Republican Convention Roundup, Part 2
The debate over what Democrats should do about the race riots is heating up. I happily took a break from Twitter for a while to avoid the unhinged responses to my own piece in The Bulwark urging the Democrats to get on top of the issue. Among the saner pundits, the general consensus is that things like what happened last Thursday night, when politicians and other guests leaving the White House grounds after Donald Trump’s nomination acceptance speech were harassed by protesters and had to be escorted by a police guard, are a giant advertisement for Donald Trump. To counter that, Democrats need to show us that the crazies don’t really run their party
Like I said, there’s good reason to doubt whether they’re up to this–though Biden’s speech today, in which he urged that rioters be prosecuted, delivered pretty well.
I want to make it absolutely clear, so I’m going to be very clear about all of this, rioting is not protesting. Looting is not protesting. Setting fires is not protesting. None of this is protesting. It’s lawlessness, plain and simple. And those who do it should be prosecuted. Violence will not bring change, it will only bring destruction. It’s wrong in every way. It divides instead of unites, destroys businesses, only hurts the working families that serve the community. It makes things worse across the board, not better.
Yes, a lot of the rest of the speech was an attack on Donald Trump and not Antifa—but this is an election campaign, after all. And the problem is that Trump has been trying to hang Antifa around Biden’s neck, as if they are his supporters and his base, which is not really true. If they’re anybody’s base, they’re Bernie’s. So Biden was able to rely on the fact that he is a known quantity, and he’s hoping that will prevent Trump’s attacks from sticking.
You know me, you know my heart, you know my story, my family story. Ask yourself, do I look like a radical socialist with a soft spot for rioters? Really?
I’m no fan of Biden, but this is true. He is not a radical socialist and won his party’s nomination by campaigning that way.
Donald Trump will get a chance to make his own speech later today, and we’ll see how he does, but he is also a known quantity, so we can ask ourselves whether he really offers a better alternative.
His campaign theme so far is almost entirely a negative one: Vote for me because I’m the only answer to the insanity of the left. But is he?
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