Know Your Joe Biden Trivia

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Like I mentioned in the debate thread, Biden used the Supreme Court round to make a super-subtle reference to his borking of Robert Bork. Biden said:

When Hillary's husband asked me for his advice when he was appointing people, I wanted to go to people and so did he–we couldn't. Four people turned it down. We wanted to get someone who, in fact, knew what it was to live life. Knew what it was—not as some intellectual feast.

Dial the Wayback Machine for 20 years and two months ago…

ALAN K. SIMPSON, Republican of Wyoming: And now I have one final question. Why do you want to be an Associate Justice of the United States Supreme Court?

BORK: Senator, I guess the answer to that is that I have spent my life in the intellectual pursuits in the law… and I think it would be an intellectual feast just to be there and to read the briefs and discuss things with counsel and discuss things with my colleagues.

It was Biden's greatest triumph in the Judiciary Committee, so maybe he assumes we all remember it this clearly.

NEXT: Democratic Debate VII: The Theomachy at the Thomas and Mack Center

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  1. considering that he’s only running to hobnob with washington insiders maybe they do remember it clearly.

  2. How can you say that, Stephen? Blocking Bork’s nomination was vital for this country, and especially for progressives.

  3. Bork reference aside, is Biden actually saying that Stephen Breyer knew what it was to live life when he was appointed? If so, talk about a low bar.

  4. Is Senator Biden a native English speaker?

  5. Bork, Bork, Bork!

    – The Swedish Chef

  6. I like Joe Biden because he’s a rarity in Washington…he actually says what he thinks.

    Aside from that, I usually disagree with everything he says, and he’s usually wrong. But at least he’s honest, which cannot be said for Hillary, Mitt and Rudy, among others.

  7. I like Joe Biden because he’s a rarity in Washington…he actually says what he thinks.

    *Cheap Shot*
    Errr… or is that he says what other people say?
    */Cheap Shot*

  8. OFF TOPIC, FIRST-TIME POST:
    Lately I’ve been itching to discuss politics with reasonable folk. Are there any online forums you guys can recommend? I often read Reason comments after many, many posts have piled up and find myself wanting to join in but always feel I would be entering the discussion late.

    Oh, yeah…um Bork jokes…hmmm…

    Bork and Bjork walk into an Icelandic bar exam…

  9. Of course Biden remembers Robert Bork. Spiking that nomination was the highlight of Biden’s lifelong career of thwarting his intellectual superiors.

    -jcr

  10. Robert Bork would have been a fantastic Justice. Thanks David for reminding me why Joe Biden is so horrible.

  11. EK,

    I also like politics.reddit.com — although it varies in reasonableness, and its comment-level voting system has dysfunctional areas. It looks good by this comments, I think. Mainline reddit.com still sometimes has good comments. You’ll also osee the odd “VOTE UP IF YOU THINK THE RON PAUL SPAMMERS SHOULD PISS OFF AND DIE”, and socialist propaganda posters taken seriously.

    Disclosure: I am ‘ayrnieu’ of that first link.

  12. EK,

    Don’t worry about being late to the party. Post away. H&R is the best, by far, place to post about politics, or anything else for that matter.

    As to “reasonable folk”, some at H&R are more reasonable than others, but it is generally a pretty civil place.

  13. In retrospect, we can all agree that it was good that Bork was Borked. (If you have any doubts, read his books).

    And that Biden is an insufferable gasbag.

  14. “we can all agree” ???

    We can all agree it’s Friday. That’s about all “we can all agree” on.

  15. Biden’s right about this. The amiable, well-rounded non-academics who came to the court with broad resumes have tended to rise to the top, while the brainiacs have tended to sink into mediocrity and rigidity. That goes for both sides of the aisle.

    And while carrying out the Saturday Night Massacre when two more honorable men refused is, indeed, a pretty compelling resume item, it’s safe to say that Bork’s theocratic tendencies and unquestioning certainty would not have made for a good Supreme Court justice.

