Monday, August 25, 2008

Biden, Loggorhea, and Abortion

It's hard to dislike Joe Biden. (I first became aware of him 20 years ago, when I heard him give a talk in Iowa when he was running for president for the first time.) It's also hard not to see the humor in some of his quirks.

Here's Alex Massie:
Despite all those years in Washington, there's an endearing child-like quality to Biden. Or, to put it another way, observing Biden in full flow is a glorious sight; it's like watching a labrador bound after a bouncing ball even though, being a puppy, it doesn't quite have the co-ordination to grab the ball cleanly. Instead there's a frenzy of yelping delight as the ball carroms around the yard, always tantalisingly just out of reach...
And here's Peggy Noonan, a few years ago:
The great thing about Joe Biden during the Alito hearings, the reason he is, to me, actually endearing, is that as he speaks, as he goes on and on and spins his long statements, hypotheticals, and free associations--as he demonstrates yet again, as he did in the Roberts hearings and even the Thomas hearings, that he is incapable of staying on the river of a thought, and is constantly lured down tributaries from which he can never quite work his way back--you can see him batting the little paddles of his mind against the weeds, trying desperately to return to the river but not remembering where it is, or where it was going. I love him. He's human, like a garrulous uncle after a drink.
I suspect most conservatives who want to see McCain win are delighted--as I am--in his pick to be Obama's VP candidate.

On a more sobering note, Ramesh Ponnuru writes:
For pro-lifers, there is one tiny hopeful sign in the Biden pick. For a long time now, the top ranks of the Democratic party have embraced an orthodoxy on abortion policy that includes support for taxpayer funding of it and for keeping partial-birth abortion legal. The Democratic platform supports taxpayer funding. The three top contenders in this year’s Democratic presidential primaries—Barack Obama, Hillary Clinton, and John Edwards—support both taxpayer funding and partial-birth abortion.

For the first time since partial-birth abortion became an issue, they [the Democrats] have a candidate [Biden] who opposes it, too. It is a less important development, I think, than the fact that their presidential nominee believes that some forms of infanticide should be legal. But it strikes me nonetheless as progress, however painfully limited.

And it means that if McCain picks Joe Lieberman as his running mate, the Republican vice-presidential nominee will be to the left of the Democratic one on abortion policy.

Ramesh's comments show (a) how extreme the Democrats have become on abortion, and (b) what a disaster it will be if McCain chooses his good friend--another pro-choice Joe.