Would Joe Biden Travel In A Tardis?

Poor Joe Biden. He’s been mocked a lot today for his gaffes regarding the swine flu (although as Steve M. points out, what he said is far less ridiculous than some of the comments coming from the right.)

As even Barack Obama has been known to make fun of Joe every now and then, and as this blog deals with both politics and science fiction, I have a question for Joe. If we are advised to stay out of confined spaces such as subways and planes (which might not actually be bad advice should the virus continue to spread), what about other modes of transportation? For example what about the Tardis?

The Tardis is dimensionally transcendental, with the inside and outside existing in different dimensions. For those who don’t understand Timelord science, this means that the Tardis is small on the outside but much larger inside. Here is just a small portion of the inside:


Of course if Joe would travel in a Tardis, he would fit in much better with some of earlier incarnations of The Doctor. In recent years, to attract ta younger audience, they have been using younger and younger actors on Doctor Who. I most see Joe Biden as being like Jon Pertwee, the third Doctor:


Fighting The Religious Right

I’ve often pointed out how different the views of the current conservative movement are compared to those of past conservative leaders such as Barry Goldwater. Andrew Sullivan has posted another example:

There is no position on which people are so immovable as their religious beliefs. There is no more powerful ally one can claim in a debate than Jesus Christ, or God, or Allah, or whatever one calls this supreme being. But like any powerful weapon, the use of God’s name on one’s behalf should be used sparingly. The religious factions that are growing throughout our land are not using their religious clout with wisdom. They are trying to force government leaders into following their position 100 percent.

If you disagree with these religious groups on a particular moral issue, they complain, they threaten you with a loss of money or votes or both. I’m frankly sick and tired of the political preachers across this country telling me as a citizen that if I want to be a moral person, I must believe in ‘A,’ ‘B,’ ‘C,’ and ‘D.’ Just who do they think they are? And from where do they presume to claim the right to dictate their moral beliefs to me? And I am even more angry as a legislator who must endure the threats of every religious group who thinks it has some God-granted right to control my vote on every roll call in the Senate. I am warning them today: I will fight them every step of the way if they try to dictate their moral convictions to all Americans in the name of ‘conservatism.”
Barry Goldwater, Congressional Record, September 16, 1981.

Can The Democrats Lose By Winning?

While believe the Republicans have dug themselves into a deep hole, and appear to be continuing to dig deeper, at times I’ve also expressed the view that if the Democrats over-extend they risk a backlash which could return the Republicans to power. It makes sense that if the Democrats propose or pass unpopular measures they risk being voted out. Matthew Yglesias pointed out today that the Democrats also risk losing power if they pass measures which are popular, but which eliminate the reasons why many people voted for them:

I do think it’s always worth considering an alternative. I think it’s very possible that Democrats could “gain so much power” that they implement at least some of their “crazy plans” and that the people, rather than revolting, will just turn their attention to other issues. For example, many Americans feels anxiety about their health insurance status. And the majority of these people vote for Democrats. But if Democrats deliver a health care reform plan that assuages those fears, those voters may start voting more on their hatred of abortion or love of torture and bring Republicans back into power.

You can think of Dwight Eisenhower succeeding as a politician not despite the New Deal, but in large part because the New Deal’s successes eventually built a country that no longer had a strong desire for progressive economic policy. Or how today’s tax cut jihad has trouble attracting votes in part because marginal tax rates are much lower than where they were before Reagan cut them—the issue just doesn’t matter as much to people as it used to.

This is potentially true. What will make it harder for the Republicans to recover is that so many people voted primarily against the Republicans as opposed to for the Democrats. Many people wanted the Democrats to win, regardless of what they planned to do in office, because things were so bad under the Republicans. We got to a point where a strong majority of voters thought that nobody could do worse than the Bush administration. Beyond their incompetence in office, the extremist ideas promoted by the Republicans were rejected by voters, and at present the Republicans are responding with a delusional argument that they lost because they weren’t conservative enough.