Vice President Walter Mitty

The population of the United States is well over 306 million people.  In a normal year, our country sees literally millions of flu cases, with thousands of fatalities. To date this year, there have been about 100 cases of Swine Flu confirmed.    The percentage of the population thus infected with this latest flu strain is far too small to bother calculating.  Yet, the limited appearance of the disease has brought this greatest nation on the face of the earth virtually to its knees. “Pandemic” and even the dread “E word” — “epidemic” — are being thrown about with abandon by the media and by public officials from small-town mayors to national politicians.  Congressmen and senators are scrambling to update their webpages and issue news releases exhibiting their concern.  Billions more taxpayer dollars are being rushed to the pockets of bureaucrats to defend the nation against the Swine Flu onslaught.  And now, no less a leadership figure than the vice president of the United States has weighed in.  And, oh, how telling are his comments.

Vice President Joseph Biden – occupying the office formerly held by such towering figures as Thomas Jefferson, John Adams and Theodore Roosevelt (each of who later became president) — has shown himself more on the level of Walter Mitty than Teddy Roosevelt.  In an interview Thursday, April 30th on NBC’s “Today” show, Biden showed his true colors in declaring he is so afraid of the flu that he “wouldn’t go anywhere in confined places now.”  The comments themselves are nonsensical — how did he get to the studio but in the “confined space” of his official, bullet-proof limousine; and what is his alternative, to walk everywhere?  But it truly is embarassing to have a vice president show himself to be such a scaredy cat that he states publicly he is afraid to go out and about.  Not only that, but when the stuff starting hitting the fan in the aftermath of his remarks, the veep didn’t even have the backbone to defend what he said (and what he said was very clear and unambiguous); he made a weak effort to “explain” that what he “really meant” was something very different from what he actually said.

The signal sent to our school children and their parents by the vice president’s comments, which included warnings against going to schools and even shopping malls, smacks also of Chicken Little: better to cower at home than go to school; don’t go to the mall because someone might sneeze; and heaven forbid you should get on a commerical plane where the risk of breathing someone else’s germs skyrockets.

And what are our adversaries on the world stage to make of this latest revelation of U.S. resolve?  All I can say is, another crisis better not suddenly pop up somewhere around the globe, because our vice president is afraid to leave home.

The vice president’s comments clearly do signal the “Change” Barack Obama promised he would bring to Washington — it reflects perhaps the final morphing of America from a nation of tough individualists to one led by timid  bureaucrats.

49 comments Add your comment

Jimbo

May 1st, 2009
9:39 am

The chief issue with people these days is that they don’t have a good grasp of risk management. They’re afraid of the most unlikely things because they.. I don’t know.. believe they’re that special. The things that will actually kill them are familiar and therefore harmless. The flu is normal, but it kills 30+ thousand people a year. Cars are in use every day, but they’re responsible for tens of thousands of deaths and hundreds of thousands, if not millions, of injuries. Will you die of the swine flu? Maybe, but you’re a lot more likely to die of the flu flu and you’re even more likely to die in your car this afternoon commuting home (though that’s still pretty unlikely). Will you be murdered horribly one day? Possibly, but it’s twice as likely you’ll kill yourself (though it’s still more likely you’ll die behind the wheel of a car and orders of magnitude more likely that heart disease or cancer will get you).

As for Biden, I never got why people thought he was smarter than Palin. I’m not saying Palin is a genius, I’m saying Biden is an idiot. This isn’t the first stupid thing to come out of his mouth and it won’t be the last.

Chris Broe

May 1st, 2009
9:40 am

Teddy Roosevelt? Is my right honorable friend suggesting all vice presidents should, “Walk softly, and carry a big prick(ing) against the San Juan flu”?

Enough about the swine flu. Go ‘head, waste another piece on it. Make my pay.

Chris Broe

May 1st, 2009
9:45 am

Oh, BTW, Jimbo, you’ve got a grasp, alright. (great stuff, ei: You’re more likely to get run over by a truck while you lay in your bathtub than death by chocolate, which is as likely as “I am become Death, the destroyer of der verlde!” (Hitler’s author’s note to Mein Pet Kampf, which Bush was reading on 911).

