Présidentielle américaine: Faux prolo et vrai apparatchik, quel meilleur argument pour la réélection du président Trump ? (Lunch bucket Joe: Only in a place as removed from reality as the Beltway could a man who has spent more than three decades in the US Senate be hailed as a working-class stiff)

23 août, 2020

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ImageImageImage previewImage previewDonald Trump est le seul président de l’histoire américaine qui sera plus pauvre après être devenu président qu’avant (…) et qui a pourtant écouté les gens mêmes que la classe dirigeante détestait. Charlie Kirk
En principe, une telle annonce est censée réjouir tous les hommes de bonne volonté indépendamment de leurs prises de position politique, la paix étant–on excusera le lieu commun–toujours préférable à la guerre. A fortiori lorsqu’il s’agit d’un État juif et d’un État arabe et musulman dont on connaît l’antagonisme historique. Il est normal et d’une grande logique politique que la République Islamique d’Iran ou que le Hamas palestinien, qui ne dissimulent pas leurs désirs de détruire Israël, vouent cet accord aux gémonies. Mais la gauche et son extrémité qui aiment à afficher par tous les temps et de tout temps leur pacifisme exacerbé (« le capitalisme apporte la guerre, comme la nuée l’orage » nous expliquent doctement les marxistes, « le nationalisme c’est la guerre » nous disent les trotskistes, Mitterrand et Macron) s’est montré d’une immense discrétion. C’est ainsi que Le Monde du 14 aout, toujours égal à lui-même, n’a pas hésité à présenter négativement l’accord comme une omission des Palestiniens, jusqu’à travestir la réalité. En effet, bien qu’il s’agisse d’un accord bilatéral ne concernant en rien la Palestine, les Émirats Arabes Unis ont tenu à ce que cet accord contienne une clause de suspension du projet d’annexion par Israël de cette vallée du Jourdain au demeurant acceptée depuis longtemps par la partie palestinienne, en cas d’accord définitif, en raison du fait qu’elle est peu peuplée d’Arabes et d’une importance stratégique existentielle pour l’Etat Juif. Sauf que la représentation politique des Arabes de Palestine ne s’est jamais résolue depuis un siècle à renoncer à une portion d’une terre qu’elle considère toujours, de parfaite bonne foi irrédentiste, comme arabe et musulmane. Cette absence d’enthousiasme de la gauche pacifiste autoproclamée dissimule mal le fait que depuis longtemps sans le dire elle ne se soutient plus que du bout des lèvres l’existence de l’État d’Israël Plusieurs raisons conscientes et inconscientes expliquent cette désaffection montante. La première et que la gauche xénophile a basculé dans le camp de la radicalité anti-occidentale la plus pathologique. Peu importe donc que celui-ci soit raciste ou antisémite. La seconde, est que la gauche européiste et son extrémité affichent désormais une détestation pour les États-nations. A fortiori lorsqu’ils sont d’occident. La troisième est que la gauche et son extrémité sont atteints de racisme anti blanc. La quatrième, qui n’est que la synthèse des trois premières, est que l’Israélien–ou le juif moderne–est considéré comme un super blanc au rebours du juif ancien que le vieil antisémite prenait pour un métèque. L’État-nation juif occidental qui se bat bec et ongles pour défendre ses frontières n’en est que plus détestable pour la gauche devenue internationaliste. Il ne faut dès lors pas s’étonner que les populations immigrées d’origine arabe ou musulmane présentes sur le sol français se montrent souvent beaucoup plus hostiles que d’autres populations arabes ou musulmanes à l’égard d’Israël et par voie de conséquence l’ensemble des juifs. (…) Voilà pourquoi, même s’ils ne le savent pas, les gentils pacifistes et antiracistes autoproclamés de gauche préfèrent mille fois voir l’état du peuple juif réprouvé rituellement ou tenu en étau dans un ghetto plutôt que de le voir signer des accords de paix avec ses anciens ennemis. L’imposture de gauche pacifique et antiraciste est une formule décidément pléonastique. Gilles-William Goldnadel
Il s’est trompé sur quasiment toutes les questions de politique étrangère et de sécurité nationale des quatre dernières décennies. Robert Gates (ancien ministre de la défense américain, 2014)
Le vice-président, quand il était sénateur – un tout nouveau sénateur – a voté contre le programme d’aide au Sud-Vietnam, et cela faisait partie de l’accord lorsque nous nous sommes retirés du Sud-Vietnam pour essayer de les aider. Il a dit que lorsque le Shah est tombé en Iran en 1979, c’était un pas en avant pour le progrès vers les droits de l’homme en Iran. Il s’est opposé à pratiquement tous les éléments de renforcement de la défense du président Reagan. Il a voté contre le B-1, le B -2, le MX et ainsi de suite. Il a voté contre la première guerre du Golfe. Donc sur un certain nombre de ces questions majeures, j’ai juste franchement, pendant une longue période, estimé qu’il avait eu tort. Robert Gates
Biden n’a pas d’idéologie, il est au centre et, quel que soit le centre, il y va. Gérard Araud
Ne sous-estimez pas la capacité de Joe à tout foirer. Barack Obama
Vous avez le premier Afro-américain bien articulé, intelligent, propre et qui est beau à regarder. Vous avez une histoire. Joe Biden (2007)
Vous ne pouvez pas aller dans un 7-Eleven ou dans un Dunkin’ Donuts à moins d’avoir un léger accent indien. Joe Biden
Les enfants pauvres sont aussi intelligents et talentueux que les enfants blancs. Joe Biden (2019)
Je vais vous dire, si vous avez un problème pour décider si vous êtes pour moi ou pour Trump, alors vous n’êtes pas Noir. Joe Biden (2020)
Aucune rhétorique n’est nécessaire. Jugez simplement ce président sur les faits. 5 millions d’Américains infectés par la COVID-19. Plus de 170 000 Américains qui en sont morts. De loin la pire performance de toutes les nations de la planète. (…) Regardez autour de vous. Ce n’est pas si mal au Canada. Ou en Europe. Ou au Japon. Ou presque partout ailleurs dans le monde. (…) Nous menons le monde pour les cas confirmés. Nous menons le monde pour les décès. Nous menons le monde pour les cas confirmés. Nous menons le monde pour les morts. (…)  Plus de 50 millions qui se sont inscrits au chômage cette année. Plus de 10 millions qui perdront leur couverture maladie cette année. Près d’une PME sur six qui a fermé ses portes. Joe Biden (2020)
Donald Trump n’a pas su être à la hauteur de sa fonction car il en est incapable. Et les conséquences de cet échec sont graves. Cent soixante-dix mille Américains sont morts. Des millions d’emplois ont été détruits alors que ceux qui sont au sommet de la pyramide sont de plus en plus riches. Nos pires instincts se sont déchaînés, notre honneur et notre réputation dans le monde entier ont été malmenés, et nos institutions démocratiques n’ont jamais été aussi menacées. Barack Obama
Ils voient avec horreur des enfants séparés de leurs familles et jetés en cage avec des gaz lacrymogènes et des balles en caoutchouc utilisés contre des manifestants pacifiques pour une opération de communication. Michelle Obama
If we were to have a President Hillary Clinton, would Obama (or his many media allies) consider it fair game to blame tens of thousands of American COVID-19 deaths on her? Do they honestly believe that, under Democrats, the death toll would have been 170? That would ignore the fact that the worst coronavirus death tolls are largely in states with Democratic governors. Tim Graham
People have forgotten how Joe Biden did in New Hampshire. He was terrible. He got 8.4 percent of the vote, which is unbelievable for a candidate with any aspirations of being president. What the Democrats should have done if they were really serious about beating Trump would have been to rally around one candidate right from the start and not have a protracted battle in which people get wounded. They needed to pick one person and have everybody else take a pass. That’s the only way I could see that my model would have worked in their favor. My prediction is what I call ‘unconditional final. It does not change. It’s a mathematical model based on things that have happened. The presidential election of 2016 has happened, the primary results are in. I can add in the results of more primaries, but even those numbers have happened and can’t change either. (…) Now I predict straight to the Electoral College. I’ve never done that before, but I made an adjustment because of the mismatch we had in 2016, and I’m prepared to see Trump lose the popular vote again. So this prediction is entirely about the electoral votes. (…) Everybody thinks Trump is going to go down in flames, and here I am predicting with almost total certainty that he’s going to win. It seems crazy. But it’s not. Helmut Norpoth
It is hugely frustrating to see conservatives, who couldn’t give a damn about the multiple sexual assault allegations against Donald Trump, weaponize the accusations against Biden. However, it’s also frustrating to see so many liberals turning a blind eye. The accusations against the former vice-president are serious; why aren’t they being taken seriously? (…) There are some people who will insist that drawing attention to the new allegations against Biden is playing into the Republicans’ hands. That it will destroy Biden’s campaign and guarantee us four more years of Trump. Not only is that argument hypocritical, it is also hugely unlikely that Reade’s accusations will do any damage whatsoever to Biden’s ambitions. Allegations of sexual assault certainly haven’t posed any hindrance to Trump. The allegations against Kavanaugh didn’t stop him from becoming a supreme court justice. The allegations against Louis CK didn’t kill his career in comedy. And the multiple women who have accused Biden of touching them inappropriately in the past haven’t exactly derailed his career. Arwa Mahdawi
Mostly it was the Democratic Party talking to itself and playing to its base. Missing was any hint of priorities or plans, of the meaning of the party or its intentions. They made the case against Donald Trump, and a case for Joe Biden as an essentially decent person. But they didn’t say what they’ll do. And this year that is key. I’m not sure they’re sufficiently aware of two things. One is the number of people who don’t like Mr. Trump and will vote for him anyway. They don’t have to be talked into thinking he’s a bad character, they’re already on board. All summer I’ve been running into two kinds of people. One kind says, “That man is a living shame on our country and must be removed.” The other kind says very little. They don’t defend him. They say, “I can’t believe I may vote for him, but . . .” And always they explain it this way: “What the other guys are gonna do on taxes,” “What the other guys will do to my industry,” “What the Democrats will do to the economy.” I’m getting the impression that for a lot of people, the ballot this fall won’t read “Trump vs. Biden” but “Trump vs. What the Other Guys Will Do.” Do the Democrats understand how hunkered-down many people feel, psychologically and physically, after the past six months? If I asked this right now of a convention planner or participant I think they’d say, “Yes, people feel battered by systemic bias, inequality, and climate change.” And I’d say no, they’re afraid of foreclosures! They’re afraid of a second wave, no schools, more shutdowns, job losses and suddenly the supply lines break down this winter and there are food shortages. When this is the context, what a great party plans to do couldn’t be more crucial. As for Mr. Biden, all his political life he’s tried to express himself in ways he thinks eloquent but that tend to be only long-winded. He chases a thought a long way, even when it’s a small one and not worth the hunt. All of this is part of his old-school way and is neither harmful nor helpful. But he had a strong, tight speech. He looked good, spoke crisply, maintained focus. The speech is going to do him some significant good. Though he didn’t make his plans and intentions clear. (…) apart from the “We The People” gauziness, there was a nonstop hum of grievance at the convention. To show their ferocious sincerity in the struggle against America’s injustices, most of the speakers thought they had to beat the crap out of the country—over and over. Its sins: racism, sexism, bigotry, violence, xenophobia, being unwelcoming to immigrants. The charges, direct and indirect, never let up. Little love was expressed, little gratitude. Everyone was sort of overcoming being born here. Even Mr. Obama, trying, in a spirit of fairness, to expand the circle of the aggrieved, spoke of “Irish and Italians and Asians and Latinos told: Go back where you come from. Jews and Catholics, Muslims and Sikhs, made to feel suspect . . . black Americans chained and whipped and hanged. Spit on for trying to sit at lunch counters, beaten for trying to vote. . . . They knew how far the daily reality of America strayed from the myth.” The cumulative effect of all this, especially for the young, would prompt an inevitable question: Why would anyone fight to save this place? Who needs it? If I were 12 and watched, I’d wonder if I had a chance here. If I were 20, they’d have flooded me with unearned bitterness. Injustice is real, history is bloody. But guys, do you ever think you’re overdoing it? Are you afraid that this is all you got? Is that why you don’t talk about policy? Peggy Noonan
Il est trop tôt pour dire ce qui ressortira de l’actuelle vague de violences liée à la mort de George Floyd. On sait en revanche que l’histoire récente n’a pas été particulièrement tendre envers les mouvements militants qui tentent de lutter contre le racisme. Les méthodes défendues par l’une de leurs figures les plus célèbres, Martin Luther King, ont abouti à l’adoption du Civil Rights Act en 1964 et du Voting Rights Act en 1965, deux des plus grandes lois de l’histoire américaine. À l’inverse, l’évolution du mouvement Black Power a conduit à son implosion, ses principaux représentants finissant en exil, en prison ou victimes de rivalités internes meurtrières. Si le mouvement avait su s’attirer quelques sympathies chez les Blancs, celles-ci ont rapidement disparu après les émeutes de Détroit, Baltimore, Los Angeles et plusieurs autres grandes métropoles. De même qu’aujourd’hui avec le mouvement Black Lives Matter, le renforcement d’une identité de groupe associée aux militants noirs a été suivi par un retour de bâton avec la résurgence des suprémacistes blancs et l’émergence des skinheads dans les années 1970 et 1980. Il n’est pas besoin de lire des articles universitaires pour comprendre que les manifestations pacifiques pour les droits civiques ont mieux réussi que les violences. Un chercheur de Princeton vient néanmoins d’en publier un qui mérite lecture. Dans un article paru le mois dernier dans l’American Political Science Review, Omar Wasow, professeur adjoint en sciences politiques, décrit les résultats d’un projet de recherche entamé il y a quinze ans sur les conséquences politiques des manifestations. Omar Wasow, qui est noir, a étudié les manifestations de militants noirs entre 1960 et 1972 aux États-Unis et découvert que les “tactiques employées” pouvaient faire toute la différence pour faire avancer une cause : Les manifestations non violentes ont joué un rôle essentiel pour faire pencher la balance politique nationale en faveur des droits civiques. Les mouvements dans lesquels étaient lancées des violences parvenaient à des résultats diamétralement opposés aux revendications des manifestants.” Après les incidents survenus lors des manifestations liées à la mort de George Floyd lors de son interpellation par la police, le président Trump a clairement annoncé que “l’ordre public” serait un de ses thèmes de campagne, et les travaux de Wasow apportent des éléments de réponse quant à l’efficacité de cette stratégie. Dans un récent entretien avec le New Yorker, Wasow déclare avoir découvert “un lien de causalité entre les manifestations violentes” survenues après l’assassinat de Martin Luther King en avril 1968 et “le rejet du parti démocrate”. Plus spécifiquement, “dans les circonscriptions proches des violences, Nixon a enregistré des résultats supérieurs de 6 à 8 points de pourcentage lors de l’élection”. (…) La semaine dernière, le Wall Street Journal indiquait que, selon son dernier sondage mené en collaboration avec NBC News, 80 % des électeurs avaient actuellement “le sentiment que la situation dans le pays échappait de plus en plus à tout contrôle”. La question est de savoir si Joe Biden et les démocrates aideront Donald Trump en permettant aux manifestants violents de devenir le visage de leur parti et en cédant aux demandes de plus en plus absurdes des progressistes radicaux. Donald Trump est peut-être impopulaire, mais les pillages et le déboulonnage des statues le sont tout autant, de même que l’arrêt du financement de la police ou le fait de laisser des militants armés radicaux s’emparer de quartiers entiers. La gauche devrait également veiller à ne pas croire que les électeurs noirs dont elle aura massivement besoin dans cinq mois seront convaincus par un tel programme. Dans un mémo de 1970 adressé au président Nixon, son conseiller Daniel Patrick Moynihan notait qu’il “existe une majorité silencieuse chez les Noirs comme chez les Blancs” et que les deux partageaient “essentiellement les mêmes préoccupations”. Ce qui était vrai il y a cinquante ans l’est toujours aujourd’hui. La plupart des Noirs savent que George Floyd n’est pas plus représentatif de leur communauté que Derek Chauvin ne l’est des policiers. Ils savent que la fréquence des contacts entre Noirs et policiers a beaucoup plus à voir avec le taux de criminalité chez les Noirs américains qu’avec le fait que les policiers seraient racistes. Ils savent que les jeunes hommes noirs ont bien plus à craindre de leurs pairs que des forces de police. Et ils savent que les émeutiers sont des opportunistes et non des révolutionnaires. Il est parfaitement légitime d’ouvrir un débat national sur la façon d’améliorer les méthodes de la police, mais aujourd’hui la conversation en vient à accuser les forces de police d’être responsables des inégalités sociales, ce qui n’est pas seulement illogique mais dangereux. La criminalité dans les quartiers fait obstacle à l’ascension sociale. Toute conversation ne reconnaissant pas cette réalité ne mérite pas d’avoir lieu. Jason L. Riley
These ad hominem attacks by a previous president on his successor are unique in my lifetime. Perhaps they are unique in modern American history. George W. Bush, for example, never said a critical word of Barack Obama, despite the latter’s frequent attacks on Bush’s presidency. (…) America ranks tenth in deaths per million. Are the greater proportion of deaths per million in countries such as Belgium, Spain, the U.K., Italy and Sweden the result of corrupt and/or inept leaders? Was President Donald Trump responsible, for example, for the decision made by New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo to order nursing homes to accept COVID-19 cases, causing the virus to sweep through the elderly in those facilities, resulting in at least 6,000 deaths (and likely many more that New York is hiding from the official count)? Regarding « millions of jobs gone, » they are gone overwhelmingly because of the lockdowns ordered by state governors and mayors, not the virus. Lockdowns, we were told, would last two weeks to « flatten the curve, » but they continue six months later in many Democratically controlled cities and states. (…) Obama offers not one example of this or of his many other attacks on Trump. There is a reason. Obama has always attacked straw men. During his presidency, I analyzed about 20 of his speeches. They and his off-the-cuff comments were always characterized by straw-men arguments. Even The New York Times, in 2009, when it still published occasional articles that deviated from the left, featured an article by Helene Cooper (who is black), its then-White House correspondent, titled « Some Obama Enemies Are Made Totally of Straw. » In it, Cooper cited example after example of statements ostensibly made by others, but actually made up by Obama — which he then proceeded to shoot down. This characterized his approach to discourse throughout his presidency and continued with last week’s speech at the DNC. (…) Obama, like all on the left, equate America’s « standing in the world » with its president’s standing with the left. Nonleftists do not. Last year, when the courageous Hong Kong demonstrators waved a flag representing liberty, they waved the flag of the United States of America. Apparently, America’s standing with them is pretty high. (…) Who doesn’t believe « the right to vote is sacred » — those who insist on people having an ID when they vote, as voters do in virtually every other country? Or is it those who don’t believe in sending tens of millions of ballots to people who never signed up to receive an absentee ballot? (…) What new legal immigrant thinks that way? Or is Obama dishonestly conflating legal with illegal immigrants? The answer is, of course, he is (though even illegal immigrants apparently believe there’s a place for them here; isn’t that, after all, why they come?). (…) How has this administration shown that? Why didn’t Obama provide a single example to sustain this extraordinary charge? Anyway, it seems to many Americans that those who lie to the country for two years about Russian collusion with the Trump campaign, impeach a president solely for political reasons, dedicate all news reporting to the removal of a president, smear and lie about a decent man nominated for the Supreme Court, corrupt the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act system for political ends, and politicize the CIA and FBI are the ones who « will tear our democracy down if that’s what it takes to win. » Obama’s speech offered very little of substance about the man it was directed against, but it said much about the man who delivered it. Dennis Prager (25.08.2020)
