Last fall, before the midterm shellacking, Vice President Joe Biden admonished rank-and-file Democratic voters to "stop whining." Uncle Tough Guy should practice what he screeches. The 2012 campaign has barely begun, but Biden's thin skin makes a spring roll wrapper look impenetrable.
Biden's office is now calling for an official investigation of a young editor who dared to question His Highness. Jason Mattera of the conservative-leaning Human Events magazine confronted the veep last week on his hysterical claims that rape and murder would increase if Congress didn't ram through the half-trillion-dollar White House jobs bill. The testy exchange between the audacious journalist and the temper-challenged Beltway pol took place in a Senate hallway:
Mattera: Do you regret using a rape reference to describe Republican opposition to the president's bill?
Biden: I didn't use it. No, no, no, what I said, let's get it straight, guys. Don't screw around with me. Let's get it straight. Listen to me. I said rape was up, three times, in Flint (Michigan). They're the numbers, go look at the numbers. Murder's up, rape is up, burglary's up, that's exactly what I said.
Mattera: And if Republicans don't pass this bill, then rape will continue to rise?
Biden: Murder will continue to rise, rape will continue to rise, all crimes will continue to rise.
Never mind that the statistics in Flint actually show no correlation between crime rates and the number of police officers in the city. It's never about the facts. It's about the shameless demonization of Biden's and Obama's political opponents -- and those in the press who would dare question their doom-and-gloom narratives.
After jabbing his finger in Mattera's face, Biden stalked off, and one of his rattled press aide protectors yelped: "Who are you with?" Like playground tattletales who just got smacked in the face after cheating at tetherball, Team Biden then reported Mattera's transgressions to the Senate press gallery and the standing committee of correspondents. The Hill newspaper reported on Tuesday that "the matter is under review."
Biden's crude response to Mattera's challenge -- "Don't screw around with me" -- is par for the Beltway Bubble Boy's course. This entitled blowhard has long sought to bully reporters and ordinary citizens who question Bidenrhhea of the mouth.
In October 2008, WFTV Channel 9 anchor Barbara West put Biden on the hot seat over ACORN, voter fraud and Obama's infamous "spread the wealth" comments. Biden falsely denied any relationship between ACORN and Obama, an ACORN affiliate Project Vote community organizer whose 2008 campaign doled out more than $800,000 to another ACORN satellite group. West was calm and professional. After sputtering, "C'mon, let's get real" to West and asking whether her questions were a "joke," Biden's handlers lambasted the questions as "combative and woefully uninformed about simple facts."
Anything less than total sycophancy from the Obamedia is considered "combative," you see. Biden then cracked the brass knuckles and punished the Florida television station by canceling a previously scheduled interview with his wife.
The perpetually vexed veep seems to have a hang-up with Florida journalists. In March, Biden's staff locked Orlando Sentinel reporter Scott Powers in a closet for hours to prevent him from talking with wealthy donors at a $500-per-person fundraiser where Biden spoke. He told the Drudge Report: "When I'd stick my head out, they'd say, 'Not yet. We'll let you know when you can come out.'" One of the attendees later told the Sentinel: "If I had known there was a reporter stuffed in the closet, I would have been compelled to stand up and demand answers. I would also like to know if this is actually legal to treat people like caged animals. I'm disgusted by these actions."
And yet, Biden keeps getting a golden pass for his half-oaf, half-ogre shtick.
Last year, when a Milwaukee, Wis., custard shop owner told Biden that Washington should lower his taxes, Biden snapped that he was a "smartass." Biden's apologists played it off as a joke. But he set the imperial tone with voters two decades ago during his failed presidential run, when a New Hampshire citizen named Frank asked him about his lousy academic record. "I think I probably have a much higher IQ than you do, I suspect," Biden hissed before falsely claiming he graduated in the top half of his law school class.
As political blogger Doug Powers joked: "If they start banning any reporter with the potential to make Joe Biden look silly, the press gallery is going to be as sparsely populated as Capitol Hill's next 'I quit earmarks, ask me how' seminar." On a sober note, Team Biden's media litmus test is appalling. If the Senate caves and bars Mattera, no one is safe from Uncle Joe's goonish etiquette police.