Monday, August 31, 2020

Has there ever been an election in which one party hid their candidate in a basement while they let their supporters literally burn down the country until they get their way?

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Joe Biden used his first in-person campaign appearance outside of the Delaware region on Monday to blame President Donald Trump for the violence and unrest ravaging America’s cities. The former vice president, who has remained secluded at home since the start of the novel coronavirus pandemic earlier this year, commenced in-person campaigning on Monday with a speech in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. In his remarks, Biden addressed the mounting social unrest that has swept most of the country since the shooting last week of Jacob Blake by police in Kenosha, Wisconsin. While the former vice president spent a portion of his speech criticizing violence and urging supporters to stand against it “in every form it takes,” Biden claimed the blame for such disorder rested with the current commander-in-chief. “The incumbent president is incapable of telling us the truth,” Biden said. “Incapable of facing the facts and incapable of healing. He doesn’t want to shed light, he wants to generate heat and he’s stoking violence in our cities.” “Fires are burning and we have a president who fans the flames, rather than fighting the flames,” he added. “But we must not burn, we have to build.” Arguing that Trump had “long ago forfeited any moral leadership,” Biden claimed that the president was incapable of stopping “violence because for years he had fomented it.” “He may believe mouthing the words ‘law and order’ makes him strong, but his failure to call on his own supporters to stop acting as an armed militia in this country shows you how weak he is,” the former vice president said. “Does anyone believe there will be less violence in America if Donald Trump is re-elected?” Biden’s speech comes as protests against Blake’s shooting and more broadly in opposition to police brutality and racial injustice have turned violent in several cities across the country. The situation, in particular, has escalated not only in Kenosha, but also in areas like Portland, Oregon, and Minneapolis, Minnesota. Although it is too early for a clear determination, the rioting has raised concerns about Biden’s leadership abilities among suburban and swing voters.

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Ultimately this connects to the contempt most liberal Democrats have for the country, and have had for a long time. We keep hearing from the left that Trump is “shredding political norms,” but who is it who wants to abolish the Senate and the electoral college, repeal the 2nd Amendment, tinker with the First Amendment to allow censorship of “hate speech,” pack the Supreme Court, and admit DC and Puerto Rico as states just to add four more Democrats to the Senate? And that’s before you ask for any Democrat to make a criticism of the 1619 Project. I’m not aware of a single one yet who has done so. But remember: Trump’s tweets are mean!

This has a long history. People think the “Blame America First Democrats” was an invention of Jeanne Kirkpatrick in 1984, but it goes back much further than that. At the height of the urban rioting in the 1960s, Hubert Humphrey remarked that had he lived in a ghetto he could have led a pretty good riot himself—a remark he later came to regret and tried to walk back. In 1971 Walter Mondale remarked that “The sickening truth is that this country is rapidly coming to resemble South Africa.” Shirley MacLaine said in 1972 that “Right now the social soul of America is so sick that even the overthrow of a political regime may be insufficient.” I can go on with pages of statements like this from Democratic politicians, leading journalists, and, naturally, academics.

In other words, what we’re seeing today is the essential DNA of the modern Democratic Party coming to the fore amidst a crisis, and a lot of voters can perceive this clearly, which is why the polls are tightening.

In fact, even Hollywood gets this. Just recall this 20-second scene from an early episode of The Simpsons, which appeared back when George H.W. Bush was president: