OK, we all love to poke fun at Joe Biden. It’s become a new national pastime.
After all, he sticks his foot in his mouth more frequently than a baby. I’m surprised he still has such remarkable flexibility at his age.
But while our vice president is loquacious, irrepressible, unpredictable and subject to more gaffes than the Eagles this past season, he knows the art of the deal.
Donald Trump has nothing on Biden, except the former’s weave has outlasted the latter’s hair plugs.
“When Joe Biden gets going on a deal, he’ll talk that deal until it’s shimmering before your eyes in God’s holy light … like the Taj Mahal,” said one pundit about Biden, the son of a used-card salesman.
While the rest of us were drinking shots ushering in the New Year, Biden and Senate Republican Leader Mitch McConnell were burning the midnight oil and brain cells sealing a deal.
Legislation to negate a fiscal cliff of across-the-board tax increases and sweeping spending cuts to the Pentagon and other government agencies is headed to the GOP-dominated House after bipartisan, middle-of-the-night approval in the Senate capped a New Year’s Eve drama unlike any other in the annals of Congress.
The measure cleared the Senate on an 89-8 vote early this morning.
It would prevent middle-class taxes from going up but would raise rates on higher incomes. It would also block spending cuts for two months, extend unemployment benefits for the long-term jobless, prevent a 27 percent cut in fees for doctors who treat Medicare patients and prevent a spike in milk prices.
Hung over or not, who could argue with that?
Granted, this isn’t paradise so there always will be cherubs with their smiles upside down. The measure ensures that lawmakers will have to revisit difficult budget questions in just a few weeks, as relief from painful spending cuts expires and the government requires an increase in its borrowing cap.
Now it’s on to the House, where hope of compromise frequently goes to die.
House Speaker John Boehner pointedly refrained from endorsing the agreement, though he’s promised a vote on it or a GOP alternative right away. But he was expected to encounter opposition from House conservatives.
We all would be better off if those tea drinkers in the House switched to bourbon or Scotch.
Here’s hoping that Biden, a guy who evidently could sell rosary beads to Muslims, can make a deal with those stubborn fire hydrants.