Boston Globe: Biden’s “chains” remark sign of tiresome double standard for Democrats; Team Obama: So what?

posted at 3:31 pm on August 19, 2012 by Ed Morrissey

No, it’s not the Boston Herald, but the bastion of liberalism on (ahem) Morrissey Boulevard that pointed out the double standard for Democrats that gave Joe Biden a media pass for his “they goin’ to put y’all back in chains” comment this past week.  The Boston Globe’s editors demand an apology from Biden, and some equal treatment for Republicans and Democrats on rhetoric, too:

When Vice President Joe Biden warned a Virginia rally of hundreds of African Americans that Republican efforts to loosen bank regulations meant “They’re going to put y’all back in chains,” Stephanie Cutter, Team Obama’s deputy campaign manager, said the president would have “no problem with those comments.”

But imagine if Republican Paul Ryan uttered comments like that. Mitt Romney’s pick for vice president would be pilloried for racial insensitivity — and so would Romney. In the fight for civility and substance over pointless hyperbole, Biden may not be the worst offender. But he’s an offender nonetheless, and he should apologize.

After noting Biden’s history of such comments, including the infamous 7-11 remark complete with an attempt at an Indian accident, the Globe wonders why liberals have given Biden a pass for so long.  They should care about this as much with Democrats as they do with Republicans, the editors conclude:

Liberals routinely dismiss Biden’s gaffes as the rhetorical excesses of an overly exuberant speaker — it’s “Joe being Joe.” And there can be something appealing about a politician who throws caution and the script that goes with it to the winds. Yet when conservative speakers get overly exuberant and cross a rhetorical line, they are presumed racist or culturally insensitive, rather than refreshingly free-spirited. One standard should apply.

Perhaps they understand that this is the best Obama can do for an argument for re-election, Debra Saunders wrote earlier this week in the San Francisco Chronicle:

Vice President Joe Biden played the race card this week when he drawled Southern-style to a racially mixed audience that if Mitt Romney takes the White House, he’ll “unchain Wall Street. They’re going to put y’all back in chains.”

Last week, a super PAC run by a former aide to President Obama released an ad in which a former steelworker all but fingered Romney for causing his 55-year-old wife’s cancer death in 2006 because Bain Capital shuttered the plant where he worked in 2001. The week before, White House aides stood back as Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid, without providing any proof whatsoever, charged that Romney didn’t pay taxes for a decade.

The president’s henchmen are running a dirty campaign. The worst part of it: These nasty antics are the best Obamaland has to offer.

In other words, the Obama campaign sold “Hope and Change” in 2008; in 2012, they have to try to sell “Hope in Chains.”  Today, the campaign confirmed it would not apologize for Biden’s remarks:

Speaking on CNN’s State of the Union on Sunday, Stephanie Cutter, an Obama deputy campaign manager, said that no apology was necessary and that Biden’s choice of words were “a distraction from the larger argument” about deregulation. She said the Romney campaign has also said things about the president that are offensive, including questioning his patriotism.

“We are not going to be lectured by Mitt Romney,” she said. “That’s completely hypocritical.”

Power Line’s Paul Mirengoff writes today that this is why Barack Obama and his campaign won’t walk it back or apologize, because Biden’s remarks were a deliberate strategy to foster fear and loathing on the campaign trail:

But we should also consider the possibility that Obama affirmatively wants to stand by Biden’s race-baiting.

Jay Cost has argued that Biden’s remark was not a gaffe, but rather an attempt to rally African-American support for Obama. To be sure, Obama has a stranglehold on that vote. However, Cost shows that, in a close election, he may need to carry it to the same extent he did in 2008. This time around, such an overwhelming majority would require a fired up, angry African-American electorate. Hence, Biden’s inflammatory rhetoric.

To apologize for that rhetoric, or even to walk it back, would amount to a concession that the Republicans don’t actually have it in for African-Americans. That’s not a concession Obama is eager to make.

Thus, while the Democrats were willing to walk back their attack on Romney via Ann Romney’s horse, Biden’s attack via the race card is another matter.

Indeed.  And perhaps Jack Nicholson said it best in a movie whose title derived from this line: ‘What if this is as good as it gets?”

Meanwhile, Reason reminds us of their February 2009 “Real Men of Genius” ad with Joe Biden …. and wonders whether they should update it for the nonsense of this week:

 


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Comment pages: 1 2

How can this guy be a heartbeat away and seemingly nobody cares–scary!

uscratchedmyanchor on August 19, 2012 at 9:25 PM

Power Line’s Paul Mirengoff writes today that this is why Barack Obama and his campaign won’t walk it back or apologize, because Biden’s remarks were a deliberate strategy to foster fear and loathing on the campaign trail

What was your first clue?

squint on August 19, 2012 at 10:13 PM

How can this guy be a heartbeat away and seemingly nobody cares–scary!

uscratchedmyanchor on August 19, 2012 at 9:25 PM

“Oh, that’s just Joe being Joe”…now let’s get back to the REAL issue that voters want to hear about…
MITT ROMNEY, WHERE ARE THOSE TAX RETURNS!!!!!!11111!!!!
Liberal Media/Media Matters/DWS/Dingy Reid/David Axeldouche/Stephanie “I’d lie to my own mother if it would get Barkey reelected” Cutter

Strike Hornet on August 19, 2012 at 10:14 PM

Indeed. And perhaps Jack Nicholson said it best in a movie whose title derived from this line: ‘What if this is as good as it gets?”

