The News Courier in Athens, Alabama

Adam Smith

August 22, 2012

With idiots like these, election season now high comedy



“Genius may have its limitations, but stupidity is not thus handicapped.”

— Elbert Hubbard

I don’t think Akin should bear the brunt of criticism, however, because Vice President Joe Biden is no stranger to making idiotic statements. In fact, he made a doozy last week while speaking in Virginia to a largely African-American audience.

He said, in case you haven’t heard, that the GOP wanted to “unchain Wall Street.” He added, just for good measure, “They're going to put y'all back in chains.”

Memo to Joe: Probably not your best choice of words. You see Joe, prior to the abolishment of slavery, African-Americans — many of which are ardent supporters of your party — were, in fact, forced to wear chains.

History, along with many books, movies and documentaries, tells us that slavery was not a positive experience and has little to do with Mitt Romney’s plans to scale back government oversight on banks and corporations.

In realizing his verbal goof a couple of days later, Biden again reiterated his point about Romney, but instead used the word “shackles,” not chains. He said his analogy stemmed from comments that House Majority Leader John Boehner had said about the “unshackling of Wall Street.”

Let’s do a little word analysis, shall we?

Merriam-Webster defines “chains” as: “a series of usually metal links or rings connected to or fitted into one another and used for various purposes (as support, restraint, transmission of mechanical power, or measurement).”

So, what does “shackles” say? “A ring or other fastening, as of iron, for securing the wrist, ankle, etc.; fetter.”

In reading the two definitions, Biden may have been better off using the “chains” analogy, as “shackles” actually makes mention of securing wrists and ankles, just like slave owners did to their human property.

It really shouldn’t be surprising, however, as Biden has become a half-witted liability to President Obama, and Republicans couldn’t be more pleased. Luckily for Democrats, they now have the likes of Todd Akin to use as the November general election approaches.

When it comes to elections, I’ve always tried to pick the candidate whom seemingly has the most intelligence and whom I feel will be the best steward of my local, state and federal tax dollars. But with candidates like these, I might stay home on Election Day.

At least it’s entertaining.

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Adam Smith


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