The establishment begins the task of building up Joe Biden

With doddering, bad-touch Joe Biden as the establishment's designated "man who can take down Donald Trump," the rush is on to reconfigure him as a principled man with a sharp mind.  In service to this mythologizing, Matthew Dallek, a professor at the George Washington University's Graduate School of Political Management, has written an article explaining that when it comes to Joe Biden, his political longevity can be summed up in a single word: "decency."  He makes this case in a New York Daily News opinion piece appropriately entitled "It's the decency, stupid: The secret of Joe Biden's resiliency."

What's Dallek's case for claiming that Joe Biden is decent?

First, his wife and daughter died in a car accident in 1972, and then his son died from cancer 43 years later:

It is hard to think of another major political figure who lost both his first wife Neilia and two children 43 years apart: Neilia and baby daughter Naomi to a traffic accident in 1972, his adult son Beau to glioblastoma, a brain cancer, in 2015. His pain has enabled him to connect with people at a gut level, giving him the type of empathy that political leaders rarely manage to tap with so much poignancy.

While these are extraordinarily tragic occurrences, they do not convert the survivor into a decent man.  That's especially true considering that Joe Biden has spent decades slandering as a drunkard the man involved in that 1972 car accident when, as Biden well knows, his wife caused the accident.

Second...wait, there is no second.  The entire article is about the fact that Biden is a decent man because he lost family members.  These losses make him empathetic.  "[I]n an era of nearly relentless nastiness, Biden exudes decency."  For that reason, Dallek insists, "[t]here's ... an archetypal quality about Biden's appeal," because despite his decades of political power, nothing "safeguarded his family from the cruelest of life's vicissitudes."

That's not much of an argument, but that's all Dallek has got.

Let's talk for a moment now about Biden's indecent moments.  This discussion does not address his political miscalculations.  It examines only those times in which Biden behaved in ways that most people would say were the antithesis of decency.

1. He was one of the people behind the character assassination of Judge Robert Bork, one of America's top legal minds:

Biden played a large role in the character assassination.

Stage management was a key part of this made-for-tv political drama, and one of the central cast members was the Senate Judiciary Committee Chairman, Delaware Senator Joe Biden. His former staffers later admitted that chairman Biden hatched a plan to work with outside advocacy groups to heighten the visibility of the Bork hearings. Biden thought a Supreme Court fight could be a key lever to boosting his name recognition in advance of the 1988 Democratic primary.

Following Bork's defeat, the Oxford English Dictionary added the verb "to Bork," defined as "to defame or vilify a person systematically."

In October 2019, Biden was still boasting, "When I defeated Robert Bork, I made sure we guaranteed a woman's right to choose for the better part of a generation."

2. By the #MeToo movement, Biden behaved badly to Anita Hill.  Dallek sums it up by saying, "As chair of the Senate Judiciary Committee, he failed to give Anita Hill a fair and respectful hearing during the 1991 Clarence Thomas nomination hearings."  The reality was that Biden knew she was lying and wanted to limit her testimony because he was afraid that it would undermine his efforts to block Thomas's nomination.

3. He lied about his law school record.  Here is Biden boasting about his brilliance at law school:

Here's Joe Biden explaining that he lied:

In his statement today, Mr. Biden, who attended the Syracuse College of Law and graduated 76th in a class of 85, acknowledged: "I did not graduate in the top half of my class at law school and my recollection of this was inaccurate."

As for receiving three degrees, Mr. Biden said: "I graduated from the University of Delaware with a double major in history and political science. My reference to degrees at the Claremont event was intended to refer to these majors — I said 'three' and should have said 'two.'" Mr. Biden received a single B.A. in history and political science.

"With regard to my being the outstanding student in the political science department," the statement went on. "My name was put up for that award by David Ingersoll, who is still at the University of Delaware."

In the Sunday interview, Mr. Biden said of his claim that he went to school on full academic scholarship: "My recollection is — and I'd have to confirm this — but I don't recall paying any money to go to law school." Newsweek said Mr. Biden had gone to Syracuse "on half scholarship based on financial need."

In his statement today, Mr. Biden did not directly dispute this, but said he received a scholarship from the Syracuse University College of Law "based in part on academics" as well as a grant from the Higher Education Scholarship Fund of the state of Delaware. He said the law school "arranged for my first year's room and board by placing me as an assistant resident adviser in the undergraduate school."

As for the moot court competition, Mr. Biden said he had won such a competition, with a partner, in Kingston, Ontario, on Dec. 12, 1967.

4. Biden was twice guilty of plagiarism, once while in law school and again while running for president in 1988.

5. Throughout his career, Biden has used his position and connections to funnel opportunities worth millions of dollars to his family, with Hunter Biden's China and Ukraine escapades being only the latest chapter in that story.

6. As noted above, he's spent decades slandering the man into whose truck Biden's wife crashed.

7. He engages in inappropriate and creepy behavior with little girls, behavior he carries on in public as if daring people to call him out for his grabbing and sniffing:

Indeed, he's creepy with women, too:

Joe Biden is a man who has experienced true tragedies in his life, but being on the receiving end of life's hard knocks does not automatically mean that you are a decent person.  Biden's record shows him to be a vicious, dishonest, corrupt, and sleazy man.

With doddering, bad-touch Joe Biden as the establishment's designated "man who can take down Donald Trump," the rush is on to reconfigure him as a principled man with a sharp mind.  In service to this mythologizing, Matthew Dallek, a professor at the George Washington University's Graduate School of Political Management, has written an article explaining that when it comes to Joe Biden, his political longevity can be summed up in a single word: "decency."  He makes this case in a New York Daily News opinion piece appropriately entitled "It's the decency, stupid: The secret of Joe Biden's resiliency."

What's Dallek's case for claiming that Joe Biden is decent?

First, his wife and daughter died in a car accident in 1972, and then his son died from cancer 43 years later:

It is hard to think of another major political figure who lost both his first wife Neilia and two children 43 years apart: Neilia and baby daughter Naomi to a traffic accident in 1972, his adult son Beau to glioblastoma, a brain cancer, in 2015. His pain has enabled him to connect with people at a gut level, giving him the type of empathy that political leaders rarely manage to tap with so much poignancy.

While these are extraordinarily tragic occurrences, they do not convert the survivor into a decent man.  That's especially true considering that Joe Biden has spent decades slandering as a drunkard the man involved in that 1972 car accident when, as Biden well knows, his wife caused the accident.

Second...wait, there is no second.  The entire article is about the fact that Biden is a decent man because he lost family members.  These losses make him empathetic.  "[I]n an era of nearly relentless nastiness, Biden exudes decency."  For that reason, Dallek insists, "[t]here's ... an archetypal quality about Biden's appeal," because despite his decades of political power, nothing "safeguarded his family from the cruelest of life's vicissitudes."

That's not much of an argument, but that's all Dallek has got.

Let's talk for a moment now about Biden's indecent moments.  This discussion does not address his political miscalculations.  It examines only those times in which Biden behaved in ways that most people would say were the antithesis of decency.

1. He was one of the people behind the character assassination of Judge Robert Bork, one of America's top legal minds:

Biden played a large role in the character assassination.

Stage management was a key part of this made-for-tv political drama, and one of the central cast members was the Senate Judiciary Committee Chairman, Delaware Senator Joe Biden. His former staffers later admitted that chairman Biden hatched a plan to work with outside advocacy groups to heighten the visibility of the Bork hearings. Biden thought a Supreme Court fight could be a key lever to boosting his name recognition in advance of the 1988 Democratic primary.

Following Bork's defeat, the Oxford English Dictionary added the verb "to Bork," defined as "to defame or vilify a person systematically."

In October 2019, Biden was still boasting, "When I defeated Robert Bork, I made sure we guaranteed a woman's right to choose for the better part of a generation."

2. By the #MeToo movement, Biden behaved badly to Anita Hill.  Dallek sums it up by saying, "As chair of the Senate Judiciary Committee, he failed to give Anita Hill a fair and respectful hearing during the 1991 Clarence Thomas nomination hearings."  The reality was that Biden knew she was lying and wanted to limit her testimony because he was afraid that it would undermine his efforts to block Thomas's nomination.

3. He lied about his law school record.  Here is Biden boasting about his brilliance at law school:

Here's Joe Biden explaining that he lied:

In his statement today, Mr. Biden, who attended the Syracuse College of Law and graduated 76th in a class of 85, acknowledged: "I did not graduate in the top half of my class at law school and my recollection of this was inaccurate."

As for receiving three degrees, Mr. Biden said: "I graduated from the University of Delaware with a double major in history and political science. My reference to degrees at the Claremont event was intended to refer to these majors — I said 'three' and should have said 'two.'" Mr. Biden received a single B.A. in history and political science.

"With regard to my being the outstanding student in the political science department," the statement went on. "My name was put up for that award by David Ingersoll, who is still at the University of Delaware."

In the Sunday interview, Mr. Biden said of his claim that he went to school on full academic scholarship: "My recollection is — and I'd have to confirm this — but I don't recall paying any money to go to law school." Newsweek said Mr. Biden had gone to Syracuse "on half scholarship based on financial need."

In his statement today, Mr. Biden did not directly dispute this, but said he received a scholarship from the Syracuse University College of Law "based in part on academics" as well as a grant from the Higher Education Scholarship Fund of the state of Delaware. He said the law school "arranged for my first year's room and board by placing me as an assistant resident adviser in the undergraduate school."

As for the moot court competition, Mr. Biden said he had won such a competition, with a partner, in Kingston, Ontario, on Dec. 12, 1967.

4. Biden was twice guilty of plagiarism, once while in law school and again while running for president in 1988.

5. Throughout his career, Biden has used his position and connections to funnel opportunities worth millions of dollars to his family, with Hunter Biden's China and Ukraine escapades being only the latest chapter in that story.

6. As noted above, he's spent decades slandering the man into whose truck Biden's wife crashed.

7. He engages in inappropriate and creepy behavior with little girls, behavior he carries on in public as if daring people to call him out for his grabbing and sniffing:

Indeed, he's creepy with women, too:

Joe Biden is a man who has experienced true tragedies in his life, but being on the receiving end of life's hard knocks does not automatically mean that you are a decent person.  Biden's record shows him to be a vicious, dishonest, corrupt, and sleazy man.