Look if old Joe wants to go to Tampa, what of it?

Well, a lot actually.

We’ve always had a tradition in American politics that both parties allow the other to hold their conventions without undue interference. Carping from the sidelines is one thing, but this is something new.

So why is this happening? Michael Walsh nails it:

But what’s really behind this stunning example of in-your-face poor sportsmanship?

The heckler’s veto, that’s what.

A “heckler’s veto” is an attempt to shout down political speech by preventing its expression; rather than fighting it with more speech, the heckler seeks to silence his foe, marginalize him as outside the mainstream, beyond the pale of civilized discourse and unworthy of a fair hearing.

This is simply the latest attempt by Democrats to prevent the public from being able to hear the GOP message. The Democrats know that what Governor Mitt Romney and Paul Ryan have to say is likely to prove attractive to voters in a time of economic woe. It says something for his party loyalty that Biden is willing to make a complete fool of himself. Oh, wait, this is Joe we’re talking about here.

I can’t resist quoting Peggy Noonan’s column today:

It is good that Joe Biden is going to the Republican National Convention to hold high the flag of his party. People make fun of his gaffes, of his embarrassing verbal forays, but he's no fool and he knows how to take it to the other guy.

The speech he is working on, to be given in the heart of downtown, just across from the convention site, will be stirring and stentorian: "All free men, wherever they may live, are citizens of Tampa, and, therefore, as a free man, I take pride in the words, 'Ich bin ein Tampon.'"  

Okay, that was just for fun. But it is an indication that most likely the country's highest-level heckler will attract nothing but ridicule and air time (he is willing to brave the former for the latter–the idea is to drown out what is being said about Medicare, jobs, and America’s future at the Republican convention). This is a new low in the national discourse. It is disregard for our political traditions.

Senator Barbara Boxer supplied a new low earlier this week (she said there is a “sickness” in the Republican Party and wondered aloud of Republicans hate their mothers and first wives). It won’t be long before somebody outdoes both Biden and Boxer for another, newer low. This is what happens if you absolutely can’t afford to talk about the economy or the president’s abysmal record. Can't say it's not depressing, though.