I'll Take the Hair Plugs, but Hold the High Moral Tone

In a column in the online Wall Street Journal, available to subscribers, the incomparable Joseph Epstein “reams a new one” for the insufferable Joe Biden:

As for the first objection, the charge of [John Bolton’s] mistreatment of subordinates: In the indelicate phrasing of Sen. Joseph Biden, Mr. Bolton’s penchant, when confronting a subordinate, is alleged to have been that of “reaming him a new one,” and is “just not acceptable.” I myself always find Sen. Biden least acceptable when, as in these hearings, he shifts into high moral dudgeon.

Following Sen. Biden’s career over the years, I have always found him one of those politicians who has the precious gift of easily persuading himself, as Tocqueville once put it, that his “advantage and the general weal conformed.” Whenever I hear the Senator from Delaware in his accusatory mode, I always think of something Tocqueville never got around to saying: that one may have hair plugs or a high moral tone, but surely one ought not to be permitted both.

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