CNN’s David Gergen doesn’t seem to care much for former Vice President Joe Biden’s refusal to kowtow to the radical left and let them smear him as an old, out-of-touch bigot.
Recall that earlier this week the former VP turned 2020 contender cited his past interactions with two former colleagues who were staunch segregationists as examples of him remaining civil and working with those with whom he disagrees ideologically. His point had been to note that, to get things done in this world, sometimes you have to work with people you dislike. That’s life.
In response, everybody from left-wing critics in the media to Biden’s fellow left-wing 2020 contenders, including Sen. Cory Booker, slammed him for being an old, potentially racist man “out of step” with the modern Democrat Party. Booker went so far as to demand the former VP apologize.
To be clear, the segregationists in question — former Sens. James Eastland and Herman Talmadge — were Democrats, not Republicans. More on this later.
Biden responded to the criticism Wednesday by essentially telling his critics to bugger off.
“Cory [Booker] should apologize,” he said. “He knows better. There’s not a racist bone in my body, I’ve been involved in civil rights my whole career: Period. Period. Period.”
Speaking later Wednesday evening about these remarks, CNN political commentator David Gergen issued Biden an ultimatum: Either promote the centrism and moderation of the Democrats of the past, or embrace the radicalism and dogged “resistance” of the modern Democrat Party.
“This is about people he knew and worked with in the 1970s before some of the Democratic presidential candidates were born,” guest host John Berman initially said on CNN’s “Anderson Cooper 360.” “The other side of this is that Joe Biden wants to lean on his experience. He wants to lean on his ability to reach across the aisle, although in this case he was dealing with Democrats.”
Fair point, right? Gergen disagreed.
“I don’t think you can have it both ways,” he argued. “I understand why he wants to celebrate his experience but he’s going to turn it into a liability if he keeps talking this way.”
That’s right, promoting tolerance — even toward those whose views you find abhorrent — is a “liability.”
“The real issue here is that he seems to be looking at the world through a lens that was created back in the early 1990s and so he interprets things in a different way than what most other people do, especially younger people do today,” Gergen continued.
“It may well be that working with a couple of segregationists got bills passed. But a lot of young people today don’t think you ought to celebrate that. You shouldn’t celebrate segregationists. You should oppose them and I think he missed that, he missed that in his comments.”
Never mind that these interactions occurred decades ago, that the segregationists were Biden’s fellow Democrats and that the Democrat Party is supposed to be the party of tolerance.
Here’s a little secret about tolerance: If you’re not tolerant of those with whom you disagree, then you’re not tolerant, period, period. It’s a little secret that most Democrats appear to unaware of.
This isn’t meant to be a defense of Biden but rather an indictment of how intolerant, hateful and illiberal the party has become post former President Barack Obama’s divisive presidency.
And if you think this mindset regarding the former VP’s remarks is just limited to the zany commentators on CNN, you’re sadly mistaken.
With all the context, that’s just sad. Especially on Juneteenth. @JoeBiden should apologies to everybody and drop out.
— Eric Martin, SJWizard (@WokeNerds) June 20, 2019
“I’m not a racist, I’m just friends with racists” is a very, very bad argument to make, Joe. And telling a black man to apologize for rightfully calling you out is even worse, any day ever but especially on Juneteenth?! pic.twitter.com/GV7wJvIZMP
— Eleanor’s Legacy (@eleanorslegacy) June 20, 2019
I don’t want Joe Biden anywhere near the presidential election. His time is past, his comments reinforce that daily. pic.twitter.com/zaWM6ntEO1
— Alan Bykowski (@brewcity77) June 20, 2019
i officially do not like him.
before i just didn’t want him to get the nomination, now i just don’t like him.
we need to burn the current system to the ground, if we are ever to reach equality and build a fair system for everyone.
— Notnoworlater (@NotnoworlaterSD) June 20, 2019
Biden needs to realize American society evolved, and the only people who would think it’s cool to normalize bigots, pretend bigotry’s just an opinion like any other, are already with Trump.
— Rev. Magdalen ||This Machine Dismantles Patriarchy (@revmagdalen) June 20, 2019
This sentiment is important because it speaks to the wider movement within the Democrat Party to ostracize, silence and/or deplatform anyone with an opposing viewpoint. Yes, this particular discussion concerns segregationists, but Democrats have espoused similar thoughts about everybody from fellow Democrat lawyer Alan Dershowitz to everybody who’s conservative, Christian or both.
Speaking of which, even though the segregationists mentioned by Biden — former Sens. James Eastland and Herman Talmadge — were Democrats, a number of people, including MSNBC correspondent Kasie Hunt, falsely described them as Republicans.
MSNBC’s Kasie Hunt: “Joe Biden references his relationships with two former Republican colleagues at an event in NYC. The only problem? They were both segregationists”
The Senators were identified as James Eastland & Herman Talmadge
They are Democrats
No correction was issued pic.twitter.com/Ut3EpAwrnf
— Ryan Saavedra (@RealSaavedra) June 19, 2019
Coincidence? Probably not …
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