For those of you who take it as an article of faith that Dan Quayle was the dumbest, most out-of-touch vice president who ever served this nation, I’m afraid I have some bad news for you.
Yesterday, Independence Day, Vice President Joe Biden attended a naturalization ceremony at Camp Victory in Baghdad, Iraq. During the ceremony 237 U.S. servicemen from 59 countries, including Iraq, were sworn in as citizens of the United States of America. At the conclusion of this solemn, undoubtedly moving and inspirational occasion, and in the presence of his own son Beau (currently serving in the 261st Theater Tactical Signal Brigade, Delaware Army National Guard), this is what the Vice President of the United States had to say: “As corny as it sounds,” he told the troops, “Damn, I’m proud to be an American!”
Where to begin?
OK, if you were really proud to be an American, Mr. Vice President, you wouldn’t find it necessary to preface that declaration with the words, “as corny as it sounds”. If you were really proud to be an American those words wouldn’t sound corny to you. Then again, if you were really proud to be an American you wouldn’t be serving under a President who spent his last trip overseas apologizing to the world on behalf of America. You wouldn’t be serving under a President who either doesn’t recognize or simply doesn’t understand the concept of American exceptionalism. You wouldn’t, it could be reasonably argued, be a member of the current Democrat Party.
Joe Biden is known in Democratic circles as a “shoot-from-the-hip” type of guy, which means he’s known for shooting his mouth off on subjects he knows nothing about without the slightest regard for where he is or who he’s speaking to. You might say that’s his trademark, along with the serial plagiarism and the hair plugs. Well, yesterday’s outburst was vintage Biden. It simply never occurred to America’s Number Two (as he’s known around my house) that it might be sort of…oh, I don’t know, moronic?…to stand up in front of hundreds of U.S. soldiers in a combat theater and tell them you think it’s corny to feel proud of your country. Then again, Biden knows virtually nothing about the military despite his (much boasted-about) service on the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, as any English-speaking adult who’s analyzed Biden’s, uh, “thoughts” on Iraq could tell you. Like Vice President Dick Cheney (who I’m sure doesn’t think it’s corny to be proud to be an American), Vice President Biden sought and was granted five military deferments during the Vietnam War. So like Senator Barbara Boxer, who recently scolded a brigadier general for (correctly and properly, as it turns out) addressing her as “M’am”, Biden might be forgiven for the stupidity of today’s remarks on the grounds that’s he’s simply ignorant of military culture. Which I guess would be something else for him not to be proud of. Then again, it could be worse. Michelle Obama only started being proud of her country about a year and a half ago, and she’s the First Lady!
But let’s say a reasonable person might, under certain circumstances, be feeling somewhat reticent, somewhat bashful about a full-throated declaration of pride in being an American. Like, say, after visiting the Bill Clinton Presidential Library or attending a deceased senator’s memorial service with Al Franken or something like that. OK, fair enough. Personally I don’t get it, but I suppose that, in some hypothetical situation, the words, “I’m proud to be an American” might strike some hypothetical person as being somewhat corny. But if there’s one person, in one scenario, who should never, ever feel that it’s corny to be proud to be an American, it would be:
- The Vice President of the United States.
- Surrounded by hundreds of U.S. servicemen and women.
- Who have just become U.S. citizens.
- In a war zone.
- On Independence Day.
- You stupid moron, you.
So on this July the Fourth weekend, please take a moment to contemplate the implications of Joe Biden’s casual, unscripted (thus, highly revealing) thoughts on what it means to him to be an American. And after careful consideration if you still think an arrogant, grinning, eye-blinking, speech-stealing simpleton like Joe Biden is qualified to be Vice President of the United States– and Sarah Palin is not!– I’d love to hear from you in care of this website.
As for the rest of you: at the risk of sounding too corny, happy Independence Day to you all, and may God continue to bless the United States of America.