March 21, 2017

"Biden’s biggest worry is that Trump, for all his bluster, could be a global bystander, unwilling to engage a messy world with anything more than chest-thumping."

"'The question I get everywhere is: ‘Is American leadership going to continue?'" he told me on Air Force Two. If Trump 'just stays behind the lines — hands off — it could be very ugly. Very, very ugly.'"

Writes Jonathan Alter in "Joe Biden: 'I Wish to Hell I’d Just Kept Saying the Exact Same Thing' The vice president looks back — and forward" — a NYT article that sounds really dull but is worth clicking through for the excellent photograph.

The photograph is by Erik Madigan Heck. You can see a lot more of his photographs here. Mostly fashion photography. Some beautiful, colorful stuff there. Try starting here and clicking on the arrows.

Speaking of very, very ugly, I feel myself drifting away from politics. In the early years of this blog, I had a subheading under the blog title "Althouse" that read: "Politics and the aversion to politics, law and law school, high and low culture, and the way things look from Madison, Wisconsin." The aversion to politics had kind of been the story of my life, and blogging had me just dabbling in actual political opinion. The opinion has always been tinged with the aversion. I'm standing off at some distance observing how other people are political.

But of all the things to observe, why observe that? It's very ugly, very, very ugly, Joe Biden said. 

53 comments:

Gahrie said...

‘Is American leadership going to continue?'" he told me on Air Force Two. If Trump 'just stays behind the lines — hands off — it could be very ugly. Very, very ugly.'"

Project much? Sounds to me like Biden is afraid that Trump will continue the Obama policies of the last eight years. And very very ugly certainly describes the world Obama left Trump.

The most troubling thing about the Left is the complete lack of introspection.



.

Charlie Currie said...

Is "global bystander" different in any meaningful way from "leading from behind"?

damikesc said...

Umm, the foreign policy of he and his boss generated a lot of the issues we are currently dealing with.

Perhaps it's time to realize that all issues in the world aren't American issues.

Truthavenger said...

Politics is ugly because some people (I'm looking at you, statists) want to inject politics into EVERYTHING--education, fashion, food, lifestyle, sex, etc.

Politics should be restricted to the bare minimum--keeping the peace, setting a level economic playing field, and, ummmmm, can't think of anything else.

Then, leave us alone.

Jake said...

Biden is so articulate. So, so, very, articulate.

AllenS said...

Just what would Biden like Trump to do? Bomb some shit-hole countries like Obama decided to do?

rehajm said...

What is it about this week and all these old retired politicians poking their heads up and babbling on like they still had jobs? Are they daffodils?

rhhardin said...

If you're a celebrity women let you thump their chest.

rhhardin said...

Curiously, people who are standing by aren't bystanders.

rhhardin said...

C'hest la vie.

AllenS said...

Oh, now I get it. Biden doesn't want Trump to engage in chest-thumping, but be more like Obama and talk about drawing a red line somewhere.

Rick said...

‘Is American leadership going to continue?'

I see Joe's still living in FantasyLand. It's amazing how many worlds political people live in don't actually exist.

David Begley said...

As if Biden and Obama did such a GREAT job leading the world.

When will people (and the media) acknowledge the fact that Obama-Biden created one of the most avoidable humanitarian disasters in world history? Hundreds of thousands dead in Syria and hundreds of thousands moved to Europe. Europe has been changed for the worse and forever.

Why did Obama lay down to Russia in Syria? Was there a quid pro quo between Obama and Putin?

If I lived in Europe, I would be insanely mad at Obama and Biden.

Bob Boyd said...

Biden is worried Trump will turn out to be the "hands off" Hitler. Like Hitler if Hitler had done nothing.
That could be...well, not ugly...plain...very very plain.

Jeff Brokaw said...

Suddenly Biden is worried about American leadership keeping the world from falling into chaos? Huh.

Where was that attitude when he was in office? Who is dumb enough to believe this bullshit? Also: so, so boring.

Politics: it's not just ugly, it's boring too!

