Wednesday, January 25, 2012
Junius to Joe Biden
(Third in an occasional series)
Even democracies have their rough equivalent of a “royal court”, and so it is apposite that in our own the office of jester should be elective. Rarely, however, have the people evinced such felicity of understanding, such penetrating acuity, as when they measured Your Excellency’s head for the cap and bells.
That a merry buffoon should be so positioned as to stand next in line for the presidency, in the event of the death or incapacity of the Chief Executive, is perhaps a matter of less genuine levity than the citizenry, upon more sober reflection, would have bargained for. That is as may be; however, since a morning-after repentance by an electorate that has come tardily to its senses affords no effectual means for correcting this rash deed before the next election, you have been perfectly at liberty to disport yourself before the public eye without let or hindrance, and the alacrity with which you have exercised this right is the stuff of legend.
Doubtless a long apprenticeship in the clown profession furnished the experience that has, thus far, stood Your Excellency in such good stead during your Vice Presidency. What astute observer of public affairs could forget your risible appropriation of a British Labour leader’s cri de coeuer, or your failed attempt at faith healing when you invited a state senator, confined to a wheel chair, to “stand up”? What person, be his disposition never so dour, could suppress a smile at the recollection of Your Excellency’s wonder over the seeming magnetism that draws our Hindu brethren irresistibly toward employment in those commercial establishments known as “7-11s”?
Ah, but what refinements in drollery Your Excellency has instituted upon assuming your present office! Surely, the Irish Prime Minister was deeply impressed when you unseasonably attempted to pack his mother off to Paradise; and the airline industry, in all likelihood, didn’t truly suffer overmuch as a result of your discourse on the subject of the heightened communicability of disease in confined spaces. And although prudish sorts may have recoiled in horror as you employed a particularly vulgar expression during a public appearance, just imagine how this breach of etiquette raised you in the esteem of the Great Unwashed (who are every bit as likely to vote as their more genteel fellow citizens – always with the proviso, of course, that sufficient monetary or alcoholic incentives are made available).
It is obvious that Your Excellency has taken as his credo that famous exhortation to “leave them laughing.” Rest assured that nothing would more gladden the hearts of true patriots than that you should fulfill at least the first part of this self-imposed obligation at your earliest convenience, and that you should not, for any reason, consider yourself bound to stand upon the necessity of accomplishing the latter; for, on my word of honor, Sir, we have had a surfeit of your whimsicality.
(The image at the heading of the post is of Sir Philip Francis, considered by many scholars to have been the author of the original Junius letters)