He said this at a memorial service. To the father. He said it to the father who still can’t get a straight answer about why, with a drone overhead streaming real-time video of the seven hours of the attack, nothing, not one thing, was done to save his son’s life. Genl Petraeus, through the CIA spokesman, made this statement: “No one at any level in the CIA told anybody not to help those in need; claims to the contrary are simply inaccurate. ” “Those in need,” by the way, included Tyrone Woods, to whom our Vice Dear Leader was speaking.
Exactly how bereft of basic human sympathy do you have to be, to say something like this to someone in the father’s position, at a time when the administration in which you are No. 2 is tenaciously defending the stone walls from which you deny him the truth about what happened on September 11, and why? How lacking in the ability to imagine oneself into the shoes of another person must you be not to understand how taunting, how demeaning this is to the father? How disrespectful to the son? At least Biden didn’t just come right out and give him the ol’ “neener, neener, neener.”
Those at the tops of gargantuan power structures are necessarily insulated from most human contact with most humans. They are surrounded by sycophants, flunkies, turf-defenders, and would-be Machiavellis. This is true of American presidents, British prime ministers, totalitarian dictators, and monarchs alike. In order to have any chance at success they must therefore have if anything a heightened empathetic capacity. They must be especially adept at imagining the lives, concerns, and aspirations of their fellow humans because they are denied nearly all direct or unmediated knowledge of it. On the plus side of that ledger Queen Victoria had that capacity; I forget which of her ministers it was who observed how astounding it was that with no exposure at all to the average Englishman, she had a nearly infallible ability to sense and internalize what they were thinking. Ronald Reagan also had that ability; we called him the “Great Communicator,” when what he really was, was the Great Receptor. On the negative side we have the Hitlers and Stalins of the world, who played their people like so many
From Dear Leader’s bland assertion that “the private sector is doing fine,” to his sneering, “You didn’t build that,” and now to Biden’s comments about a dead, abandoned son’s reproductive organs, we may have two of the deadest receptors in recent memory. And on the other side, we have a fellow who took his entire company to general quarters to go search for the missing daughter of an employee.
As you read the quotation, just keep murmuring to yourself, “Mr. Vice President; Mr. Vice President; Mr. Vice President.”