Joe Biden adds the phrase 'lying, dog-faced pony soldier' to the political lexicon

Like Biden or hate him, you have to admit that he has an incredible gift for using bizarre turns of phrase.  Some of them showcase his advanced age, such as his "No Malarkey" slogan, one that's so old-fashioned that it seems even to predate the candidate himself.  One expects some mustache-twirling 19th-century dandy to give voice to that expression, not a 77-year-old career politician.  Likewise, Biden sounded ridiculously old when, in response to a question about reparations, he urged parents to put a "radio" or "record player" on at night to educate the kids.

Biden also says things that are weird.  Back in 2017, speaking of his time as a lifeguard, Biden reminisced fondly about every creepy uncle's dream job:

"I got a lot of — I got hairy legs that turn … blonde in the sun," Biden said. "And the kids used to come up and reach in the pool and rub my leg down so it was straight and then watch the hair come back up again. They'd look at it."

[snip]

"So I learned about roaches. I learned about kids jumping on my lap," he said. "And I've loved kids jumping on my lap."

On Sunday, Biden uttered a phrase so bizarre that the internet has been buzzing about it for hours: when a young woman asked him a tough question, he responded by calling her a "lying, dog-faced pony soldier."  There is some debate about whether he was jocular or angry (we side with jocular), but the words are clear:

 "Lying, dog-faced pony soldier"?  What in the world?

There's actually some debate about the phrase's origin.  Biden's spokespeople claimed that it came from a John Wayne movie:

Later, Biden's spokespeople said the line was taken from a scene in a John Wayne movie in which a Native American chief refers to Wayne as a "lying, dog-faced pony soldier." Biden has used the phrase, and attributed it to a John Wayne movie, in the past; at a 2018 campaign event for Heidi Heitkamp, Biden said the following about Heitkamp's opponent Kevin Cramer:

As my brother who loves to use lines from movies, from John Wayne movies, there's a line in a movie, a John Wayne movie where an Indian chief turns to John Wayne and says, "This is a lying, dog-faced pony soldier."

Terry Teachout was able to hunt down a 1949 John Wayne movie that did, in fact, refer to "dog-faced soldiers":

That's the "dog-faced" part, but what about the "pony soldier"?  According to Slate, the "pony soldier" phrase may originate with a 1952 Tyrone Power movie called Pony Soldier:

It's probable that either Joe or his brother conflated the two movies to come up with that humorous family insult.

Given the context, there's nothing too odd about what happened.  Joe joked with a supporter, who was obviously not offended, nor were the others in the audience.  The phrase is a fusion of lines from a couple of 70-year-old movies.  It's not a story.

And yet the phrase turned into a big story, showing up everywhere on the internet.  The only reason that can account for the reach of this silly vignette is that it so perfectly sums up Joe Biden: mired in the past, weird around young women, hiding aggression behind a semblance of humor, and mentally muddled.  That's Joe Biden's personality in a nutshell.

In the same way, people made much of Alexandra Ocasio-Cortez mixing up Milton Friedman and John Maynard Keynes, and giving birth to a brand new economist named "Milton Keynes."  It was probably nothing more than a stupid slip of the tongue.  We've all made that kind of mistake.  On its face, it shouldn't have gone viral.

That Ocasio-Cortez's verbal slip went viral is because it so perfectly sums up her fundamental ignorance.  She's supposedly educated (an economics major!), but she gets everything, absolutely everything wrong.

Both these foolish, ignorant, and potentially dangerous Democrats have foibles that can be summed up in the smallest of moments.  That says a lot about them, and none of it is good.  They lack greatness.  They are small people, and it's their small slips that reveal who they are.

Like Biden or hate him, you have to admit that he has an incredible gift for using bizarre turns of phrase.  Some of them showcase his advanced age, such as his "No Malarkey" slogan, one that's so old-fashioned that it seems even to predate the candidate himself.  One expects some mustache-twirling 19th-century dandy to give voice to that expression, not a 77-year-old career politician.  Likewise, Biden sounded ridiculously old when, in response to a question about reparations, he urged parents to put a "radio" or "record player" on at night to educate the kids.

Biden also says things that are weird.  Back in 2017, speaking of his time as a lifeguard, Biden reminisced fondly about every creepy uncle's dream job:

"I got a lot of — I got hairy legs that turn … blonde in the sun," Biden said. "And the kids used to come up and reach in the pool and rub my leg down so it was straight and then watch the hair come back up again. They'd look at it."

[snip]

"So I learned about roaches. I learned about kids jumping on my lap," he said. "And I've loved kids jumping on my lap."

On Sunday, Biden uttered a phrase so bizarre that the internet has been buzzing about it for hours: when a young woman asked him a tough question, he responded by calling her a "lying, dog-faced pony soldier."  There is some debate about whether he was jocular or angry (we side with jocular), but the words are clear:

 "Lying, dog-faced pony soldier"?  What in the world?

There's actually some debate about the phrase's origin.  Biden's spokespeople claimed that it came from a John Wayne movie:

Later, Biden's spokespeople said the line was taken from a scene in a John Wayne movie in which a Native American chief refers to Wayne as a "lying, dog-faced pony soldier." Biden has used the phrase, and attributed it to a John Wayne movie, in the past; at a 2018 campaign event for Heidi Heitkamp, Biden said the following about Heitkamp's opponent Kevin Cramer:

As my brother who loves to use lines from movies, from John Wayne movies, there's a line in a movie, a John Wayne movie where an Indian chief turns to John Wayne and says, "This is a lying, dog-faced pony soldier."

Terry Teachout was able to hunt down a 1949 John Wayne movie that did, in fact, refer to "dog-faced soldiers":

That's the "dog-faced" part, but what about the "pony soldier"?  According to Slate, the "pony soldier" phrase may originate with a 1952 Tyrone Power movie called Pony Soldier:

It's probable that either Joe or his brother conflated the two movies to come up with that humorous family insult.

Given the context, there's nothing too odd about what happened.  Joe joked with a supporter, who was obviously not offended, nor were the others in the audience.  The phrase is a fusion of lines from a couple of 70-year-old movies.  It's not a story.

And yet the phrase turned into a big story, showing up everywhere on the internet.  The only reason that can account for the reach of this silly vignette is that it so perfectly sums up Joe Biden: mired in the past, weird around young women, hiding aggression behind a semblance of humor, and mentally muddled.  That's Joe Biden's personality in a nutshell.

In the same way, people made much of Alexandra Ocasio-Cortez mixing up Milton Friedman and John Maynard Keynes, and giving birth to a brand new economist named "Milton Keynes."  It was probably nothing more than a stupid slip of the tongue.  We've all made that kind of mistake.  On its face, it shouldn't have gone viral.

That Ocasio-Cortez's verbal slip went viral is because it so perfectly sums up her fundamental ignorance.  She's supposedly educated (an economics major!), but she gets everything, absolutely everything wrong.

Both these foolish, ignorant, and potentially dangerous Democrats have foibles that can be summed up in the smallest of moments.  That says a lot about them, and none of it is good.  They lack greatness.  They are small people, and it's their small slips that reveal who they are.