John Feehery: Speaking Engagements


The Court Jester

Posted on June 3, 2009

The Court Jester


            Joe Biden is the Court Jester.


            He speaks uncomfortable truths, but looks like a fool doing it, so he is not seen as a threat.


            In last year’s campaign, he promised the American people there would be an international crisis should Barack Obama get elected President.  Voila, we have the North Koreans blowing up nuclear bombs and sending missiles over Japan. 


            Earlier this year, he made a joke about his boss’s proclivity to use a teleprompter for every speech.  You aren’t supposed to make jokes at the expense of the President, especially if you are the Vice President.  But there Biden was, pointing out how ridiculous it is that the President needs a teleprompter for every utterance, from introducing his new dog to making a State of the Union Address.


            Now Biden is talking about likely fraud in the TARP program.  According to Reuters: "Vice President Joe Biden acknowledged on Tuesday that some waste is  

inevitable in the spending of a $787 billion economic stimulus  

package, in a characteristically blunt assessment.  "'We know some of this money is going to be wasted,' Biden said during  a roundtable discussion in New York with business leaders aimed at  promoting the two-year stimulus plan. ..."'There are going to be mistakes made,' said Biden. 'Some people are  being scammed already.'"  And Biden would know.  He's the guy the President put in charge of a  "tough, unprecedented oversight effort" that so far can't tell us where our "stimulus" dollars are going.


            So, why wouldn’t the government put in place programs to stop the fraud and the scams.  It is not enough to acknowledge that something like this is happening.  Taxpayer would feel a whole lot better about all of this government spending if they knew that the government was doing everything in its power to stop the scams and the fraud.


            But Biden is the Court Jester.  His only power is call attention to problems, albeit in an unintentional and ironic way.  As Wikipedia defines it: “the court jester—precisely because anything he said was by definition "a jest" and "the uttering of a fool"—could speak frankly on controversial issues[1] in a way in which anyone else would have been severely punished for. Monarchs understood the usefulness of having such a person at their side.[1] Still, even the jester was not entirely immune from punishment, and he needed to walk a thin line and exercise careful judgment in how far he might go - which required him to be far from a fool, in the modern sense.”


            That sums up Joe Biden perfectly.  He might be a fool, but if you listen carefully, he speaks truth to the power of the monarch.

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