Mr Biden criticised President Trump’s response to the coronavirus outbreak saying he had failed to protect American people. The US does have the highest number of coronavirus cases and deaths in the world, with more than 5.5 million confirmed cases and 174,000 deaths, according to Johns Hopkins University. It also has a larger population than many other countries. If you look at deaths per capita – as a proportion of each country’s population – the US is no longer top of the list but remains in the top 10 worst hit countries. The US has recorded more than 52 coronavirus deaths per 100,000 people – according to Johns Hopkins University – but there are a handful of countries that have recorded more on this measurement, including the UK and Italy. It is worth remembering that there are differences in how countries count coronavirus deaths, making exact comparisons difficult. (…) « More than 50 million people have filed for unemployment this year. » Mr Biden was talking about the impact of the pandemic on the US economy. The 50 million figure is right and is based on the total number of Americans who have filed jobless claims since the virus struck, according to US Labor Department statistics. The number of people currently claiming unemployment benefits is 14.8 million, according to the latest release of weekly figures. It has been declining since May, when there were more than 20 million claims. The unemployment rate is still much higher than pre-pandemic levels and currently stands at 10.2%. Mr Biden also said: « Nearly one in six small businesses have closed this year. » But a recent survey of small business owners in the US suggested that only 1% of small businesses had closed permanently by mid-July this year. A further 12% said they had closed temporarily, but even accounting for these it is less than the one in six Mr Biden claimed. (…) Mr Biden said one of his goals would be to « wipe out the stain of racism » and he recalled the far-right protests in Charlottesville, Virginia in 2017 which led to violent clashes and left one counter-protester dead. He said: « Remember what the President said when asked, he said there were, quote, very fine people on both sides ». Mr Biden said that after this moment « I knew I had to run » for president. According to a transcript of a press conference on 15 August, President Trump did say – when asked about the presence of neo-Nazis at the rally – « you had some very bad people in that group, but you also had people that were very fine people, on both sides. » During the same press conference, Mr Trump went on to say « I’m not talking about the neo-Nazis and the white nationalists, because they should be condemned totally. » BBC
Now officially the 2020 Democratic presidential nominee, Joe Biden offered himself to Americans this week as an affable, trustworthy and experienced alternative for the White House. But his five-decade record in politics offers plenty of controversies ranging from insulting confrontations over IQ and race to fabrications and plagiarism. (…) Biden once sparred in 1987 with a political reporter who asked him about his law school record. A tart Biden responded that he “probably” had a “higher IQ” than the reporter. And he claimed he finished in the top half of his class. It was later revealed that Biden was near the bottom of his law school graduating class at Syracuse University’s College of Law, specifically 76 out of 85 students. Biden also admitted that he had plagiarized during his first year at the institution. “I was mistaken, but I was not in any way malevolent,” Biden explained. The plagiarism tag would follow him into politics. Eventually it was also revealed that Biden had used quotes in speeches as a U.S. senator from Bobby Kennedy, John F. Kennedy and Neil Kinnock, a British Labour Party leader, without any attribution. Earlier this year, he faced plagiarism again when it was revealed his 2020 climate plan lifted some passages from other documents without attribution. The campaign corrected the error. In 1987, Biden said he marched during the civil rights movement but some media outlets pointed out that was not the case. (…) These controversies eventually forced Biden from the 1988 presidential race in September 1987 (…) Biden has repeated the claim that he was involved in civil rights activism during the 2020 Democratic presidential primary on a few occasions. And his some of the most awkward apologies he’s been forced to make involve the issue of race. During his 2008 run for president, Biden apologized for referring to his then-rival Sen. Barack Obama as « the first mainstream African-American who is articulate and bright and clean and a nice-looking guy. » It didn’t go unnoticed. While campaigning in New Hampshire, Biden told a supporter that « You cannot go to a 7-Eleven or a Dunkin’ Donuts unless you have a slight Indian accent” in Delaware. And in May of this year, Biden told radio host Charlamagne the God, « You ain’t black » if you vote against him, which sparked controversy. He later apologized for that statement too. Exaggerations have also been flagged several times in his career. During a presidential primary debate in 2007, for instance, Biden revealed that he had been “shot at” while visiting Iraq. When records conflicted with his account, he later changed his story. In 2019 during Biden’s Democratic primary run, the Washington Post reported that the former vice president told a fake war story on the campaign trail. Politifact rated the story he told as false. Biden has dismissed the criticism. In March of this year, Biden claimed he was arrested in South Africa while trying to see the anti-apartheid leader Nelson Mandela. His campaign later said it didn’t happen after the U.S. ambassador who was with him on the trip said the arrest story wasn’t true. Nicholas Ballasy
Today Forbes estimates Biden, 76, and his wife Jill are worth $9 million. Their fortune includes two Delaware homes valued at $4 million combined, cash and investments worth another $4 million or so, and a federal pension worth more than $1 million. Biden’s father, Joe Sr., was raised in a life of privilege, complete with polo matches and hunting trips in the Adirondacks, thanks to the lucrative career of his own father, Joseph, who ran a division of American Oil. But Biden’s dad failed in his own early business ventures, which included a Boston real estate deal and a crop-dusting effort, leaving the family “broke,” according to Joe Biden’s 2007 memoir, Promises to Keep: On Life and Politics. The family relocated to an apartment in Wilmington, Delaware, when Joe Biden was 10. His father eventually found work selling cars. Forbes
As we enter the final 90 days of the November presidential campaign, a few truths are crystalizing about the “Biden problem,” or the inability of a 77-year-old Joe Biden to conduct a “normal” campaign. Biden’s cognitive challenges are increasing geometrically, whether as a result of months of relative inactivity and lack of stimulation or just consistent with the medical trajectory of his affliction. (…) Biden (…) is one of the few primary candidates in history who promised in advance to pick a running mate on the basis of gender and, as events would dictate, and by inference, race as well. (…) the Democratic ticket is a construct, with no visible or viable presidential candidate. While traditional polls show asizable Biden lead, at some point voters will want more than the current contest of Trump alone versus the media, the virus, the lockdown, the economy, and the rioting. But so far, it remains a one-person race, in the fashion of Clint Eastwood’s weird 2012 Republican National Convention appearance speaking to an empty cha. So we are witnessing a campaign never before experienced in American history and not entirely attributable to the plague and quarantine. After all, the fellow septuagenarian Trump, with his own array of medical challenges, insists upon frenetic and near-constant public appearances. His opponent is a noncandidate conducting a noncampaign that demands we ask the question, who exactly is drafting the Biden agenda and strategy? Or, rather, who or what is Biden, if not a composite cat’s paw of an anonymous left-wing central committee? When Biden speaks for more than a few minutes without a script or a minder in his basement, the results are often racist of the sort in the Black Lives Matter era that otherwise would be rightly damned and called out as disqualifying. If his inner racialist persona continues to surface, Biden’s insensitivities threaten to expose a muzzled BLM as a mere transparent effort to grab power rather than to address “systemic racism” of the sort the exempt Biden seems to exude. Biden needs the minority vote in overwhelming numbers, as he realized in his late comeback in the primaries. But the continuance of his often angry, unapologetic racialist nonsense suggests that his cognitive issues trump his political sense of self-control. The inner Biden at 77 is turning out to be an unabashed bigot in the age of “cancel culture” and thought crimes that has apparently declared him immune from the opprobrium reserved for any such speech. For Biden, if any African American doesn’t vote for him, then “you ain’t black”—a charge fired back at black podcaster with near venom. Biden more calmly assures us, in his all-knowing Bideneque wisdom, that Americans can’t tell Asians in general apart—channeling the ancient racist trope that “they all look alike.” In his scrambled sociology, blacks are unimaginatively monolithic politically, while Latinos are diverse and more flexible. Biden seems to have no notion that “Latino” is a sort of construct to encompass everyone from a Brazilian aristocrat to an immigrant from the state of Oaxaca, and not comparable to the more inclusive and precise term “African American.” Moreover, while the black leadership in Congress may be politically monolithic, there are millions of blacks who oppose abortion, defunding the police, and illegal immigration. The best minds of the conservative intellectual and political movement so often are African Americans. When asked questions, Biden’s answers so often reveal racist subtexts. A few days ago, CBS reporter Errol Barnett, who is black, asked Biden whether he would take a cognitive assessment exam. Biden fired back to him that such an unfair question would be as if he had asked Barnett whether he was getting tested for cocaine before going live. “That’s like saying,” a perturbed Biden exclaimed to Barnett, “before you got on this program, you’re taking a test whether you’re taking cocaine or not . . . What do you think, huh? Are you a junkie?” Note the tell-tale Biden trademark of racist insinuation delivered with punk-like braggadocio. Note, too, Biden’s racist assumption that an African American professional journalist might be likely to be defensive about being a cocaine addict. Yet Biden should know—from the drug struggles of Hunter Biden—that cocaine is in fact the favorite drug of the white elite. The problem is that in the past, a cognizant Biden was already racially edgy with his various earlier-career riffs about inner-city criminals, blue-collar chest-thumping about busing, and his more recent ideas about donut shops, accomplished black professionals on the verge of returning to slave status (“put y’all back in chains”), his racist descriptions of candidate Obama’s supposedly exceptional personal hygiene and ability to speak well, his corn-pop braggadocio, and on and on. His mental lapses now serve as force multipliers and accelerants of the old Biden’s foot-in-mouth disease and render him often a caricature of a racist. Politically, the point is not that he will not win the majority of minority voters, but rather that he won’t win enough of them at a margin necessary that carrying large swing-state cities such as Philadelphia, Milwaukee, Detroit, Cleveland, and others, will make up for the likely loss of rural areas and working-class whites, supposedly the “clingers” that “good ’ole Joe from Scranton” was supposed to own. Even more disturbing, the media simply is unconcerned about Biden’s racial putdowns, stereotyping, and uncomfortableness with the proverbial “other.” And the more the inner-Biden racialist sounds off, the more ridiculous such contextualizing becomes and the less people listen when journalists and activists spout off about a systemically racist America. Recently, when Biden has attempted to speak without prompts, indeed to clear up “rumors” of his cognitive problems, he simply loses his train of thought and utters a series of unstructured and unsettled thoughts that refute the very premise of his interview. The understandable Democratic strategy is to run out the clock and to choreograph a few post-Labor Day public appearances, to outsource campaigning to his running mate and future cabinet secretaries, and then to hope, in the manner of a 2016 Hillary Clinton, that he has amassed a large enough September lead to outlast a closing October Trump campaign. There are problems with such a strategy, as we saw in 2016. If Biden late in the campaign stumbles in the debates, there is no post-convention remedy to reassure the public he is compos mentis or otherwise can be replaced by a majority consensus. Then the country would be entering something eerily similar to, but far graver than, the McGovern debacle of desperately looking for a new running mate after it was disclosed that an apparently perfectly cognizant Tom Eagleton—his running-mate for 18 days—had undergone two electric shock treatments in his past as well as undisclosed prior hospitalizations for bipolar disorder. Right now, the Democrats have a virtual campaign and a virtual candidate and a strategy of running against the Trump news cycle. That may work, but it assumes Americans under quarantine don’t mind that they do not really know who is the Democratic challenger, or that Biden is, in fact, not physically or mentally able to function as either a candidate or president. It also assumes that the Trump-owned news cycle will remain as dismal over the next three months as it has the last five or six weeks, and that the virus will spike in late October again, rather than slowly burn out as it seems to be doing in Sweden and elsewhere in Europe. Add it all up and the question is no longer whether Biden could fulfill the duties of the presidency but whether he can finish a traditional campaign over the next three months—without outsourcing his duties to a committee, or serially saying something blatantly racist, or simply disappearing to the nether world of his basement where saying nothing beats saying anything. Victor Davis Hanson
Only in a place as removed from reality as the Beltway could a man who has spent more than three decades in the United States Senate be hailed as a working-class stiff. According to his most recent disclosure forms, Mr. Biden’s income includes his Senate salary of $165,200 and a teaching stipend of $20,500 from Widener University. On top of this, he received $112,500 as the second half of a book advance. Even allowing for generous deductions, Mr. Biden’s income comfortably locates him in the top 5% of American taxpayers. The Senate disclosure forms do not require Mr. Biden to report his primary residence (or his federal pension). So I asked Jim Bowers — an old college roommate of mine who also lives in Delaware, who also went to the same high school, and who is also running for election. « Not many lunch buckets up Joe’s way, » says Mr. Bowers, a Republican seeking a seat in Delaware’s House of Representatives. « You have to remember that the senator lives in an area known as ‘chateau country.' » Now, there’s no crime against having a top income, or a big house in a ritzy neighborhood. But it does make the whole lunch-bucket thing a little more sticky. And it confirms two truths about class in modern America. First, in Washington you are permitted to enjoy wealth without ever being called wealthy provided simply that you haven’t actually earned it in some unseemly way — by, say, building up a business. Second, even when Americans do well, we prefer not to define our class by where we rank on the economic scale. Instead, we classify ourselves by where our parents and grandparents were on that scale 50 years ago. Notwithstanding Mr. Biden’s moving references to Scranton, he moved out of that gritty city back at the beginning of the Eisenhower administration. The assumption behind the lunch-bucket imagery, of course, is that Mr. Biden’s « working-class roots » gives him an advantage in any debate. I’m not so sure. Sarah Palin — governor of Alaska and Mr. Biden’s rival for vice president — looks like a woman who can hold her own on issues that speak to hard work and upward mobility. Ms. Palin might, for example, point out that while the Senate offers members like Mr. Biden a generous pension, he opposes private Social Security accounts that would give the same to, say, a nurse. Or that while Mr. Biden and Barack Obama have chosen upscale private schools for their own children, they are reluctant to support efforts that would help inner-city moms and dads do the same for their children. Or that Mr. Biden not only opposes drilling today, in 1973 he voted against the Trans-Alaska pipeline that provides oil for American consumers — and jobs for American workers. Let’s be fair. Mr. Biden has a lovely family. He gave his children a good, private education. He lives in a big house in an exclusive neighborhood. It speaks well of him that he returns to Wilmington each night instead of staying in Washington. But it would still be refreshing if at least once we could read an account that called him what he actually is: a « chateau country Democrat. William McGurn
Despite all of his many years in public life, it still isn’t clear what kind of President Mr. Biden would make. Let’s assume that the gilded testimonials to Mr. Biden’s personal character at this week’s Democratic convention are true. He is by all accounts a nice guy. He cares about people, powerful or not. He can forge alliances across the aisle. He does not kick down at adversaries, at least most of the time. “Character is on the ballot,” as he put it Thursday night. In other words, he’s running as Not Donald J. Trump. In the best case, Mr. Biden is asking Americans to believe that he would take these personal qualities to the White House and mediate policy disputes, calm the culture wars, and work with both parties to break America’s partisan fever. He’d do the same on the world stage, defending U.S. interests without bullying allies and leading international coalitions anew. After the disruptions of the Trump era, this political idyll sounds inviting. Mr. Biden would certainly have the media and the institutions of American culture on his side, so the daily pitched battles of the last four years would be muted, at least for a time. Yet there’s cause to doubt this happily-ever-after-Trump scenario—and the reasons include the man and the times. Regarding the man, Mr. Biden has never been a politician of strong political convictions. He’s a professional partisan Democrat whose beliefs have shifted as the party’s have. Nearly all successful presidential candidates put their own political and policy stamps on their party and the times. Bill Clinton was a New Democrat who would reform welfare, George W. Bush was a compassionate conservative, and Barack Obama was a multiracial uniter who’d transcend red and blue state differences. Donald Trump was the populist disrupter of the establishment. Mr. Biden has no such defining message. Can you think of a single policy, or even a phrase, that identifies what he has stood for in this campaign? The closest might have been a return to normalcy. But sometime in recent months that gave way to the party’s desire for transformational economic and social change. More than any recent presidential nominee, Mr. Biden is more figurehead than party leader. He was the fail-safe choice, the last-ditch savior in South Carolina, after Bernie Sanders looked like he could run the primary table. Mr. Biden was lifted by his party’s elites. He owes them more than they owe him. All of which leads to doubts that Mr. Biden would govern like the moderate of Milwaukee’s virtual convention. (…) But if Mr. Biden wins by his current polling margin, a Democratic sweep of Congress is far more likely. How probable would it be that Mr. Biden would be able to control, or want to control, the progressive ambitions of House and Senate Democrats and the institutional left? There is reason for pessimism from the evidence of his long career. He opposed taxpayer funding for abortion for four decades until he reversed himself last year. In the 1990s he led the fight for a crime bill that he now disavows as he finds America guilty of systemic racism. Before Robert Bork was nominated to the Supreme Court, Mr. Biden said he’d probably have to vote for him because of his qualifications. Then Ted Kennedy launched a tirade against the jurist. Mr. Biden, running the Judiciary Committee at the time, fell in line. When Anita Hill made charges against Clarence Thomas only days before a scheduled confirmation vote, Mr. Biden folded under pressure and called hearings that became a spectacle. Justice Thomas was confirmed, as he should have been, but last year Mr. Biden loudly apologized to Ms. Hill and Democrats for not doing more in opposition. As his polling lead has grown, Mr. Biden has said the 60-vote filibuster rule in the Senate might have to go, which would forestall the need for compromise. He has moved left since the primaries, absorbing Bernie Sanders’s priorities on student debt and much of the Green New Deal. His choice of California Senator Kamala Harris as running mate was a bow to the party’s desire for a progressive as his likely successor. (…) As for foreign policy, he supported the invasion of Iraq in 2002 while chairing the Senate Foreign Relations Committee. Then he flipped when most Democrats did and as the fighting became difficult. Then he opposed the 2007 Iraq surge, saying it would fail. Then in 2011 he supported Barack Obama’s withdrawal from Iraq that set the stage for the rise of Islamic State. He opposed the raid on Osama bin Laden. Misjudgments on hard questions are inevitable, and every President makes them. But one test of political character is the willingness to stand up to pressure and make hard choices even when they’re politically unpopular. Mr. Biden has no record of doing so. Some readers may think it rude to say this, but Mr. Biden’s health and mental acuity are also relevant as he soon turns 78. His ability to recall names and events has clearly deteriorated. This may be the normal decline that comes with age, and he delivered his speech well. But his advisers don’t inspire confidence by keeping the candidate from any but the friendliest media questioners. They owe it to the country to let him show his stamina and fitness from now to Election Day. Even if his health holds, Mr. Biden would almost certainly be a one-term President. (…) Character counts in a President, as we learned long before Donald Trump sat in the Oval Office. But so do policies and political fortitude. The Wall Street Journal

