GOP Can’t Figure Out How To Make Joe Biden Black, A Woman Or Both
Republicans are struggling — hooray! — to “define" Joe Biden or, more to the point, falsely smear the president as a Kenyan socialist demonic baby eater. Their scuzzy tactics worked so well with Barack Obama and Hillary Clinton. What's different about Uncle Joe? That will likely remain a mystery for as long as Biden remains an old white guy.
From the Associated Press:
"There's just not the antipathy to Biden like there was Obama. He just doesn't drive conservative outrage," said Alex Conant, a longtime GOP operative, who worked for the Republican National Committee in 2009 as they labored to undermine then-President Barack Obama.
There's not much “labor" involved with going full racist against the first Black president. (Which AP actually noted! "Biden, who focused a portion of his campaign trying to win back working-class white voters who left the Democratic Party for Trump, also inherently does not face the racist attacks aimed at Obama or the sexist ones targeted at Clinton." Will you look at that!)
Aside from having to iron the white hoods, it's fairly easy-peasy to baselessly claim Obama's a Manchurian president who wasn't even born in America.
Republican strategist Alex Conant, who worked for Marco Rubio's face-planting presidential campaign, lamented that conservative media “never talk about Biden. It's amazing. I think Fox covered Dr. Seuss more than Biden's stimulus bill in the week leading up to the vote."
Yeah, conservatives have talked a lot about Dr. Seuss over the past week, while Democrats were busy passing a bill that will cut child poverty almost in half. Someone has to defend racist literature the author's own estate disowns, but Fox News also broke the story that Biden is so old he sometimes forgets people's names. From my own experience, that means Biden has the cognitive skills of a middle-aged parent working from home during the pandemic.
President Biden on Monday seemed to forget Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin's name at a White House event — calling the Pentagon chief "the guy who runs that outfit over there."
Biden was announcing the nomination of two female generals to lead US military combatant commands.
"And I want to thank the sec — the, the, ah former general. I keep calling him general, but my, my — the guy who runs that outfit over there," Biden said.
The Fox News audience doesn't find Biden's alleged senility that scary, so Rep. Jim Jordan went after his dog, Major, who had to leave the White House after reportedly biting a White House security person. This resulted in an “extremely minor injury," but Jordan was upset that Cujo-gate wasn't a major scandal.
Jim Jordan is attacking Biden because Biden's dog nipped someone https://t.co/0mBA5QhuSk— Aaron Rupar (@Aaron Rupar) 1615342570.0
JORDAN: Can you imagine if [the previous White House occupant] had a dog and it bit someone? The press would go crazy. They would say, “This dog is working with Russia and we've got to have an investigation!"
Yeah, that's pathetic.
Republicans are trying to link Biden with their “cancel culture" bogeyman but no dice. They've started to focus their attacks on Vice President Kamala Harris, who is both Black and a woman. She even has her own racist “birther" controversies. Conservatives are now implying that Harris is the true power behind the throne because unlike Mike Pence, her duties are more comprehensive than massaging the president's ego.
When Harris spoke with Norwegian Prime Minister Erna Solberg without Biden on the line, Fox News asked, “Who's in charge?"
Who's in charge? VP Kamala Harris takes another solo call with a world leader https://t.co/bDYuoLVCt8— Fox News (@Fox News) 1615342039.0
Fox News noted with some alarm:
Harris previously took calls alone with French President Emanuel Macron and Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau as well as Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, shortly after the president put in a call to the French and Canadian leaders himself.
Biden's still speaking with world leaders! What's the problem? Harris isn't secretly plotting coups with Justin Trudeau.
Leaders around the world could view the vice president as Biden's heir-apparent and be eager to build a relationship.
"She will be seen by everyone as a potential president in waiting," one European ambassador told Politico in February. "Much more than in previous presidencies."
It's reasonable that world leaders would view the young, badass vice president as a future commander in chief. Preparing Harris to take the conn is responsible leadership from Biden, not an abdication of duty. The New York Post reported that Pence didn't speak directly with any world leaders during his final year in office, even though there was a global pandemic and he was theoretically the head of the coronavirus task force.
Harris isn't running the country, but conservatives probably wish she was. Their bigoted bag of tricks just aren't working against Biden.
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Stephen Robinson is a writer and social kibbitzer based in Portland, Oregon. He writes reviews for the A.V. Club and make believe for Cafe Nordo, an immersive theatre space in Seattle. He's also on the board of the Portland Playhouse theatre. His son describes him as a “play typer guy."