies are involved is so manifestly “obvious” that it doesn’t even bear mention.

Much was made of Biden’s authorship of the Violence Against Women Act. Was he doing penance for his treatment of Anita Hill during the Clarence Thomas confirmation hearings? Or did he do it just to get back his public relations credibility with women voters? The commentators commenting on whatever they could find to fill the time, couldn’t find time to ponder that. Nor could they find time to discuss Biden’s profoundly shameful support for legislation supporting the credit card industry in 2005 – legislation that makes it harder for the people he claims to advocate for to escape the scourge of the twenty-first century’s version of debt peonage.

There has been some speculation, in marginal media circles, that Biden shilled for MBNA (now part of Bank of America) and other credit card companies because his son Hunter was a lobbyist for the industry; that it was a “family values” thing. I wouldn’t know. Thanks to Delaware’s unusually corporate friendly laws, many of the worst perps, MBNA included, are his constituents. But I must say that the family values theme is getting a little over the top. Praise for Biden, the family man, is too. This isn’t a country where train travel is swift and easy. Having had some experience with AMTRAK, I’m skeptical that he really did commute between DC and Wilmington every day – not if he did a full day’s work at the Senate. In any case, it has been many years since he had children to tuck in each night. Why must the Democrats’ public relations apparatus still make such a big deal of it!

[Some twenty years ago, at the University of Pennsylvania, I taught one of Biden’s sons. I’m not sure which one, but I think it was Beau. [Needless to say, “Beau” isn’t how he was listed on the roster.] It was a large class and the only reason I’m aware he was in it is that the TA, half seriously thinking he might be a chip off the old block, made a big deal of watching him for plagiarism. I take no credit for the fact that Beau went on to become the Attorney General of Delaware; I suspect his last name had more to do with it. As everyone knows, he’s a member of a Delaware National Guard unit that is about to ship off to Iraq. Insofar as he chose to be in this position, he made a bad choice. No one should voluntarily fight for Cheney and Bush. But at least he is true to the Obamaite-Bidenite dedication to end the war “responsibly.” That’s a mistaken position, of course; the war should be ended immediately by defunding it. But it’s the position “anti-war” Democrats take – despite what the people who voted for them in 2006 with a view to ending the war, and who will do it again in 2008, want. Democrats are too wedded to the interests that sustain American imperialism to go further than that. Thus they remain lesser evils only, not vehicles for “change.” Could there be any clearer example of this: Biden’s Beau, having made something of his life (with a little help, not from his teachers, but from his father and his father’s friends) shipping out to Iraq, while those terminally silly Bush girls. following in their father’s footsteps, continue doing whatever it is they do.]

Finally, all the talk about what a “good man” John McCain is is getting to be too much. If I may be permitted to plagiarize Biden’s apt comment on Rudy G’s constant harping on 9/11, all that comes out of McCain’s mouth these days is a noun, a verb and his years as a POW. Would that our “national security” Democrats would talk about the “judgment” that got McCain into that situation. It’s not the judgment of a “good man.” McCain volunteered to bomb people fighting for national liberation and against imperialism, and to drop napalm on them. Even Bill Clinton had the good sense to “remain viable within the system” without doing that. McCain was not a good man then, and, as the torchbearer of the Cheney/Bush/Rumsfeld “vision,” he’s even less of a good man now. Even if the Democrats won’t do it, their constituents, the people the Democrats are geared up to betray, should not let McCain off scot free, any more than volunteers to the Waffen SS should get a free pass. McCain’s sorry ass got kicked once for being on the wrong side; we should do it to him again.

1 comment:

RS said...

Women Want Safety, not Biden's Abuse of Power

Senator Joe Biden proudly proclaims that he was regularly and severely beaten by his older sister as a child and as an adolescent. This is the same sister that raised his two sons after his wife and daughter were killed in an auto accident.

Biden has often claimed that the Violence against Women Act is the greatest achievement of his career. He also claims that a woman cannot be a perpetrator of domestic violence, despite the fact that hundreds of studies show that women commit acts of domestic violence as often as, or more often than men. Many studies also show that lesbian women physically attack their intimate partners at least as often as heterosexual men.

As a result of Biden's Violence against Women Act, the federal government pays states to create laws effectively requiring that men be removed from their homes and families without even an allegation of violence, with no legitimate standards of evidence, when a woman makes a claim that she is afraid.

Elaine Epstein, president of the Massachusetts Bar Association (1999), has said "the facts have become irrelevant... restraining orders are granted to virtually all who apply. Regarding divorce cases, she states "allegations of abuse are now used for tactical advantage". According to Epstein, who is also a former president of the Massachusetts Women’s Bar Association, restraining orders are doled out "like candy" and "in virtually all cases, no notice, meaningful hearing, or impartial weighing of evidence is to be had."

State restraining order laws are starting to fall because they're unconstitutional. The federal law behind them, written by Joe Biden, is likely to fall as well, not because it isn’t popular, but because it is clearly unconstitutional.

Supporting Documentation

Here are some of the facts regarding Biden's abuse at the hand of his sister. During senate hearings held on December 11, 1990, Biden testified to the abuse.

www.ifeminists.net

This recent CDC study indicates that women between the ages of 18 and 28 initiate reciprocal violence against their intimate partners about as often as men. It also indicates that women initiate non-reciprocal violence against their intimate partners more than twice as often as men.

pn.psychiatryonline.org


Here is a link to a bibliography of over 200 studies indicating that women are as violent as men in their intimate relationships:

www.csulb.edu

According to the US Department of Justice, women also abuse, neglect and kill their children at significantly higher rates than men. Here’s some of the data on child homicides.

www.acf.hhs.gov


Research clearly indicates that lesbian battery is at least as common as heterosexual battery.

www.musc.edu/vawprevention


lesbianlife.about.com


Cathy Young reports on the Elaine Epstein quote and the broader issue at Salon.com here:

www.salon.com


and provides in depth analysis here:

www.iwf.org