Great stuff! I liked it.

Trudy

May 1st, 2009
10:14 am

Biden often makes gaffs, but he isn’t a criminal like Cheney. Nothing Biden can do could ever compare the the horrors committed by the Bush administration.

SaveOurRepublic

May 1st, 2009
10:23 am

Biden is a Globalist pawn (as is “Bacrock” & his predecessor “Jorge Boosh”). This “swine flu” is largely a fallacy drummed up to bolster police-state tactics/empowerment & push vaccinations. Do some basic research, & you’ll find this is primarily baseless propaganda!

http://www.brasschecktv.com/page/610.html

http://www.infowars.com

Davo

May 1st, 2009
10:41 am

Biden just likes to listen to himself talk. There is no real story here.

Jimbo

May 1st, 2009
11:16 am

Trudy, did I say anything about Cheney? That’s almost like saying, “Ted Bundy was a bad guy, but he’s no Joe Stalin.”

The REAL GodHatesTrash, Superstar

May 1st, 2009
11:19 am

Barr pines for the good ol’ days when the Chickenhawk Chickenlittles of the Bush administration were in charge, I guess.

Let’s face it – there’s Biden’s little gaffe, and the eight-year gaffe from January 20, 2001 until noon January 20, 2009 called the Republican administration of the simpleton George Walker Bush.

Drew

May 1st, 2009
11:28 am

Too right Bob.

Jimbo

May 1st, 2009
11:39 am

Oh TRGHTSS, I’ve personally heard Bob Barr express his disgust with the Bush administration, the DoJ, the NSA, and a number of other agencies in a room full of people from those very organizations..

As for “Biden’s little gaffe”.. he was selected because of his “foreign policy experience” and his status as a “senior statesman” but in the VP debates he talked about when “we” drove Hamas out of Lebanon. When did we drive Hamas out of Lebanon TRGHTSS? For that matter, when has Hamas EVER been driven out of Lebanon?

McCain and Obama both sort of lost me with their VP choices.. oh and when I reviewed their voting records and realized they were virtually identical in any way that mattered.

It amazes me how different the “party line” crowd, or the “us and them” crowd tries to say they are, but both point fingers while simultaneously forgiving the faults in their own people. It seems to me that if my guy did something stupid I’d want to rub his nose in it to make sure he never did it again.. Also, trying to paint me as a fan of the Bush administration is just plain stupid. You won’t find a bigger critic than me, because I don’t value a man by the party he claims. By his actions and by that measure Obama is probably the lesser of two evils.. but only just. When Obama moves to repeal USA-PATRIOT, when his lawyers stop trying to block investigations into warrantless wire tapping and illegal surveillance by the federal government, when he isn’t playing on the petty whims of our spoiled ignorant citizens with his bread and circuses routine, we’ll talk about how different he is from Bush. Remember, by this time in 2001, Bush hadn’t done anything absolutely terrible either.

By the way..Bob, you lost me when you started the synopsis and explanation of The Fountainhead in a speech.. that was way too much.

SaveOurRepublic

May 1st, 2009
12:01 pm

Jimbo @ 11:39 – Speaking of legislation to repeal…we should also add the Military Commissions & John Warner Defense Authorization Acts to that list, as they shred Constitutional rights via the “enemy combatant” label. In the arena of abolition…the private Fed, their fiat currency & (un-Constitutional) Fed income tax should be first in line! As I’ve said many times…the GOP & DNC “leadership” are 2 sides of the same (Globalist Elite controlled) coin!

http://www.infowars.com

Jeff

May 1st, 2009
12:27 pm

Excuse me, but we’re all a little apprehensive about the “H1N1 influenza virus” as it’s now called. It may not be the so-called “black plague” or typhoid or dysentery, but it seems to be inherently dangerous. I echo Mr. Biden’s feelings about traveling long distances or in enclosed conveyances with which we might not be familiar. With Mexico being dubbed “country zero” for being the apparent epicenter of the disease and people coming(back)from there possibly being at fault for spreading the disease, I’d be wary, too. (A White House staffer apparently has come down with the N1H1 virus, too, so it’s not isolated from anyone…even residents and employees at 1600 Penn. Ave.)