SayAahh said...

Politics, although topical and personal, has ruined this blog's comment section.
Time to begin getting back to the blog's roots.

Bob Boyd said...

Sometimes Biden makes sense.
This is one of the other times.

AprilApple said...

When democrats lie - it's beautiful.. well, to their blind faith flowers.

Tank said...

Jake said...

Biden is so articulate. So, so, very, articulate.


And clean, very clean.

jeff kuebler said...

Standing off, interesting--I clicked here right after reading Victor D Hanson's column on people tuning out.

jaydub said...

‘Is American leadership going to continue?'

I think that question was answered in 2008.

Hagar said...

This is not politics. This is religious civil war.

Darrell said...

If Biden ever tried to blow his brains out, he'd miss.

Once written, twice... said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
madAsHell said...

Shouldn't he be somewhere making little girls uncomfortable?

Once written, twice... said...

Of course you are now developing an aversion to politics. After all of last year and the first three months of this year of not writing critically of Trump, you now are in the position of having to watch what the outcome of that means. Of course it is easiest for you to say "la-de-da" I am not really political anyways. Instead, I am really an artist...

Truthfully Ann? What you really are is shallow.

Big Mike said...

Speaking of very, very ugly, I feel myself drifting away from politics.

Then the Lefties have achieved their goal of having the centrists say "Pox on both your houses."

Barry Dauphin said...

Ugly? Like Libya and Syria ugly?

David Begley said...

And we certainly thank Barack and Joe for handing Iran nukes and funding its terror campaign. Ben Rhodes was right. Media = idiots.

bagoh20 said...

Much of blog traffic is driven by passion and need for verbal engagement. That is essentially what politics is for those not in power. It's the hobby and sport of verbal transaction. Ugly or not, it's an amazingly powerful intoxicant and addiction. I don't think any other subject would be as enticing and addictive to adults. If two people are having a discussion on something like fashion or travel, you might listen or you might not, and many of us couldn't care less, but have a political argument, and everyone is listening and dying to put in their two cents, whether they actually do or not. I think politics is dishonest and mostly stupid, but like any addiction, it has an evil pull to it that far outstrips its value and return on investment. We need an intervention, but everyone we know is addicted too.

Kevin said...

"Speaking of very, very ugly, I feel myself drifting away from politics."

I feel a post forming: How Politics Lost Me.

Laslo Spatula said...

Althouse wrote: "Speaking of very, very ugly, I feel myself drifting away from politics."

Everyday the Media will have new stories attempting to knock down Trump. Every day.

Althouse -- You do a phenomenal job of deconstructing the media malpractice, but there will always be more of these stories than you can possibly dissect.

Experiment: proclaim an upcoming day a Trump-Free Day. You can say "She resisted."

Without Trump for that day, let your radar roam through that "high and low culture".

Plenty of blogs will continue to cover the Trump-Media Show. But they don't / can't do what you do, which is See The World In The Althouse Way.

Challenge the commenters to not mention Trump for that day. It would be like the Seinfeld 'no masturbation" episode. Because a lot of the eventual Trump commentary begins to feel like masturbation: more interesting to the person doing it than to the one watching it.*

After the day's Experiment, comment on what it was like. Add a poll, perhaps.

(*I refrained from taking this analogy further, so as not to sidetrack my seriousity. Yes: Seriousity.)

I am Laslo.


Birkel said...

@ seriosity

Kevin said...

For what it's worth, I think yesterday's events were a tipping point - for me at least. The Congressional hearings on how Trump colluded with Russia to hacked our election and illegitimately win the presidency were shown to have found nothing. Comey couldn't say how the intelligence in his ongoing investigation was collected in such a way that it did not involve communications regarding Trump, his associates, or Trump tower. And we learned there is little appetite within the Justice and Intel communities to find and punish those who leaked classified intelligence

Yet the headlines from minute one were all about how Trump had "lied" about the wiretap claim. I tuned into Morning Mika to hear her question why Trump was not certain to be litigated out of office for defamation.

