I read, of course, the story “Bush Aides Challenge Biden’s Boasts of Oval Office Slapdowns“:
Aides to former President George W. Bush are challenging the veracity of Vice President Joe Biden’s claim this week of having privately castigated Bush, who does not remember the incident or an earlier episode in which Biden claims to have similarly rebuked Bush.
Biden spokesman Jay Carney declined to specify the dates of his boss’s purported Oval Office scoldings of Bush. Nor would he provide witnesses or notes to corroborate the episodes.
…but this was one time that it was largely unnecessary, thanks to the people involved. When it came to the GWOT, George W Bush was and is not the sort of man who would seek out Joe Biden’s company, crave Joe Biden’s counsel, nor heed Joe Biden’s advice; an attitude which has since been proven to be fully justified, given that these days the White House is busily pretending that they’re doing anything in Iraq besides following Bush’s strategy. That’s on the one hand – and if you read the article, you’ll note that not even Biden’s dumb enough to try to claim that the President was anything except resolute on the matter.
And if you want to take Joe Biden’s word for it, absent apparently any physical evidence or corroborating testimony… feel free. You’ll be taking the word of a man who, back during the election, sat by and said nothing when his seemingly-sincere apology for a nasty political attack from his side was contemptuously retracted by his running mate’s press secretary. That was a bit of a clarifying moment for me personally; prior to that, I had Biden merely down as a blowhard who you’d nonetheless find convivial enough company in a social setting. Afterward, I was pretty much forced to conclude that he was a blowhard whose ambitions were sufficiently petty that the goal of Vice-President of the United States would be enough to allow him to self-justify anything that would get him to his goal. Up to and including staying silent while other people lied in his name. But we’re expected to believe that a man like this would actually confront the President of the United States on a policy that both he and the President knew that the President was in the right about.
Crossposted to Moe Lane.