David A. Staples

May 1st, 2009
1:04 pm

The lack of comment from Barr about Cheney or Bush in this particular article by no means is an endorsement of either of them. To be critical of one person doesn’t mean you’re a fan of another. Anyone who halfway paid attention to the political version of american idol.. errm, the 2008 presidential election, would know that Barr called it the Bush Obama McCain Bailout… B.O.M.B.

Both major parties have become large government, which is why Bob, Eric Von Haessler, myself and many others have been leaving the other two parties for the Libertarian Party. When the GOP no longer supports capitalism, where else does a capitalist turn? At least now I don’t have to hear the theocracy arguments from within the party I support.

Trudy

May 1st, 2009
1:18 pm

Jimbo: I wasn’t talking to you or referring to anything you said. Bush and Cheney are murderers. Biden is not.

Kent Woodward

May 1st, 2009
1:24 pm

Joe Biden is Dan Quayle to the fifth power. Not one accomplishment to his name, now he wears the banner of VP as if he too were crowned. The Dems, ever fearful that Joe will say anything, cannot muzzle this twit forever, and yesterday he earned his pay. Again.

Chris Broe

May 1st, 2009
1:28 pm

The Swine Flu, or H1N1 is being called the Heiney flu by disrespectful observers. The German strain is being called the Heimey flu by even more disrespectful members of the now kaput vermacht.

A summary of the last 100 days: The Octomom gave birth to a set of pirates who all contracted the swine flu.

There. That’s how simple the right is. Fact.

Know it. Believe it. Live it.

BTW: The most chutzpah displayed by any of our past presidents? When Bush stood on the rubble of 911 with that bullhorn and declared, “We’ll call this a draw”.

….then he proceeded to make plans to destroy Al Queda which would have won the war on terror if Cheney hadn’t stopped him.

But that’s the rest of the story which we don’t have room to print here.

Jklol

Kent Woodward

May 1st, 2009
1:37 pm

Hey, Trudy. You sound just like Cindy Sheehan. Did you abandon your son to a divorce hearing years ago, too? Your parents must be so proud. Who did Bush & Cheney murder?

Mrs. Snape

May 1st, 2009
1:54 pm

You may have a point Bob but I do wish people would stop insulting Joe Biden. He has lovely Irish eyes. “When Irish eyes are smiling…..”
And who the devil is Walter Mitty?

P.S. I think puns are lame.

getalife

May 1st, 2009
1:58 pm

Poll: One-Third Of Georgia Republicans Approve Of Secession

http://tpmdc.talkingpointsmemo.com/2009/05/poll-one-third-of-georgia-republicans-approve-of-secession.php?ref=fp5

Feel free to leave this country cons.

Get out.

Jimbo

May 1st, 2009
2:07 pm

That’s an interesting theory Trudy, please prove it.

According to his voting record Biden is pro death penalty.. and even voted against a bill prohibiting the death penalty for minors.

But I assume you’re talking about Iraq, in that case, he voted for the use of military force against Iraq, against a prohibition on funding cluster munitions.. he voted against the surge (which worked by the way.. in combination with a bunch of other stuff Patraeus and Gates did..which probably ended up saving numerous American and Iraqi lives)

It looks like he was pretty complicit through much of the terrorism-Afghanistan-Iraq party.. only becoming even slightly anti-war when things got rough and popularity for the war dropped.. then not even managing to be anti-war after the surge started to succeed and instead defaulting to convenient NVs.. So, I’m not sure what you’re talking about.

See, this is what I’m talking about.. people say things like “WELL CHENEY AND BUSH ARE MURDERERS” without reviewing the part where the politician they’re schilling was usually complicit in most, if not all, of the things they’re talking about. In his defense, he was against telecom immunity and not even his boss can say that.

