Remember when President Obama bragged about Joe Biden's fiscal discipline cred in 2009? "To you, he's Mr. Vice President, but around the White House, we call him the Sheriff," Obama warned government employees. "Because if you're misusing taxpayer money, you'll have to answer to him."

Fast-forward to 2012. Call in the search teams. Since being appointed the nation's stimulus spending cop, Sheriff Joe has taken a permanent donut break. He's AWOL on oversight. In fact, he's been bubble-wrapped, boxed and kept completely out of sight. The garrulous gaffe machine hasn't sat down for a national media interview in five months.

In her October 9 column “Ryan v. Biden: the Catholic ‘Thrilla in Manila,’” Washington Post “She the People” columnist Melinda Henneberger made a common journalistic error when discussing the Catholic Church, introducing a false dichotomy between “liberal” Catholicism’s emphasis on social issues and “conservative” Catholicism’s emphasis on pro-life issues. Predictably, she came down hard on “conservative” Catholics and “Fox News bishops” for “unwittingly whittling away at their own influence with the increasingly secular Democratic party.” (And, needless to say, that’s the only influence that matters at The Washington Post.)

But the Catholic Church has not altered her moral teaching. It’s Democratic politicians that have changed and increasingly embraced policies directly opposed to Church teaching, such as same-sex marriage and abortion. Henneberger herself noted the Democrats' enthusiastic embrace of abortion at their convention just over a month ago.

As NewsBusters reported, MSNBC's Chris Matthews had an on air meltdown following Barack Obama's terrible performance in last Wednesday's debate with Mitt Romney.

On Tuesday, CBS Late Show host David Letterman ended his monologue by showing a video of Matthews' head exploding (video follows with transcribed highlights and commentary).

Joel Gehrke at the Washington Examiner (HT Meredith Jessup at the Blaze) reports that Karen Vaughn, mother of Aaron Vaughn, a member of Navy SEAL Team 6 and one of 30 American servicemen, including 21 other SEAL Team 6 members, killed in a helicopter crash in Afghanistan three months after the May 1, 2011 execution of Osama bin Laden, says in a video released yesterday by Veterans for a Strong America that the Obama administration "put a target on my son’s back and even on my back" by revealing the SEAL Team unit's identity after the Bin Laden raid.

Actually, as seen here in a September 10 Fox News story, Mrs. Vaughn has been saying this for almost a month, which makes me wonder where Maureen Dowd at the New York Times has been. But first, the specifics from the Vaughns (bolds are mine throughout this post):

Howard Fineman, the former Newsweek reporter turned editorial director for The Huffington Post, is excited for the upcoming Vice Presidential debate this Thursday.  You could tell from his column published today, which glorifies Joe as the archetypal debater. It's titled "Obama Needs the Merciless Joe." 

To start things off, Fineman threw in a thinly veiled racial remark concerning Biden’s thirst for a political fight saying  “what Biden lacks in academic chops he more than makes up for in street smarts; genetic political talent (his Secret Service code name is "Celtic," enough said); an eye for and an ability to earn the loyalty of brilliant, dedicated staffers; an instinct for the jugular; and a thirst for political combat.” 

The sole political guest on Friday's CBS This Morning was Howard Dean, the ultraliberal failed presidential contender who was once the governor of Vermont.  Co-host Norah O'Donnell asked him to comment on the vice president's statement on Thursday insisting the Democrats absolutely want to raise a trillion dollars in taxes on the rich.

Biden had "some comments that people are calling a gaffe, where he said Obama and Biden want to raise taxes by a trillion dollars," she said. "Well guess what, yes we do. Is that the right kind of message?" O'Donnell ignored that the actual 'gaffe' was that Biden strangely insisted it wasn't a "tax raise."

In response, Dean blamed the majority of the media for its incessant criticism and constant "hand wringing" when the president fails to live up to expectations or when the vice president says something inane. It appears that someone is still a little bitter about his own public mishaps. [ MP3 video below the page break, audio available here ]

Vice President Joe Biden's latest gaffe came when he asked a North Carolina crowd how Romney and Ryan can "justify raising taxes on the middle class that’s been buried the last four years?" perhaps forgetting his boss has been in charge during that exact time frame (and that the Romney campaign denies it will raise taxes on the middle class). It predictably failed to make the print edition of the New York Times.

Campaign reporter Trip Gabriel did blog about it on Tuesday, but did his best to minimize the damage by suggesting the comment was a "stray sentence" wrenched from proper context: "Republicans Seize On Biden’s ‘Middle Class’ Remark."

Jay Leno again waded deeply into presidential politics on Tuesday evening.

Commenting on Vice President Joe Biden's "middle class has been buried" gaffe, the NBC Tonight Show host said during his opening monologue, "I’m sorry, which candidate is he campaigning for? I’m confused" (video follows with transcript and commentary):

News outlets are focusing on the latest gaffe from Vice President Joe Biden who said to a largely African-American audience that the GOP was “going to put y’all back in chains.”

Just over two years ago, the gaffemaster joked that he had “never had a gaffe” in a July 18, 2010 interview with ABC’s Jake Tapper.

Even then, that claim was itself a joke. It came only a few months after his March 23, 2010 announcement that the signing of healthcare law was “a big f---ing deal.”

Within minutes of Paul Ryan concluding his convention speech in Tampa, the media attacks were launched. Why, the man is loose with the facts! He only spews vitriol and nonsense!

DNC political director Patrick Gaspard quickly sent out a fundraising appeal: “Paul Ryan's speech to the Republican Convention tonight wasn't grounded in reality.” It was impossible to tell where the Democratic Party ended, and the “news” media began. 

"No one's ever going to nominate Joe Biden to be the chairman of MENSA --  he's not Albert Einstein," MSNBC political analyst John Heilemann told Chris Matthews on the Tuesday edition of Hardball. "But what he's always been a master of is applied intelligence," he added, remarking on the vice president's preparation for the October 11 debate with policy-wonky Rep. Paul Ryan (R-Wis.). Heilemann enthused about Biden's role in 1987 in scuttling President Reagan's nomination of Judge Robert Bork, "supposedly one of the smartest guys in all of the history of conservatism, of conservative legal theory."

"There's not many debates Joe Biden lost in his career," the New York magazine writer added of the Delaware Democrat who "goes to school" by preparing heavily, whether its to take on Sarah Palin or Robert Bork. Completely omitted by Heilemann, of course, was the revelation during the 1988 presidential campaign of Biden's having plagiarized a speech by then-British Labour Party leader Neil Kinnock, which, of course sank his run for the presidency.

While the Obama-loving media ignore or make excuses for the almost incessant gaffes by Joe Biden, they are carefully scrutinizing every word said by the Republican nominees for President and Vice President.

Doing its part Tuesday was which moments ago actually published an article with the headline "Ryan Muddles Origin of Reagan's 'Are You Better Off' Line":