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Saturday, August 18, 2012

Joe Biden's Brain: Confabulating Joe

(Originally posted here at Always On Watch on October 25, 2011, and am reposting the following in light of Biden's recent gaffes, the gift that keeps on giving, and Obama's recent decision to keep Biden on the November 2012 ticket)

As I've said before, Joe Biden has brain issues, including two brain surgeries for aneurysms in 1988. Just a few months ago, he welcomed Representative Gabrielle Giffords to the Cracked Head Club upon her return to Congress.

Simply put, Joe Biden confabulates. Psychiatric definition of the term:
to replace the gaps left by a disorder of the memory with imaginary remembered experiences consistently believed to be true.
Learn more about the fascinating phenomenon of confabulation at Wikipedia. Clearly, confabulation is often connected to wishful thinking and is not a deliberate lie in the strict sense of the word.

I empathize with Joe Biden's brain situation because Mr. AOW went through a period of confabulation for several months following his stroke. In fact, because of the confabulation, Mr. AOW's neurologist didn't pronounce my husband compos mentis until some eighteen months post-stroke. Furthermore, Mr. AOW does still confabulate, but now he recognizes his error as wishful thinking. Still, the words pop out from time to time.

One of the confabulations from Joe Biden involves the following (hat tip to Bloviating Zeppelin):

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Article HERE. Starting at time marker 1:05, see another example of confabulation from Joe Biden (hat tip to The Pagan Temple):
You'll note in the video that Biden's handlers whisked him away before he could insert his foot further into his mouth. Remember that Biden actually believes what he is saying. In fact, Biden can't stop himself from uttering such inanities even if he knows the facts are contrary to his statements. I have to wonder if Obama's advisers told him to choose Confabulating Joe for Vice President because Confabulating Joe inevitably fills in gaps with what he wants to believe and is, therefore, a consistent sycophant. On a political and budgetary level, Bloviating Zeppelin points out the following about the loan to Fisker:
And the price? A "$529 million dollar federal government loan guarantee." HALF a BILLION dollars. Sound familiar? Solyndra, anyone? That's called "the true cost of green jobs," where infrastructure is lacking, when regulations are overbearing, where unions for unskilled laborers rule all, why taxes are confiscatory. And, bottom line, that's called "The Fleecing of the American Taxpayer."
I have reliable information from good sources who are Republicans, from people who personally know Joe Biden, that he is "a nice guy." I have no doubt of that. I'm sure that he is a wonderful guest at the dinner table and sparkles in that kind of venue.

Realistically, should Confabulating Joe Biden be a heartbeat away from the Presidency?


  1. "Realistically, should Confabulating Joe Biden be a heartbeat away from the Presidency? "

    No. Like you I have personal experience of this, as my wife is an aneurysm survivor. It's very difficult to deal with as these ideas that they generate essentially become their reality, and they act accordingly. In that respect it doesn't differ significantly from psychosis. I'd hate to see him in the top spot making decisions.

    Of course, misconceptions and misperceptions of reality are the Democrats philosophical underpinnings, so maybe it doesn't matter.

  2. I feel sorry for the man; but, no he should not be a heartbeat away from the Presidency. I wonder if Pelosi and Whatshername-Schultz also suffer from confabulation?

  3. Conservatives On Fire,
    I've heard that Pelosi has undergone Botox treatment. Does Botox migrate to the brain? There was a law suit involving brain damage caused by Botox injections:

    A federal jury in Virginia has awarded $212 million to a 67-year-old man who sued the maker of the drug Botox, claiming the medication caused brain damage and left him totally disabled.

    As the Richmond Times-Dispatch reports, Douglas Ray of Fredericksburg, Va., was given Botox to treat a hand tremor and writer’s cramp in 2007. But instead of helping, the lawsuit claimed, the treatment triggered an autoimmune reaction leading to permanent brain damage...

    Virginia is famous for not have law suits with such high awards.

  4. Viburnum,
    Like you I have personal experience of this, as my wife is an aneurysm survivor. It's very difficult to deal with as these ideas that they generate essentially become their reality, and they act accordingly.