Jimbo

May 1st, 2009
2:08 pm

@getalife..

Protecting civil liberties is a conservative issue now? I haven’t seen much proof of it considering the previous administration. Of course, they’re just mirror images of the current administration..

Mac

May 1st, 2009
2:15 pm

Obama needs a do-over on his Veep choice.

The REAL GodHatesTrash, Superstar

May 1st, 2009
2:20 pm

Jimbo, true, Biden is a lightweight, but he’s a moral and intellectual giant compared to ANY GOPer in Washington.

And Trudy reminds us that the last VP was/is a criminal, so Biden is a vast improvement.

The REAL GodHatesTrash, Superstar

May 1st, 2009
2:25 pm

And Jimbo, Biden may have been a mediocre choice, but Palin was a pathetic choice, a sick, angry and stupid woman, reminding us of the basic criminal negligence that the GOP exhibits towards the United States of America and the constitution.

Jimbo

May 1st, 2009
2:30 pm

Sure TRGHTSS Biden is everything we should have our politicians aspire to be. I agree that “Hey, he was better than the last guy” should be the model for judging our politicians. Hey, Khrushchev was better than Stalin, thank god for that guy. Karl Donitz, whew, I love him way more than Hitler.

Actually TRGHTSS, Biden voted against prohibitions on cluster munitions.. in many circles that makes him a war criminal or at best, complicit in war crimes…

Jimbo

May 1st, 2009
2:31 pm

I agree with you on Palin, but she wasn’t intellectually inferior to Biden, she just hadn’t had decades in DC to teach to keep her mouth shut at least part of the time.

Sharecropper

May 1st, 2009
2:39 pm

Shoot. When Mr. Barr sticks to serious subjects he is readable, though not believable. So Biden ran his mouth. What’s new? Barr himself is guilty of some memorable gaffes, as when he confuses conservatism with loonyism. In this instance, Barr is is attempting to gloss over, fuzzy up and ignore the Republican removal of swing flu money from the stimulus package. Next, volcano monitoring and after that, obviously, hurricane monitoring. You guys lost the election. Big time. You will lose the next election. Big time. and the one after that. Get it through your head: Americans are sick of the Republican Party. I mean on our knees, commode-hugging sick.
\

Sharecropper

May 1st, 2009
2:40 pm

p.s. Palin is intellectually inferior to everybody, including your household cat.

GeorgiaDuck

May 1st, 2009
2:44 pm

Who did Bush & Cheney murder?

GeorgiaDuck

May 1st, 2009
2:50 pm

Biden a moral & intellectual giant? A guy who blatantly plagiarized Tony Blair during the 1988 presidential race.

John J

May 1st, 2009
3:06 pm

The Republicans did block the Health care funds from the stimulus bill because they did not believe health care should be part of this bill. The dems took it out of the last two budgets prior to the stimulus, and they had the votes to keep it. Both are guilty.

JimBeam

May 1st, 2009
3:34 pm

Unlike Palin, Biden could name a Supreme Court case other than Roe. Of course, he is a lawyer. Which makes it ever worse that he started talking about how the “trimester” scheme from Roe made since because that part of Roe no longer good law, having been done away with in Planned Parenthood v. Casey.

Stan

May 1st, 2009
3:43 pm

I’ve got a cure for the swine flu….Oinkment.

Jimbo

May 1st, 2009
4:07 pm

Unlike Biden, Palin can skin a moose.

DO YOU KNOW HOW HARD IT IS TO SKIN A MOOSE?

Unlike both of them I can grill the perfect burger..

That probably makes me better than both of them combined.

(I can also name more than one supreme court case and skin a moose AND I know about the risk of catching swine flu so I really am better than both of them)

ncgreybr

May 1st, 2009
4:44 pm

Are we allowed to agree with Biden? Hell, I wouldn’t go near a plane right now! Or any other kind of public transportation! I keep handi-wipes and hand sanatizer witin arms reach at all times.

Biden only said what most of us are thinking. The difference is…he had the gonads to say it!

