Yesterday, during a video appearance on “The Breakfast Club,” Democratic presumptive nominee for president, Joe “your hair smells like springtime and my finger feels drawn to your nether regions” Biden had this exchange with host Lenard McKelvey who goes by the name Charlamagne tha God.
"It's not about Trump. It's about who is going to present the best deal for black people. … I vote my interests, and my interests are black."
— CNN (@CNN) May 23, 2020
READ RedState’s coverage of this story:
An elderly, drooling, semi-somnolent white guy telling a prominent black media figure that he, the black guy, wasn’t actually black if he had doubts about voting for Biden was stunning. Democrats hint that this is the case and beat about the bush about it in every election, but, as far as I know, not even Barack Obama went so far as to flat out tell a man that he wasn’t black because he had doubts about voting for an idiot.
By the end of the day, there were only two classes of people left defending Biden: Democratic apparatchiks with a vested interest, like this:
The comments made at the end of the Breakfast Club interview were in jest, but let’s be clear about what the VP was saying: he was making the distinction that he would put his record with the African American community up against Trump’s any day. Period.
— Symone D. Sanders (@SymoneDSanders) May 22, 2020
And people who claim they are conservative but never really quite find a conservative person or cause worth defending…here we have a two-fer:
The ppl who attacked Romney for 'binders full of women' are awful, low, cynical goons. I don't want to be part of a right-wing version of them.
— Seth Mandel (@SethAMandel) May 22, 2020
This is the kind of defeatist bullsh** that Conservative, Inc., loves to churn out. A Democrat does something outrageous and their response is a) it wasn’t that bad and he’s not really like that, b) no one cares, c) we do the same thing and d) the media won’t cover it. Here we have a flailing Joe Biden making a major unforced error and all these guys want to do is make it go away. As an aside, Townhall’s own Storm Paglia was awarded a time out by Twitter for his response to Mandel’s bizarre take:
The fascists are really getting out of control pic.twitter.com/R4wSP4b9Be
— Storm Paglia 🇺🇸 (@storm_paglia) May 22, 2020
Let’s take these arguments one at a time.
It was beyond bad, it was horrible. Biden’s statement stripped black people of their agency as sentient beings and as citizens of the United States and proclaimed that they either voted for him or they forfeited an essential part of their being. It is hard to think of a more dehumanizing statement. The statement that Joe Biden isn’t racist is sort of bizarre. What it is based on is the idea that a guy who makes blatantly racist statements isn’t a racist because…I don’t know. That standard has never been applied to a single GOP politician since the Kennedy Administration. Trent Lott was forced from his position as majority leader of the US Senate (okay, this was not an unalloyed bad thing) because of a toss-off comment he made at the 100th birthday celebration of South Carolina Senator Strom Thurmond, “When Strom Thurmond ran for president, we voted for him. We’re proud of it. And if the rest of the country had followed our lead, we wouldn’t have had all these problems over the years, either.” This was played up as an endorsement of racial segregation. No one, as far as I know, ever thought Lott was racist either, but that was not and is not the standard and we shouldn’t let it be the standard for Joe Biden. The fact that people who style themselves as being vaguely conservative are willing to give Biden a pass over this tells you exactly what you need to know about where they are coming from.
The fact is, we don’t really know if Biden is racist or not. Often when people are stripped of a bit of impulse control we learn a lot about that secret persona that we had no idea existed. The old maxim in vino veritas is true. A drunk Mel Gibson, arguably, let us learn more about Mel Gibson than the sober one. But it is equally true for people who are on the leading edge of dementia. If you look at Biden’s major accomplishments in the Senate, to the extent that he actually has any, you find laws that disproportionately affect black America. This is not news. Here is Charlamagne tha God on CNN later yesterday:
Charlamagne tha God: Joe Biden was on “the front line” advocating policies that led to mass incarceration pic.twitter.com/JAKDui0Nf4
— Steve Guest (@SteveGuest) May 23, 2020
Here he is last year:
In September, Charlamagne talked about how Joe Biden refused to visit the show, offering to send a surrogate instead.
— Courtney Holland 🇺🇸 (@hollandcourtney) May 22, 2020
Was Biden’s statement a gaffe made by a semi-senile old geezer trying to be cool? Or did this give us a glimpse into Biden’s soul and explain his love of the drug war and prisons? At a minimum, it at least merits consideration and exploration, not summary dismissal.