Quel meilleur argument pour la réélection du président Trump ?

Faux prolétaire et vieux rentier de la politique, plagiaire multirécidiviste et gaffeur invétéré, mains baladeuses voire prédateur sexuel, vieux gâteux à la limite de la sénilité et notoire baratineur et affabulateur

Y a-t-il une faute …

En ces temps de politiquement correct et de fact-checking toujours plus sourcilleux …

Que n’aurait pas commise le candidat démocrate censé nous débarrasser du méchant Trump ?

Au lendemain d’une convention démocrate …

Qui pour dénoncer les prétendus manquements de l’actuel président Donald Trump …

Eclipsant ce faisant probablement, avec l’accord Abraham entre Israël et les Emirats arabes unis,  le plus grand triomphe de la diplomatie américaine des 50 dernières années …

A du candidat lui-même à l’ancien président Barack Obama et sa femme Michelle

Multiplié les contre-vérités et mensonges …

Accusant tour à tour et contre toute évidence, en l’un des pays les plus peuplés et les plus fédéralistes du monde, l’actuel président du pire bilan du coronavirus de la planète …

Et qui pour vanter les prétendus mérites d’un candidat du retour à la normalité …

Promoteur qui plus est d’une loi contre les violences faites aux femmes …

Fait totalement l’impasse, entre le Moraliste en chef Bill Clinton et des médias complices, sur des décennies d’accusations de harcèlement sexuel contre lui …

Comment ne pas douter avec le dernier éditorial du Wall Street Journal

A l’instar des sondages eux-mêmes dont les écarts logiquement se resserrent …

De cette image de Joe le Gentil et de Joe le prolo

Comme de par sa prétendue naissance dans les milieux ouvriers de l’état-clé de Pennsylvanie …

Alors qu’avant d’avoir ruiné sa famille, son père avait vécu, entre matches de polo et parties de chasse, dans la plus grande opulence d’un père cadre supérieur d’un grand groupe pétrolier …

Et qu’entre l’Ukraine et la Chine, son fils a largement profité, pour se remplir les poches, de son nom de famille …

Pour un vieux et si chiraquien cheval de retour qui, depuis près de 50 ans et entre deux désatreuses primaires démocrates, hante les allées du pouvoir …

Le tout sans jamais démontrer la moindre conviction …

Champion de la lutte contre la criminalité dans les années 90 …

Pour laquelle, émeutes et déboulonnages de Black Lives Matter obligent, il vient de s’excuser …

Qui choisi pour sa prétendue expérience de politique étrangère à la tête de la commission des Affaires étrangères du Sénat …

S’était opposé dès 91 à la première Guerre du Golfe pour soutenir la deuxième en 2002 …

Puis s’empressa de la rejeter quand les choses devinrent difficiles …

Et qui après s’être opposé à la contre-insurrection de 2007 puis félicité du retour au calme de 2008 …

A soutenu, avant de s’opposer à l’élimination de Ben Laden, le retrait catastrophique d’Obama de 2010 comme l’accord désastreux avec l’Iran …

Et qui aujourd’hui maitre démagogue, gaffeur et plagiaire, derrière son image de centriste depuis le début de la campagne …

N’arrête pas entre deux insultes aux minorités ou aux ouvriers et sans compter, entre deux ruptures d’anévrisme et une embolie pulmonaire, les doutes sur son acuité mentale …

De pencher vers la plus radicale des gauches … ?

The Joe Biden We Know

What does his long political career tell us about how he’d govern?

It took three tries and more than 30 years, but Joe Biden finally accepted the Democratic Party nomination for President Thursday evening. The moment was a personal triumph, and a credit to the former Vice President’s doggedness and the alliances he has formed over decades. Yet despite all of his many years in public life, it still isn’t clear what kind of President Mr. Biden would make.

