September 20, 2008

Biden "has been absolutely butchering Senator John McCain across the Rust Belt this week."

According to Mark Leibovich in the NYT. The evidence? You got me. I read the whole article. Didn't notice any butchering.
Yet Joltin’ Joe has also become a fascinating Off Broadway spectacle in his own right. He is a distinctive blend of pit bull and odd duck whose weak filters make him capable of blurting out pretty much anything — “gaffes,” out-of-nowhere comments (pivoting midspeech to say “Excuse my back!” to people seated behind him), goofy asides (tapping a reporter’s chest and telling him, “You need to work on your pecs.”)

Mr. Biden’s role is red-meat serious: to pulverize Mr. McCain, lend foreign policy heft to Senator Barack Obama and be his campaign’s main ambassador to two at-risk constituencies: former supporters of Senator Hillary Rodham Clinton and blue-collar Democrats. He speaks to working-class voters in the harsh language of their economic trials, and summons easy rage at ear-splitting volumes.
Huh? So he's supposed to "pulverize" McCain. That's his role. But what did he do? What is the this "harsh language of their economic trials"? He recounts the story of growing up poor? How does that become "harsh language"? He "summons easy rage at ear-splitting volumes." What is "easy rage"? Completely relaxed, yet mad as hell?

Leibovich is stretching for vividness, and a lot of it just doesn't make sense. Is Biden effective? I feel like he's not but Leibovich wants to say he is.

Anyway, Drudge linked for the "You need to work on your pecs" thing. That was funny.

By the way, Biden makes Rush Limbaugh positively giddy and giggly. Example here. Oh, that link fortuitously has something I wanted to quote:
...I should have pointed this out to you last night on the plane, Snerdley, but Karl Rove literally skinned Alan Colmes alive.
Literally. Yikes! At least Leibovich didn't have Biden literally butchering McCain. Politics is quite the blood sport these days.

MORE: Here.

36 comments:

Fred4Pres said...

Biden is just flat wrong on taxes and does not get it at all:

Whatever your opinion of the Bush tax cuts, it is indisputable that they made our tax base more progressive: the rich and very rich now pay a higher percentage of the total tax take than they did before Bush took office. That has dire implications for the budget for the next few years.

Especially in recent years, the income of the wealthy has become more volatile than the income of the middle class and below. In good years, their earnings soar, and Uncle Sam reaps more revenue than expected. In bad years–particularly bad years on Wall Street, since most of that money comes in the form of some sort of security, rather than cash–tax revenues nosedive. Incidentally, the more we focus on taxing the rich, the worse this problem will get.

http://meganmcardle.theatlantic.com/archives/2008/09/watch_the_budget.php

Fred4Pres said...

Excuse me, here is the McArdle link: http://meganmcardle.theatlantic.com/archives/2008/09/watch_the_budget.php

Also here is the Jews getting an offer they could not refuse (thanks Dems for being so Un-democratic). I am sure Joe Biden would approve:

The Democratic Party threatens Jewish Groups regarding Gov. Palin:

The thing that I hate the most about this? It won’t stop my liberal Jewish friends from voting Democrat in any way. It won’t even make them think twice about the tactics used by the Democrats. And it’s far, far worse than Soccer Dad wrote about the other day. CBS didn’t have the story about Jewish organizations having their tax-exempt status revoked for having Palin speak at the rally.

That’s not a political party pressuring groups to do something. That’s outright break-your-kneecap, Mafia-style blackmail threats.

In fact, those are precisely the kinds of tactics that the Jewish groups will be protesting on Monday. We just never expected them from the Democrats.

http://www.yourish.com/2008/09/20/5358
http://www.pajamasmedia.com/instapundit/archives2/024631.php

rhhardin said...

Literally.

Literally, even though it means literally, can be used figuratively

The aspect of literally that it uses figuratively is that something actually applies.

This situation is so much like X that it's as if X really applied.

It's not an error or a slip but ordinary figurative use of a word.

It's also a cliche, which is why it turns up literally everywhere.

reader_iam said...

fascinating Off Broadway spectacle in his own right. He is a distinctive blend of pit bull and odd duck whose weak filters

OH THE VISUALS, OH THE VISUALS!
OH MY [MIND'S] EYES!
OH MY [MIND'S] EYES!

What an onslaught of imagery! An assault, really.

Officer, arrest that writer!

; )

Freeman Hunt said...

OH THE VISUALS, OH THE VISUALS!

You mean the duck with the pit bull head dancing on a vaudeville stage with some kind of engine that requires filters coming out of its back and puffing smoke?

Ron said...

Biden? I'm used to ducking that bull from that bull/duck crossbreed!

Bissage said...

Mr. Leibovich’s writing is that bloody gob of creamy pus on the bathroom mirror that you popped out of that zit on the side of your nose.

Ann Althouse said...

rh, you are giving me flashbacks to arguments I had decades ago when I was married. I took the side you're taking, by the way.

reader_iam said...

YES! (WITH BIDEN'S HAIR-DO AND GRIN!)

AAAAARRRRGH!!!!

Bob said...

That's what happens on live radio, you occasionally mess up. You don't have a TelePrompTer to save your ass.

The Drill SGT said...

his campaign’s main ambassador to two at-risk constituencies: former supporters of Senator Hillary Rodham Clinton and blue-collar Democrats.

I predict that won't work well :)

Obama avoids those groups and sends Obama to work loyalists while Palin and McCain wde into crowds of both groups?

who is going to draw bigger crowds?
who is going to get press on same?

Windbag said...

I'm waiting for Biden to have his Howard Dean "YEAARRRRGGGHHH" moment. These condescending Dems, faking the tough guy motif, are comical. We have real, tough guy Dems in the mountains. They don't discuss the price of aragula. They argue about recipes for deer jerky.

This tough guy crap is a nod toward the KOS psychos and Code Pink wackos. It'll backfire, because Obama-Biden can't get radical enough to suit them, and normal Dems will be embarrassed or repulsed by this piffle.

Paul Zrimsek said...

This is kissing cousin to those recurring "Labor Unions Resurgent!" pieces-- the writer being so caught up in the feeling, "if I were an uneducated wage-slave trapped in the provinces, I'd go for this", that he can't spare any attention for the question of whether anyone actually is going for it.

Peter V. Bella said...

His skin is perma-tanned, and his smile is shiny white. He has his own big entourage now — own bus, own plane. He conveys the giddy sense of a man who has won a political lottery, or been plucked from an elite purgatory.

He is a senior citizen celebrity rock star? Does he trash hotel rooms and have groupies too? The only guy who really looks worse than Biden is Keith Richards.

Peter V. Bella said...

flailing his arms and telling a (supportive) member of the audience to “Shush up, will you?” (“I’m kidding,” he added, but did not sound it.)

Someone should tell him that arm flailing is either a sign of desperation or lunacy.

It would really be cool if someone angered him so much at an event that his hair plugs popped out. That would be a sight to see.

Stinger Assassin said...

This race is about masculinity and our country's definition of it.

By pre-1960s standards, McCain is clearly the most masculine: A carrier-based fighter pilot from a military family. Without question, a man who would give his life to defend his country, beliefs, and family.

Second place goes to Palin, a pioneer-type who hunts and field dresses her kill.

I give third place to Biden because he commutes, and does long commutes. And he's put in a lot of years.

There is little that is conventionally masculine about Sen. Obama. His wife seems to wear the pants.

New book on the subject of American masculinity 'Men to Boys' by a Penn State historian

"Fathers were often distant figures, organization men who marched off to work each day in their fedoras and suits. But the uniform had its purpose; it announced men's mature status and symbolized their resistance to the frivolities of fashion and consumerism. [the author] also finds something to admire in the TV "adult westerns" of the period. "Gunsmoke" and "Wagon Train" go well beyond simple morality tales, he finds on re-viewing them, dramatizing the experienced dilemmas of male responsibility."

Now we're supposed to be sensitive diaper changers. I'd rather be a fighter pilot than a short-pants wearing body surfer.

Chip Ahoy said...

The biography I watched on Biden was most compelling. It caused insights that led me to become more sympathetic toward the man. But frankly, those new insights simply don't track with the person I see before us now. In ernest interview, when he leans forward and flashes his trademark smile, that substitute for verbal hesitation, he appears disingenuous, even sinister. I wish he'd stop doing that, but he won't.

Chip Ahoy said...

The butchers I've spoken to have all been exceedingly nice, even helpful, people. Eager to impart their knowledge, if you catch them at a quiet moment, you can learn a lot about cuts of meat, serving suggestions and even knife care.

The Drill SGT said...

