Is A Mouth Or A Gun More Dangerous?


I'm a square
The biggest change we have had with the change in administrations doesn't seem to be in the office of president.

The biggest change appears to be in vice presidents.

We exchanged a vice president who misfires with a gun to one who misfires with his mouth.

I suppose it is an open question which is more dangerous - which could have to do with your proximity to the firearm in question.

This struck me the other night while listening to President Obama's press conference. One of the reporters asked the president about a comment his vice president had made.

It seems that after a meeting between the two, Joe Biden made the comment to reporters that the recovery plan had a 30 percent chance of failure.

The reporter asked Obama what Biden meant by that comment.

Obama's response was classic: He said he had no idea.

The amusing thing was that no one really questioned that comment.

The reaction was more amusement than outrage or bewilderment: Biden is known for saying things that just don't compute.

For instance, during the campaign he made about a comment about President Franklin Roosevelt's fireside chats to the public on TV.

Now, true, FDR did give periodic fireside chats. But they were on the radio. TV was not in use in the 1930s, except experimentally.

The only outrage came from the Republicans who complained that Biden got a pass on such things, while Sarah Palin, Alaska governor and GOP vice presidential candidate, got skewered for making silly comments.

The outrage was misplaced. Palin was a new commodity and no one on the national scene knew her or what to expect. So when she said something questionable people took it as a clue to how her mind works. Or doesn't work. It depends on your point of view.

Biden, on the other hand, had been around for decades - and had a famous history of saying things that bordered on the incomprehensible, and at times fell over that line. You could almost make "bidenism" into definition: Statement that makes no particular sense and leaves the hearers confused.

But Biden also has a reputation for being intelligent, well informed and effective as a politician. His mouth just takes a sharp turn at times and runs amok.

Palin didn't have that history.

But I started talking about a comparison between erstwhile Vice President Dick Chaney and Biden.

No ever accused Chaney of tripping over his tongue. When he spoke, his words were carefully chosen and thoughtfully presented. You may not have agreed with him, but there was no doubt about what he said.

On the other hand, going hunting with him presented a certain amount of danger.

Chaney famously managed to shoot a hunting campaign in the head while out looking for birds to kill.

It was never clear to me whether he missed the bird and hit the man, or mistook the man for a bird and fired before confirming the target.

He either needs a class in marksmanship or target recognition.

Fortunately for the victim, they were hunting birds so he got some bird shot in his head. Those pellets are almost flakes and won't do much damage to a human if fired at a distance.

A bird is a different matter. But, as we know, the birds were safe from Chaney that day.

And the guy who got shot said he wasn't even mad.

Nice guy.

If it had been me, I think I would have been a bit bent out of shape.

But then, I don't like getting shot. Even if it is by the vice president of the United States.

Fortunately I am in absolutely no danger of ever going hunting with Chaney.

We run in slightly different social circles. Mine is so small that if I run really fast, I get really dizzy.

As for Biden, since no one takes his verbal misfires seriously, outside of the odd radio talk show type, folks do take him seriously, outside of those same odd radio talk show types, it's not clear how much of a danger he is.

If any at all. At least until he says something that starts World War III.

So which one is more dangerous? That, I suppose, depends on your politics.

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