    Thank you for saying that.

    As you well know, such brain damage doesn't mean that a person is crazy -- not exactly, anyway. But certainly, to use Mr. AOW's term, such a person is "compromised." We're kidding ourselves to think otherwise.

  5. Biden is our greatest ally heading into NOvember!

  6. I wish that Joe Biden WAS the President...

  7. Two things:

    First, most dictionaries defines "confabulation" simply as "conversation." Depend on the psychiatric profession to make something darkly pejorative of it.

    In "my" day we'd just call Joe Biden what he is -- BULLSHIT ARTIST and let it go at that.

    Bullshit produces the same stanch no matter what you call it.

    Second, doesn't everyone who promotes a partisan agenda "confabulate" according to the psychiatric definition of the word?

    The best liars have always been those who've been taken in by their own fallacious thinking.

    By the way, ARLEN SPECTER is also a survivor not only of a brain aneurysm but of some form of cancer as well.

    He too became increasingly irrational towards the end of his political career.

    I'm sure that the after-effects of brain surgery and chemotherapy both can have terrible, deleterious effects on the victims of these diseases.

    BUT when it comes to wishful thinking, all I can say is that if it weren't for wishful thinking politics would cease to exist.

    ~ FreeThinke

  8. I used to mock Joe and the crazy things that came out of his mouth. Had a conservative or Republican of any stripe done anything similar, they would have been drawn, quartered and hung out to dry by the media. Look at how they played up every gaffe made by Bush or Quayle. Some of them are funny, but they don't hold a candle to the material ol Joe has spewed out.

    I've come to the conclusion the guy does indeed have mental problems related to his surgeries and I am sorry for him. I agree that he believes his confabulations. What I don't understand is Team Obama hanging on to him. Joe's confabulations aren't really about Left or Right, they are about physical/mental health. I'd think even far lefties would recognize that Joe has a very real problem. Maybe they are all just into confabulations so he seems normal to them?

    Maybe throwing Joe under the bus at the last minute and bringing on Hilary is part of their plan. If they do it too soon before the election, the "shock and awe" and novelty will wear off. That is probably the only thing that could carry an election for Obama - his record certainly can't. So they have to wait for the October Surprise.

  9. This comment has been removed by the author.

  10. ALSO:

    Obama is keeping Biden on the ticket as a form of "LIFE INSURANCE."

    I, personally, know any number of people who would love to see the president put hors de combat. HOWEVER, having Joe Biden step into Obama's shoes should a 'tragedy' occur, would dump us out of the frying pan into the fire -- and people KNOW that.

    Obama may promote foolish, destructive policies, but he's nobody's fool. The man knows exactly what he's doing -- and so do The Oligarchs who jockeyed him into power.

    Please don't underestimate the power of Obama. The deck is heavily stacked in his favor.

    ~ FT

  11. Let's hope that in 2013 Joe is retired, institutionalized and under the TLC of Nurse Ratched!

  12. I got over the confabulating. The closest I can come to explaining it is that conflating is something like hallucinating, possibly like the weirdness with nitrous oxide like I had as a little kid for dental work. Confabulating is NOT like dreaming.

    Examples of my confabulating:

    If I was hungry, I saw a sandwich on the fireplace hearth.

    I was scared (Who knows why?) and saw a monster on the staircase. It was one of Mrs. AOW's stuffed animals!

    When somebody corrected me, I didn't see the illusion any more!

    My bout with confabulating lasted about 6 months and gradually eased off.

  13. In Biden's case, I think it is a bit of confabulating, but as they say, if you repeat the lie often enough, you believe it yourself.

    Biden has his own reality and WILL NOT stand a challenge to it!

    For Obama to take Biden off the ticket now would be admitting error in the first place. We all know Obama's ego cannot stand that!

    The only way out is to privately convince Biden to step down for 'personal reasons.'

    I think Biden was chosen in the first place because Obama needed someone weak and doofy... Someone who is a yes-man and is even more prone to mistakes than he, thereby making him look good by comparison.

