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Thursday, September 18, 2014

Just A Pound Of Flesh Away From The Presidency

Vice President Biden has had to apologize for an embarrassing gaff he made this week.

Aw heck, why paraphase it when the original article describes it best:

"At a Tuesday conference marking the 40th anniversary of the Legal Services Corporation, Biden recalled anecdotes from his son's experience serving in Iraq and meeting members of the military who were in need of legal help because of problems back at home.

"That's one of the things that he finds was most in need when he was over there in Iraq for a year," Biden said. "That people would come to him and talk about what was happening to them at home in terms of foreclosures, in terms of bad loans that were being ... I mean these Shylocks who took advantage of, um, these women and men while overseas."

Upon being informed that the term 'Shylock' might contain some slight anti-Semitic overtone, Biden said, "I want to apologize to any sheenies and kikes who might have been offended by my use of the word Shylock to describe those Jewish Bankers and moneylenders. In my defense, I have never read 'The Merchant of Venice' or seen it performed. In fact since getting caught plagiarizing, I've taken great pains not to expose myself to anthing of intellectual value that I might inadvertently try to pass off as my own work."

Okay, I made that last part up...

But to offer a historical context, Shakespeare wrote 'The Merchant of Venice' (and all his other works), during a period when all Jews had been expelled from England. Meaning, 'The Bard' can probably be forgiven for relying on inaccurate negative stereotypes of the period since he had probably never seen or met a Jew in real life.

Which begs the question, what's Biden's excuse?

Posted by David Bogner on September 18, 2014 | Permalink

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This is an overreaction. The term "shylock" has entered the English language, for better or for worse and unlike the verb "to Jew" someone it doesn't immediately betray its origins. I recall years ago a good friend of mine with no animus towards Jews (his two best friends were observant Zionist Jews) telling us that the best night to go to the movies was "Jew Tuesday" because tickets were half price. We both stared at him but he never caught on. It was simply part of the language for him.

Posted by: Garnel Ironheart | Sep 18, 2014 8:33:20 PM

Garner Ironheart... Some of his best friends were Jewish?! Well why didn't you say so? Then he couldn't have any anti-Semitic feelings. Thanks for clearing that up with what is arguably the oldest cliche in the bigot's bag of excuses.

Posted by: Treppenwitz | Sep 18, 2014 9:03:35 PM

[W]hat's Biden's excuse?

He is an idiot; that is, his IQ is on a par with that of bread mold.

Posted by: antares | Sep 19, 2014 1:41:48 AM

But we have no expectations of bread mold except that it induce allergic responses, be mildly toxic and perhaps hallucinogenic.

Posted by: Rich | Sep 21, 2014 6:13:03 AM

1) Garnel is right. Some Jewish expressions like tuchus or putz have entered the language. Many folks who use such words don't know their origin. As a boy, I heard tuchus jokingly used in my very Southern WASP family and had no idea of that word's Yiddish origin until long after I became an adult.

2) I don't think Biden is very stable due to a possible stroke or the brain surgery he had a while back.

3) Biden is a blowhard. He likes to hear himself talk and has to fill all that time with something, so he lets his mouth outrun his brain.

My $0.02.

Posted by: Karl Newman | Sep 21, 2014 8:11:31 AM

What a great title. ;./

Posted by: Wry Mouth | Oct 2, 2014 1:54:41 AM

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