Contrary to the cheap shot attacks that Kamala Harris launched against him in tonight’s debate, Joe Biden is both correct about his record on civil rights and, if he gets the Democratic nomination, better politically positioned in this regard for the general election.
The Washington Examiner reports,
First, Biden is right that Harris completely misrepresented comments he made about working with segregationist senators. Harris said Biden actually praised those segregationists. This is a flat-out lie. Biden said that despite his distaste for their politics, he found ways to work with them on other issues for the greater good of the American people. Most Americans recognize that he was right to do so. John Lewis recognizes it. And most understand his broader point, namely that it’s time for people in Washington to actually talk to each other and get things done.
Second, Harris went on an extended, impassioned bender criticizing Biden for having opposed federally mandated school busing in the 1970s. Fine. Let her attack him. Middle America hated forced busing, which is not and was not the same thing as desegregation. Forced busing, often for very long distances, broke communities apart, caused hardships for families required to get their children ready for school much earlier in the morning, and created a backlash on all sides of the political spectrum.
Biden said he supported busing implemented by local choice. That makes sense. Wherever busing was imposed by distant bureaucrats in Washington, or by judges they never elected, people recoiled. Forced busing catalyzed horrific violence in Boston — violence that was inexcusable, but that was a sign of how much all sides resented losing the identities of their neighborhood schools and being forced to pass by the school right up the street and attend a school in some far-flung part of town after a lengthy commute.
Even 45 years later, Middle America’s memory of federally imposed busing is an unpleasant one. It’s hard to know whether the leftist Democratic primary electorate will favor Harris on this issue, or favor Biden. But in the general election, Biden’s stance, if it comes up at all, is the politically advantageous one.
Meanwhile, it just doesn’t seem possible for people to believe Biden ever countenanced racism, in any way, shape, or form. It goes against his whole persona, and it also flies in the face of the fact that America’s first black president embraced him as his deputy.
Finally, Biden handled Harris’ attacks with dignity. His body language was good, and he was right to stand up for himself and call her out for misrepresenting his record. If Harris thinks this is Biden’s Achilles’ heel, she is badly mistaken.
From Washington Examiner