Let’s assume that the gilded testimonials to Mr. Biden’s personal character at this week’s Democratic convention are true. He is by all accounts a nice guy. He cares about people, powerful or not. He can forge alliances across the aisle. He does not kick down at adversaries, at least most of the time. “Character is on the ballot,” as he put it Thursday night. In other words, he’s running as Not Donald J. Trump.

In the best case, Mr. Biden is asking Americans to believe that he would take these personal qualities to the White House and mediate policy disputes, calm the culture wars, and work with both parties to break America’s partisan fever. He’d do the same on the world stage, defending U.S. interests without bullying allies and leading international coalitions anew.

After the disruptions of the Trump era, this political idyll sounds inviting. Mr. Biden would certainly have the media and the institutions of American culture on his side, so the daily pitched battles of the last four years would be muted, at least for a time.

Yet there’s cause to doubt this happily-ever-after-Trump scenario—and the reasons include the man and the times. Regarding the man, Mr. Biden has never been a politician of strong political convictions. He’s a professional partisan Democrat whose beliefs have shifted as the party’s have.

Nearly all successful presidential candidates put their own political and policy stamps on their party and the times. Bill Clinton was a New Democrat who would reform welfare, George W. Bush was a compassionate conservative, and Barack Obama was a multiracial uniter who’d transcend red and blue state differences. Donald Trump was the populist disrupter of the establishment.

Mr. Biden has no such defining message. Can you think of a single policy, or even a phrase, that identifies what he has stood for in this campaign? The closest might have been a return to normalcy. But sometime in recent months that gave way to the party’s desire for transformational economic and social change.

More than any recent presidential nominee, Mr. Biden is more figurehead than party leader. He was the fail-safe choice, the last-ditch savior in South Carolina, after Bernie Sanders looked like he could run the primary table. Mr. Biden was lifted by his party’s elites. He owes them more than they owe him.

All of which leads to doubts that Mr. Biden would govern like the moderate of Milwaukee’s virtual convention. Mr. Biden would have a better chance of governing that way, ironically, if Republicans retain the Senate this year. Then compromise with Mitch McConnell would be a political necessity to get anything done.

But if Mr. Biden wins by his current polling margin, a Democratic sweep of Congress is far more likely. How probable would it be that Mr. Biden would be able to control, or want to control, the progressive ambitions of House and Senate Democrats and the institutional left?

There is reason for pessimism from the evidence of his long career. He opposed taxpayer funding for abortion for four decades until he reversed himself last year. In the 1990s he led the fight for a crime bill that he now disavows as he finds America guilty of systemic racism.

Before Robert Bork was nominated to the Supreme Court, Mr. Biden said he’d probably have to vote for him because of his qualifications. Then Ted Kennedy launched a tirade against the jurist. Mr. Biden, running the Judiciary Committee at the time, fell in line.

When Anita Hill made charges against Clarence Thomas only days before a scheduled confirmation vote, Mr. Biden folded under pressure and called hearings that became a spectacle. Justice Thomas was confirmed, as he should have been, but last year Mr. Biden loudly apologized to Ms. Hill and Democrats for not doing more in opposition.

As his polling lead has grown, Mr. Biden has said the 60-vote filibuster rule in the Senate might have to go, which would forestall the need for compromise. He has moved left since the primaries, absorbing Bernie Sanders’s priorities on student debt and much of the Green New Deal. His choice of California Senator Kamala Harris as running mate was a bow to the party’s desire for a progressive as his likely successor. But his speech, like the convention, focused on his platform only in the most general terms, mostly with gauzy platitudes.

As for foreign policy, he supported the invasion of Iraq in 2002 while chairing the Senate Foreign Relations Committee. Then he flipped when most Democrats did and as the fighting became difficult. Then he opposed the 2007 Iraq surge, saying it would fail. Then in 2011 he supported Barack Obama’s withdrawal from Iraq that set the stage for the rise of Islamic State. He opposed the raid on Osama bin Laden.

Misjudgments on hard questions are inevitable, and every President makes them. But one test of political character is the willingness to stand up to pressure and make hard choices even when they’re politically unpopular. Mr. Biden has no record of doing so

Some readers may think it rude to say this, but Mr. Biden’s health and mental acuity are also relevant as he soon turns 78. His ability to recall names and events has clearly deteriorated. This may be the normal decline that comes with age, and he delivered his speech well. But his advisers don’t inspire confidence by keeping the candidate from any but the friendliest media questioners. They owe it to the country to let him show his stamina and fitness from now to Election Day.

Even if his health holds, Mr. Biden would almost certainly be a one-term President. This means his political capital would fall starting on Inauguration Day like a new car off the lot. Democrats would jockey to succeed him and to push the party left. House Speaker Nancy Pelosi would drive policy.

These are all issues to consider as voters measure their tolerance for four more years of Mr. Trump’s behavior. Character counts in a President, as we learned long before Donald Trump sat in the Oval Office. But so do policies and political fortitude.

Voir aussi:

Joe Biden’s Class Act
William McGurn
WSJ
Sept. 2, 2008

Since Joe Biden landed on the Democratic ticket, we’ve all been treated to commentary attesting to the Lincolnesque rise of this proud son of Scranton, Pa. Here we read the references to « working-class roots. » There we see a headline trumpeting a « blue-collar messenger. » And everywhere we turn, we bump into the most treasured compound-adjective of them all: lunch-bucket.

The New York Times started it off with a column hailing this « lunch-bucket Democrat. » The Boston Globe adds ethnicity, writing about « an Irish Catholic lunch-bucket Democrat. » The Dallas Morning News emphasizes personality, celebrating a « gregarious lunch bucket Democrat » — to distinguish him, evidently, from the nongregarious variety. The Economist contributes virtue, characterizing Sen. Biden as « a perfect example of a lunch bucket Democrat made good. » And on it goes, with everyone from the Washington Post and Huffington Post to the Los Angeles Times, USA Today and the Associated Press serving up allusions to the senator’s lunch bucket.

A rich piece of Americana, the lunch bucket evokes coal miners toting their picks and pails to work in some Thomas Hart Benton mural. Leave aside that coal mining is probably not Mr. Biden’s favorite imagery. It’s also somewhat out of date. In class terms, the circular lunch buckets that the sons of Scranton once carried into the mines have largely yielded to Tupperware containers stacked up inside the Dunder Mifflin fridge.

It’s true that when members of Congress release their assets and incomes, Mr. Biden famously ranks near the bottom of the pile. But let’s remember that we’re talking about a pretty privileged pile. Only in a place as removed from reality as the Beltway could a man who has spent more than three decades in the United States Senate be hailed as a working-class stiff.

According to his most recent disclosure forms, Mr. Biden’s income includes his Senate salary of $165,200 and a teaching stipend of $20,500 from Widener University. On top of this, he received $112,500 as the second half of a book advance. Even allowing for generous deductions, Mr. Biden’s income comfortably locates him in the top 5% of American taxpayers.

The Senate disclosure forms do not require Mr. Biden to report his primary residence (or his federal pension). So I asked Jim Bowers — an old college roommate of mine who also lives in Delaware, who also went to the same high school, and who is also running for election. « Not many lunch buckets up Joe’s way, » says Mr. Bowers, a Republican seeking a seat in Delaware’s House of Representatives. « You have to remember that the senator lives in an area known as ‘chateau country.' »

Now, there’s no crime against having a top income, or a big house in a ritzy neighborhood. But it does make the whole lunch-bucket thing a little more sticky. And it confirms two truths about class in modern America.

First, in Washington you are permitted to enjoy wealth without ever being called wealthy provided simply that you haven’t actually earned it in some unseemly way — by, say, building up a business.

Second, even when Americans do well, we prefer not to define our class by where we rank on the economic scale. Instead, we classify ourselves by where our parents and grandparents were on that scale 50 years ago. Notwithstanding Mr. Biden’s moving references to Scranton, he moved out of that gritty city back at the beginning of the Eisenhower administration.

The assumption behind the lunch-bucket imagery, of course, is that Mr. Biden’s « working-class roots » gives him an advantage in any debate. I’m not so sure. Sarah Palin — governor of Alaska and Mr. Biden’s rival for vice president — looks like a woman who can hold her own on issues that speak to hard work and upward mobility.

Ms. Palin might, for example, point out that while the Senate offers members like Mr. Biden a generous pension, he opposes private Social Security accounts that would give the same to, say, a nurse.

Or that while Mr. Biden and Barack Obama have chosen upscale private schools for their own children, they are reluctant to support efforts that would help inner-city moms and dads do the same for their children.

Or that Mr. Biden not only opposes drilling today, in 1973 he voted against the Trans-Alaska pipeline that provides oil for American consumers — and jobs for American workers.

Let’s be fair. Mr. Biden has a lovely family. He gave his children a good, private education. He lives in a big house in an exclusive neighborhood. It speaks well of him that he returns to Wilmington each night instead of staying in Washington.

But it would still be refreshing if at least once we could read an account that called him what he actually is: a « chateau country Democrat. »

Voir également:

In 1987, Biden said publicly that he marched during the civil rights movement but later admitted he was « not an activist » and he was « not out marching.”

Nicholas Ballasy

Just the news

August 21, 2020

Now officially the 2020 Democratic presidential nominee, Joe Biden offered himself to Americans this week as an affable, trustworthy and experienced alternative for the White House. But his five-decade record in politics offers plenty of controversies ranging from insulting confrontations over IQ and race to fabrications and plagiarism.

An episode from the first of his three runs for president provides a case study. Biden once sparred in 1987 with a political reporter who asked him about his law school record. A tart Biden responded that he “probably” had a “higher IQ” than the reporter. And he claimed he finished in the top half of his class.

It was later revealed that Biden was near the bottom of his law school graduating class at Syracuse University’s College of Law, specifically 76 out of 85 students.

Biden also admitted that he had plagiarized during his first year at the institution.

“I was mistaken, but I was not in any way malevolent,” Biden explained.

The plagiarism tag would follow him into politics. Eventually it was also revealed that Biden had used quotes in speeches as a U.S. senator from Bobby Kennedy, John F. Kennedy and Neil Kinnock, a British Labour Party leader, without any attribution.

Earlier this year, he faced plagiarism again when it was revealed his 2020 climate plan lifted some passages from other documents without attribution. The campaign corrected the error.

In 1987, Biden said he marched during the civil rights movement but some media outlets pointed out that was not the case.

“I was not an activist,” Biden explained at a news conference at the time. “I was not out marching.”

These controversies eventually forced Biden from the 1988 presidential race in September 1987.

“Although it’s awfully clear to me what choice I have to make, I have to tell you honestly I do it with incredible reluctance and it makes me angry. I’m angry with myself for having been put in the position — put myself in the position of having to make this choice, » Biden said.

 »And I am no less frustrated at the environment of presidential politics that makes it so difficult to let the American people measure the whole Joe Biden and not just misstatements that I have made,” he added.

Biden has repeated the claim that he was involved in civil rights activism during the 2020 Democratic presidential primary on a few occasions. And his some of the most awkward apologies he’s been forced to make involve the issue of race.

During his 2008 run for president, Biden apologized for referring to his then-rival Sen. Barack Obama as « the first mainstream African-American who is articulate and bright and clean and a nice-looking guy. » It didn’t go unnoticed.

While campaigning in New Hampshire, Biden told a supporter that « You cannot go to a 7-Eleven or a Dunkin’ Donuts unless you have a slight Indian accent” in Delaware.

And in May of this year, Biden told radio host Charlamagne the God, « You ain’t black » if you vote against him, which sparked controversy. He later apologized for that statement too.

Exaggerations have also been flagged several times in his career.

During a presidential primary debate in 2007, for instance, Biden revealed that he had been “shot at” while visiting Iraq. When records conflicted with his account, he later changed his story.

In 2019 during Biden’s Democratic primary run, the Washington Post reported that the former vice president told a fake war story on the campaign trail. Politifact rated the story he told as false. Biden has dismissed the criticism. 

In March of this year, Biden claimed he was arrested in South Africa while trying to see the anti-apartheid leader Nelson Mandela. His campaign later said it didn’t happen after the U.S. ambassador who was with him on the trip said the arrest story wasn’t true.

The Week in Patriarchy is a weekly roundup of what’s happening in the world of feminism and sexism. If you’re not already receiving it by email, make sure to subscribe.Why are sexual assault and misbehaviour allegations against Biden being ignored?
Joe Biden, the presumptive Democratic presidential nominee, has been accused of sexual assault by a former staffer. Tara Reade, who worked with Biden when he was a Delaware senator, alleges he inappropriately touched her and penetrated her with his fingers without consent in 1993.“It happened all at once, and then … his hands were on me and underneath my clothes,” Reade recalled in an interview with podcast host Katie Halper on Wednesday. “He said ‘come on, man, I heard you liked me. For me, it was like, everything shattered … I wanted to be a senator; I didn’t want to sleep with one.”Rightwing news outlets have gleefully seized upon the accusations against Biden; the story has also been discussed by leftwing commentators. However, the mainstream media has largely ignored the allegations. Instead there have been headlines like The top 10 women Joe Biden might pick as VP (CNN) and Joe Biden’s inner circle: No longer a boy’s club (AP).It is hugely frustrating to see conservatives, who couldn’t give a damn about the multiple sexual assault allegations against Donald Trump, weaponize the accusations against Biden. However, it’s also frustrating to see so many liberals turning a blind eye. The accusations against the former vice-president are serious; why aren’t they being taken seriously?One obvious reason is that Reade’s accusations are very hard to prove. The incident happened a long time ago and there weren’t any witnesses. Reade also gave a slightly different version of events last year; she accused Biden of touching her neck and shoulders in a way that was inappropriate and uncomfortable, but did not say anything sexual took place. This inconsistency obviously doesn’t mean she’s lying; unfortunately, it is easy to use against her.Reade’s story may be impossible to verify, but this is the case with the vast majority of sexual assault allegations. It is nearly always a case of “he said, she said” – and it is nearly always the “he’ that is automatically believed. The #MeToo mantra “Believe Women” doesn’t mean that women never lie; it means that our systems of power are biased towards believing men never lie. It means that it takes decades of allegations and scores of women coming forward for powerful men like Harvey Weinstein, Jeffrey Epstein and Bill Cosby to be brought to justice. All the mantra means is that you shouldn’t automatically disbelieve women.You know who has talked publicly about the importance of taking women seriously? Biden. During the Brett Kavanaugh hearings, Biden stood up for Dr Christine Blasey Ford, noting: “For a woman to come forward in the glaring lights of focus, nationally, you’ve got to start off with the presumption that at least the essence of what she’s talking about is real.”Does this presumption not apply when the guy being accused is a Democrat running for president? It would seem that way. In January, according to reporting from the Intercept, Reade asked for help from the Time’s Up Legal Defense Fund, which has supported accusers of high-profile people like Weinstein. Reade was reportedly told by the National Women’s Law Center, the organization within which the Time’s Up fund is housed, that it couldn’t assist with accusations against a presidential candidate because it would jeopardize their non-profit status. The Intercept further notes that “the public relations firm that works on behalf of the Time’s Up Legal Defense Fund is SKDKnickerbocker, whose managing director, Anita Dunn, is the top adviser to Biden’s presidential campaign”.

