Sparks fly between the two old privileged white guys fighting for shotgun in the Democratic presidential clown car. Senator Bernie Sanders (the former Independent from VT but pledging to change party affiliation if he wins the nod) has taken a very public issue with frontrunner former Vice President Joe Biden over his touting of consensus with segregationists.
And it is so delish.
During a fundraiser in New York City, in what can only be described as a political suicide attempt, Biden recounted the bygone days of civility in the Swamp, invoking his successful working relationships with two Democrat lawmakers – who happened to be rabid segregationists.
Mimicking a southern drawl – but not going quite so far as to whip out a bottle of hot sauce from his purse – Biden fondly recalled his former colleague, a Mississippi Senator: “I was in a caucus with James O. Eastland. He never called me ‘boy,’ he always called me ‘son.’”
You just can’t make this stuff up.
Eastland was a segregationist. Biden vehemently opposed the federal government’s involvement in integrating schools and believed busing did not achieve equal opportunity.
And if you can believe it, he then steered into the skid, landing upside down and on fire, as political oopsies go, when he went all in by summoning the late Sen. Herman Talmage (D-GA):
“[He was] one of the meanest guys I ever knew, you go down the list of all these guys. 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.”
Oh boy, oh boy, did he open his own veins for a bloodthirsty pack of opponents.
Did We Hear You Right, Uncle Joe?
Well, as you might imagine, the field of hopefuls demanded immediate apologies and perhaps a series of self-flagellation to atone for such horrific atrocities. In another Spartacus moment for the two-percenter in presidential polling, Sen. Cory Booker (D-NJ) was the first out of the gate to whack Uncle Joe upside the head:
“You don’t joke about calling black men ‘boys.’ Men like James O. Eastland used words like that, and the racist policies that accompanied them, to perpetuate white supremacy and strip black Americans of our very humanity. And frankly, I’m disappointed that he hasn’t issued an immediate apology for the pain his words are dredging up for many Americans. He should.”
And most Americans would agree – but not Biden. “Apologize for what? Cory should apologize. He knows better.”
And that sent the second in line for anointment by the Democratic National Committee, the frumpy, yet undeniably tanner than usual Sanders, into a near apoplectic fit. With a lack of original and engaging words to describe his emotions towards his way-ahead-in-the-polls opponent, he simply regressed to blaming President Trump for laying the groundwork for Biden’s remarks, “I agree with Cory Booker. This is especially true at a time when the Trump administration is trying to divide us up with its racist appeals.”
Response from the field of Democratic hopefuls was mixed: Some declined to comment, others saw the opportunity for press, and some remained neutral. One dispassionate competitor, Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D-MA), who has committed her fair share of gaffes and refutable statements, offered, “I’m not here to criticize other Democrats, but it’s never ok to celebrate segregationists.”
But then again, she may be angling for the running mate spot from Biden or Sanders, artfully dodging stepping on the fringed hem garb, with index finger in the air to determine which way the politically fickle fates blow.
The Filterless and Unaffected Joe Biden
A Democratic presidential contender who has made ridiculous, hurtful, comical, and politically incorrect legislative moves and statements for forty plus years while invading nearly everyone’s personal space is now on the hot seat? So what? No one cared about his questionable behavior until he smoked the field as the fashionably late entrant to the primaries.
Now we care. Did anyone care in 2008 on the campaign trail when he attempted to acknowledge his good friend from Missouri? “I’m told Chuck Graham, state senator, is here. Stand up Chuck, let ’em see you. Oh, God love you. What am I talking about.”
Yes, Graham is confined to a wheelchair.
And then this gem in 2008 as he stumped for then candidate Barack Obama, “In Delaware, the largest growth of population is Indian Americans, moving from India. You cannot go to a 7-11 or a Dunkin’ Donuts unless you have a slight Indian accent. I’m not joking.”
And the list goes on, and on, and on. Yet only a handful of Democrats care – and those are the few in the back of the pack where the view would make anyone testy these days.
It is apparent to a few that Biden was just being Biden. The wannabe folksy guy to share a Budweiser with at the end of first shift at the local tavern. It worked for Trump, sure – but Joe Biden is no Donald Trump. He’s just the closest thing to normal the Democrats are offering America. For a white, privileged, septuagenarian, touchy-feely male in the #MeToo environment to soundly dominate in early polls, one has to wonder if the Democrats are simply acquiescing now for 2020 to enjoy a clean slate in a 2024 election.
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