  16. Blocking Bork’s nomination was vital for this country, and especially for progressives.

    Yep, and there’s exactly 2 people here who give a rat’s ass about what is vital for “progressives”.

  17. And frankly, as someone who spends his time trying to sell coat hangers to back-alley abortionists, I think the Borking of Bork was outrageous.

  18. Personally, I think Yogi had it right… it’s less of his remembrances of the hearing and more just Biden’s propensity for plagiarism at work there, methinks.

    After all, I’m sure Biden can read the Congressional Record just as well as any other Congress Critter.

  19. The amiable, well-rounded non-academics who came to the court with broad resumes have tended to rise to the top, while the brainiacs have tended to sink into mediocrity and rigidity.

    Considering that Breyer was on the faculty at Harvard Law, I would tend to agree with this.

  20. Roberts, Alito, Thomas: NEEEEEEERRRRRRRDDDDDDDSSSSSSS!!!!!!

  21. Bork was famous for calling the 9th amendment an “Ink Blot”

    “The enumeration in the Constitution, of certain rights, shall not be construed to deny or disparage others retained by the people”

  22. bigbigslacker | November 16, 2007, 9:15am | #
    “we can all agree” ???

    We can all agree it’s Friday. That’s about all “we can all agree” on.

    Not hier . It was 15 min after midnight on Saturday for any Chamorran reasonoid when you posted.

  23. We can all agree it’s Friday. That’s about all “we can all agree” on.

    No it isn’t, its Saturday.

  24. Whatever one thinks of the results Bork reached, I think he clearly was qualified for the position and that he had an intellectually coherent and respectable constitutional theory, and should have been confirmed. If he had then I don’t think the right would have got so energized about Court appointments and we probably would have got Kennedy’s instead of Thomases and the Court would probably be about the same…Don’t get me wrong, I don’t think Bork’s views are always correct and his hyper-partisan activity since leaving the bench might be a bit telling of the fact that he himself would have been a plenty partisan judge, but I think there should be deference to nominees. If you don’t like the kind of folks someone will appoint, don’t vote for that person.

  25. So if the president goes out of his way to pick a nominee based on political ideology, it is inappropriate for Congress to take political ideology into account as they consider him?

    If the Democrats had allowed Reagan to put an ideological right-wing activist on the court, the Republicans would have been LESS likely to nominate ideological right-wing activists to the court?

    I don’t think either of those arguments are plausible.

  26. Joe-this goes both ways…Should Republicans have worked to block FDR’s candidates on the grounds that their readings of law that were more favorable to labor and regulation were politically motivated and hence FDR was playing politics? My answer is no to both…Part of the right’s rabid take on the Court and nominations comes from the Bork trouble.

  27. If Douglas Ginsburg was denied a seat on the Court for using pot in the 1960s, surely Bork deserved to get bounced for actions with respect to Archibold Cox.

  28. MNG,

    Appointing justices to the Supreme Court is an inherently political act. Giving the President the lattitude to be as political as he wants to be while insisting that the Senate be apolitical throws the system of checks and balances out of whack.

    Since the only way to chack the political impulses of the president is with the political impulses of the Senate, I’m fine with that.

    It would be best for the president and the Senate to reach an agreement to dial back the ideological quotient – he nominate non-ideologues, they don’t impose ideological litmus tests, and they demonstrate great deferance to each others’ opinions about what crosses the line. That’s just good governance.

    But if the president doesn’t want to play that game, and wants to make his court-appointing power an exercise in partisanship or ideology, then that’s what the process is going to be. No way should Congress unilaterally disarm – only as part of a mutual agreement.

  29. “No way should Congress unilaterally disarm – only as part of a mutual agreement.”

    yes, Mutual Surrender

    *strikes jaunty pose

  30. Hey, that guy’s jaunty! Get ‘im!

  31. “knew what it was to live life”
    Doesn’t that describe Justice Thomas better than any of the other eight? And how did Biden vote on Thomas?

  32. Bork is ancient history, but Biden is still a turdball.

  33. I guess the answer to that is that I have spent my life in the intellectual pursuits in the law.

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