Joe Biden exhumes the middle class


Keep digging! (Amanda Inscore/AP)

Earlier Tuesday, in Charlotte, he questioned the wisdom of raising taxes on the middle class, noting that the middle class “has been buried the last four years.”

Is it just me, or has the gaffe cycle gotten a lot faster lately? No sooner were the words out of Biden’s mouth, than both Mitt Romney and Paul Ryan were riffing on them — “Agree with @JoeBiden, the middle class has been buried the last 4 years, which is why we need a change in November,” Romney’s account tweeted — and then Biden was retracting them before you could say “back in chains” three times fast.

“The middle class was buried by the policies that Romney and Ryan have supported,” he corrected in Asheville, Tuesday afternoon.

This is faster than certain dryer cycles. The speed of light is C. The speed of gaffe is CNN. And it’s increasing all the time. They say that a lie can travel halfway around the world while the truth is still putting on its pants and trying to locate its shoes and banging its shin on the bedstead and cursing to itself. But introduce a gaffe into the equation, and a lie barely makes it onto the podium. At the rate things are increasing in speed, soon people will be using misstatements their opponents haven’t even made yet.

“I have the feeling that Joe Biden is going to say something foolish,” you say. “Get out a tweet!”

It’s really remarkable. The gaffe machine just gets more and more efficient. They take the words right out of your mouth and start packaging them before you even realize what you’ve said. Joe Biden is exhuming the middle class before you even realized they were buried.

Alexandra Petri writes the ComPost blog, offering a lighter take on the news and opinions of the day. She is the author of "A Field Guide to Awkward Silences".

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