Chip Ahoy said...
The butchers I've spoken to have all been exceedingly nice, even helpful, people. Eager to impart their knowledge, if you catch them at a quiet moment, you can learn a lot about cuts of meat, serving suggestions and even knife care.


reminds me of a Hornblower tale. Short crew and quarantined on a possible plague ship, young Hornbower is in command. He assigns the fat Foreign Office weenie to be asst cook, because he has no skills.

the FO weenie proceeds to complain to the cook as they are butchering steer.

The cookie says, "I donna know, but he who cuts the beef gets to select his own cuts"

FO weenie, "Ahh, would you care to show me" :)

vbspurs said...

You know the difference between an odd duck and lipstick?

Hair plugs.

vbspurs said...

ear-splitting volumes

If he were a woman, he would be called shrill, and then someone would think up a cute portmanteau nickname to saddle him with.

Let's see.

"Joe-ill" (Kim's younger bro?)
"The Shreaker From Scranton"
"LBHP" (Lunch bucket Hairplug)
"Pitbull Joe"
"Quackillary"

We'll work it.

Palladian said...

Liebovich: "He is a distinctive blend of pit bull and odd duck whose weak filters make him capable of blurting out pretty much anything"

Reader_iam: "OH THE VISUALS, OH THE VISUALS!
OH MY [MIND'S] EYES!
OH MY [MIND'S] EYES!

What an onslaught of imagery! An assault, really."

Freeman Hunt: "You mean the duck with the pit bull head dancing on a vaudeville stage with some kind of engine that requires filters coming out of its back and puffing smoke??"

Reader_iam: "YES! (WITH BIDEN'S HAIR-DO AND GRIN!)"


Ask and ye shall receive!

Bender said...

If Biden had the ability to inspire, any ability to fire up the base, then he wouldn't he have been the nominee?

Instead, Biden crashed like a lead balloon and tanked in both of his runs for the presidency. When people watch and hear Biden, they know that they are witnessing an exercise in boobery.

Freeman Hunt said...

Ask and ye shall receive!

Perfect. I literally (since we're using that word today) LOL-ed. You rule.

Lionheart said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Alex said...

Biden is a stump-speaking monster!

Lionheart said...

If I were King, literally would mean literally but usage trumps definitions and the language loses nuance. Now I can run a gauntlet or gantlet, or throw down a gantlet or gauntlet, and all is well with the linguists. Not end of the world stuff, but the changes come from too many who are too lazy to be precise and too many who accept the definitional blurring.

Lionheart said...

Sorry - literally at sea about whether postings posted.

Bill said...

"... has been absolutely butchering Senator John McCain across the Rust Belt this week. It is not clear who has noticed."

"Absolutely butchering" implies that Biden is having some kind of effect, which the very next sentence denies. Seems to me that 'trash-talking' would have been a more accurate description.

blake said...

Well,yes, exactly.

First question: Can you be (figuratively) butchered without noticing? I think so. It happens here a lot.

Second question: Can you be (figuratively) butchered without ANYONE noticing? Not so's it matters.

blake said...

Also, awesome pic, Palladian.

Trooper York said...

Biden is an aging, egotistical, arrogant Irish blowhard who is so in love with the sound of his voice he could make you puke. Why can't he just shut the fuck up/

He reminds me of me.

blake said...

Then I guess the critical distinction, TY, is whether he's a fan of THE WORLD CHAMPION NEW YORK GIANTS.

Did you tell me lately that the giants won the Superbowl?

Der Hahn said...

It's a good thing Biden is going to take on John McCain since Obama seems to be convinced he's running against Sarah Palin.

jdeeripper said...

Fred4Pres said...The thing that I hate the most about this? It won’t stop my liberal Jewish friends from voting Democrat in any way.

Does that surprise you when the Republican VP choice is a gun toting, Jesus touting shiksa from the sticks? Uncle Joe Lieberman can only do so much.

Stinger Assassin said...This race is about masculinity and our country's definition of it.

Yes, but many Americans, and Europeans, see American masculinity as a threat to world harmony and the root cause of American racism, sexism, homophobia, ecological destruction and war.

The uncultured (White) American cowboy, barbarian, racist rube is THE hostile stereotype of America favored by White liberals and Europeans.

The pro Obama voters are hoping his election will counter those perceptions.

So the Republicans nominate an old war horse and a pro oil exploration Annie Oakley.

Maybe that's just too much masculinity for our post masculine world.

Obambi is not only a post racial dream but a post masculine one as well.

vbspurs said...

LMAO, Palladian!

Ann, you have to update your blogpost with that pic.