Can Joe Biden ever rise above the Joe Biden stereotype?
As the weekend started, our logorrheic Vice President stated at length and in detail that Russia is in serious economic, political and demographic trouble and so will likely submit to America's diplomatic will in the future.
The Veep is right, of course, about Russia's miserable situation, not that Russia has ever been much better than miserable in its entire, miserable history.
However, by saying this undiplomatic thing in public, Biden has certainly made the future all the more difficult. Much of Russia's miserable history has to do with its national pattern of stubbornly resisting the will of the West so that it can bravely assert its rugged independence and equality at the table of nations, only to isolate itself and exacerbate its problems in the process. Saying that Russia is miserable is doubtless the best way to induce Russia to ignore that reality and act on its counterfactual opposite.
As we remember that Biden was picked by Obama to bring international heft to his ticket, we reflect on just what a miserable decision that was.