There are some people who will insist that drawing attention to the new allegations against Biden is playing into the Republicans’ hands. That it will destroy Biden’s campaign and guarantee us four more years of Trump. Not only is that argument hypocritical, it is also hugely unlikely that Reade’s accusations will do any damage whatsoever to Biden’s ambitions. Allegations of sexual assault certainly haven’t posed any hindrance to Trump. The allegations against Kavanaugh didn’t stop him from becoming a supreme court justice. The allegations against Louis CK didn’t kill his career in comedy. And the multiple women who have accused Biden of touching them inappropriately in the past haven’t exactly derailed his career.

Voir de même:

Why has the media ignored sexual assault and misbehaviour allegations against Biden?

Conservatives who didn’t care about the multiple sexual assault allegations against Trump have seized on the accusations while liberals turn a blind eye
Arwa Mahdawi
The Guardian
28 Mar 2020

Why are sexual assault and misbehaviour allegations against Biden being ignored?

Joe Biden, the presumptive Democratic presidential nominee, has been accused of sexual assault by a former staffer. Tara Reade, who worked with Biden when he was a Delaware senator, alleges he inappropriately touched her and penetrated her with his fingers without consent in 1993.

“It happened all at once, and then … his hands were on me and underneath my clothes,” Reade recalled in an interview with podcast host Katie Halper on Wednesday. “He said ‘come on, man, I heard you liked me. For me, it was like, everything shattered … I wanted to be a senator; I didn’t want to sleep with one.”

Rightwing news outlets have gleefully seized upon the accusations against Biden; the story has also been discussed by leftwing commentators. However, the mainstream media has largely ignored the allegations. Instead there have been headlines like The top 10 women Joe Biden might pick as VP (CNN) and Joe Biden’s inner circle: No longer a boy’s club (AP).

It is hugely frustrating to see conservatives, who couldn’t give a damn about the multiple sexual assault allegations against Donald Trump, weaponize the accusations against Biden. However, it’s also frustrating to see so many liberals turning a blind eye. The accusations against the former vice-president are serious; why aren’t they being taken seriously?

One obvious reason is that Reade’s accusations are very hard to prove. The incident happened a long time ago and there weren’t any witnesses. Reade also gave a slightly different version of events last year; she accused Biden of touching her neck and shoulders in a way that was inappropriate and uncomfortable, but did not say anything sexual took place. This inconsistency obviously doesn’t mean she’s lying; unfortunately, it is easy to use against her.

Reade’s story may be impossible to verify, but this is the case with the vast majority of sexual assault allegations. It is nearly always a case of “he said, she said” – and it is nearly always the “he’ that is automatically believed. The #MeToo mantra “Believe Women” doesn’t mean that women never lie; it means that our systems of power are biased towards believing men never lie. It means that it takes decades of allegations and scores of women coming forward for powerful men like Harvey Weinstein, Jeffrey Epstein and Bill Cosby to be brought to justice. All the mantra means is that you shouldn’t automatically disbelieve women.

You know who has talked publicly about the importance of taking women seriously? Biden. During the Brett Kavanaugh hearings, Biden stood up for Dr Christine Blasey Ford, noting: “For a woman to come forward in the glaring lights of focus, nationally, you’ve got to start off with the presumption that at least the essence of what she’s talking about is real.”

Does this presumption not apply when the guy being accused is a Democrat running for president? It would seem that way. In January, according to reporting from the Intercept, Reade asked for help from the Time’s Up Legal Defense Fund, which has supported accusers of high-profile people like Weinstein. Reade was reportedly told by the National Women’s Law Center, the organization within which the Time’s Up fund is housed, that it couldn’t assist with accusations against a presidential candidate because it would jeopardize their non-profit status. The Intercept further notes that “the public relations firm that works on behalf of the Time’s Up Legal Defense Fund is SKDKnickerbocker, whose managing director, Anita Dunn, is the top adviser to Biden’s presidential campaign”.

There are some people who will insist that drawing attention to the new allegations against Biden is playing into the Republicans’ hands. That it will destroy Biden’s campaign and guarantee us four more years of Trump. Not only is that argument hypocritical, it is also hugely unlikely that Reade’s accusations will do any damage whatsoever to Biden’s ambitions. Allegations of sexual assault certainly haven’t posed any hindrance to Trump. The allegations against Kavanaugh didn’t stop him from becoming a supreme court justice. The allegations against Louis CK didn’t kill his career in comedy. And the multiple women who have accused Biden of touching them inappropriately in the past haven’t exactly derailed his career.

Voir de plus:

Michelle Obama fait l’objet d’une enquête de l’AP sur les enfants et les « cages »

Jack Phillips

The Epoch Times
19 août 2020

L’agence de presse Associated Press (AP) a vérifié le discours de l’ancienne première dame Michelle Obama à la Convention nationale démocrate après qu’elle a affirmé que le président Donald Trump gardait des enfants dans des « cages » le long de la frontière entre les États-Unis et le Mexique pour tenter de critiquer la politique d’immigration du président.

L’AP a déclaré dans un communiqué concernant le contrôle des faits que l’ancienne première dame « s’est attaquée lundi au président Donald Trump arguant qu’il a arraché des enfants de migrants à leurs parents et les a jetés dans des cages, reprenant ainsi un point fréquemment soulevé et déformé par les démocrates ».

« Elle a raison de dire que la politique de Trump, désormais suspendue à la frontière entre les États-Unis et le Mexique, a séparé des milliers d’enfants de leurs familles d’une manière qui n’avait jamais été faite auparavant », ajoute l’AP dans son enquête. Mais ce qu’elle n’a pas dit, c’est que les mêmes « cages » ont été construites et utilisées dans l’administration de son mari, dans le même but de retenir temporairement les enfants de migrants.

L’AP a ajouté que la référence de Michelle Obama aux « cages » est « trompeuse » et qu’elle est fréquemment mentionnée par les politiciens démocrates.

« Trump a utilisé des installations qui ont été construites pendant l’administration Obama-Biden pour loger les enfants à la frontière. Il s’agit d’enclos à mailles losangées à l’intérieur des installations frontalières où les migrants étaient temporairement logés, séparés par sexe et par âge », ont déclaré les enquêteurs de l’AP.

L’agence de presse a noté que les photos d’enfants dans les centres d’hébergement qui ont été diffusées par les responsables démocrates en ligne pour critiquer Trump ont en fait été prises en 2014.

Ces photos « représentaient en fait quelques-uns des milliers d’enfants non accompagnés détenus par le président Barack Obama », a déclaré l’AP.

Dans son discours, Mme Obama a vanté le bilan de Joe Biden lorsqu’il était vice-président et a déclaré qu’il « sait ce qu’il faut pour sauver une économie, repousser une pandémie et diriger notre pays ».

Le président Trump n’a pas perdu de temps pour répondre au discours de l’ancienne première dame sur les médias sociaux.

« Quelqu’un pourrait-il expliquer à @MichelleObama que Donald J. Trump ne serait pas ici, dans la belle Maison-Blanche, si ce n’était pas pour le travail fait par votre mari, Barack Obama », a écrit M. Trump sur Twitter. « Mon administration et moi avons construit la plus grande économie de l’histoire, de tous les pays, en la remontant, en sauvant des millions de vies, et maintenant nous construisons une économie encore plus grande qu’avant. Les emplois se multiplient, le NASDAQ est déjà à un niveau record, le reste suivra. Asseyez-vous et regardez ! »

La convention d’investiture du Parti démocrate se tient du 17 au 20 août, avec des orateurs tels que l’ancien président Barack Obama, l’ancien président Bill Clinton, le sénateur Bernie Sanders (indépendant, Vermont), le sénateur Cory Booker (démocrate, New Jersey), le sénateur Elizabeth Warren (démocrate, Massachussetts), l’ancien gouverneur John Kasich, le représentant Jim Clyburn (démocrate, Caroline du Sud), l’ancienne première dame Michelle Obama, le gouverneur Andrew Cuomo et d’autres.

M. Biden et le sénateur Kamala Harris (démocrate, Californie) choisi comme vice-président, devraient être nommés. Tous deux devraient prendre la parole lors de l’événement, qui se déroule en grande partie virtuellement en raison de la pandémie de Covid-19.

La Convention nationale républicaine est prévue du 24 au 27 août.

Voir encore:

Parcours. Un gaffeur rusé à la vice-présidence

John M. Broder
The New York Times
Traduit par Courrier international

06/11/2008

Sénateur expérimenté, Joe Biden saura-t-il se contenter de jouer les utilités aux côtés de Barack Obama ?

Le grand public voit en lui l’Irlando-Américain natif de Pennsylvanie, le bavard enclin aux gaffes et aux grandes tapes dans le dos. Mais Joe Biden est surtout connu dans les couloirs du Sénat comme un homme politique ambitieux, rusé et calculateur, à l’esprit toujours tendu vers la prochaine étape de son ascension politique. La vie et la carrière de Joe Biden ont été marquées par une succession de naufrages et de remises à flot, certains dus au hasard, d’autres à ses propres défauts. Cette année, cet homme de 65 ans fort de trente-cinq années passées au Sénat avait pour objectif d’être prêt pour un dernier coup d’éclat.

Après deux candidatures désastreuses à l’investiture démocrate pour la candidature à la Maison-Blanche [en 1988 et en janvier 2008], il con­voitait les deux autres options les plus séduisantes, à savoir la résidence du vice-président ou les bureaux du département d’Etat. Rares sont les personnalités politiques américaines qui se fixent la vice-présidence pour objectif final. Mais, au cours des trente dernières années, la fonction a gagné en stature et en influence, et, selon certains de ses conseillers, Joe Biden a estimé qu’il pourrait peser davantage sur la politique américaine en exerçant ces fonctions aux côtés du président qu’en dirigeant la commission des Affaires étrangères du Sénat. Il a exprimé dès juin dernier son intérêt pour le poste. Deux mois plus tard, Obama le lui offrait.

Il est encore difficile de savoir quel genre de vice-président sera Joe Biden. Il reconnaît lui-même n’avoir jamais eu de patron et ne pas être habitué à jouer les seconds couteaux, lui qui s’est fait élire pour la première fois au Sénat à l’âge de 29 ans, il y a trente-six ans de cela. Jusqu’à l’âge de 10 ans, Joe Biden a grandi à Scranton, une petite ville de Pennsylvanie qu’il considère toujours comme étant chez lui, bien qu’il vive depuis 1953 à Wilmington, dans le petit Etat voisin du Delaware. Diplômé en droit, il a brièvement exercé le métier d’avocat, mais a toujours nourri de plus hautes ambitions. En 1972, il a affronté le très populaire sénateur J. Caleb Boggs au cours d’une campagne où seuls lui et sa famille croyaient en ses chances de réussite. Et, à 29 ans, il fut pour la première fois élu au Sénat. Mais la joie fut de courte durée : peu avant Noël, sa femme et sa fille de 13 mois furent tuées dans un accident de voiture, et ses deux jeunes fils, Joseph III et Hunter, gravement blessés. Joe Biden envisagea alors de démissionner du Sénat, mais deux sénateurs, Mike Mansfield et Hubert Humphrey, l’en dissuadèrent.

L’action de Joe Biden au Congrès fournit quelques indices sur ce que pourrait être sa vice-présidence. Le sénateur s’est trouvé au cœur de féroces batailles, qu’il a parfois remportées. En particulier lorsque, en 1987, à la tête de la Commission judiciaire du Sénat, il est parvenu à contrer la nomination du juge conservateur Robert H. Bork à la Cour suprême. Il en a perdu aussi, notamment lorsqu’il tenta en vain de bloquer la désignation du très conservateur juge africain-américain Clarence Thomas à la Cour suprême, en 1991. Ces combats lui ont valu l’inimitié de certains sénateurs et intellectuels conservateurs, mais aussi celle des féministes et des progressistes. Après l’affaire Thomas, il a déclaré qu’il ne voulait pas passer le reste de sa carrière à traiter des désignations à la Cour suprême et se consacra alors à la puissante commission des Affaires étrangères du Sénat, dont il devint membre, puis président en 2001. Il vota contre le recours à la force pour chasser les Irakiens du Koweït en 1991 et pour l’usage de la puissance militaire en Irak en 2002. Il eut cependant tout le loisir de regretter ces prises de position : Joe Biden a déclaré plus tard qu’il jugeait finalement justifiée la guerre du Golfe de 1991 et que la seconde guerre d’Irak avait été si mal conduite qu’il regrettait de l’avoir approuvée. En 2006 et 2007, il s’est opposé à l’envoi de renforts en Irak, proposant à la place une partition du pays en trois régions autonomes, un projet critiqué de toutes parts pour son manque de réalisme.
Joe Biden assure aujourd’hui ne pas vouloir s’occuper d’un domaine particulier une fois à la vice-présidence, et il a promis à Barack Obama qu’il n’userait pas de son expérience aux Affaires étrangères et de ses contacts au Capitole pour court-circuiter le futur secrétaire d’Etat. Il dit espérer pouvoir contribuer à l’acceptation du programme d’Obama au Congrès et jouer les conciliateurs. Quoi qu’il en soit, son rôle, comme celui de tous les vice-présidents, dépendra beaucoup de ses rapports avec son patron. Lorsqu’ils se sont entretenus l’été dernier à ce propos, Barack Obama a dit souhaiter “un véritable partenaire de gouvernement”. Il a précisé qu’il cherchait un vice-président qui le conseille sans y aller par quatre chemins et que c’était pour cette raison qu’il avait choisi le sénateur du Delaware, car, a-t-il affirmé,“Joe Biden n’a pas sa langue dans sa poche”.

