Not to come off too much as a shark excited by some blood in the water, but what the fuck is wrong with Joe Biden?
I disagree with ageism, that is, in this case, the idea that there is a magical age cap at which one could serve well as president.
Bernie Sanders is a bit older than is Biden (Sanders is 77 and turns 78 next month, and Biden is 76 and turns 77 in November), but Bernie doesn’t get addled or tripped over his own words when he speaks publicly; he’s always quite lucid (if repetitive [which I take as a good sign that he’s consistent and devoted and not an opportunistic fucking flip-flopper]).
Former Vice President Joseph R. Biden Jr. raised eyebrows [yesterday] during a speech in Iowa when he said that “poor kids are just as bright and just as talented as white kids,” an apparent gaffe for a Democratic presidential candidate whose record on race has come under intense scrutiny during the primary.
Biden was speaking on education and the need to challenge students at a town hall hosted by the Asian & Latino Coalition in Des Moines when he made the remark, and then quickly sought to recover from it.
“We should challenge students in these schools,” Biden said. “We have this notion that somehow if you’re poor, you cannot do it. Poor kids are just as bright and just as talented as white kids.”
He paused, then added: “Wealthy kids, black kids, Asian kids — no I really mean it, but think how we think about it.” …
How “we” think about it? No, methinks that we need to think about how “Uncle Joe” thinks about it.
Biden’s “save” was, for me, anyway, confusing at best, and I believe that his initial utterance revealed his core belief: that if you’re poor, you’re probably not white, and that if you’re white, you’re probably not poor.
In the United States there is indeed a correlation between poverty and race — you are more likely to be poor if you are black or Latino or Native American than if you are white, for example (and Asians and whites are at about the same poverty rate) — but given that not even a full one in four Native Americans, the most impoverished racial group in the United States, lives in poverty, we really have to look at people as individuals, not as a monolithic group.
There are plenty of non-whites who don’t live in poverty and plenty of whites who do.
I have to suspect that Joe Biden has some racism in his core. This isn’t his first race-related gaffe. Probably his most famous one is when he said in January 2007, during his second failed run for the Democratic presidential nomination, that his competitor Barack Obama was “the first mainstream African American who is articulate and bright and clean and a nice-looking guy.”
What else can we take away from that stream-of-consciousness remark but that Biden’s core belief was (still is?) that it’s quite unusual for a “mainstream African American” (what, exactly, is a “mainstream” African American? what’s a non-“mainstream” African African?) to be “articulate and bright and clean” and “nice-looking”?
Jesus fuck, Joe Biden is a walking, talking Rorschach test spewing core racist beliefs right and left, yet black voters apparently still love him, apparently only or at least chiefly because Obama actually went on to make him his vice president (despite his remarks of January 2007).
That’s pretty fucking shallow, but that’s where we are in the age of identity politics.*
I suppose that if you are a Biden supporter, your cognitive dissonance between who you want him to be and who he actually is will induce you to defend his indefensible bullshit no matter fucking what. Whatever.
But Joe Biden isn’t mentally fit to be president. Not that the current occupant-usurper is fit, but do we really need two addle-brained presidents in a row?
I stand by my estimation of Biden of yesterday, before his latest gaffe made the news: that he has earned the title of Most Likely to Implode.
*On that note, the black-activist website theroot.com today ranked the 2020 Democratic presidential contenders, of course putting Cory Booker and Kamala Harris at No. 1 and No. 2, even though, as I noted yesterday, they are in the top three candidates in the number of billionaire backers that they have.
Because billionaires care so much about black poverty and other problems of black Americans, you see. It wouldn’t — couldn’t — be that billionaires would support only those candidates they deem to pose the least threat to the socioeconomic status quo that benefits themselves so much. No!!! That’s crazy talk!
I have this crazy notion that you should vote in your best interests, not vote by skin color.
But I’m white, so I must be “racist,” you see.