It is not completely impossible that in a moment of electoral desperation, Joseph Robinette Biden Jr will be called into a private meeting with Valerie Jarrett and David Axelrod and told that it's time for him to announce that he wants to spend more time with his family. But it's not very likely.
James Monroe put as many political rivals in his cabinet as possible, but Barack Hussein Obama and the people around him are too insecure and paranoid to do such a thing. Monroe might have presided over the Era of Good Feeling, but the age of O is the Era of Bad Feelings. Hillary Clinton was never going to be on the ticket. Even giving her the Secretary of State position would never have been an option if it had not been a matter of pure survival, with the Obamas terrified of losing moderate Democrats to McCain.
Joe Biden, never a serious candidate, was the perfect match for Obama. A dumb old white man, to confirm all the dirty impulses of the left, while mockingly giving mainstream Democrats someone they could relate to. Biden's gaffes aren't an embarrassment, they are the whole point, signaling the end of the old American era of leadership. Their implicit message is that you can choose a McCain or Biden, another old white man, or the savvy multicultural representative of a new generation that looks like the America of 2050.
Obama and Biden are both symbols of the Post-American America. Biden represents the outgoing American administration and Obama represents the incoming Post-American administration. It is vital to make the American administration look weak, foolish and useless so as to affirm the right of the Post-American administration to seize power from it.
Biden's ego has made it impossible for him to understand the uses he has been put to. And that is part of the joke. Joe Biden wasn't selected despite his penchant for saying stupid things in public. He was selected because of it. He is there to project incompetence in order to make Obama look better. He is there to make the idea of white male leadership look like a joke. That is his one and only job and he has succeeded at it.
Biden is the successor of every dumb white male father figure on TV gawping at the screen, tumbling over chairs and down the stairs, scratching his head cluelessly at the wiser new generation around him. He is every man in a commercial who can't figure out how to start a car, make coffee or clean the house until his wife or a helpful minority figure shows up and explains it to him.
Doofus Dad is no longer just unable to perform simple tasks in a commercial, rubbing his eyes to the sound of canned laughter. He is the Vice President of the United States who was chosen to live up to that calculatingly manufactured stereotype. And he is rubbing his eyes and saying stupid things to the sound of canned laughter at press conferences.
No halfway responsible man would have deliberately chosen an idiot as his potential replacement. But an administration that has done the things to America that this one has done is not in any way responsible. If you step into Obama's head for a moment, you realize that he does not care at all what happens if he should die. A man who can't be bothered to take care of his own extended family is not likely to care one way or another what happens to a country of several hundred million, most of whom are not even related to him.
as he has for his half-brother who is calling strangers to help pay his medical bills. Obama dispenses group privileges only when it suits his needs. He exploits accusations of racism, but race means very little to him. Racial identity, like national identity, is a pose that he adopts on the appropriate occasions.
The post-racialism of Obama is the reverse of Martin Luther King's invocation of a society that has transcended race. Obama privileges race over character as a means of invoking guilt and group solidarity. He does not care about all Americans in a way that transcends race, nor does he care about one race exclusively. He cares about no one at all. If he appears to have any warm feelings for a particular group, they seem to be limited to the Muslims of his childhood who helped raise him.
There is nothing reassuring or transcendent about Obama's post-racialism. Like his post-nationalism, it is a symptom of a man who belongs nowhere but who can do his best to pass everywhere by appropriating identities and symbols as if they were currencies to be traded on an international trip. A man such as this is adept at speaking on more than one level, at sending coded messages that say different things to different people in a single word.
To moderate liberals, the selection of Biden sends a message that race has finally been transcended through the hard work of men and women like them. To the left, the message is that the old patriarchy is on the way out and is about to be replaced by a multicultural people's leadership that knows what a ridiculous joke the old white male power structure is. The left is not at all troubled when Republicans ridicule Biden. They chuckle because Republicans aren't in on the joke. Biden is meant to be them. They are Biden.
The left harbors its greatest contempt, not for Republicans, but for liberals. "I love Harry and Sidney and Sammy/I hope every colored boy becomes a star/But don't talk about revolution/That's going a little bit too far," Phil Ochs sang mockingly. "Love me, love me, I'm a liberal." Obama's people are singing Phil Ochs' song and displaying the traditional contempt for all the parts of the Democratic Party that aren't as committed to revolution as they are.
Biden is a joke because the Democratic Party is a joke. He represents what the left sees as the flaws of the Democratic Party and liberalism, the old white males who wanted slow reforms and gradual change instead of abrupt revolution. Obama's people could have chosen a more credible figure who would have provided useful cover, but instead they couldn't hold back their contempt.
To the left race is a means to an end, it is not the end. Its collectivism requires enlisting individual groups dissatisfied with the system to help overthrow it in a coalition whose ultimate aims do not serve the needs of any of the individual groups. The racial identity of millions of African-Americans is a tool, like the former Senator from Delaware who somewhere beneath his hairpiece, past nerves deadened by Botox injections, harbors dreams of inheriting the job in 2016.
Biden still does not understand what he is. He is a fellow traveler, a dupe, a scarecrow of the old white male liberal establishment hung up over a cornfield to attract unknowing liberals while serving as a figure of fun to the left. And despite his corruption and arrogance, there is something sad and pathetic in the spectacle of a hollow man with capped teeth set in a grin making a fool of himself for the amusement of the Post-American crowd. A crowd that he thinks are laughing with him, when they are actually laughing at him.