The Real Lasting Impact of Joe Biden's Racist Comments Won't Be the Racism

AP Photo/Charlie Neibergall
AP featured image
Democratic presidential candidate former Vice President Joe Biden laughs with audience members during a meeting with local residents, Monday, Dec. 2, 2019, in Emmetsburg, Iowa. (AP Photo/Charlie Neibergall)


Yesterday, Joe Biden made a racist comment, charging during an interview on The Breakfast Club that any African-American who doesn’t vote for him “ain’t black.” While the media remained largely quiet until they got their marching orders from the Biden comms team (the spin is in full effect now), many on the right lit up with outrage. Once again, a Democrat was making the assumption that all black people must vote for them or they are somehow not genuinely black. This is a message made even worse coming from a nearly 80-year-old white guy with a history of questionable commentary on race.

The double standards at play here also incensed many onlookers, noting that if a Republican had said something in this fashion, there would be no op-eds hand waving it away in The Washington Post, nor would it be ignored the way it was on CNN. It would be a two week national outrage story.

But Joe Biden is a Democrat, which means this was over within 24 hours, and it’s not just the left rushing to excuse his behavior.


Comparing Romney’s comment, which was meant in a positive manner and taken completely taken out of context, with Biden’s objectively racist comment is nonsensical. It’s even more nonsensical to charge that Republicans shouldn’t criticize him for what he said and that doing so is somehow “awful.” No, in this case, Biden said something racist and that’s as worthy of criticism as anything else. Further, the standard above is never applied to Trump, which means this is just another call to unilaterally disarm, this time without even a real moral case to do so.

I will concede this, though. The idea that no one will care about Biden’s racist commentary is largely correct. This won’t move any votes (or enough to statistically register). The media will excuse it and the Democrats will deflect.

The lasting effect here will be the continued realization by Biden’s handlers and voters that this isn’t sustainable. The “keep him in the basement” strategy can’t last forever. At some point, he has to come out and campaign. If he’s elected, he has to assume office. What this latest “gaffe” shows is that he’s not capable of doing either of those things and everyone knows it. This is a man so not in control of his own faculties that he can’t do a simple 15-minute interview without saying something ridiculous, slurring his words, or forgetting what he’s saying altogether. As I wrote a few days ago, his staffers are even having to interject now while he’s still live on the air.


Who exactly is excited to vote for a guy who obviously can’t physically do the job? That’s the lasting impact of all this. With every gaffe, with every racist comment, and with every mind melt, fewer and fewer people are going to take the time to vote for Joe Biden. This latest racist outburst may not change any real number of minds within the black community (i.e. deciding to vote for Trump), but will they show up like they did for Barack Obama? I highly doubt it.

Biden’s campaign is slowly burning down, even as meaningless polls are touted as proof he’s cruising to victory. The situation today is irrelevant to what it will be in November. His campaign can’t keep holding this thing together with duct tape and zip ties. So while Biden will no doubt get away with saying something blatantly racist, it all feeds into the bigger issue, and that issue is not going away.



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