I have a confession to make.
I like Senator Joe Biden.
I disagree with his politics, of course, and find him a one-man circus. Yet there is something about his essential weirdness that makes me overlook Biden's terrible policy positions and his inflated ego.
Therefore, I had to wince when a man who, despite himself, has a sense of honor (at times) agreed to run as Sen. Barack Obama's vice president. Even Biden's quirkiness never will overcome that stain.
Therefore, to watch Biden essentially implode as he tepidly defended Barack Obama last night was painful. And what a defense Biden gave Obama. If silence is acceptance here, Biden basically agreed with Gov. Sarah Palin's harsh and accurate depictions of Obama. Biden didn't refute that Obama was unqualified to be president of the United States. Biden didn't refute that Sen. John McCain is qualified to be president of the United States. Biden didn't refute that Obama is the ultimate lightweight.
In fact, "refute" is the wrong word here. Biden didn't even bother to respond. My gut tells me he knows what Palin said is true.
A few weeks ago, I was certain McCain would win this election. I am no longer so sanguine. The economic collapse, and McCain's rather weak reaction to it, may have given Obama the edge.
For Biden's sake (as well as the sake of the United States), I still believe McCain could pull it out. But if that doesn't happen, the Delaware senator is in for a long, hellish four years of carrying water for someone who doesn't deserve it and will never appreciate it. And if McCain does in fact pull it out, people like me who had some effection for Biden never will look at him the same way again.
Yes, Biden lost the debate. But more than that, he lost his last shred of dignity when he signed onto the Obama ticket. Elections happen every two or four years. Character, when lost, never returns.