Joe Biden's Walter Mitty fantasy life

Democratic presidential nominee frontrunner Joe Biden is a gaffe machine, and one of his latest was a ridiculous one, declaring that he was there with the Parkland students as vice president.

It's about par for the course for him, and CNN does its best to cover for him ("mistakenly says," see) but the Washington Examiner's Alana Goodman decided to look a little further into this, producing a series of data points to reveal a pattern.  Here's the short list, but read the whole thing to see how bad the details are:

1. Biden said his helicopter was "forced down" near Osama bin Laden's lair in Afghanistan

2. Biden said he was a coal miner.

3. Biden said he was "shot at" in Iraq

4. Biden said he called Slobodan Milošević a "damn war criminal" to his face

5. Biden said he participated in sit-ins at segregated restaurants and movie theaters

6. Biden said he criticized President George W. Bush during lengthy private meetings in the Oval Office

In every instance, Biden was the underdog, the man of courage, the guy who stood up to evil forces and made himself a hero.  Not one of these claims was true, but that's just the point: Biden spends mental time in a fantasy universe, very unlike the one he actually lives in.  In reality, he's a man of no accomplishments and nothing but political loyalties.  The world Biden inhabits is the Washington swamp, a boring place characterized by big sleazy money deals and family enrichment, cronyism in smoke-filled rooms.  Biden's China and Ukraine deals, enacted by his underachieving junior, were abetted by Biden's political muscle in the background.  That's the only life Biden can point to.

Yet he keeps repeating these vivid products of a nonexistent fantasy life, one that requires courage, courage he's never had, sort of like Walter Mitty, who as I recall from the story I read in high school was a bored man who led a humdrum life and imagined himself acting in heroic roles in his vivid fantasies.  That's Joe Biden, apparently, a really bored political hack who livens up his own world by repeating lies about his feats of heroism.

It tells us a lot about Biden.  His fake tales of his own heroism sound like Mitty's, all right, yet they couldn't be farther from the truth.  That suggest a midlife crisis, a small man very much aware of his own shortcomings against his own ambitions.  Biden is running for president now to salve that midlife crisis, and rest assured: there isn't going to be anything heroic.  One can only hope the voters eventually get on to it.

Image credit: Photo illustration by Monica Showalter, via public domain source, and image by Bangdoll via Flickr // CC BY-SA 2.0.