Former Vice President Joe Biden finally did what he’s been avoiding for months: He condemned Antifa, a far-left extremist group currently wreaking havoc in major cities across the nation.
Amid widespread violence, rioting, and looting, the Democratic presidential nominee has been trying to place distance between himself and the more progressive elements of the left. But what does this belated condemnation reveal about his campaign?
Biden Criticizes Antifa’s Violence
In a recent interview with Harrisburg’s NBC station, WGAL, Biden specifically condemned Antifa operatives engaged in rioting, looting, and other violent behavior ostensibly in response to the killing of George Floyd. As the conversation neared its conclusion, host Barbara Barr asked the former vice president if he would denounce the far-left extremist group.
“I condemned it across the board,” he responded. “The president still hasn’t condemned the far-right folks coming out and protesting and using violence.” Barr asked again, “Do you condemn Antifa?” Biden replied, “Yes, I do, also — violence, no matter who it is.”
Despite the feckless whataboutism in his statement, the Democratic candidate did decry Antifa’s violent operations in the nation’s cities. But he was never made to explain why he waited until now to speak out against the organization. Might the answer to that question reveal that his campaign doesn’t quite understand the far left as well as it thinks?
Antifa And Biden?
At first glance, it would be easy to assume that Biden took so long to condemn Antifa because he feared alienating the progressive wing of the Democratic Party. Perhaps he thought he might lose votes if he criticized the organization.
Others might think the former vice president is in solidarity with the group and shares their anarchist views. The right has been vocal in its efforts to link the candidate to the violent leftist organization, referring to its operatives as “Biden voters.”
But the reality is that Antifa is not made up of regular Democrats; they are extreme leftist agitators who wish to burn down America’s current government and rebuild a socialist utopia. Its members do not have any love for the Republicans or the Democrats; indeed, they hate Biden almost as much as they despise Trump.
If Antifa’s operatives were forced to choose, they would likely hold their nose and pick Biden. But in reality, these people are more likely to abstain from voting than to support the Democratic Party.
This being the case, why wouldn’t Biden’s campaign have advised him to denounce the group earlier? It would have been easy to brand Antifa as a fringe element that also threatens the Democratic establishment, wouldn’t it?
The most likely explanation is that the former vice president’s campaign doesn’t exactly understand what Antifa is and what its objectives are. The fact that they, along with the rest of the Democratic Party, did not see that supporting and allowing the violence to continue would rebound to their detriment reveals something they would rather not admit: The left is failing at reading the room.
Up until this point, President Trump had been struggling in the polls due to the continuing COVID-19 problem. But now the race has narrowed because the Democrats could not resist shooting themselves in the foot. There are still no guarantees as to how things will shake out in November, but if the Democrats continue to misread the situation, they will only help Trump’s chances of winning.
Read more from Jeff Charles.