Friday, October 21, 2011
Biden Should Take This Show On The Road
The Man Is A Walking, Talking Gaffe
“Honest - It was a unicorn with a horn
By Dell Hill via Ed Morrissey at Hotair
Whenever I get the feeling that our country is going into the dumper big time, I just think about Vice President Joe “Plugs” Biden and his almost daily travelling comedy revue. When you look up the definition of the word “gaffe”, Joe Biden’s picture should be the first result you see.
Our esteemed VP scored another Saturday Night Live moment this week when he told an audience that failing to pass President Obama’s “jobs” bill would result in more rapes and murders. He theorized that fewer police officers on the street would, quite naturally, result in more rapes and murders, or that having more police officers on the street would reduce the number of rapes and murders....or something. Of course he offered no documentation to support such a foolish suggestion.
Ed Morrissey, over at Hot Air, apparently enjoys the “Joe Biden Show” as much as I do.
“The question of whether Joe Biden has his facts straight is almost always an easy content generator for writers, and in most cases an entertaining mission. However, no one thinks that Biden’s claim that opponents to Barack Obama’s jobs bill want more rapes and murders is the least bit charming or entertaining; despicable would be a better term. Glenn Kessler at the Washington Post has another word for it … absurd.
Not only did Biden and his office get their facts wrong — rapes have not “tripled” in Flint, but actually decreased in the period Biden cited — no one has ever made a causal link between police staffing and crime rates:
This brings us to the central point of Biden’s argument–that fewer police officers means more crime. More police officers might certainly mean more arrests and convictions, particularly for less noteworthy crimes, but researchers have strived to make a link between murders and officers on the street.
University of Chicago economist Steven D. Levitt, who examined ten possible factors for why crime fell in the 1990s, made a noteworthy effort in 2004 to assess the importance of additional cops. He included the increase in police as one factor that could explain the decline in crime. But he also said that other key factors included a rising prison population, the receding crack epidemic and even the legalization of abortion (which resulted in fewer unwanted births).
In other words, even if you could make a link, it is likely one of many factors that affects the crime rate, not the single one, as Biden suggests. The FBI itself lists more than a dozen variables in what causes crime to increase in a community.
I actually laughed out loud when I read this scolding from Kessler, who gives Biden the maximum four Pinocchios for his ludicrous argument:
In any case, the vice president should know better than to spout off half-baked facts in service of a dubious argument. Even if one believes there is a link between crime and the number of police—which is debatable and subject to many caveats—there is no excuse to make the dramatic claim that more people will die or be raped without additional funds for police. When making such a breathtaking charge, you had better have your facts straight.”
Read Ed’s entertaining piece by clicking right here.
Posted by Dell at 11:22 AM