Tuesday, August 21, 2012

An Idea Whose Time Has Come - Neurological Testing for Biden

Whilst over at Instapundit's site, I ran across this article. The author makes the case for a competency test for Vice-President Joe Biden.

I concur.

The surprising thing about this article is not the author's assertion that Ol' Slow Joe might have some sort of, um, problem processing information. It's that, instead of finding this article on some nondescript website like, say, this one, it's from Forbes.com.

Yes, that Forbes.

It’s no sin not to be a polymath but most of us who have spent time in Washington have noted politicians’ abject failure to know what they don’t know. Psychiatrists call this lack of insight.  [It's also called the Dunning-Kruger Effect.]

There are worse things for a politician than lack of insight – and the person selected by Barack Obama to be a heartbeat away from the presidency exhibits many of them. Joe Biden has problems with impulse control and reality testing; increasingly, his utterances suggest some sort of dementia.

Well, I certainly can't argue that one. I mean, it's bad when the VP doesn't know where he is, but when he can't recall his own college days, I feel really, really, really concerned about him being a heartbeat away from the most powerful political office in the free world.

Here's an oldy but goodies from 1987...

That's Biden: self confident, poised and sure of himself, all admirable qualities in a politician. All except for one or two teensy-weensy little things...

However, after inaccuracies in his statements were exposed, Biden made this admission on September 22, 1987: ”I did not graduate in the top half of my class at law school and my recollection of this was inaccurate.” He had actually graduated 76th in a class of 85 from the Syracuse College of Law. And Biden’s baccalaureate accomplishment was a single B.A. degree.
 Shouldn't some sort of testing be required of those seeking office?

Are these aberrations stupidity, dementia or personality disorders? To find out, shouldn’t there be some vetting or testing of people in, or who aspire to, governmental positions as critical as the vice-presidency? After all, we require bus drivers and hairdressers to prove their competence before they are permitted to ply their trades, and applicants to most police forces undergo psychological testing.

Biden should submit to a thorough neurological and psychiatric examination, with special attention to whether he is experiencing “transient ischemic attacks” – marked by impaired blood flow to the brain – small strokes, seizures, or suffers from a brain tumor. After all, we often demand to know whether a candidate has recovered from open-heart surgery, cancer or a stroke, and many states require elderly drivers to be re-licensed.
 Actually, I'd like to see a lot more testing of candidates. In addition to psychological testing, I'd really like to see them tested for things such as Constitutional knowledge, economics and free market theories. Naturally, these test questions should be public knowledge and we should have every candidate's scores in order to make an informed decision about whom we cast our vote.

The tests need not be long or involved. But they should prove at least a passing familiarity with the ground rules of American politics and the Constitution, unlike Pete Starks:

Um, no it can't, Pete. There are limits to the things you can do under the Constitution.

We the people understand this simple concept. Why don't you ?

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