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Vice president Joe Biden is no stranger to political demagoguery

I love it when politicians and other people in positions of power make ridiculous and asinine statements that really have little to no bearing on reality. These kinds of faux pas are always entertaining because it makes one wonder if the politician in question even read the speech written by the speechwriter before going public with it.

Joe Biden is known for making interesting comments, and he definitely plays the grumpy old man part of the Obama administration well. But were his recent comments about the possible increase of rapes and murders that could occur if Obama’s jobs bill does not pass really warranted? Or were they just scare tactics designed to incite the Republican versus Democrat mentality more? I think it was more of the latter.

Two weeks ago, Biden gave a speech at the University of Pennsylvania where he urged the necessity of more government spending to increase jobs, as put forth by the Obama administration.

According to Biden, the administration’s proposed job stimulus “is not temporary when that 911 call comes in and a woman’s being raped, if a cop shows up in time to prevent the rape. It’s not temporary to that woman.”

Wait a second now, Joe.  How is the proposed jobs bill, which doesn’t even hire more police officers in the first place, going to prevent the rise of crimes like rape and murder? I don’t see the correlation here.

Biden continued by saying, “I wish these [critics of Obama’s American Jobs Act] who thought it was temporary, I wish they had some notion of what it was like to be on the other side of a gun, or [to have] a 200-pound man standing over you, telling you to submit.” In other words, if Republicans who oppose the bill knew what it feels like to be raped and robbed, then they presumably wouldn’t be against the bill.

That is some pretty strong language coming from a vice president, of all people, and it just goes to show the lengths politicians are willing to go to make a point, even if that point is — for all intents and purposes — moot.

I am still curious as to how this bill will improve police budgets, which are individual state’s responsibility and not the federal government’s, though. Many Republicans and conservative columnists have taken issue with Biden’s comments, and for good reason.

According to Ed Morrissey of HotAir.com, the bill “allows states to paper over budget gaps for another year rather than address their systemic budgetary issues, and protect unionized bureaucrats whose jobs should be on the chopping block.” This is precisely why critics have attacked the bill as temporary.

I’m not totally for or against the bill. What really interests me about this whole thing is the demagogic nature of Biden’s speech. Demagoguery occurs when a politician preys on the fears and prejudices of his constituents in order to gain a political foothold, and that definitely seems to me what is happening here.

When the bill itself doesn’t even create more police, who are the prime candidates for preventing rapes and murders, I fail to see how Biden’s speech was nothing more than impassioned rhetoric. I also think wishing that Republicans “knew what it was like” is deeply insensitive to true victims of rape and murder.

I think, in the end, we can all agree on one thing here — next time Biden should probably proofread his speech once or twice before reading it.

Gerry Wachovsky is a graduate student and columnist for the Daily 49er.

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