Riding an anti-Trump wave of negativity and baseless attacks, 2020 Democrat hopeful (and primary poll leader) former Vice President Joe Biden spent 40 minutes Monday night telling a crowded ballroom in Pittsburgh what they wanted to hear: President Donald Trump “continues to abuse the power of the office” while proving that he is “the only president who has decided not to represent the whole country” — instead pandering to “his base.” Amidst these attacks, he promised to "unify America" while driving a wedge of division and class warfare.
The irony of pandering to a liberal crowd by delivering a speech about President Trump pandering to a conservative crowd was apparently lost on Biden. And on his “base.”
In Monday night’s speech, Biden employed the same basic idea that served as the basis for his campaign announcement video in which he accused President Trump of having “assigned a moral equivalence between those spreading hate and those with the courage to stand against it” in the wake of the violence that erupted in Charlottesville, Virginia, in August 2017. While he did dial back some on that fallacious rhetoric by not using the tragedy at Charlottesville as a political backdrop again, that may be because he had a more recent tragedy to exploit.
On Saturday, a 19-year-old gunman opened fire at the Chabad of Poway synagogue near San Diego, killing a woman and injuring a rabbi and two others in an attack on the last day of Pesach (Passover, or the Feast of Unleavened Bread).
Biden seemed unable to resist using this newer tragedy in the same way he used Charlottesville — as a background prop against which he launched into his slogan about America being in a fight for its soul. While most of Biden’s speech was spent attacking President Trump’s policies and behavior, he briefly reference the synagogue shooting, saying, “We’re reminded again because we are in a battle. We are in a battle for America’s soul and I really believe that.”
Delivering his first official campaign speech to a full house of Democrats at a Teamsters union hall ball room — with an overflow room full of those who could not get into the ballroom — Biden accused President Trump of ignoring all but his political base. On economic issues, Biden said, “The middle class is hurting, it’s hurting now.” Taking a “divide and conquer” play from Saul Alinsky’s book, he added, “The stock market is roaring. But you don’t feel it. There was a $2 trillion tax cut last year. Did you feel it? Did you get anything from it?” Right on cue, the audience — ready to buy even deeper into the divisive nature of “soak the rich” politics so in vogue with Democrats and other Leftists these days — chanted, “No!”
Having received the endorsement of the International Association of Firefighters, Biden told the mostly union crowd, “I make no apologies; I am a union man.” He also said that if he is “going to be able to beat Donald Trump in 2020, it’s going to happen here — in western Pennsylvania!”
The man who promises to save America from another four years of Donald Trump promised more government regulation of the free market in the form of Medicare expansion, lower college tuition, and a mandatory, nationwide $15 per hour minimum wage — to be paid for by taxing the rich. He said, “The only thing that stands in our way is our broken political system that’s deliberately being undermined by our president to continue to abuse the power of the office. Donald Trump is the only president who has decided not to represent the whole country. The president has his base. We need a president who works for all Americans.”
Well except for those "rich people" — really the middle class — Biden promises to punish to pay for the expansion of Medicare, to decrease tuition in the nation’s colleges and universities, to increase the federal minimum wage to an untenable $15 per hour, and to whatever other liberal economic policies he has planned, Biden promised to create a tax code that is less favorable to those greedy rich people.
Biden — who leads in primary polls as of this writing — said he has “three basic reasons” for running for president. “The first is to restore the soul of the nation,” he said, seeming not to realize that the Messiah thing was already played (and lost) by his former boss, President Obama. “The second is to rebuild the backbone of this nation,” which — whether he knows it or not — is manufacturing and was broken in large part while he was vice president and high taxes and other liberal economic policies of Obama’s administration exported millions of jobs. “The third is to unify this nation; we always do better when we act as one America.”
The dichotomy of promising to “unify this nation” since “we do better when we act as one America” while peddling division and class warfare seemed to go right over the heads of those in attendance.
He continued along that vein, saying he wanted to “speak about the second of these three — and that’s rebuilding the backbone of America.” Biden went on to say, “All my time in public life, since I’ve gotten involved, I’ve been referred to as “Middle Class Joe.” Perhaps, but only when he’s not being called “Creepy Joe” for his hands-on policy with women and young girls. He said the “Middle Class Joe” moniker is “not always meant as a compliment; it’s usually that I’m not sophisticated.” He added, “the fact of the matter is I’m awfully sophisticated about why, how, and who built built this country.”
And that’s when he launched into the rich.
“Let me say this simply and clearly, and I mean this,” he began, before slurring the next part until it was almost unintelligible. “The country wasn’t built by Wall Street bankers, CEOs, and hudge, uh, hedge-fund managers! It was built by you!”
Speeches such as this, designed to do exactly what Biden accuses President Trump of doing — pandering to his base — may well win him his party’s nomination. Such speeches may — God forbid — even win him the election. But there are two things such ideas cannot and will not do: unify the nation and help the average, middle-class, working American. Whatever one thinks of President Trump, his policies have helped the middle class. Unemployment is at a record low; manufacturing jobs are coming home; and small, private business ownership (which is the actual definition of “middle class”) is on the rise — especially among black Americans.
This writer did not vote for President Trump, but can imagine a lot worse than another four years of his presidency — for instance, a Biden presidency driven by divisive liberal economic policy.
Image of Joe Biden: Screenshot of a Guardian News youtube video