What if ?…LOL….We’ve had four years of these sorry a$$ losers. It should be clear that they are do nothings and all they have is race baiting. What real American or foreign nation could respect these clowns now.

Get rid of them in November.

DevilsPrinciple on August 19, 2012 at 10:27 PM

“And, Now Ladies and Gentlemen’s – a methage from De Vice-Pres-dent of De United States!!!”

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=sfjzKYXzsjA

“….well…..FEETS – GIIIIIT MOOBIN!!!…..”

williamg on August 19, 2012 at 10:28 PM

Biden is about to become the dope in chains.

The Rogue Tomato on August 19, 2012 at 10:32 PM

Biden’s remarks are just another way for the dems to focus the campaign on anything other than the failed policies of the White House marxist. That’s all that’s going on here. Can’t wait for the next stupid remark, of course the GOP provided that in Missouri today.

bgibbs1000 on August 19, 2012 at 10:50 PM

The sad part about this is now that we finally get some traction on this from the media, we get Todd Akin going on TV spouting some equally stupid evangelical nonsense which has not only cost us the high ground in the matter, but most likely a senate seat as well.

David Axelrod certainly couldn’t have planned it any better had he tried. No doubt Todd Akin will be on Joe Biden’s Christmas card list this year as well.

JFS61 on August 19, 2012 at 10:54 PM

Jay Cost has argued that Biden’s remark was not a gaffe, but rather an attempt to rally African-American support for Obama. To be sure, Obama has a stranglehold on that vote.

That’s a bit insulting and presumptive. It assumes;

- African-American voters cannot think or discern facts for themselves. They will simply vote based on emotion and ethnicity irrespective.

- No conditions, plans or actions,(either negative by Mr. Obama or positive by Mr. Romney) will largely move the African-American vote.

Unemployment and this terrible economy have hit the African-American community especially hard. They are a large part of the religious conscience of our nation and therefore I would have thought the assault on religious freedom would play a bigger role…or at least provide their community more leverage.

All of this makes me curious how Mr. Obama still holds such large sway with the African-American demographic. How long will that community be susceptible to emotional appeals, half-truths, blaming previous administrations and promises of greater social benefits?

Marcus Traianus on August 20, 2012 at 8:20 AM

All of this makes me curious how Mr. Obama still holds such large sway with the African-American demographic. How long will that community be susceptible to emotional appeals, half-truths, blaming previous administrations and promises of greater social benefits?

Marcus Traianus on August 20, 2012 at 8:20 AM

I don’t think black Americans are any more susceptible to empty promises than any other group of Americans. They are just more completely targeted by them and have been for generations.

swinia sutki on August 20, 2012 at 8:35 AM

I don’t think black Americans are any more susceptible to empty promises than any other group of Americans. They are just more completely targeted by them and have been for generations.

I would politely disagree.

The African-American community had high-expectations from Mr. Obama. I don’t believe they completely arrived at that state by themselves. Furthermore, I don’t believe they have prospered under Mr. Obama- quite the opposite.

Ultimately, there comes a point where I am a little uncomfortable with this entire conversation. Mostly because it assumes that African-American’s are somewhat unique and separate in an economic sense. I frankly blame the type of rhetoric we heard from Mr. Biden for that. It substitutes substance for emotion and in the process people somehow forget the real financial arguments.

For me, the bottom line is that African-Americans have the same hope and dreams for the future we all do. As Americans we all share in that dream. If the economy gets better, we reform the tax system, reform social benefits, improve education, increase opportunities for small businesses, etc.- we all win. Together. That’s not about black or white, rich or poor. It about presenting equal opportunities for everyone for succeed based on effort and willingness to sacrifice. It is not about guaranteeing equal outcomes based on race or economic status. That is something nobody can or should promise since it comes at the expense of others. That is foreign and frankly undemocratic pursuit.

Marcus Traianus on August 20, 2012 at 8:51 AM

Biden was only playing the race card. EVERY democrat plays the race card and always plays the race card. When Obama gets 95% of the black vote, it is the race card. Is Biden incompetent to use what works every election? He would be incompetent if he didn’t.

volsense on August 20, 2012 at 10:00 AM

Just couldn’t stop myself.

Dr. Mercury on August 20, 2012 at 11:52 AM

Strike Hornet

Did you see the Ramirez cartoon today?

jangle12 on August 20, 2012 at 12:25 PM

Interesting case study:

Akin gets tossed over by the Reps for stupidly creating a non-existent category of rape as ‘legitimate’.

Biden gets Administration and MSM ‘cover’ for his, apparently heart-felt, belief that blacks may become shackled “again” by Republicans… when the Democrats were those that supported slavery the first time around.

socalcon on August 20, 2012 at 3:32 PM

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