Saturday, October 13, 2012

Eric Hoffer Notes - "Rudeness is the weak man's imitation of strength."

James Taranto writes:

Rudeness is the weak man's imitation of strength," the longshoreman cum philosopher Eric Hoffer once observed. Hoffer died in 1983, so he probably wasn't referring specifically to Joe Biden's performance in last night's debate. Still, the observation is fitting.

In addition to the vice president's boorishness, a lot of observers noted that he frequently smiled and chuckled at inappropriate times--even during a discussion of Iran's pursuit of nuclear weapons. The Republican National Committee quickly put out an ad consisting of nearly a minute of such clips followed by the caption: "Vice President Biden is laughing . . . Are you?" If Biden finds himself out of work in January, he may have a career ahead of him as a Fixodent pitchman.


And so he overcompensated for his weakness by acting the bully in an attempt to dominate Ryan. His behavior was not only consistent with Hoffer's aphorism but in sharp contrast with that of Mitt Romney, who actually did dominate Obama in a coolly masterful way. If Biden's rudeness was an imitation of strength, Romney's poise was a display of the real thing.

Then there is this on Biden's obviously ridiculous statement that we don't have to worry about Iran getting "fissile material": reports that even Tom Brokaw said it was inappropriate for Biden to laugh during the discussion of Iran, whose president has vowed to exterminate Israel. Reader Taylor Dinerman, a journalist who specializes in aerospace (and who also knows National Review's Rich Lowry), argues that Biden's pooh-poohing of Iran's developing nuclear capability was dangerously fatuous:

The worst part of the debate and the part that I wish Ryan had been able to counter was when Biden started in on the "They don't have a bomb to put (the fissile material) into."

This is outrageous. The hard part of building a nuclear weapon is to get the fissile material, bomb designs are a dime a dozen and anyone who has access to a copy of the Progressive Magazine from the 1970s when they published a bomb design they had dug up from some documents that were found in the Los Alamos public library can build one. The A.Q. Khan design has long been available to them including any refinements the North Koreans have made.

Making a warhead that can fit on a missile may be harder, but building a basic nuclear weapon that could be put on an airliner or a ship is easy once you have the material.

Doesn't seem so funny now, does it?

1 comment:

marian said...

Inappropriate affect is one of many symptoms clinicians look at in diagnosing a mental health patient.

Who links to me?