(from here)

I am beginning to wonder whether the Democratic Party will be able to field a credible presidential candidate this year. What got me onto this question? Well, as I have grown old, I have become fascinated by words. The pursuit of words (since they don’t run away) is a sedate activity suitable for creaking old bones.

Question: Since Joe Biden is old and makes lots of gaffes, does that make him an old gaffer?

The answer, surprisingly, is no. Consider the etymology of both words.

gaffe (n.)

“blunder,” 1909, perhaps from French gaffe “clumsy remark,” originally “boat hook,” from Middle French gaffe (15c.), from Old Provençal gafar “to seize,” probably from a Germanic source, from Proto-Germanic *gaf-, which is perhaps from PIE root *kap- “to grasp.” Sense connection between the hook and the blunder is obscure; the gaff was used to land big fish. Or the Modern English word might derive from British slang verb gaff “to cheat, trick” (1893); or gaff “criticism” (1896), from Scottish dialect sense of “loud, rude talk” (see gaff (n.2)).


gaffer (n.)

1580s, “elderly rustic,” apparently (based on continental analogies) a contraction of godfather (compare gammer). Originally a term of respect, also applied familiarly; from “old man” it was extended by 1841 to foremen and supervisors, which sense carried over in early 20c. to “electrician in charge of lighting on a film set.”

I suppose we can call Biden an old gaffer, but “gaffer” is a title of respect, not derision. Surprise! Surprise! Only a Brit would have known for sure.

So, that led to another question.

Question: Just how serious a problem are Joe Biden’s gaffes?

At this point Biden is the Democratic Party’s presumptive nominee, but Biden is a notorious gaffe machine. Even Biden’s reputation for corruption does not outweigh his notoriety for outrageous gaffes. That said, is Biden a good choice for the Democrats? Can he win the presidency?

Let’s look at Biden’s latest gaffe, his argument with a Michigan autoworker over the 2nd Amendment and the AR-15 rifle. Here are different perspectives from Fox News and CNN.

Are Biden’s gaffes new, something we have only just become aware of? No. Even Time Magazine has a list that seems to have come out in 2010, Top 10 Joe Biden Gaffes (

So what should we make of Biden’s gaffes? Well, instead of trying to answer that question, in the next post I will present a list of Biden’s most recent gaffes. Then you can judge for yourself.

Meanwhile, contemplate this thought. Because Bernie Sanders is effectively a Communist, the Democratic Party’s establishment (including the elites we call superdelegates) considers him an unacceptable candidate head their ticket. Sanders’ sins include complimenting the likes of Castro (see here ( and Hugo Chavez (see here ( So, the Democratic Party’s establishment is backing Joe Biden instead. Yet Biden is best remembered for his gaffes. If Biden is the best the Democrats can come up with, who will those who refuse to vote for Trump give their votes? Biden? Or a third party candidate?




  1. Thank you very much for this interesting post, I really enjoyed reading it and learning from your thoughts! I have recently published an article on my blog about why I love Joe Biden. If you have time, it would be great if you could check out my post and let me know your thoughts! Thank you and best wishes 🙂

  2. Tom.
    You said,

    ” Over the years I have decided that most people do more harm out of stupidity than malice. Even when they allow their pride, greed, lust, gluttony, lust, and so forth to rule them, they delude themselves. ”

    If I may add my opinion, you just repeated what King Solomon observed and wrote in his Ecclesiastes 3000 years ago. Only exception is he used foolishness instead of stupidity.

    On another subject, check out my post on how coronavirus is spread just published yesterday. I believe the info should be on the front page news headlines in comparison to the upcoming Dem primary which of the two “foolish agendas” they want to choose, in my opinion.

    “Coronavirus Time Wisdom

    Regards and goodwlll blogging.

  3. Biden will be the D nominee because he is still considered a “moderate” Democrat merely by his association with Obama and by the fact that it’s a very low bar to be moderate when compared to B Sanders. He’s flipped on some pretty key issues though which if he actually believes his own bs makes him a typical left wing progressive. I don’t think going in to the primary election with a “well, at least he’s not a communist…” label from your supporters is a winning narrative and his daily gaffes make things all the more bleak for Democrats. We can’t count anything or anyone out though so we shall see.

