Biden's gift for gaffes keeps on giving

It takes a special gift for a politician to take the making of a great point into a damaging controversy.  Especially a controversy that undermines one of the major assets of the politician in question.

But Joe Biden is special.  And after close to half a century in D.C. politics, he is undergoing special education — not that it will lead to any change on his part.

Biden as Vice President (photo credit: Ancho).


By now, you have no doubt heard that Biden has encountered a lot of flak from his rival candidates, especially Cory Booker and Kamala Harris, who covet the black support Biden has been enjoying, over his making the point that he was able to work with politicians with whom he disagreed in the past.  The New York Times reports:

Joseph R. Biden Jr. on Wednesday lashed out at his Democratic rivals who had condemned his fond recollections of working relationships with segregationists in the Senate, declining to apologize and defending his record on civil rights. The angry exchange shattered, at least for now, the relative comity that had marked the Democratic presidential primary.

Until Wednesday, many of the Democratic candidates had largely taken oblique swipes at Mr. Biden, while the former vice president sought to stay above the fray, training his sights on President Trump instead.

But a day after he invoked the 1970s, an era when he said he could find common ground with other senators — even virulent segregationists — his opponents offered their sharpest criticism yet.

Senator Kamala Harris of California said the former vice president "doesn't understand the history of our country and the dark history of our country," and Senator Cory Booker of New Jersey said Mr. Biden should immediately apologize for using segregationists to make a point about civility in the Senate.

Ms. Harris and Mr. Booker, who are both black, were not alone: other candidates including Senators Elizabeth Warren of Massachusetts and Bernie Sanders of Vermont also weighed in with criticism.  And even some of Mr. Biden's senior campaign advisers were privately shaken by his remarks.

Biden managed to screw up what could have been a strong appeal to the majority of Democrat voters who are alarmed at the radicals taking over their party with their dogmatism.  Instead of picking a Republican — say, the late Senator Richard Lugar of Indiana — with whom he managed to work on legislation, he selected two Democrats who were emblems of his party's shameful past as the party of segregation.  This point was entirely lost on MSNBC anchor Kasie Hunt, who identified them as Republicans...


...but it left hanging in the air the stupid anecdote that Biden offered, that Senator Eastland (D-Miss.) never called him "boy" instead calling him "son."

What could account for saying something so stupid, guaranteed to raise the hackles among any African-Americans who have felt disrespected in the way white people have addressed them in the past (a figure that must be in the high ninety percent range, if not 100%)?

There are two ingredients to Joe Biden's ongoing gaffe problem:

  1. He loves to talk.

  2. He's a dummy, in the word President Trump applied to him.

So, I stand by my prediction over a month ago that Biden will not be the Democrats' nominee.