  14. FT,
    There is such a thing as post-brain-injury confabulation. IMO, a lot of it has to do with perceptions and wishful thinking. See Mr. AOW's comment above.

    Mr. AOW didn't tell one other thing because typing is difficult for him, so I will relate it.

    When he was in the nursing home, a place familiar to us because it's been in this neighborhood forever, he said something to the following effect: "I know that I'm in the nursing home. But I FEEL like I'm at the gas station at the corner of Main Street and Elm Street."

    I must also add that Mr. AOW had SEVERE hemineglect. And I so mean SEVERE!

    For example, he could not recognize his left hand as his own appendage! I told him, "Pick it up. Get acquainted with it."

    Mr. AOW: "I see such-and-such scar like the one I got when-----"

    AOW: "That's your scar. That's your hand."

    Mr. AOW: "It must be. But it doesn't SEEM like mine."

    Last night, after nearly three years after his stroke, he again forgot about his left hand and left arm. In fact, this happens all the time!

    I know the neurology behind this, but cannot recall the term. See THIS and THIS videos). The latter is of a dog! You will note that hemineglect is most frequent if the right side of the brain is damaged.

    A book that deals with topic in part: Oliver Sacks's The Man Who Mistook His Wife for a Hat.

  15. Brooke,
    Yes, it might be a combination. See my recent comments for the neurology. But Biden may always have had a tendency to confabulate. Mr. AOW, on the other hand, did not.


    Why did Obama choose Biden as his running mate in 2008?

    Any ideas about that?

  17. In my mind, what is causing Joe Biden’s ridiculous comments isn’t the issue. It is how the media is treating him, enabling him, explaining him away. They didn’t extend that courtesy to those on the right when they made serious gaffs, and remind me again … how long did Dan Quayle’s potatoes’ gaff remain on page one?

    Somehow, insulting black Americans with “Dey gonna put you back in de chains” is a bit more important than spelling the word potato. And besides, Quayle did ascended to the Vice Presidency from the US Senate, so what did we expect?

  18. Do you notice his speech almost becomes a little garbled? I can't explain it but he sounds a little thick-lipped from time to time..? Maybe it's my imagination.

    He's been through a lot with his own brain problems and the shock of losing his wife and daughter, etc....

    Let's just hope Obama doesn't drop him as VP...we need Joe!

  19. Why Biden? ?to unite the party of course. The uberLeft is only one DNC faction.

  20. I honestly feel sorry for the guy, but I am sooooo.....happy that he is NOT representing the GOP or any conservative. Poor guy. He just can't seem to shut his mouth.

    And that first video, I have to be honest and say really ticked me off!! Arggh....Americans NEED jobs.

    Nuff said.

  21. AOW I had the same thought, why even pick Joe Biden. One commentator said something about his appeal to the working man especially in Penn.

    Could it be because Biden has been an elected official for many years and he was sort of throw back to the more esttablishment side of the DNC as opposed to Barry and his left wing communists???

    Even if both are true, it seems that Biden is a loser on the ticket. I agree with one of the early posts Biden is an asset to the GOP hands down. And who its looking forward to Biden trying to debate Ryan?

    Either Biden is the court jester or he is need a real medical attention. Either way, he should not be the VP but Barack isnt know for good pics.

  22. "Either way, he should not be the VP"

    OK, but isn't it a rather moot point given who we have for POTUS?

  23. Was not Biden chosen as the VP because of his control over the Congressional Democrat members?

  24. Anonymous,
    I'm not sure how much control Biden has. He has, of course, served on several committees and, from various groups, received ratings that place him firmly in the liberal camp. See "Political Positions at Wikipedia for a quick summary.

    However, those of us here in the D.C. area know that Joe has a runaway mouth so much of the time. Most people LIKE him, but a lot of people just brush him off, too.

    I do recall the surprise when Obama named him as VP. And Biden himself was shocked, really shocked. He was also very flattered as he never expected the honor of being VP.

  25. It is only natural that Obama should chose a mentally impaired man for vice president . Obama him self has extreme mental problems .


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