I’ve often wondered why Joe Biden has clung so strongly to the lie that President Trump called the neo-Nazis and white nationalists in Charlottesville “fine people”, when anyone who reads the transcript of Trump’s remarks can plainly see that’s not the case. Whether or not you think Trump is a racist, it’s simply not true that Trump called neo-Nazis and white nationalists “fine people”.
But now, finally, Biden has told us why he clings to that lie: The lie is the reason he decided to run.
Here’s the relevant portion of his DNC remarks:
“Remember seeing those neo-Nazis and Klansmen and white supremacists coming out of the fields with lighted torches? Veins bulging? Spewing the same anti-Semitic bile heard across Europe in the ’30s?
Remember the violent clash that ensued between those spreading hate and those with the courage to stand against it?
Remember what the President said?
There were, quote, ‘very fine people on both sides’.
It was a wake-up call for us as a country.
And for me, a call to action. At that moment, I knew I’d have to run.”https://www.cbsnews.com/news/joe-biden-speech-full-transcript-dnc-2020-convention/
Imagine: The Democratic candidate for President started his campaign — and continues to campaign — on the basis of a lie. The Democratic candidate for President has openly admitted that he is in the throes of a cognitive dissonance whose like the world may have never seen before (and one which, sadly, grips many besides him).
Imagine, too, this irony: There are many in the Democratic Party who wanted Bernie Sanders to be their nominee, only to have their hopes dashed by Biden. Now Sanders’ supporters know the reason for their dashed hopes was Biden’s, and many others’ — maybe even their own — unwillingness to let go of their fervent belief that Donald Trump said an unbelievably racist thing. Bernie Sanders could have been the Democratic nominee, but for the Party’s need to demonize Trump to the fullest extent possible, even going so far as to lie about Trump’s words.
By convincing Joe Biden to run and beat Bernie Sanders, the Charlottesville lie may have impeded progressive causes even as it has injured Trump’s brand.
I wonder if Joe Biden has effectively ended his campaign with that speech because, impressive as it was in other aspects, what do you do when you realize the whole reason your candidate ran was a lie? And that his mind is still writhing in the throes of that lie? And that he’s offering himself to you, in contrast to the current occupant of the office, as a return to truth, while running on a lie?
What happens when your candidate comes right out and tells you you’d just be trading one Liar-in-Chief for another?