One of the more underreported ridiculous aspects of Joe Biden's performance last night was his frequent refrain that he was there. He was there, apparently, when he did not, contrary to contemporary records, vote for war resolutions regarding Iraq and Afghanistan, because he felt they were too expensive. He was there when Ronald Reagan hammered out his budgets. He was there when Obama decisively and personally eliminated bin Laden, of course. And because Paul Ryan noted that Jack Kennedy had lowered tax rates and thereby increased revenues, Biden ridiculed Ryan for claiming that he was Jack Kennedy . . . which Ryan had not done.
In fact, it was Biden himself who broke into the Kennedy wardrobe to try on some of Bobby Kennedy's lines in his infamous 1988 Democratic primary debate plagiarism incident, and Biden's problems with plagiarism didn't end there. Nor did Biden's problems with plagiarism begin there.
Certainly, Biden hoped that four years of service to the Obama administration had made those memories go away, but last night's bizarre debate performance opened them up again, just as his claim that the administration's continually revised stories about Benghazi were the result of bad information handed to them by the intelligence services, and his strange claim that the administration was unaware that people at and involved with the Benghazi embassy had requested more security before they began yammering about the Innocence of Muslims YouTube trailer. The State Department is a portion of the Executive Branch. It's unlikely the President or Vice-President knew anything about the requests for more security at the time of the attack, especially given the President's habit of blowing off security briefings, but they certainly should have known about those requests and the repeated threats by the time they started blaming matters on the video.
Yesterday, Stephanie Cutter brought down a firestorm of criticism for saying that nobody would be so focused on the Benghazi matter if Romney and Ryan weren't working it over on the campaign trail, when in fact Romney and Ryan hadn't really pounded that drum as much of their supporters wished they had. The decisions that led to the disaster were by and large political decisions, and certainly the White House's and State Department's prevarications as to what sparked the attacks and what transpired to result in the deaths of four Americans were politically motivated. For Cutter to claim that Romney and Ryan were guilty of 'politicizing' the matter was absurd. It was always already politicized. It certainly became far more politicized when the administration tried to instrumentalize the craptasm their misassessments of threat and general incompetent disinterest had helped create in order to push for Muslim-friendly limitations on free speech, under the guise of protecting against insults directed at any religion.
Joe Biden knows malarkey. Well, he should. He was often there when it was committed.
Given his history, though, his infomercial moments of talking beyond the moderator to the audience, telling them that they should trust him and not that snake-oil selling Ryan, because he is made of truth, strained credulity far beyond the breaking point.