Voir aussi:

Hoping It’s Biden
David Brooks
NYT
Aug. 22, 2008

Barack Obama has decided upon a vice-presidential running mate. And while I don’t know who it is as I write, for the good of the country, I hope he picked Joe Biden.

Biden’s weaknesses are on the surface. He has said a number of idiotic things over the years and, in the days following his selection, those snippets would be aired again and again.

But that won’t hurt all that much because voters are smart enough to forgive the genuine flaws of genuine people. And over the long haul, Biden provides what Obama needs:

Working-Class Roots. Biden is a lunch-bucket Democrat. His father was rich when he was young — played polo, cavorted on yachts, drove luxury cars. But through a series of bad personal and business decisions, he was broke by the time Joe Jr. came along. They lived with their in-laws in Scranton, Pa., then moved to a dingy working-class area in Wilmington, Del. At one point, the elder Biden cleaned boilers during the week and sold pennants and knickknacks at a farmer’s market on the weekends.

His son was raised with a fierce working-class pride — no one is better than anyone else. Once, when Joe Sr. was working for a car dealership, the owner threw a Christmas party for the staff. Just as the dancing was to begin, the owner scattered silver dollars on the floor and watched from above as the mechanics and salesmen scrambled about for them. Joe Sr. quit that job on the spot.

Even today, after serving for decades in the world’s most pompous workplace, Senator Biden retains an ostentatiously unpretentious manner. He campaigns with an army of Bidens who seem to emerge by the dozens from the old neighborhood in Scranton. He has disdain for privilege and for limousine liberals — the mark of an honest, working-class Democrat.

Democrats in general, and Obama in particular, have trouble connecting with working-class voters, especially Catholic ones. Biden would be the bridge.

Honesty. Biden’s most notorious feature is his mouth. But in his youth, he had a stutter. As a freshman in high school he was exempted from public speaking because of his disability, and was ridiculed by teachers and peers. His nickname was Dash, because of his inability to finish a sentence.

He developed an odd smile as a way to relax his facial muscles (it still shows up while he’s speaking today) and he’s spent his adulthood making up for any comments that may have gone unmade during his youth.

Today, Biden’s conversational style is tiresome to some, but it has one outstanding feature. He is direct. No matter who you are, he tells you exactly what he thinks, before he tells it to you a second, third and fourth time.

Presidents need someone who will be relentlessly direct. Obama, who attracts worshippers, not just staff members, needs that more than most.

Loyalty. Just after Biden was elected to the senate in 1972, his wife, Neilia, and daughter Naomi were killed in a car crash. His career has also been marked by lesser crises. His first presidential run ended in a plagiarism scandal. He nearly died of a brain aneurism.

New administrations are dominated by the young and the arrogant, and benefit from the presence of those who have been through the worst and who have a tinge of perspective. Moreover, there are moments when a president has to go into the cabinet room and announce a decision that nearly everyone else on his team disagrees with. In those moments, he needs a vice president who will provide absolute support. That sort of loyalty comes easiest to people who have been down themselves, and who had to rely on others in their own moments of need.

Experience. When Obama talks about postpartisanship, he talks about a grass-roots movement that will arise and sweep away the old ways of Washington. When John McCain talks about it, he describes a meeting of wise old heads who get together to craft compromises. Obama’s vision is more romantic, but McCain’s is more realistic.

When Biden was a young senator, he was mentored by Hubert Humphrey, Mike Mansfield and the like. He was schooled in senatorial procedure in the days when the Senate was less gridlocked. If Obama hopes to pass energy and health care legislation, he’s going to need someone with that kind of legislative knowledge who can bring the battered old senators together, as in days of yore.

There are other veep choices. Tim Kaine seems like a solid man, but selecting him would be disastrous. It would underline all the anxieties voters have about youth and inexperience. Evan Bayh has impeccably centrist credentials, but the country is not in the mood for dispassionate caution.

Biden’s the one. The only question is whether Obama was wise and self-aware enough to know that

Voir également:

Le fils de Joe Biden promet de cesser ses activités à l’étranger

Hunter Biden a annoncé qu’il allait quitter le conseil d’administration de la société chinoise BHR. Ses activités à l’étranger ont fait l’objet de nombreuses attaques de la part de Donald Trump et fragilisé la campagne de son père.

La nouvelle est tombée deux jours avant le nouveau débat entre candidats démocrates, qui doit avoir lieu le 15 octobre dans l’Ohio. Hunter Biden, le fils de Joe Biden, a fait savoir par le biais de son avocat, dimanche 13 octobre, qu’il avait “l’intention de quitter le conseil d’administration de la société chinoise, BHR avant la fin du mois”, rapporte le New York Times.

Hunter Biden a ajouté que si son père était élu président, il “accepterait de ne pas travailler pour le compte de sociétés étrangères”.

Les activités de Hunter Biden en Chine et en Ukraine, où il a siégé au conseil d’administration d’une société gazière entre 2014 et 2019, ont fait l’objet “d’attaques incessantes de la part du président Trump et menacé la candidature de son père, Joe Biden”, rappelle le quotidien new-yorkais.

Selon le New York Times, “rien ne prouve que l’ancien vice-président de Barack Obama ait agi de façon inappropriée pour aider son fils dans ses affaires en Chine et en Ukraine, comme l’a affirmé M. Trump”.

Joe Biden a tenu une rapide conférence de presse le 13 octobre pour expliquer que “la décision de quitter le conseil d’administration de la société chinoise avait été prise par son fils seul”.

Joe Biden prêt à répondre à ses rivaux démocrates

Le quotidien new-yorkais fait également remarquer que Joe Biden a semblé “porter des coups voilés à certains des enfants de Donald Trump”, qui ont eux aussi développé des relations d’affaires à l’étranger :

Personne dans ma famille n’aura de bureau à la Maison-Blanche, n’assistera aux réunions comme s’il était un membre du cabinet du président, n’aura de relations d’affaires avec quiconque ayant un lien avec une société étrangère ou un pays étranger.”

Alors qu’un nouveau débat doit avoir lieu le 15 octobre entre les candidats démocrates, Joe Biden “se prépare depuis des semaines à répondre à des questions sur son fils, indique le New York Times. Ses alliés et conseillers martèlent que tout démocrate qui aborde le sujet fait le jeu de Donald Trump et nuit à la cause du parti.”

Pour le quotidien, certains démocrates considèrent toutefois que l’attention portée à la famille de Joe Biden est devenue une vulnérabilité politique, l’éloignant de son programme de campagne et l’obligeant à se défendre”.

Voir de même:

Elections

Who or What Exactly Is Running Against Trump?

The inner-Biden at 77 is turning out to be an unabashed bigot in the age of “cancel culture” and thought crimes that has apparently declared him immune from the opprobrium reserved for any such speech.

As we enter the final 90 days of the November presidential campaign, a few truths are crystalizing about the “Biden problem,” or the inability of a 77-year-old Joe Biden to conduct a “normal” campaign.

Biden’s cognitive challenges are increasing geometrically, whether as a result of months of relative inactivity and lack of stimulation or just consistent with the medical trajectory of his affliction. His lot is increasingly similar to historical figures such as 67-year-old President William Henry Harrison, William Gladstone’s last tenure as prime minister, Chancellor Hindenburg, or Franklin Roosevelt in late 1944—age and physical infirmities signaling to the concerned that a subordinate might assume power sooner than later.

In the past, it was to Biden’s advantage to postpone his selection of his female-mandated vice presidential running mate, given the lose-lose choice of either picking a woke young African American female who may polarize swing voters while spending the next three months being vetted in the fashion of California Representative Karen Bass’s Scientology and Fidel Castro issues, or selecting a vetted, but off-putting former National Security Advisor Susan Rice or Senator Kamala Harris (D-Calif.), who does not especially like Biden and would be seen as hovering and rummaging about as an impatient president-in-waiting.

Biden, remember, is one of the few primary candidates in history who promised in advance to pick a running mate on the basis of gender and, as events would dictate, and by inference, race as well.

But now there seems an additional urgency to select a running mate, given the Democratic ticket is a construct, with no visible or viable presidential candidate. While traditional polls show a sizable Biden lead, at some point voters will want more than the current contest of Trump alone versus the media, the virus, the lockdown, the economy, and the rioting. But so far, it remains a one-person race, in the fashion of Clint Eastwood’s weird 2012 Republican National Convention appearance speaking to an empty chair.

Perceiving the Inner Biden

So we are witnessing a campaign never before experienced in American history and not entirely attributable to the plague and quarantine. After all, the fellow septuagenarian Trump, with his own array of medical challenges, insists upon frenetic and near-constant public appearances. His opponent is a noncandidate conducting a noncampaign that demands we ask the question, who exactly is drafting the Biden agenda and strategy? Or, rather, who or what is Biden, if not a composite cat’s paw of an anonymous left-wing central committee?

When Biden speaks for more than a few minutes without a script or a minder in his basement, the results are often racist of the sort in the Black Lives Matter era that otherwise would be rightly damned and called out as disqualifying. If his inner racialist persona continues to surface, Biden’s insensitivities threaten to expose a muzzled BLM as a mere transparent effort to grab power rather than to address “systemic racism” of the sort the exempt Biden seems to exude.

Biden needs the minority vote in overwhelming numbers, as he realized in his late comeback in the primaries. But the continuance of his often angry, unapologetic racialist nonsense suggests that his cognitive issues trump his political sense of self-control.

The inner Biden at 77 is turning out to be an unabashed bigot in the age of “cancel culture” and thought crimes that has apparently declared him immune from the opprobrium reserved for any such speech.

For Biden, if any African American doesn’t vote for him, then “you ain’t black”—a charge fired back at black podcaster with near venom. Biden more calmly assures us, in his all-knowing Bideneque wisdom, that Americans can’t tell Asians in general apart—channeling the ancient racist trope that “they all look alike.”

In his scrambled sociology, blacks are unimaginatively monolithic politically, while Latinos are diverse and more flexible. Biden seems to have no notion that “Latino” is a sort of construct to encompass everyone from a Brazilian aristocrat to an immigrant from the state of Oaxaca, and not comparable to the more inclusive and precise term “African American.” Moreover, while the black leadership in Congress may be politically monolithic, there are millions of blacks who oppose abortion, defunding the police, and illegal immigration. The best minds of the conservative intellectual and political movement so often are African Americans.

When asked questions, Biden’s answers so often reveal racist subtexts. A few days ago, CBS reporter Errol Barnett, who is black, asked Biden whether he would take a cognitive assessment exam. Biden fired back to him that such an unfair question would be as if he had asked Barnett whether he was getting tested for cocaine before going live. “That’s like saying,” a perturbed Biden exclaimed to Barnett, “before you got on this program, you’re taking a test whether you’re taking cocaine or not . . . What do you think, huh? Are you a junkie?” Note the tell-tale Biden trademark of racist insinuation delivered with punk-like braggadocio.

Note, too, Biden’s racist assumption that an African American professional journalist might be likely to be defensive about being a cocaine addict. Yet Biden should know—from the drug struggles of Hunter Biden—that cocaine is in fact the favorite drug of the white elite.

Mental Lapses as Force Multipliers

The problem is that in the past, a cognizant Biden was already racially edgy with his various earlier-career riffs about inner-city criminals, blue-collar chest-thumping about busing, and his more recent ideas about donut shops, accomplished black professionals on the verge of returning to slave status (“put y’all back in chains”), his racist descriptions of candidate Obama’s supposedly exceptional personal hygiene and ability to speak well, his corn-pop braggadocio, and on and on.

His mental lapses now serve as force multipliers and accelerants of the old Biden’s foot-in-mouth disease and render him often a caricature of a racist.

Politically, the point is not that he will not win the majority of minority voters, but rather that he won’t win enough of them at a margin necessary that carrying large swing-state cities such as Philadelphia, Milwaukee, Detroit, Cleveland, and others, will make up for the likely loss of rural areas and working-class whites, supposedly the “clingers” that “good ’ole Joe from Scranton” was supposed to own.

Even more disturbing, the media simply is unconcerned about Biden’s racial putdowns, stereotyping, and uncomfortableness with the proverbial “other.” And the more the inner-Biden racialist sounds off, the more ridiculous such contextualizing becomes and the less people listen when journalists and activists spout off about a systemically racist America.

Recently, when Biden has attempted to speak without prompts, indeed to clear up “rumors” of his cognitive problems, he simply loses his train of thought and utters a series of unstructured and unsettled thoughts that refute the very premise of his interview. The understandable Democratic strategy is to run out the clock and to choreograph a few post-Labor Day public appearances, to outsource campaigning to his running mate and future cabinet secretaries, and then to hope, in the manner of a 2016 Hillary Clinton, that he has amassed a large enough September lead to outlast a closing October Trump campaign.

There are problems with such a strategy, as we saw in 2016. If Biden late in the campaign stumbles in the debates, there is no post-convention remedy to reassure the public he is compos mentis or otherwise can be replaced by a majority consensus. Then the country would be entering something eerily similar to, but far graver than, the McGovern debacle of desperately looking for a new running mate after it was disclosed that an apparently perfectly cognizant Tom Eagleton—his running-mate for 18 days—had undergone two electric shock treatments in his past as well as undisclosed prior hospitalizations for bipolar disorder.

Biden’s Race Against Time

Right now, the Democrats have a virtual campaign and a virtual candidate and a strategy of running against the Trump news cycle. That may work, but it assumes Americans under quarantine don’t mind that they do not really know who is the Democratic challenger, or that Biden is, in fact, not physically or mentally able to function as either a candidate or president. It also assumes that the Trump-owned news cycle will remain as dismal over the next three months as it has the last five or six weeks, and that the virus will spike in late October again, rather than slowly burn out as it seems to be doing in Sweden and elsewhere in Europe.

