Joe Biden in Pittsburgh: President Trump 'is stroking violence in our cities'

Yes, I know what he meant, but no he didn’t say the president was stoking violence, he said he was “stroking violence.” “He doesn’t want to shed light. He wants to generate heat and he’s stroking violence in our cities,” Biden said. I guess stroking something is one way to generate heat.

Here’s Biden’s next sentence as delivered: “You know this is a tragic fact of the matter that—about his perilous hour, that how he’s dealing with this perilous hour in our nation.”

Say what?

It seemed Biden was finally going to hit his stride and then technical difficulties struck. He was talking about “violence of extremists and opportunists, right wing militias—militias—militias.” The feed glitched on the word “militias” about 10 times (both the Washington Post and CBS News show the same glitch). Just watch the first 20 seconds of this:

As Ed said, he sounds a lot like Max Headroom.

After that Biden did directly condemn violence and looting. “The senseless violence of looting and burning and destruction of property, I want to make it absolutely clear so I can be clear about all of this,” he said. He continued, “Rioting is not protesting. Looting is not protesting. Setting fires is not protesting. None of this is protesting. It’s lawlessness, plain and simple and those who do it should be prosecuted.

“Violence will not bring change. It will only bring destruction. It’s wrong in every way. It divides instead of unites. Destroys businesses. Only hurts the working families that serve the community.”

Biden said “Fires are burning and we have a president that fans the flames.” Later he added, “Donald Trump looks at this violence and he sees a political lifeline.” Biden then cited Kellyanne Conway’s comments as proof that Trump was rooting for violence.

“These are not images of some imagined Joe Biden America in the future. These are images of Donald Trump’s America today,” Biden said.

You get the gist of it. I’m not going to spend a lot of time on this. Yes, Donald Trump is president but no the violence, riots, arson and looting Joe Biden is denouncing aren’t being stoked (or stroked) by Trump or the right. On the contrary, all of the people engaged in the behavior Biden is denouncing are on the far left. They are the ones rioting in Portland and Kenosha and Minneapolis and Chicago and New York, etc. And it’s the progressives mayors, city councils and governors in these cities and states who have looked the other way until tragedy struck. That’s what happened in Seattle, in Atlanta and this weekend in Portland.

Aaron “Jay” Danielson was just shot and killed allegedly by a man who wrote that he was “100% Antifa” and whose feelings about President Trump were clear: “F**k Donald Trump #blacklivesmatter.” It’s not Trump’s fault that a fringe of Biden’s party who hates the president (as much as they hate the police) is rioting and setting fires and killing people.

Look, maybe there is a calming voice that could come into this situation and say that both sides are getting too heated, but Joe Biden is not that guy. He’s literally blaming Trump for violence carried out by the far left. It’s not going to work.

It’s clear to most people which side of the aisle is talking about defunding the police and which side is backing the police. It’s clear who has been promising not to prosecute people arrested during the riots (progressive DAs in Portland, Seattle, Chicago, etc). It’s clear which networks have been defending Antifa for months. In short, it’s clear which party has a sizable contingent that is winking at the extremists in their ranks. It’s Joe’s own party that has been doing that. If he wants to tell someone that “rioting is not protesting” he should tell the people on his left and several of the hosts at CNN who need to hear it and stop blaming the president.

I don’t know if President Trump can actually stop the violence at this late date but I sure don’t see any reason to think Joe Biden can do it. He hasn’t even aimed his criticism at the right target yet. He’s still blaming the right for violence carried out by the left. That’s not going to fix anything. Even Mayor Ted Wheeler speech denouncing the violence last week was more honest than this hot mess.

Bonus befuddlement: Biden was trying to say something about the COVID death toll and just sort of gave up.