In a desperate attempt to prove that Donald Trump is so ignorant of world affairs that he’s dangerous, Joe Biden demonstrated that he’s… well, so ignorant of world affairs he’s practically dangerous.
Speaking in Scranton, Pennsylvania, he was riffing on Trump – clearly not paying attention to the teleprompter, and clearly off message, when he made a comment about Japan:
“He talks cavalierly about encouraging other nations, as Hillary pointed out, to develop nuclear weapons. As if nuclear war was some trivial affair. Does he not understand we wrote Japan’s constitution to say they could not be a nuclear power? Where was he when… in school?”
The whole time this is happening, Hillary’s sitting there nodding.
Now there are a couple problems with that. First, it’s not entirely accurate to say the United States wrote the Japanese Constitution. (It’s also terribly insulting to them, but more on that in a minute.) And there’s nothing in the Japanese constitution that expressly bans nuclear weapons, or keeps Japan from becoming a “nuclear power.”
This comment has enraged the Japanese, who consider it a terrible insult. The AP reports:
A popular front-page column in the national Asahi newspaper said this week that the comment “was unprecedented in its insensitivity” and “could even be considered arrogant.”
It’s no secret that U.S. forces occupying Japan after World War II drafted the constitution, though Japanese scholars were involved in reviewing and modifying it before adoption.
The 1947 constitution doesn’t mention nuclear weapons, though it does “renounce war as a sovereign right of the nation.”
The timing of Biden’s remark makes it insensitive, said journalist and author Hiro Aida, coming as the ruling party under Prime Minister Shinzo Abe starts a push to try to revise the constitution, despite considerable public misgiving.
“We thought only Trump was an insensitive guy,” said Aida, who recently published a book in Japan on the Trump phenomenon. Biden “kind of misspoke. This is not something he should talk openly about in public.”
“Insensitive” and also wrong https://t.co/LSMID2gIiQ
— Jennifer Lind (@profLind) August 17, 2016
— 勝見貴弘 #He4She (@tkatsumi06j) August 16, 2016
So for all the off-the-cuff things Trump has said, Vice President Joe Biden – who people claim has wads of foreign policy experience – is the one who insults the Japanese people.