To be clear, Trump's claim has not proven to be false. It is an unsupported assertion, nothing more and nothing less, and without further evidence we have no way to judge its veracity.

But the elite media, with elite degrees from elite institutions doesn't seem to have the critical thinking skills to differentiate between something demonstrably false and another as yet unproven. Whether they lack the intellect or knowingly subsume it in pursuit of other agendas, they have shown themselves unworthy of our attention.

There are more worthy recipients. Like that pile of rocks you posted a picture of yesterday.

Owen said...

Jeff Kuebler: "...Victor Davis Hanson's column on tuning out."

Exactly. Is it something in the air? Is it the 24/7 saturation of all media with the fact-free partisan rage about the latest micro-shocking non-event in the Prog bubble?

I like political discussions when they are based on facts and logic (yes, I know, I'm a dreamer). I am not seeing much opportunity for that, outside of classy exclusive clubs like this.

Unknown said...

It is "very ugly, very, very ugly" because for the first time since the Civil War, the USA is a divided nation. It doesn't matter how this has happened over the past few decades but it has.

On one side are Trumpies who see nothing but a Savior.

On the other side, the incredulous and continuing disbelief at the election of Trump as President.

The split between the two is 50:50 +/- 5%.

Yep, it is "very ugly, very, very ugly".

Fernandinande said...

Jake said...
Biden is so articulate. So, so, very, articulate.


I've heard of that Biden guy somewhere - what did he do? Other than give a speech in Latvia.

wendybar said...

rehajm said...
What is it about this week and all these old retired politicians poking their heads up and babbling on like they still had jobs? Are they daffodils?

3/21/17, 7:15 AM


My Laugh of the DAY!!! Thanks rehajm!! That was good!!

wendybar said...

Unknown said...On one side are Trumpies who see nothing but a Savior.


On the other side you have Obamabots who saw nothing but their Messiah...The Chicago Jesus!

I am not a Trumpie, but I am WAY past being on the other side too!! They are crazier!

Fernandinande said...

Collection of my favorite Latvian Jokes.

- Man is hungry. He steal bread to feed family. Get home, find all family have gone Siberia! “More bread for me,” man think. But bread have worm.

- Man car break down near house of farmer. Take shelter in barn. Find farmer daughter in barn. Oh! Hot stuff! But TOO LATE! Is already rape by soldier.

- Latvian walk into bar with mule. Bartender say, “Why so long face?” Latvian say, “I was thinking of my daughter. She has been lie with soldier for potato feed baby. “

- Three Latvian are brag about sons. “My son is soldier. He have rape as many women as want,” say first Latvian. “Zo?” second say, “My son is farmer. He have all potato he want!” Third Latvian wait long time, then say, “My son is die at birth. For him, struggle is over.” “Wow! You are win us,” say others. But all are feel sad.

- Q : What are one potato say other potato? A : Premise ridiculous. Who have two potato?

- Q : How many Latvian is take screw in light bulb? A : 25. One screw in, 24 ride bicycle generator for 1-hour shift. But time probably better spend search food.

- Q: What is happening if you cross Latvian and potato? A: This is cruel joke. please, no more.

Fernandinande said...

Is joke from Latvia. I tell now.

Joke: Latvian try to cross river. Has dog, potatoes, and dead son's body. Can only take two across river at one time. If he leave dog with potatoes or corpse, dog eat them. Is very sad. Also is not good boat.

exhelodrvr1 said...

My frustration level with the left ("regular people", political, media, and academia) has increased to the point that I am becoming less involved (as in reading less, watching fewer TV analysis programs), and focusing more on faith, family, and community.

exiledonmainstreet said...


Unknown said...On one side are Trumpies who see nothing but a Savior.

Bullshit again. Some might, but I don't see a "Savior" when I look at any politician. All support of Trump - a flawed and fallible person, who has done some dumb things and some good things - is twisted by you into worship, because that's what you do to your own crooked pols. All hail Lord God Obama! The Left's religion is power and they project that faith onto their opposition, just like they project their own hatred and lust for power onto others.

I will defend him against ridiculous criticism and all of yours falls into that category.


Oso Negro said...

Jesus Fucking Christ! 14 years in Afghanistan for what? To support people who want to fuck boys and camels and grow poppies? Oh, the leadership!

YoungHegelian said...

It is "very ugly, very, very ugly" because for the first time since the Civil War, the USA is a divided nation. It doesn't matter how this has happened over the past few decades but it has.

American history isn't your strong point, is it? We've spent a good time of our history at each other's throats. And look at it this way -- we're not marching some ethnic group off on a Trail of Tears or interning them in concentration camps or hanging them from trees for the fun of it.

On one side are Trumpies who see nothing but a Savior.

On the other side, the incredulous and continuing disbelief at the election of Trump as President.


Well, a lot of the incredulousness I think comes not so much from Trump per se as from the realization that 1) "how did WE (sooper smart that we are) lose to that asshole" & 2) the left now realizes that the depth of resistance to cultural progressivism is indeed profound.

Very few Trumpies see him as a "Savior". They see him as a straight-talking business man who's gonna get the job of cleaning up the dysfunctional government done. Now, if that's a correct judgement is another story. But, don't turn this into a cult of personality because it really isn't. It's really much less of a cult of personality than the Obamaites were. It wasn't just conservatives who thought so, either.

cubanbob said...

Biden's angst stems from the fact that he was chosen as life insurance and Pence was chosen to be a replacement president.

Sammy Finkelman said...

I suppose you hate arguments - the one upsmanship type of arguments where it seems nooody is trying to be honest.

Rusty said...

Biden's biggest concern is who is going to turn the doorknob so he can leave the house.

exiledonmainstreet said...

"American history isn't your strong point, is it? We've spent a good time of our history at each other's throats"

In fact, as David Hackett Fischer wrote in "Albion's Seed," the divisions go back to early colonial times. The Puritans of Boston (who are still puritans, minus the Christianity), the Virginia aristos, the Pennsylvania Quakers and the Scots-Irish of the backwoods never liked or trusted each other and neither do their spiritual descendants. The great exceptions were during WWI and, more significantly, during WWII, the last time the entire country was united under a common cause. (Not during the Cold War, when many leftists believed domestic anti-communism was a far greater threat than the USSR, just as many now fear Southern Baptists more than they fear Islamic terrorists.)

As unpleasant as the current in-fighting is, we really don't want another world war to bring us all together.

Michael K said...

On the other side, the incredulous and continuing RAGE at the election of Trump as President.

FIFY.

SukieTawdry said...

You're right, Joe. I want some more of that Obama hands-on leadership. Let's see if we can blow up a few more Muslim states that aren't giving us any grief. Or lay the groundwork for another massive refugee crisis. Or bribe another state sponsor of terrorism. Or draw some more red lines to be ignored once they're crossed (but not to worry, Putin can always clean up the mess even if it is on his terms). Yeah, you and Barack were the best.

Robert Cook said...

"On the other side, the incredulous and continuing RAGE at the election of Trump as President."

There should be nation-wide rage that a mendacious, corrupt, cretinous boor such as Trump was elected to the Presidency. (It shouldn't be from just one party. In fact, the party this shit-heel represents should be apoplectic!) Just there as there should have been rage if such a corrupt, mendacious, blood-thirsty mediocrity as Hillary Clinton had won.

There should be rage that our political system and culture has become so degenerated and dysfunctional that such miserable human beings (as were all the aspirants who dropped out, one by one), can be the only choices for the presidency available to us, and acceptable to us. The only appropriate response to such creatures as strut before us every four years, hoping to con enough of us to be ratified by our votes, is "NO FUCKING WAY!"

J. Farmer said...

Right. Because the Bush-Obama method of engagement by destabilizing countries, dropping bombs on numerous countries, getting lots of innocent people killed, and creating massive instability refugee crises has been so successful in taking a "messy world" make it exponentially messier.