I once described Joe Biden to my father as "the dumbest Democrat on the planet." So you can probably extrapolate from there my opinion of this hot veep selection.
The first person to whom I spoke this morning (after Iain, who was first on the computer this morning and broke the news; he was unthrilled) was Mannion, who has amusingly recounted part of our conversation here, with minor embellishments, ahem, although the part about the picture and my commentary on it is true. Which will serve as a helpful hint for anyone who's having trouble with the aforementioned extrapolation.
Of all the things about Biden (and there are many) with which I've got problems, I'm finding myself today thinking about his comments not two years ago in which he "joked" about Delaware being a "slave state that fought beside the North" only because "we couldn't figure out how to get to the South." I'm thinking about that because of bookends, and because I don't viscerally understand (even if I do intellectually) why that shit bothers me and not Barack Obama. Politics is an avaristic business, and I'm used to strange and opportunistic alliances, but this partnership just honestly makes me melancholy.
I also feel coming down the tracks more alienation from former allies because of it. For months and months I have read rejections of Clinton because she supported the war, but I suspect that those making the argument will not now reject Obama because he put one of its cheerleaders on his ticket. For months and months I have read rejections of Clinton because she and/or her husband are racist, but I suspect those those making the argument will not now reject Obama because he put a man who says things like this or this or this or this, all within the last two years, on his ticket. For months and months I have read exhortations that I must vote for Obama because he will protect reproductive rights in a way McCain won't, but I suspect those who have beat me with that cudgel will not now reject Obama because he put on his ticket a man who does not support federal funding for abortion and supported the "partial-birth abortion" ban even without protections for the health/life of the mother.
And what of those who have chanted Obama's 100% NARAL rating like a mantra? Will they reject him now that he has asked to join his ticket a man with a 36% NARAL rating in 2003 and a 75% rating in 2007? Or will they come at last to their stubborn insistence that he's still better than McCain, even though that's not the debate...?
I've never been a member of the Democratic Party; I've never been a partisan. But I have always voted for Democrats, and I always felt marginally in tune with the party. Now, I feel completely distant, completely detached. This, I fear, will only deepen that divide.
At some point, I'm going to be incredibly angry about that. But at the moment, I'm not even angry. Not yet, anyway.
In this moment, I just feel incredibly sad.