After it was confirmed on tape that Democratic Senator and presidential candidate Joe Biden did, indeed, say that Barack Obama was one of the first mainstream African-Americans seeking national office who was “clean” and “articulate”, even my Democrat wife predicted Biden’s political demise.
“He’s done”, said my Denise with a sigh. “There’s no way any presidential candidate could get away with something that awful.”
I wish I believed her.
It’s not easy living with a wife who gets excited about Democrats like Obama and Hillary and the rest of them. I’d like to say that she suffers from some kind of post-traumatic stress syndrome or another type of malady that would constantly make her so wrong when it comes to political matters.
But I’m resigned to sharing the rest of my life with a beautiful, smart, funny, loving woman who happens to vote for the wrong ticket practically every time.
So when she confidently predicted that the sky would fall on Biden, I’m afraid she’s probably wrong about politics once again.
You see, Joseph Biden isn’t some southern Senator like Trent Lott who made the mistake of wishing another southerner like Strom Thurmond birthday greetings. Biden is a yuppie, northern elitist Senator from Delaware who is destined to get a pass for his foot-in-mouth debacle.
Not even Barack Obama himself had the stomach to call a bigot a bigot. Perhaps Obama, basking in the adulation of a fawning media, simply wanted to avoid the controversy altogether. Maybe Jesse Jackson, yes THAT Jesse Jackson, just wanted to extend the hand of Christian brotherhood to a presidential candidate who would make a comment that made him sound like a Grand Dragon of the Ku Klux Klan.
But the real likelihood is that no Democrat has the guts or integrity to condemn one of their own.
What a slap in the face Biden’s racist rant was to every African-American and decent person who heard him. How disgraceful to suggest that most blacks aren’t articulate or clean and it took a guy like Obama to finally come along and speak in a complete sentence while even appearing to shower and shave regularly.
Every prominent black American had a duty to condemn Sen. Joe “Grand Wizard” Biden of Delaware. Instead, they wimped out and failed the test.
That test is pretty easy to pass. Democrat or Republican, one does the right thing. It was not right to run Trent Lott out of his leadership post when all he did was try to make 100-year-old Strom Thurmond, a former presidential candidate, feel good about himself by saying Thurmond would have made a great president.
It was not right for Democrats to maliciously accuse President Bush of hating black people so much that he intentionally delayed rescue efforts in New Orleans.
And it is certainly not right for anyone to excuse Joe Biden for suggesting that there’s a real scarcity of articulate black leaders who bathe regularly. Incidentally, as I predicted, Biden’s pathetic defense is that he didn’t mean clean as in using soap and water and deodorant, he meant clean as in “clean as a whistle”, no corruption, no skeletons in his closet. So I guess Biden means that all the other black candidates for president – from Rev. Jackson to Shirley Chisholm to Alan Keyes and others – were just a bunch of crooked, corrupt black scoundrels.
Wow, that’s some defense, isn’t it?
Biden’s grinning, hyena-like performance on Jon Stewart’s cable TV show featured the Delaware Senator suggesting that everyone is focused on his use of the word, “clean.” No, Senator Klansman. It was your use of the word “first” that makes your comments so damning.
This story is a defining example of the fundamental difference between many Republicans and Democrats. When a Republican like Mark Foley screws up, we show him the door. When a Democrat implodes, other Democrats make excuses and spin and deny the truth, all in order to defend the indefensible.
It’s called a total lack of character. And every single Democrat – or Republican, for that matter – who fails to condemn Biden’s hateful, hurtful comments should be ashamed of themselves.
I suppose I’m not particularly surprised that few Democrats had the guts to say the right thing about Sen. Joe Biden. But there was at least one Democrat who did: my wife.
Maybe there’s hope for her yet.