Vice President Joe Biden's talent for using many words to say little or nothing -- or worse -- was never more conspicuously displayed than during his trip to China.
At Sichuan University on Sunday, after Biden delivered a 4,600-word speech, a student asked him about the importance of public speaking. "That is a very good question," Biden said -- as he launched into an 863-word answer.
In the midst of those 863 words, Biden paid a tribute to brevity -- in an incoherent sentence of 68 words.
The White House transcribed this Bidenesque brilliance as follows: "And so language, the ability not only to master the ability to put your ideas into words succinctly on a platform to communicate ideas to your own people, it is even more impressive when you have the capacity to do that and communicate your ideas, especially as future business and political and moral leaders of the world in the language of the people to whom you are speaking."
At the same event, Biden congratulated Sichuan University for counting "amongst its alumni some of the most illustrious figures in recent Chinese history." He then hailed Sichuan's late graduate Zhu De as "one of the most illustrious figures and a founding father of the republic."
Zhu De, in fact, was the commander of the People's Liberation Army and a full partner with Chairman Mao in transforming the world's most populous nation into a communist dictatorship. "Zhu De was one of the most important members of the CPC's first generation of leading collective with Mao Zedong at the core," says the Communist Party of China Encyclopedia.
This "founding father of the republic," as Biden called him, was a key figure in a regime that outlawed the Roman Catholic Church to which Biden himself belongs.
While lauding Chinese communists in China, Biden was tongue-tied in trying to explain the greatness of America and our people.
"It's hard to define what an American is," Biden said in his speech at Sichuan. And apparently it is too hard for Biden.
What our vice president should have told the Chinese students was this: America became a great nation because it was founded on a true understanding of the nature of man and the purpose of government. We believe that all men are created equal and that God gives each and every one of us inalienable rights -- including the rights to life, liberty and private property -- and that it is the duty of the government to protect these rights. We believe God gave these same rights to every person here in China and that for China to become a truly great nation, the Chinese government must recognize these rights and protect them rather than deny them to its people.
Biden should have said to the Chinese regime: Tear down the wall between your people and their God-given rights.
He did not say that.
He said this: "Your policy has been one which I fully understand -- I'm not second-guessing -- of one child per family."
The Obama State Department's most recent human rights report on China says that China's one-child-per-couple policy "in some cases resulted in forced abortion or forced sterilization."
It also caused the selective annihilation of baby girls. "Female infanticide, sex-selective abortions, and the abandonment and neglect of baby girls remained problems due to the traditional preference for sons and the coercive birth limitation policy," said the report.
The same cowardly spirit seemed to guide what Biden did not say in China as well as what he did say.
According to the White House transcripts of the vice president's remarks at six different public appearances over three days in China, he did not say a word about the plight of faithful Catholic priests, bishops and laypersons in China.
As Obama's State Department concedes, China's still-communist regime is still arbitrarily arresting and detaining Catholic clergymen who refuse to betray their church, which is still denied the right to openly function in China.
Unlike the mothers and babies subject to coercive abortions in China, at least the faithful and courageous Catholic priests of China can be thankful that Vice President Joe Biden did not openly tell the communists he wasn't second-guessing their persecution of the church.