Thursday, June 20, 2019

Joe Biden's Racist, Segregationist Nostalgia

Biden's not going to apologize for working with --- indeed, praising --- the classic Democrat Party racist old guard.

He praised Strom Thurmond as late as 1997!

Full story at the Los Angeles Times, "Joe Biden’s nostalgic remark about segregationist senators draws criticism":

With a tone-deaf bit of nostalgia Tuesday night, former Vice President Joe Biden ignited a fire around his presidential campaign, speaking wistfully of a time in Washington when he could work civilly with conservatives, including arch-segregationist Sens. James O. Eastland of Mississippi and Herman Talmadge of Georgia.

“He never called me boy, he always called me son,” Biden, speaking at a fundraiser in New York said, referring to Eastland.

And while Talmadge was “mean,” he said, “Well guess what? At least there was some civility. We got things done. We didn’t agree on much of anything. We got things done. We got it finished. But today, you look at the other side and you’re the enemy. Not the opposition, the enemy. We don't talk to each other anymore.”

The response from many Democrats was quick and angry, with Sen. Cory Booker of New Jersey, a black rival for Democrats’ 2020 presidential nomination, and others accusing Biden of racial insensitivity. By Wednesday afternoon, the fight had become one of the most heated intra-party disputes of the 2020 Democratic primary campaign.

The controversy goes beyond Biden’s well-known penchant for verbal gaffes because it directly involves one of the central tenets of his campaign — his call for a return to the bipartisan style of governing that prevailed in the Senate in the past.

The timing increases the likelihood that Biden’s embrace of that approach to governing will become a focal point of next week’s first presidential primary debate.

That theme has appeal for voters who long for an end to Washington’s gridlock, but for many Democrats, especially on the party’s left, it underscores Biden’s image as a figure of the past, out of touch with today’s hyper-partisan realities and unwilling to challenge entrenched interests to achieve the party’s objectives.

“Vice President Biden’s relationships with proud segregationists are not the model for how we make America a safer and more inclusive place for black people, and for everyone,” said Booker. “I’m disappointed that he hasn’t issued an immediate apology for the pain his words are dredging up for many Americans. He should.”

Biden, bridling at the suggestion that he sympathized with racists, responded to the controversy late Wednesday by describing his record of pushing for civil rights and voting rights legislation.

“I could not have disagreed with Jim Eastland more,” he said, speaking to reporters outside a fundraiser in the Washington suburbs.

Asked whether he would apologize for his comments, as Booker was requesting, Biden said, “Why should I? Cory should apologize. He knows better. There’s not a racist bone in my body. I’ve been involved in civil rights my whole career.”

Others who criticized Biden included Sen. Kamala Harris of California, the other black candidate in the 2020 field, who told reporters on a Senate elevator Wednesday that Biden's remark about segregationists “concerns me deeply.”

“If those men had their way, I wouldn’t be in the United States Senate and on this elevator right now,” she said.

Some critics even suggested the remark should disqualify Biden for the party’s nomination.
Yeah, let's nominate Cory Booker or Kamala Harris. That'll show those cracker old guard troglodyte Democrats!

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