    1. @Tricia


      The notion that Obama is a “moderate” is quite laughable. His term of office ushered in a series of social disasters. What he did with respect to immigration policy, the definition of marriage, the government role in education, and the regulation of healthcare created a series of messes. Because of his stances on Socialism and Environmental regulation, the economy cratered. He used our military to bomb any small country he find an excuse to bomb. Hence, I could not figure out what motivates him, or why people voted for him. For all practical purposes, that man was slowly destroying the country.

      Yet 2016 and 2020 the Democrats have competed with Sanders to demonstrate that they are more “Progressive” than Sanders. If they are more “Progressive”, then how on earth can they be more “moderate”?

      Over the years I have decided that most people do more harm out of stupidity than malice. Even when they allow their pride, greed, lust, gluttony, lust, and so forth to rule them, they delude themselves. They don’t want to know the truth. Therefore, I don’t think Democrats care what words mean. They just use the words they use because they sound good.

  4. The Biden phenomenon is another example that I believe supports my desire to see term limits for people who serve in high offices in The United States. It is hard to determine whether such cases are simply “Gaffes” or if there is something more serious behind the gaffe syndrome … Also another reason for all such candidates to be thoroughly vetted for stability as a qualification for entry into the races for high offices.

    1. @John

      Well, I have a hard time imagining why Biden would fake being senile. However, I do favor term limits. That will require a convention of the states to kick off the ratification process. Congress won’t vote for term limits..

      1. I favor the idea of having candidates of any kind complete a mandatory set of psychological testing to ascertain stability. They used to do it in industry and now they need to do it in politics.

  5. Tom,.

    I have never listened more than 5 minutes to the Dem debates. The only thing I ever hear Biden state on news media is something in effect to vote for him to beat Trump.

    So, I looked up his site to try to understand where he stands on specific issues and it appears to me, he is a continuation of Obama beliefs. I do not agree with his beliefs on certain issues compared to Trump.

    As for him being old, frankly age should be an asset based on experiences assuming he is not a fool or is in fact having dementia problems.

    As for him being a gaffe, I wonder how anyone can really trust him based on how he handled the Ukraine and China negotiations to personally enrich his son.

    In my opinion, who he chooses for VP might be more significant factor for our Nation in event he wins.

    Wish voters would discern the issues and compare before they vote rather than listen to a lot of hype in the news and TV advertisements.

    Regards and goodwill blogging.

  6. LOL! Here in the land of fishermen, an “old gaffer” is indeed an honorary title.

    So, in our very liberal, very blue state, Trump just won more primary votes than any other primary candidate in our state’s history. That’s partially because the Dem vote was split among other candidates. Just the same, it was remarkable, ground breaking, because he’s a shoe in, the presumptive Republican nominee. Our vote was not really required and yet people mobilized anyway, and took the time to show their approval. A bit amusing, in my dinky county that amounted to a few thousand pro-Trump votes. Our leaders are all in a dither, horrified to discover there are indeed, a few thousand of us here. 🙂

  7. Extreme leftism has destroyed the Democratic party. The average democrat is not a Marxist. The average American doesn’t identify as ‘extreme left’ politically. The Dems are reaping the harvest sewn by identity politics. They pandered to the noisy socialists and alienated millions of the people in their base.

    After all their talk about equality and diversity, they nominated an old, white guy who can’t speak more than two sentences without flubbing something up. They picked him over the women. They picked him over the people of color. They picked him over the homosexual. No matter how the media spins it, Biden’s nomination is a testimony to the true values of the Democratic party.

    1. @John Branyan

      I think Biden is getting the support of the Democratic Party’s establishment because they hope blacks can be persuaded to turn out and vote for him. As Obama’s VP, he has Obama’s implicit endorsement. What is strange is that Democrats appear to be trying to shut down the Democratic presidential primary. They want Sanders to concede. They are probably afraid of a one on one debate. If that’s the case, they will have very interesting convention.

    2. @John Branyan

      I would add that I believe Sanders is probably beginning to realize he can win the nomination if he is willing to fight for it. Hence, I wouldn’t be surprised if the Democrats nominate a Communist.

  8. Mistakes and some forays into confusion can be forgiven given considering the constant traveling and speaking engagements but to grow more and more belligerent toward your voting populace is both stupid and detrimental to ones cause— not to mention rude to one’s fellow human beings— as I noted in today’s post— we seem to be on a similar mindset today Tom…

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