Kent Woodward

May 1st, 2009
4:50 pm

Palin is inferior to a cat?

What state are you Govenor of?

SaveOurRepublic

May 1st, 2009
4:51 pm

Folks, there’s not a dime’s worth of REAL difference between “Jorge Boosh”/Cheney, “ClinTAX”/”Algore”, “Juan McAmnasty”/Palin & “Bacrock Obuma”/”Bite’n”….they’re ALL beholden to the Globalist agenda. From foreign entanglements, amnesty, NAU/SPP, “free” trade agreements to empowerment of the (private) Fed…they’re all servants of the same Ma$ters. Instead of uncompromising Constitutional adherence, all the above bow to the directive of the Globalist Elite!

http://www.infowars.com

Jimbo

May 1st, 2009
5:00 pm

ncgreybr:

Fear, ignorance, and cajones don’t really go together.

You especially have nothing to worry about because you’ve probably hand sanitized and handi-wiped your immune system away so that the Cytokine Storm won’t kill you.

My point is that your risk of catching a lethal disease probably isn’t significantly more than normal. The only real difference is that this is a new strain without a vaccine and the government and media have told you to be afraid.. even after only one person has died from it and less than 1% of 1% in the nation have it. If you’re going to get worked up about this flu you might as well get worked up about the more common strains, they’re more likely to kill you at this point. Call me when 10,000 people have this.. or 40,000.. call me when it kills its first 100 people. Then it might be close to outstripping rush hour for daily fatalities.

Leigh

May 1st, 2009
5:57 pm

Jimbo, to answer your question, people think Biden is smarter than Palin, because Biden knows world affairs, Palin does not. When he talks about world affairs its obvious he speaks from experience and when Palin does she just sounds like the complete and total moron that she is. Biden says stupid things sometimes, but its never made me question his ability to do his job. Palin on the other hand, just sounds and comes across so incompetent when she talks that all I do is question her ability to her job (or any other one).

Leigh

May 1st, 2009
5:59 pm

“Unlike Biden, Palin can skin a moose.”

Yep … that’s what I look for in a V.P. candidate. *Rolls eyes*

Jimbo

May 1st, 2009
7:57 pm

Yeah Leigh, Biden knows that we drove Hamas out of Lebanon.. oh.. wait..what? Perhaps he knows more than you, but uh..

Jimbo

May 1st, 2009
7:59 pm

Oh and Leigh, grow a sense of humor..

Leigh

May 1st, 2009
10:03 pm

Oh and Leigh, grow a sense of humor..

First of all, I have no idea why you said this. It was really kind of stupid remark. But anyways, what do you think my last remark was?? It was my sense of humor. :) haha!

And yes, Joe Biden knows more than I (and Sarah Palin does) do … that’s why he’s Vice President and we’re not (not that you could pay me a million dollars to take the job).

Leigh

May 1st, 2009
10:05 pm

BTW, Jimbo, you tell me to grow a sense of humor. You should do the same and get a life while you’re at it. You take things far too seriously.

Leigh

May 1st, 2009
10:06 pm

Oh … and bye … nice chatting with you. :)

Brad Steel

May 2nd, 2009
7:05 am

Great column on a very extremely significant policy issue of high, high importance!!! And equally interesting!!!!

bob

May 2nd, 2009
8:02 am

Sharecropper, Palin could drop dead right now and will have accomplished more than you and your trailer park combined.

tom

May 2nd, 2009
8:39 am

I am a dyed in the wool, lifelong loyal Democrate, but Joe Biden is an eccentric, loose cannon and an embarrasment to the Obama administration. When will our president finally get enough of his crazy remarks?

Salvatore Guiseppe

May 3rd, 2009
1:12 pm

Sharecropper,
Your post would make a lot more sense had Bob Barr not left the Republican Party long ago. He is a Libertarian, ran for president in ‘08 as the Libertarian Candidate. Whether or not the Republicans are doing terrible(they are, and I am registered as one), has no bearing on Bob Barr. If anything, it is good for him, as many previous GOP supporters are coming to embrace true small-government, free market, libertarian politics