The most popular president in US history – at least that is how he was portrayed after his improbable election victory in 2020 – is hardly consistent in his beliefs. During his four decades of public service, Joe Biden has taken opposite positions on almost all the big issues. He has been consistent in one respect, though, in that he has almost never failed to say the wrong thing at the wrong time and on May 6, during a trip to Ohio, the commander-in-chief did not disappoint. And for a man who has pulled out all the stops to pander to the non-white community, this one was a doozie, as he appeared to pine for some good, old-fashioned Senate racism.
Mr. Biden, along with Ohio Sens Rob Portman (R) – who is retiring from the Senate at the end of his current term – and Sherrod Brown (D), visited United Performance Metals in Hamilton. As he addressed the company’s employees from behind a podium on a small stage, Biden slipped into his “Uncle Joe” routine, as he is wont to do, even though one must surely wonder if his advisors and speechwriters are not by now getting very nervous every time he does so.
Reminiscing about his 30-plus years in Congress, Biden described his experience as a young Senator – and that’s when things went off the rails. “You know, things have kind of changed since I first got there,” he mused as if setting his audience up for a mournful description of today’s divided America and how good it would be to return to a time of greater unity and civility. But the direction he took was quite inexplicable, as he continued down memory lane.
“We always used to fight like hell, even back in the old days when we had real segregationists like [James] Eastland and [Strom] Thurmond – all those guys – but we ended up eating lunch together. Things have changed. We got to bring it back.”
There really is no way to explain why Mr. Biden felt the need to mention his relationships with segregationists. In today’s America, where almost everything is racist, it would seem prudent for any elected official – not least the man currently occupying the Oval Office – to steer well clear of any reference to personal interactions with those who created, supported, and sought to perpetuate racial segregation.
The remarks caused no small amount of outrage, of course, but nothing resembling the hysteria that would have ensued if any Republican had made such a comment. Perhaps that is why Biden felt he could say what he said; because he knew, as a Democrat, he would get a pass from the greater part of the establishment media, as well as from his supporters. Mr. Biden was called out by conservatives, but the left-wing media did not catch his remark about segregationists, apparently.
While it certainly seems clear Biden thought it a good thing that he could have lunch with “real segregationists,” for whatever reason, it was his apparent longing for those days that jar the conscience. “Things have changed. We got to bring it back.” Bring back the good old days of having lunch with racists? It is quite difficult to suppose that is not what he meant.
Pluribus editor Jeryl Bier may have penned the most prescient response, however:
“For one, Biden admitting just casually sharing meals with ‘real segregationists’; second, ‘real segregationists’ seems to be an implied admission that when he says stuff today like ‘Jim Crow 2.0’, he knows it’s not real.”
That observation is quite appropriate. So much of today’s race-baiting from the political left appears painfully contrived, and more so when one considers that Biden’s casual racism – of which there is a long record – has never been addressed by the very people who rail constantly against supposed racists on the right.
Of course, if Mr. Biden misses the simple pleasures of eating a friendly meal with segregationists, he need only visit one of the many colleges around the country that are working hard to ensure students of different races have little or no contact.