In a scripted, angry speech, President Biden did a complete 180 on his previous remarks about preserving the filibuster, endorsing making whatever changes to the Senate rules are necessary too, as he put it, “prevent a minority of Senators from blocking action on voting rights. The majority should rule in the Senate to defend majority rule in America,” he said.
Although the most critical response to Biden’s remarks will be how Senate Democrats can and will try to circumvent two (possibly more) fellow Democrats, including Sens. Joe Manchin and Kyrsten Sinema, I believe other, far more disturbing remarks Biden made to the Georgia crowd are worth mentioning and discussing.
Biden compared individuals who disagreed with him and his fellow Democrats on federalizing elections to racist Democrats like Jefferson Davis, Bull Connor, and George Wallace during his address. How do you want to be remembered, I ask every American politician? Biden was rhetorical. “Will you support Dr. King or George Wallace? Do you support John Lewis or Bull Connor? Do you want to be with Lincoln or Davis? Now is the time to act. To defend our polls. To protect our democracy.”
Those who believed Joe Biden would be the “uniter in chief” he promised during his campaign may have been surprised by his racially charged remarks. It wasn’t surprising to most of us who have known for a long time that Biden has used race to advance in politics, starting with his early 1970s Senate election and continuing through his long political career, including as Barack Obama’s Vice President and as a Presidential candidate.
During the 2012 presidential campaign, Biden alleged that Republican presidential nominee Mitt Romney would “put you all back in chains” by “letting the big banks write their own rules.” In May 2020, Biden said on the Charlamagne Tha God radio show, “If you can’t decide whether you’re for Trump or me, then you ain’t black.” The way Biden is going about what he said today seems to me to be backfiring. Many black and Hispanic voters feel taken advantage of because they are seen as an “automatic vote” for Democrats.