Add it all up and the question is no longer whether Biden could fulfill the duties of the presidency but whether he can finish a traditional campaign over the next three months—without outsourcing his duties to a committee, or serially saying something blatantly racist, or simply disappearing to the nether world of his basement where saying nothing beats saying anything.

Voir par ailleurs:

Aux États-Unis, il y a aussi une “majorité silencieuse noire”

Jason L. Riley

The Wall Street Journal
19/06/2020

Pour ce chroniqueur africain-américain du Wall Street Journal, quotidien conservateur, le mouvement Black Lives Matter fait fausse route en accusant les forces de l’ordre d’être responsables des inégalités. Selon lui, c’est la criminalité dans les quartiers qui fait obstacle à l’ascension sociale ds Noirs américains.

Il est trop tôt pour dire ce qui ressortira de l’actuelle vague de violences liée à la mort de George Floyd. On sait en revanche que l’histoire récente n’a pas été particulièrement tendre envers les mouvements militants qui tentent de lutter contre le racisme.

Les méthodes défendues par l’une de leurs figures les plus célèbres, Martin Luther King, ont abouti à l’adoption du Civil Rights Act en 1964 et du Voting Rights Act en 1965, deux des plus grandes lois de l’histoire américaine.

À l’inverse, l’évolution du mouvement Black Power a conduit à son implosion, ses principaux représentants finissant en exil, en prison ou victimes de rivalités internes meurtrières. Si le mouvement avait su s’attirer quelques sympathies chez les Blancs, celles-ci ont rapidement disparu après les émeutes de Détroit, Baltimore, Los Angeles et plusieurs autres grandes métropoles.

Renforcement d’une identité de groupe

De même qu’aujourd’hui avec le mouvement Black Lives Matter, le renforcement d’une identité de groupe associée aux militants noirs a été suivi par un retour de bâton avec la résurgence des suprémacistes blancs et l’émergence des skinheads dans les années 1970 et 1980.

Il n’est pas besoin de lire des articles universitaires pour comprendre que les manifestations pacifiques pour les droits civiques ont mieux réussi que les violences. Un chercheur de Princeton vient néanmoins d’en publier un qui mérite lecture. Dans un article paru le mois dernier dans l’American Political Science Review, Omar Wasow, professeur adjoint en sciences politiques, décrit les résultats d’un projet de recherche entamé il y a quinze ans sur les conséquences politiques des manifestations.

Omar Wasow, qui est noir, a étudié les manifestations de militants noirs entre 1960 et 1972 aux États-Unis et découvert que les “tactiques employées” pouvaient faire toute la différence pour faire avancer une cause :

Les manifestations non violentes ont joué un rôle essentiel pour faire pencher la balance politique nationale en faveur des droits civiques. Les mouvements dans lesquels étaient lancées des violences parvenaient à des résultats diamétralement opposés aux revendications des manifestants.”

Après les incidents survenus lors des manifestations liées à la mort de George Floyd lors de son interpellation par la police, le président Trump a clairement annoncé que “l’ordre public” serait un de ses thèmes de campagne, et les travaux de Wasow apportent des éléments de réponse quant à l’efficacité de cette stratégie.

Le précédent Nixon

Dans un récent entretien avec le New Yorker, Wasow déclare avoir découvert “un lien de causalité entre les manifestations violentes” survenues après l’assassinat de Martin Luther King en avril 1968 et “le rejet du parti démocrate”. Plus spécifiquement, “dans les circonscriptions proches des violences, Nixon a enregistré des résultats supérieurs de 6 à 8 points de pourcentage lors de l’élection”.

L’analogie entre 1968 et 2020 est toutefois compliquée par un certain nombre de facteurs. L’élection présidentielle de 1968 se jouait entre trois hommes, et Nixon faisait figure de choix sûr pour les gens qui souhaitaient un retour à l’ordre avec un homme plus ferme que le démocrate Hubert Humphrey mais sans le racisme de George Wallace [ancien gouverneur ségrégationniste de l’Alabama].

En outre, Nixon n’était pas le président sortant. Il s’est présenté comme le candidat censé lutter contre la criminalité, l’insécurité en ville et les divisions raciales qui n’avaient fait que s’aggraver sous la présidence d’un autre. La cote de popularité en baisse de Donald Trump laisse pressentir qu’il ne pourra pas jouer cette carte-là. La semaine dernière, le Wall Street Journal indiquait que, selon son dernier sondage mené en collaboration avec NBC News, 80 % des électeurs avaient actuellement “le sentiment que la situation dans le pays échappait de plus en plus à tout contrôle”.

Trump est aussi impopulaire que les pillages

La question est de savoir si Joe Biden et les démocrates aideront Donald Trump en permettant aux manifestants violents de devenir le visage de leur parti et en cédant aux demandes de plus en plus absurdes des progressistes radicaux. Donald Trump est peut-être impopulaire, mais les pillages et le déboulonnage des statues le sont tout autant, de même que l’arrêt du financement de la police ou le fait de laisser des militants armés radicaux s’emparer de quartiers entiers.

La gauche devrait également veiller à ne pas croire que les électeurs noirs dont elle aura massivement besoin dans cinq mois seront convaincus par un tel programme. Dans un mémo de 1970 adressé au président Nixon, son conseiller Daniel Patrick Moynihan notait qu’il “existe une majorité silencieuse chez les Noirs comme chez les Blancs” et que les deux partageaient “essentiellement les mêmes préoccupations”.

Inégalités sociales

Ce qui était vrai il y a cinquante ans l’est toujours aujourd’hui. La plupart des Noirs savent que George Floyd n’est pas plus représentatif de leur communauté que Derek Chauvin ne l’est des policiers. Ils savent que la fréquence des contacts entre Noirs et policiers a beaucoup plus à voir avec le taux de criminalité chez les Noirs américains qu’avec le fait que les policiers seraient racistes.

Ils savent que les jeunes hommes noirs ont bien plus à craindre de leurs pairs que des forces de police. Et ils savent que les émeutiers sont des opportunistes et non des révolutionnaires.

Il est parfaitement légitime d’ouvrir un débat national sur la façon d’améliorer les méthodes de la police, mais aujourd’hui la conversation en vient à accuser les forces de police d’être responsables des inégalités sociales, ce qui n’est pas seulement illogique mais dangereux. La criminalité dans les quartiers fait obstacle à l’ascension sociale. Toute conversation ne reconnaissant pas cette réalité ne mérite pas d’avoir lieu.

Voir également:

Dans les villes américaines, l’échec de la gauche est “patent” depuis 1968

Daniel Henninger
The Wall Street Journal
12/06/2020

Pauvreté, délinquance, difficultés scolaires : pour le Wall Street Journal, la situation des quartiers où des émeutes avaient déjà fait rage il y a plus de 50 ans n’a guère évolué. Et le “nihilisme de la culpabilité perpétuelle” des progressistes américains est une excuse commode pour masquer leurs erreurs.

Ce n’est pas une redite de 1968. C’est pire.

La fin des années 1960 a incarné l’âge d’or du progressisme américain moderne. En 1964 et 1965, les démocrates et républicains du Congrès ont adopté ensemble des lois historiques sur les droits civiques. Au printemps 1968, c’est l’assassinat de Martin Luther King qui a précipité un soulèvement : New York, Trenton, Chicago, Detroit, Baltimore, Kansas City et Washington se sont enflammés.

On peut supposer qu’à cette période, en dépit de la grande réforme sociale amorcée par le président démocrate Lyndon B. Johnson (LBJ), ces mesures de gauche étaient trop récentes pour avoir amélioré les conditions de vie dans les quartiers urbains défavorisés.

Le 25 mai 2020, George Floyd est mort à Minneapolis aux mains du policier Derek Chauvin, qui a été arrêté et inculpé de meurtre. Puis de nombreuses villes des États-Unis ont été le théâtre de manifestations accompagnées d’émeutes et de pillages. Simultanément, beaucoup ont affirmé que les États-Unis – c’est-à-dire la population américaine – étaient coupables d’un perpétuel “racisme systémique”.

Des milliers de milliards de dollars dépensés

Les images des événements montrent clairement que la majorité des manifestants sont nés après 1990. À cette date, les politiques sociales de LBJ existaient depuis vingt-cinq ans, elles sont aujourd’hui en vigueur depuis cinquante-cinq ans. Des milliers de milliards de dollars sont alloués chaque année à l’assurance-maladie pour les plus vulnérables, aux bons alimentaires, aux logements sociaux, aux allocations logement et aux subventions fédérales des écoles publiques, mais pour aboutir à quoi, exactement ?

Quasiment rien n’a changé dans les quartiers où des émeutes ont fait rage en 1968. La pauvreté, la délinquance, les difficultés scolaires semblent tout aussi courantes aujourd’hui qu’à l’époque où LBJ s’était engagé à y remédier. Autant dire que nous avons observé cinq décennies d’inertie et d’immobilisme dans les quartiers les plus marginalisés des États-Unis, presque toujours sous la direction politique des démocrates, ou “progressistes”, comme on dit aujourd’hui.

L’échec du modèle de la gauche est si patent que ses défenseurs ont créé tout un univers parallèle de justifications en accusant les colons ou en dénonçant l’absence de “justice”. Et leur stratégie fonctionne, puisque des manifestants à Paris et à Berlin – un comble – font la leçon aux États-Unis sur le racisme d’État.

Une politique systémique d’oubli

La situation est plus grave qu’en 1968, car notre système tout entier est maintenant engagé dans une politique systémique d’oubli. Oublions l’échec de cette stratégie et ses raisons. Oublions, par exemple, que les logements sociaux new-yorkais sont infestés de rats et n’ont pas de chauffage l’hiver. Oublions que beaucoup de Noirs ont effectivement été abandonnés à leur sort. Oublions que, malgré le budget faramineux de Medicaid [l’assurance-maladie fédérale pour les plus vulnérables], le pourcentage de maladies chroniques reste plus élevé chez les Américains noirs.

Se contenter de plaquer l’analyse de 1968 sur les événements de 2020 est un acte nihiliste. À force d’être accusés en continu de “racisme systémique” par les militants et les médias, les gens finissent par être insensibilisés. Ils concluent que la solution proposée aujourd’hui est littéralement une absence de solution.

Ce nouveau nihilisme progressiste martèle que la réponse à la délinquance dans les quartiers est la dépénalisation. À New York, en raison de la “réforme” des libérations sous caution, la majorité des pilleurs arrêtés sont remis en liberté.

Ce nouveau nihilisme minimise les dégradations matérielles motivées par des considérations idéologiques, car les biens sont “remplaçables”. En réalité, on sait très bien que beaucoup des quartiers incendiés en 1968 peinent à se reconstruire depuis.

L’espoir existe

Ce nouveau nihilisme affirme qu’on a beau nommer des chefs de la police réformistes et des maires noirs, “rien n’a changé”. C’est la définition même du désespoir. Mais l’espoir existe.

On pourrait, par exemple, favoriser l’accès à la propriété, comme l’a proposé le ministre du Logement, Ben Carson, en réformant l’emprunt hypothécaire. Débarrassons-nous de ces affreux logements sociaux qui s’apparentent plus à des prisons. Mais l’inertie prévaut.

Les Africains-Américains veulent envoyer leurs enfants dans des écoles privées sous contrat, car elles enseignent des valeurs, l’estime de soi et l’espoir. Mais cette option pensée pour les parents à revenus modestes suscite une opposition franche du Parti démocrate.

On pourrait faire valoir que les créations d’emplois et la hausse des salaires ces dernières années chez les jeunes Américains noirs sont plus en phase avec les 244 ans d’histoire américaine qui ont fait de ce pays une terre d’avenir. Mais pourquoi y prêter attention ? Le nihilisme de la culpabilité perpétuelle est plus commode, car il absout de toute responsabilité ceux qui sont susceptibles d’avoir mis en œuvre des politiques publiques aberrantes.

Reste à savoir comment les Américains, quelle que soit leur couleur, ont vécu les récents événements. Le minimalisme médiatique affirme qu’il faut choisir entre Joe Biden et Donald Trump. Mais les enjeux dépassent largement ces deux hommes.

Voir enfin:

L’absence d’enthousiasme de la gauche pacifiste autoproclamée dissimule mal le fait que depuis longtemps, sans le dire, elle ne soutient plus que du bout des lèvres l’existence de l’État d’Israël, souligne notre chroniqueur Gilles-William Goldnadel.

En principe, une telle annonce est censée réjouir tous les hommes de bonne volonté indépendamment de leurs prises de position politique, la paix étant–on excusera le lieu commun–toujours préférable à la guerre.

A fortiori lorsqu’il s’agit d’un État juif et d’un État arabe et musulman dont on connaît l’antagonisme historique.

Il est normal et d’une grande logique politique que la République Islamique d’Iran ou que le Hamas palestinien, qui ne dissimulent pas leurs désirs de détruire Israël, vouent cet accord aux gémonies.

Mais la gauche et son extrémité qui aiment à afficher par tous les temps et de tout temps leur pacifisme exacerbé (« le capitalisme apporte la guerre, comme la nuée l’orage » nous expliquent doctement les marxistes, « le nationalisme c’est la guerre » nous disent les trotskistes, Mitterrand et Macron) s’est montré d’une immense discrétion.

C’est ainsi que Le Monde du 14 aout, toujours égal à lui-même, n’a pas hésité à présenter négativement l’accord comme une omission des palestiniens, jusqu’à travestir la réalité.

En effet, bien qu’il s’agisse d’un accord bilatéral ne concernant en rien la Palestine, les Émirats Arabes Unis ont tenu à ce que cet accord contienne une clause de suspension du projet d’annexion par Israël de cette vallée du Jourdain au demeurant acceptée depuis longtemps par la partie palestinienne, en cas d’accord définitif, en raison du fait qu’elle est peu peuplée d’Arabes et d’une importance stratégique existentielle pour l’Etat Juif.

