In other words, Biden and his party are digging up Jim Crow for purely partisan purposes. Politics doesn’t get much dirtier or destructive.
The episode illustrates Biden’s late-in-life habit of reflexively resorting to charges of racism to score points. Recall that campaigning in 2012, he told a black audience in Virginia that if Mitt Romney were elected president, he would “put you all back in chains.”
Early last year, locked in a tight race with Bernie Sanders for the party’s nomination, he made pitches for black votes by declaring that America itself is guilty of “systemic racism.” Following George Floyd’s death while in police custody in Minneapolis, Biden began using the phrase frequently, including against law enforcement.
Before he was vice president, during his nearly four decades in the Senate, Biden praised Sen. Robert Byrd, a former member of the KKK, and cited his friendships with segregationist Dixiecrats. He was a regular participant in uses of the filibuster to slow down legislation and in a 2005 speech, embraced it as essential to the Senate’s conduct and character.