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Tuesday, March 14, 2023

Is Joe Biden a Confabulist?

Writing on the Lawyers Guns Money Blog, Paul Campos says that Joe Biden must have been confabulating during his recent interview with Kal Penn. The passage in question is in the clip below at :45 to 1:30.

According to Paul, the chances are basically zero that Biden's father told him, in around 1959 or 1960, that gay men would kiss each other because they were in love. Paul therefore thinks the story is a confabulation. "Biden is remembering an imaginary incident that's more congruent with his current beliefs and identity."

I don't see why Paul comes to that conclusion. I had virtually the same experience in pretty much the same era; probably when I was in sixth grade, which would have been 1960 or 1961.

My very progressive parents always had gay friends. My first baby-sitters, in the late 1940s, were a gay couple with whom my parents sometimes double-dated. And that wasn't unusual in their circle. I remember girl -- the daughter of another couple -- who admonished a kid for using an anti-gay slur.

Maybe Biden exaggerated his father’s comment about love. Maybe he confused the year or embellished the precise details. That would not be confabulation. It is not surprising that someone would long ago have accepted gay love as quite normal. My family certainly did (I take no credit for it; I was a child).

Posted by Steve Lubet on March 14, 2023 at 06:21 PM | Permalink


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