Sauf que la représentation politique des Arabes de Palestine ne s’est jamais résolue depuis un siècle à renoncer à une portion d’une terre qu’elle considère toujours, de parfaite bonne foi irrédentiste, comme arabe et musulmane.

Cette absence d’enthousiasme de la gauche pacifiste autoproclamée dissimule mal le fait que depuis longtemps sans le dire elle ne se soutient plus que du bout des lèvres l’existence de l’État d’Israël.

Plusieurs raisons conscientes et inconscientes expliquent cette désaffection montante.

La première et que la gauche xénophile a basculé dans le camp de la radicalité anti-occidentale la plus pathologique.
Peu importe donc que celui-ci soit raciste ou antisémite.

La seconde, est que la gauche européiste et son extrémité affichent désormais une détestation pour les États-nations. A fortiori lorsqu’ils sont d’occident.

La troisième est que la gauche et son extrémité sont atteints de racisme anti blanc.

La quatrième, qui n’est que la synthèse des trois premières, est que l’Israélien–ou le juif moderne–est considéré comme un super blanc au rebours du juif ancien que le vieil antisémite prenait pour un métèque.

L’État-nation juif occidental qui se bat bec et ongles pour défendre ses frontières n’en est que plus détestable pour la gauche devenue internationaliste.

Il ne faut dès lors pas s’étonner que les populations immigrées d’origine arabe ou musulmane présentes sur le sol français se montrent souvent beaucoup plus hostiles que d’autres populations arabes ou musulmanes à l’égard d’Israël et par voie de conséquence l’ensemble des juifs.

Contrairement à une propagande anti- musulmane à laquelle je n’ai jamais souscrite, je pense que l’islamo- gauchisme médiatique, politique ou intellectuel a bien plus dressé une partie des musulmans de France à l’antisémitisme que la lecture du Coran quel que soit son contenu littéral.

Voilà pourquoi, même s’ils ne le savent pas, les gentils pacifistes et antiracistes autoproclamés de gauche préfèrent mille fois voir l’état du peuple juif réprouvé rituellement ou tenu en étau dans un ghetto plutôt que de le voir signer des accords de paix avec ses anciens ennemis.

L’imposture de gauche pacifique et antiraciste est une formule décidément pléonastique.

Voir enfin:

 

 

« I think he has been wrong on nearly every major foreign policy and national security issue over the past four decades,” former Defense Secretary Robert Gates says of Vice President Joe Biden in his new book coming out later this month. Gates’ assessment of Biden’s boss is only slightly better, depicting an Obama administration with very murky lines of communication on military issues.Gates, as The New York Times notes in its review of Duty: Memoirs of a Secretary at War, served under every president since Nixon, save Bill Clinton. When President Obama took office in 2009, he (somewhat controversially) decided that Gates would stay as defense secretary, a position to which he was appointed by George W. Bush in 2006. (At that confirmation hearing, Gates reportedly thought to himself, « What the hell am I doing here? I have walked right into the middle of a category-five shitstorm. »)

According to the Times review and one in The Washington Post, Gates wasn’t particularly happy with either president. « In Duty, » Bob Woodward writes for the Post, « Gates describes his outwardly calm demeanor as a facade. Underneath, he writes, he was frequently ‘seething’ and ‘running out of patience on multiple fronts.' »

Gates apparently raises direct questions about Obama’s handling of the war he inherited. The former secretary was concerned, Woodward writes, at both the Obama administration’s tight grip on military policy as well as its insecurity about what it should do. The Times indicates that Gates faulted the Bush administration for its handling of the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan (before Gates arrived) and was consistently frustrated by his exchanges with Obama’s advisors, especially Biden. From The Times:

Biden is accused of « poisoning the well » against the military leadership. Thomas Donilon, initially Obama’s deputy national security adviser, and then-Lt. Gen. Douglas E. Lute, the White House coordinator for the wars, are described as regularly engaged in « aggressive, suspicious, and sometimes condescending and insulting questioning of our military leaders. »

During one meeting in 2009, the micro-managing of the advisors nearly prompted Gates to quit his position, in part given their tendency to try and interrupt the chain of military command. Gates also describes overhearing Hillary Clinton tell Obama that her opposition to the Iraq War in 2008 was primarily motivated by politics — an assessment that Gates says Obama generally agreed with. In the book, Gates says Obama has integrity, but has glowing praise for Clinton, calling her « smart, idealistic but pragmatic, tough-minded, indefatigable, funny » — and it goes on.

The only part of government Gates actually liked, it seems, was the military. The book « offers the familiar criticism of Congress and its culture, describing it as ‘truly ugly,' » Woodward writes. The Times calls his assessment of members of Congress « stinging, » quoting Gates saying that « when they went into an open hearing, and the little red light went on atop a television camera, it had the effect of a full moon on a werewolf. »

Just wait until they get the attention that comes with writing a tell-all book.

Update, 6:00 p.m.: The White House unsurprisingly disagrees with Gates’ assessment.

Philip Bump is a former politics writer for The Atlantic Wire.

 

COMPLEMENT:

Joe Biden doesn’t have a perfect foreign policy record. But unlike Trump, he’s learned from his mistakes.

September 27, 2020

In considering Joe Biden’s foreign policy record, it’s hard to overlook the scathing critique delivered by Robert Gates, the Washington wise man and veteran of half a dozen administrations who served as President Barack Obama’s first defense secretary. While Biden was “a man of integrity” who was “impossible not to like,” Gates wrote in a 2014 memoir, “he has been wrong on nearly every major foreign policy and national security issue over the past four decades.”

Yikes. For those of us desperately hoping that President Trump’s romances with dictators and wanton destruction of U.S. global influence will soon be brought to an end, Gates’s verdict raises an awkward question: Would Biden not be better? Could he, in his own way, make it all worse?

The short answer is easy: Biden could and would quickly undo the distinctive evils of Trumpism. It wouldn’t be hard for him to call the leaders of Germany and South Korea on Day One and say we’re going back to being your reliable ally. It would be easy for him to say what Trump refuses to: that Vladimir Putin is guilty not just of orchestrating the murder of his domestic opponents but of U.S. troops — and should pay for it. With a couple of strokes of the pen, Biden could put the United States back into the Paris climate accord and the World Health Organization, and thus rejoin critical multilateral initiatives on climate change and the covid-19 ­pandemic.

But what of his judgment on big questions: Has he really made so many bad calls? Gates doesn’t spell out his case, but it’s not hard to compile one. Biden voted against the successful U.S. military campaign that expelled Saddam Hussein from Kuwait in 1991. In Iraq, he compiled a trifecta of blunders: He voted for the 2003 invasion; opposed the 2007 “surge” that rescued the mission from utter disaster; and oversaw the premature 2011 withdrawal of the last U.S. troops, which opened the way for the Islamic State.

Biden argued against Obama’s 2009 decision to surge U.S. troops in Afghanistan, proposing that the mission should instead limit itself to counterterrorism. But according to Gates, he raised his hand against the most important counter­terrorism operation of recent years, the 2011 special forces raid that killed Osama bin Laden. (Biden has said he later encouraged Obama to go ahead.)

That’s a pretty substantial list. To be sure, many of Biden’s Democratic colleagues made the same bad calls (and I, along with The Post’s Editorial Board, supported the Iraq invasion). But a new president won’t be able to afford more big errors. If voters oust Trump, the democratic world probably will grudgingly give U.S. leadership one more chance — but not for long if the new president fails to inspire confidence.

That brings us to the good news about Biden, which comes in three parts. First, his record was always stronger than Gates, a lifelong Republican, made out. Second, it looks better than it did when Gates delivered his assessment six years ago. Best of all, by all accounts the former vice president, unlike Trump, has learned from his mistakes.

Any account of Biden’s foreign policy has to include his role in pushing during the 1990s for stronger U.S. action in the Balkans, including support for the Muslim-majority entities of Bosnia and Kosovo against Serbian aggression. He eventually backed what were arguably the most successful U.S. military interventions of the past 30 years. Though they remain politically troubled, Bosnia and Kosovo have lived in peace for a quarter-century.

Biden’s advocacy on Afghanistan, too, has looked better with time. The troop surge that he opposed and Gates favored ultimately failed to stabilize the country. Today, the formula Biden proposed, a U.S mission dedicated to combating terrorism, would be a considerable improvement on the full pullout Trump has committed to. Biden’s opposition to Obama’s 2011 intervention in Libya also looks good in retrospect: While the bombing campaign saved lives at the time, it triggered a decade of chaos and gave al-Qaeda a new base.

Biden’s career encompasses the U.S. post-Cold War trajectory from confident sole superpower to a more chastened nation facing formidable challenges from China and other autocracies. Along the way, Biden has grown more cautious about the use of force; advisers say Afghanistan, in particular, taught him the limits of what U.S. interventions can accomplish.

Yet Biden still differs from Trump and the Democratic left in his willingness to support smaller-scale military missions, such as that which defeated the Islamic State in Syria. Unlike the current president, he hasn’t abandoned the notion of American leadership. He offers the promise of a U.S.-led coalition that stands up to China and Russia to secure democracy and human rights in the 21st century. If he wins and sticks to that, he won’t go far wrong.

COMPLEMENT:

A Demagogue Named Barack Obama: His DNC Speech

Dennis Prager
Townhall
Aug 25, 2020
On the day Barack Obama was inaugurated in January 2009, I announced on my national radio show that, « While I did not vote for Barack Obama, he is my president, and I wish him well. » I added that I was delighted a black man had been elected president of the United States, that perhaps this would not only help black-white relations get even better than they were but also help put to rest the notion of a racist America.As it turned out, neither hope was achieved. In fact, in large measure due to Obama, race relations deteriorated during his presidency. Obama turned out to be Black Lives Matter Light. As Politico wrote in 2014, Al Sharpton, perhaps the most consistent race-baiter of the last half-century, « became Obama’s go-to man on race. » According to The Washington Post, Sharpton visited the Obama White House 72 times.Obama is idolized by liberals and leftists because he was an activist liberal whose goal, in his own words, right before he was first elected, was « fundamentally transforming the United States of America. » And because they love his cool, even-tempered, regal style.That style masks a demagoguery that far surpasses our current president. It was on display last week when he spoke at the Democratic National Convention.Obama: « I did hope, for the sake of our country, that Donald Trump might show some interest in taking the job seriously; that he might come to feel the weight of the office and discover some reverence for the democracy that had been placed in his care. But he never did. … Donald Trump hasn’t grown into the job because he can’t.These ad hominem attacks by a previous president on his successor are unique in my lifetime. Perhaps they are unique in modern American history. George W. Bush, for example, never said a critical word of Barack Obama, despite the latter’s frequent attacks on Bush’s presidency.Obama: « And the consequences of that failure are severe. 170,000 Americans dead. Millions of jobs gone. »America ranks tenth in deaths per million. Are the greater proportion of deaths per million in countries such as Belgium, Spain, the U.K., Italy and Sweden the result of corrupt and/or inept leaders? Was President Donald Trump responsible, for example, for the decision made by New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo to order nursing homes to accept COVID-19 cases, causing the virus to sweep through the elderly in those facilities, resulting in at least 6,000 deaths (and likely many more that New York is hiding from the official count)?

Regarding « millions of jobs gone, » they are gone overwhelmingly because of the lockdowns ordered by state governors and mayors, not the virus. Lockdowns, we were told, would last two weeks to « flatten the curve, » but they continue six months later in many Democratically controlled cities and states.

Obama: « And our democratic institutions threatened like never before. »

Obama offers not one example of this or of his many other attacks on Trump. There is a reason. Obama has always attacked straw men. During his presidency, I analyzed about 20 of his speeches. They and his off-the-cuff comments were always characterized by straw-men arguments.

Even The New York Times, in 2009, when it still published occasional articles that deviated from the left, featured an article by Helene Cooper (who is black), its then-White House correspondent, titled « Some Obama Enemies Are Made Totally of Straw. » In it, Cooper cited example after example of statements ostensibly made by others, but actually made up by Obama — which he then proceeded to shoot down. This characterized his approach to discourse throughout his presidency and continued with last week’s speech at the DNC.

Obama: « Joe and Kamala will restore our standing in the world — and as we’ve learned from this pandemic, that matters. »

Obama, like all on the left, equate America’s « standing in the world » with its president’s standing with the left. Nonleftists do not. Last year, when the courageous Hong Kong demonstrators waved a flag representing liberty, they waved the flag of the United States of America. Apparently, America’s standing with them is pretty high.

Obama: « (Joe and Kamala) believe that in a democracy, the right to vote is sacred. »

Another straw man. Who doesn’t believe « the right to vote is sacred » — those who insist on people having an ID when they vote, as voters do in virtually every other country? Or is it those who don’t believe in sending tens of millions of ballots to people who never signed up to receive an absentee ballot?

Obama: « I understand why a new immigrant might look around this country and wonder whether there’s still a place for him here. »

Really? What new legal immigrant thinks that way? Or is Obama dishonestly conflating legal with illegal immigrants? The answer is, of course, he is (though even illegal immigrants apparently believe there’s a place for them here; isn’t that, after all, why they come?).

Obama: « This administration has shown it will tear our democracy down if that’s what it takes to win. »

How has this administration shown that? Why didn’t Obama provide a single example to sustain this extraordinary charge? Anyway, it seems to many Americans that those who lie to the country for two years about Russian collusion with the Trump campaign, impeach a president solely for political reasons, dedicate all news reporting to the removal of a president, smear and lie about a decent man nominated for the Supreme Court, corrupt the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act system for political ends, and politicize the CIA and FBI are the ones who « will tear our democracy down if that’s what it takes to win. »

Obama’s speech offered very little of substance about the man it was directed against, but it said much about the man who delivered it.

Dennis Prager is a nationally syndicated radio talk-show host and columnist. His latest book, published by Regnery in May 2019, is « The Rational Bible, » a commentary on the book of Genesis. His film, « No Safe Spaces, » will be released to home entertainment nationwide on September 15, 2020. He is the founder of Prager University and may be contacted at dennisprager.com.


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