I need to say once again that I can’t imagine the pain a parent who survives his own child must feel. My heart goes out to all such people, and that includes Joe Biden, who lost a daughter, along with his first wife, in a traffic accident many years ago and his eldest son Beau to brain cancer in 2015. He must carry an awful load with him.
But the president has been shamefully exploiting his son’s death for sympathy ever since it happened. And if that’s not bad enough, he has fostered the myth that Beau — who served in the military — died overseas in combat. (RELATED: In Stephanopoulous interview, Biden again shamefully exploits his son’s death)
In fairness, Biden he doesn’t walk around broadcasting that his son was a casualty of war. But he comes close.
Usually, his targets are people who suffered their own loss years earlier. But on Monday, his audience was people for whom the shock of losing a son or daughter in war was still fresh, the pain still raw. It was the families of the 13 Marines who died senselessly in the suicide bombing at the Kabul airport last week.
The Washington Post, an unlikely source, shares one of the more pointed encounters:
President Biden made his way on Sunday around a quiet room at Dover Air Force Base, a chamber filled with couches and chairs, with dignitaries and grieving families huddling together as the president came to speak to them privately, one family at a time.
Mark Schmitz had told a military officer the night before that he wasn’t much interested in speaking to a president he did not vote for, one whose execution of the Afghan pullout he disdains — and one he now blames for the death of his 20-year-old son Jared.
But overnight, sleeping in a nondescript hotel nearby, Schmitz changed his mind. So on that dreary morning he and his ex-wife were approached by Biden after he’d talked to all the other families. But by his own account, Schmitz glared hard at the president, so Biden spent more time looking at his ex-wife, repeatedly invoking his own son, Beau, who died six years ago.
Schmitz did not want to hear about Beau, he wanted to talk about Jared. Eventually, the parents took out a photo to show to Biden. “I said, ‘Don’t you ever forget that name. Don’t you ever forget that face. Don’t you ever forget the names of the other 12,’” Schmitz said. “ ‘And take some time to learn their stories.’”
The article goes on to report that the president didn’t like being told that, but it’s advice Biden should take to heart. Last week, when news of the deaths of the service members broke, Biden publicly recalled how painful Beau’s death was for him and his wife. That should have been enough: Once and done.