In a ceremony commemorating the 58th anniversary of Bloody Sunday in Selma, Alabama, Joe Biden depicted Republicans as modern segregationists while claiming to be of part of the civil rights movement. “I was a student up north in the civil rights movement,” the president said. “I remember feeling how guilty I was; I wasn’t here. How could we all be up there, and you going through what you went through.”
This never happened. Just as Biden never participated in any marches or sit-ins or boycotts and just as he was never arrested trying to march with Mandela and just as he never represented any Black Panthers in the 1960s. No president, none, has lied about his personal history as aggressively and blatantly as Joe Biden. This is stolen valor, not the muttering of a doddering man with an aging mind. It has always been his modus operandi.
James Freeman at The Wall Street Journal is right to point out that it is disgraceful for Biden to compare 2023 Republicans to 1965 Democrats, for all the obvious reasons. But it is particularly loathsome for the president to smear his political opponents as modern-day Bull Connors when he was the one who embraced segregation, without ever admitting to his past behavior.
No one is shackled to a viewpoint. But the man who said he didn’t want his kids to grow up in a “racial jungle” in a debate over busing — you remember Kamala Harris’ “I was that little girl” moment — is also the man who bragged that J. William Fulbright, Herman Talmadge, and, especially, James O. Eastland were not only friends but mentors. It was Biden who praised the racist zealot Sen. John Stennis by comparing him to Stonewall Jackson. And Strom Thurmond was a Biden confidant before he “moved to the good side.”
On his first campaign, only a few years after he now claims his heart was in Selma, Biden told a group that he had been honored as “one of the outstanding young politicians of America” by the notorious Alabama Gov. George Wallace — the man who instructed police “to use whatever measures are necessary to prevent” that march in 1965.
Oh yeah, he also lied about the award.
In the early 1970s, Biden was bragging about his relationships with segregationists trolling for support, rather than lying about participating in the civil rights movement. But even during his disastrous 1988 presidential campaign, Biden was still appealing (possibly joking) to Southerners by telling them that Delawareans were “on the South’s side in the Civil War.” In 2006, Biden was telling South Carolinians that he had come from a would-be “slave state.”
Can you imagine Ron DeSantis getting away with that kind of joke? Or Nikki Haley or Mitt Romney? Of course, I don’t believe Biden is a fan of slavery. He’s a small, vacuous, uncharitable, unprincipled man who will say anything for a vote. That’s bad enough.
Today, Biden stands there and claims Republicans are trying to deny schools the ability to teach black history. This too is a lie. When DeSantis rejected the College Board’s “advanced African American Studies” course he rejected identitarian Marxist teachings that are to American history what Biden’s speeches are to his own life story — a string of revisions and fictions that exist to further contemporary political goals. No one wants to stop anyone from learning black history.
Biden again leaned into his long-standing claim that Republicans had passed a “wave” of “anti-voting laws” and that the “conservative” Supreme Court has “gutted the Voting Rights Act over the years.” Claims of voter suppression are malleable, opaque, forever evolving, and open-ended. It is a smear that exists to ensure Democrats never have to admit losing an election fairly. It exists to corrode trust and foster dependency and poison race relations. It is working.
Of course, if we accepted the standards now touted by Democrats as the only way to ensure fair democratic elections, it means we’d have to accept that there has never been a valid election in the history of the United States. And how can that be? Democrats have won numerous races under laws they now claim are authoritarian. This is how we got Social Security and Obamacare and the Voting Rights Act.
The fact is that it is easier to vote now than ever before — and it’s not particularly close. Any citizen, black or white or Asian, has the same ability to obtain an ID or request a mail ballot or vote early, in every state in the union. In most states, we’re seeing record-breaking numbers of Americans vote. Yet, Biden treats minorities as if they were incapable and intellectually inferior.
Come to think of it, maybe he hasn’t changed that much, after all.