Biden's tall tales encapsulate the liberal mentality
By: Steven F. Hayward (New York Post)
And the hits just keep on coming
By Steven F. Hayward
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Back to Reading Published Sep. 17, 2023, 6:53 p.m. ET Biden has claimed to have been "raised in the black church" and "raised in the synagogues in my state"; he says he "grew up in a Polish community" and was "politically" raised in the Puerto Rican community. Getty Images
By now it is apparent President Joe Biden is a special-needs child of political vanity.
Nearly all politicians exaggerate or tell tall tales about themselves.
It's practically a requirement of the occupation, an expression of their typically large egos and ambition.
But Biden abuses the privilege, serially plagiarizing the words and experiences of others throughout his career and telling easily falsified stories about himself.
He's the political equivalent of Zelig, Woody Allen's famous shape-shifting character who transformed into whatever ethnic group he happened to stand next to.
Biden has claimed to have been "raised in the black church" and "raised in the synagogues in my state"; he says he "grew up in a Polish community" and was "politically" raised in the Puerto Rican community.
His latest whopper is that he taught political theory for four years at the University of Pennsylvania, when in fact he never set foot in the classroom in what was a pure sinecure position.
His previous false claims of being a civil-rights activist, getting arrested in South Africa with Nelson Mandela and being at Ground Zero in New York the day after 9/11 have all been debunked, along with lies about his academic record.
He persists in claiming his son Beau died in Iraq, though he died of cancer in an American hospital long after his Iraq service was over.
While Biden presents an extreme example, his made-up stories of personal greatness are typical of liberal politicians.
Recall Hillary Clinton claiming she had been named for mountaineer Sir Edmund Hillary, even though the Mount Everest ascent that made him famous occurred six years after she was born.
And recall Hillary's claim she was "under fire" at the airport in Bosnia while secretary of state: Video footage showed no such thing occurred.
Among Bill Clinton's many lies was his Biden-like claim of recalling black churches being burned in arson fires in his childhood, when a check of the historical record shows there were none in his area.
John Kerry's exaggerations about his Vietnam War record came back to haunt him in the 2004 presidential campaign when his fellow soldiers "Swift-boated" him.
And never forget Al Gore invented the Internet.
Joe Biden's week in gaffes
President Biden, 80, has a well-earned reputation as a gaffe machine. His penchant for verbal blunders, plagiarism, misremembered facts, offensive faux pas, and outright lies goes back to the beginning of his political career. Here are some of the president's most recent embarrassing utterances.
President Biden made numerous gaffes this week. AP
Biden delivered a rambling press conference in Vietnam, concluding it by telling reporters, "I'm going to bed."
Biden delivered a speech commemorating 9/11 in Alaska on Monday in which he falsely claimed he was at Ground Zero the day after the terrorist attack.
Biden claimed to have taught political theory at UPenn in a speech at a community college in Maryland, despite only having visited the school nine times and never teaching a course.
The president also stepped in it in the same speech by implying that black and Hispanic workers don't have "high school diplomas."
Later that evening, in a Rosh Hashanah speech, Biden claimed to have been "raised in synagogues" in Delaware despite never mentioning so in his memoirs.
Democrats don't have a monopoly on mythical stories. Ronald Reagan often drew criticism for telling stories that didn't hold up under scrutiny.
But there's a telling difference in the kind of tall tales Reagan told and the kind liberals tell.
Reagan's embellished and mythical stories (with one ambiguous and contested exception) were never about himself but always about America and the greatness of the American character.
And remember the motto on his desk: "There's no limit to what you can accomplish if you don't care who gets the credit."
By contrast, Biden boasts: "Bidenomics is just another way of saying restoring the American dream."
The false stories of liberal politicians are usually about themselves and how great are their thoughts and deeds and experiences.
Contrast Reagan's first inaugural address with Clinton's first inaugural address.
Reagan's central theme was that it was the people themselves — not benevolent rulers in Washington — who would fix America's problems.
By contrast, a key line in Clinton's inaugural address highlights the transcendent omniscience and omnipotence of the liberal mindset: "This ceremony is held in the depth of winter. But, by the words we speak and the faces we show the world, we force the spring."
Even nature will bend to the liberal will, through our "words" and "faces."
The neediness of liberal politicians derives ultimately from their world view, in which they are the agents of progress, the avatars of the "side of history" whose speed is always too slow to suit liberals.
Joe Biden may be an outlier in his self-aggrandizement — making him a special-needs liberal long before his current dotage manifested itself, but it is entirely typical of a creed that depends on self-affirmation to confirm their presumptions of goodness and assumption of unlimited power.
Steven F. Hayward is the Gaylord Visiting Professor at Pepperdine University's School of Public Policy.
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