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ATTITUDES NOT PLATITUDES

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BOB FRANKEN
FOR RELEASE FRIDAY, JUNE 21, 2019

ATTITUDES NOT PLATITUDES
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We’ve all been lulled into believing that good manners will ultimately pay off, but let’s get real. The truth is, when people go low, you shouldn’t go high, as Michelle Obama famously advised. You should stomp the daylights out of them. Ifsomebody hits you, turn the other cheek -- and when the other guy has been faked out by that, beat the snot out of him. Similarly, forgiveness is for suckers. Actually, that one comes with an asterisk. If the offender is truly sorry, you might eventually decide to let bygones be bygones. But in general, civility is highly overrated.
Are you wondering why this rant is happening now (and maybe theorizing that I’ve forgotten to take my meds, which is always a safe guess, but not the reason this time)? The answer can be summed up in two words.No not those two words. I this case the two words are "Joe Biden".
Yes, Joe Biden, the former vice president who is now running a quaint campaign for the presidency. Not only is he presenting himself as an alternative to Donald Trump, but as an alternative to all those wild and crazy other Democrats who are seeking the same office he’s sought for decades.


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Every time he runs, he gets tripped up by his own tongue. He always steps in it; you pick the best way to describe how he inevitably says stuff that is remarkably stupid. His mind never seems to keep up with his motor mouth. The latest example is his trying to portray himself as the candidate of “some civility.”
There he was, actually bragging about his years in the Senate, deal-making with avowed racists, including Mississippi’s James Eastland, who referred to African Americans as an “inferior race.” Eastland is now dead, mercifully. But that didn’t stop Biden from reminiscing about his ability to bargain even with the highly placed scum of American history to get things done. At one point, he said with a chuckle about the cagey old Eastland, he “never called me ‘boy,’ he always called me ‘son.’”
Well, perhaps Uncle Joe didn’t remember that “boy” was one of the ways that bigots routinely addressed blacks during slavery and the Jim Crow era.
Remnants of that era still exist, as evidenced by the success of Trump and his support from the millions who still are guided by ignorant prejudice. To steal a line from several others, it’s not a fact that all Trump supporters are racists, but all racists are Trump supporters. And here was Joe Biden promising to coexist with them.
Many Democrats -- his opponents and others in the party -- were horrified. Biden made it worse by refusing to apologize, insisting he has a long record of civil-rights support and that Sen. Cory Booker, who is one of the other presidential candidates, should apologize to him, because Booker led the charge of the critics. “The fact that he has said something that an African American man could find very offensive,” said Booker in a CNN interview, “and then turn around and say, you know ‘I’m not a racist, you should apologize to me’ ... is so insulting and so missing the larger point.”
Biden should know better. He’s trying to make the argument that he is experienced and knows how to get thing done by crossing over and negotiating with the other side. While, many of his Democratic opponents are prone to “demonize” the wealthy, for instance, he said at a fundraiser of those very same wealthy, “no one has to be punished, no one’s standard of living would change.” Yes, it would. The grotesquely rich will have to give up some of their money to address economic inequality.
So there is one cliche that obviously remains true. A politician’s promises are to be ignored. And the winner of the presidential campaign will have to go low, because that’s where Donald Trump lives.

© 2019 Bob Franken
Distributed by King Features Syndicate, Inc.

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This page contains a single entry from the blog posted on June 22, 2019 8:01 AM.

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