The no one cares argument is a baffler, particularly the argument that black people are so loyal to Biden and to the Democrats that this won’t have any impact. It has the comfort of being unfalsifiable, that is, if we don’t talk about it, then no one cares, and the fact that no one cares proves these people were correct (you see the same bullsh** used to rationalize ‘social distancing’ and face mask wearing), and it doesn’t require actual work. Advocacy and activism are hard. They aren’t popular. My wife participates in a prayer vigil in front of a couple of local abortion facilities. It is tough work. You can say no one cares because abortion is not only legal in Maryland, at times the Democrats here seem to flirt with making it a branch of government. And yet, every once in a while, she sees a young woman stop before she gets to the door, turn around, and head back to the parking lot.
This interview may not be a total “killer” of an incident but very, very few incidents are. Most are incremental. One builds on another. This is why I see this as very significant. First and foremost, Trump is not part of the GOP establishment and the crap that has been thrown at him should convince even the dimmest bulb that he’s a legitimate outsider even though he is president. Secondly, he has spent political capital working on an issue that no other president, even Barack Obama, cared about, but one which is a major issue with a majority of black Americans: reforming sentencing laws that are perceived to target black Americans. This and record low black unemployment (prior to the current panic) created a favorable environment for Trump to make a play for black voters and it made this kind of comment by Kanye West even possible:
The White Boomer Democratic nominee just told Black people they're not Black unless they vote for him & all I can think of is how prophetic this Kanye West clip is. pic.twitter.com/0KoMINqJUJ
— Patriot J 🔥 (@sirhottest) May 22, 2020
People do care. People may not take to the streets with pitchforks (even though that is getting close), but they care. And you cannot estimate the importance, in an age where being an “influencer” on Instagram or other social media is a real enough thing that it generates seven-figure incomes, of having people like Charlamagne and Kanye West pointing out what many conservatives have been saying for years.
But let’s assume, arguendo, that black Americans really don’t care that an elderly white guy has just threatened to take away their racial identity. That ‘s unfortunate, but there are other audiences out there. What about wavering Republicans? What about uncommitted independents? What about persuadable Democrats? The Democratic primary showed that a massive number of Democratic voters had real reservations about Biden. It showed that independents were not interested in him at all. If this convinces Bernie Bros and others to stay home, or not vote the top of the ticket then it is significant. If it provides, as it should, that final bit of evidence that Joe Biden is really one short step away from being confined to an elder-care facility in Depends, then it is meaningful.
The only way people don’t care about this is if we permit them to forget about it.
Seth Mandel equating this overtly racist statement with the faux controversy about Mitt Romney referring to his transition team having “binders” (like, you know, three-ring binders) full of women in consideration for senior positions is so dishonest it is beneath contempt. The two things are not remotely the same. But we find this over and over and over and over and over among Conservative, Inc., types. There is literally no offense committed by a Democrat that they won’t scratch around and hold up something totally dissimilar by a Republican and proclaim, “we’re just as bad.” And you need look no further than the glee shown by some of these people over the “Covington kids” case, some of it appearing right here on this site to our everlasting shame, to see how many of these folks seem to only exist in order to point out any perceived shortcoming on the right.
Had a GOP politician appeared in blackface, or wearing a KKK hood, or had been credibly accused of forcible rape, or had told anyone that they lose their racial identity by not voting for him, he would have been vaporized and the same clowns defending Biden and downplaying this episode would be leading the charge. And they would not be stopping to point out misdeeds by Democrats and explaining why it is not important.
The point about the “media” not covering the story as being a reason for the conservative media to not cover a story just points to why we lose and why we deserve to lose. Mandel runs a f***ing newspaper that claims, at least for marketing purposes, to be somewhat conservative. Letting other outlets determine your editorial focus because Brian Stelter might say mean things about you is nonsense (you don’t have to buy all of this to get the picture, but the part about the Ilhan Omar story is dead on target). If we had relied upon the traditional media to cover the Russia Hoax, you can bet that investigation would have gone a different direction. If we’d listened to those Conservative, Inc., voices who pooh-poohed the idea that the Obama administration had actually run a spying operation targeting the Trump campaign, where would we be? If we’d gone along with those people, the Steele dossier would never have been challenged and the nomination of Brett Kavanaugh and the impeachment of President Trump would have looked very, very different. Often you think that our “official” media are much more interested in making that Oliver-Darcy-esque jump to a sweet, well-paid, work-free existence at CNN or MSNBC than they are in anything else. That “conservatism” is just something they are interested in only so long as they get a check; that they are always more concerned about saying something or taking a position that will anger someone in power in the “real media” than they are about moving conservative policies forward and electing conservative candidates.
Some years ago, NFL quarterback Peyton Manning did an SNL skit titled “Mentor” in which he coaches a group of kids, this is my favorite part of the video (cued and ready to go).
“Do you wanna lose?”
Every time I see stuff like this, I wonder how much of it is really that simple? Do these people really want to lose? And if they were trying to keep Democrats in power, what would they do differently than they are doing today?