Being Senator Means Never Having to Say You're Sorry


Nothing more unintentionally entertaining than a career U.S. senator speaking with utter ironclad certainty that whatever foreign policy he favors this year, it's 100 percent correct, 100 percent better than his opponent's, and, well, let's not look to closely under that voting record, shall we?

There were many puzzling passages in Joe Biden's speech tonight (the emergence of India as a "great power" is helping making America "less secure and more isolated"? What?), but this Georgia bit is stuck in my muffin:

In recent days, we've once again seen the consequences of this neglect with Russia's challenge to the free and democratic country of Georgia. Barack Obama and I will end this neglect. We will hold Russia accountable for its actions, and we'll help the people of Georgia rebuild.

I've been on the ground in Georgia, Iraq, Pakistan and Afghanistan, and I can tell you in no uncertain terms: this administration's policy has been an abject failure.

Is the problem really that the Bush administration neglected Georgia? Dude danced there a couple years back, threw a lot of below-the-radar support to the Rose Revolution, and his alleged Siamese twin John McCain knows that country more than just about any U.S. senator.

The foreign policy problem here isn't neglect, but something closer to the opposite: In meddling (knowledgeably!) in the affairs of a formerly soviet state with unresolved civil wars involving populations sympathetic to Russia, Bush might have (and McCain probably will) mistakenly egged on Russia. Obama, in fact, slammed McCain for showing disproportionate bluster.

So what does Biden say? "Barack Obama and I will end this neglect. We will hold Russia accountable for its actions." Well, Joe, how, exactly? And how is Obama's support for Georgia's entrance into NATO any different than McCain's?

At any rate, Biden is always good for a laugh. But with too many senators chasing too few White House jobs, there's going to be a lot of confident nonsense spoken about how and when America should, to paraphrase Biden's son, stare down the Slobodan Milosevices of the world.