by Mitch Kokai
Senior Political Analyst, John Locke Foundation
Joe Biden and the Democrats were suspiciously silent at their convention about violence and disorder in America’s cities, and Republicans hammered them for it. Biden finally came out belatedly with a prepared statement. …
… Biden expanded a bit on that:
“And now we have to stand against violence in every form it takes. Violence we’ve seen again and again and again, of unwarranted police shooting, excessive force, seven bullets in the back of Jacob Blake. Knee on the neck of George Floyd, killing of Breonna Taylor in her own apartment, violence of extremists and opportunists, right wing militias.” …
… Biden has received torrents of glowing praise for these statements, which really ought to be the bare minimum for an American leader — but then, his party, its media cheerleaders, and its street activists have not always done even that much. For example, Maxine Waters, now the chairwoman of the House Financial Services Committee, made her name defending riots in 1992 as a legitimate “insurrection,” and insists to this day that it is racist to use the term “riot.” Black Lives Matter protesters have even staged demonstrations in support of people arrested for looting, and given interviews defending looting. As David Harsanyi notes, Biden nowhere takes any responsibility for his staffers and even his running mate promoting donations to groups that bailed rioters out of jail.
But notice what’s missing from Biden’s statement. As Rich Lowry notes, Biden never identified anyone as the people he was condemning, other than “right wing militias.” At most, he allowed, he was against riots, arson, looting, and assaults “whether on the left or the right” — in the abstract, without conceding that anybody on his side of the political spectrum, or anybody engaged in protests for left-wing causes, or anybody listening to voices on the left or voices in the Democratic coalition, was responsible for anything whatsoever.