Normally I don’t talk about partisan politics on this blog, limiting my comments to policy and criminal justice issues. But I was recently elected as a Bernie Sanders delegate to the Democratic National Convention, which is scheduled to be hosted in Milwaukee this year. But the Party is considering hosting the convention by virtual means – Zoom, I suppose. The decision about how to host the convention is still being considered.
As a practical matter, given that Bernie Sanders suspended his campaign, and Joe Biden will have the substantial majority of ballots, it is unlikely that the individual delegates will be required to actually voice a preference. And, as a matter of party rules, delegates sent on behalf of a particular candidate – in my case Senator Sanders – are required to vote for that candidate on the first ballot. Since there will not be a second ballot – in all likelihood, but this being 2020, who knows – I suspect that vote will be a mere formality, if it even occurs.
Since Senator Sanders announced the suspension of his campaign, I have not followed the day-to-day politics. But Joe Biden seems to want to create all kinds of issues that make it more difficult for him to win. I suppose there’s a reason he withdrew twice – in 1988 and 2008 – in previous presidential campaigns. In 1988, he was caught plagiarizing speeches, and lying about his resume. His lies about his resume have continued, unabated for decades. Recently he falsely claimed he was arrested in South Africa during the apartheid era, that he marched in the 1960s for civil rights, that he co-sponsored the Endangered Species Act, and about his vote for war in Iraq in 2003. The man is an inveterate fibber.
But most striking is Joe Biden’s problematic record on race. Biden was selected in 2008 as Barack Obama’s vice president because it was thought that having Biden on the ticket would convince white voters in Pennsylvania, and the midwest, for instance, that President Obama would not be dangerous.
But in the 1970s, Biden was not just a backer, but a sponsor of bills to permit and encourage busing favored by whites to deny African-Americans equal access to good schools. Biden was cozy with some of the Democratic Party’s worst segregationists – Jim Eastland and Herman Talmadge, both senators.
But Biden’s record on criminal justice is just absolutely appalling. He was either co-sponsor or a strong supporter of a string of bills that went through Congress in the 1980s and 1990s that produce federal sentencing mandatory minimums that led to mass incarceration and put a generation of black males in prison.
If Biden had changed his tune, he’d be more acceptable today. But here he is in the last week saying more nonsense: