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OpEdNews Op Eds    H2'ed 7/11/19

Has Biden Thrown His Candidacy Under the Bus?

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- Advertisement -" target="_blank" title="">Well, [busing is] something that they've done for a long period of time. You know, there aren't that many ways you're going to get people to schools" It is certainly a primary method of getting people to schools. "
- Donald Trump

At worst, Hilary Clinton's use of a private server to handle her government email account was an example of poor judgment. Like the Whitewater and Benghazi investigations before it, Republicans in Congress harassed the former Secretary of State but could not find a crime to fit her actions. The FBI opened and closed an investigation into the matter, reopened it as voters went to the polls and ended it again without filing charges. Still, Clinton's inability to close the issue in the minds of the voters helped cost her the Presidency. Instead of tackling it head-on, she let herself become a victim of the news cycle and the slow drip of information diminished her credibility with the voters.

Four years later, it seems that Joe Biden is determined to follow Clinton down the same exact path.

When Cory Booker pointed out that it might not have been a good idea to brag about working with segregationists, Biden responded with indignation instead of an apology. This left the door wide open for Kamala Harris to attack the former Vice President at the first debate of the campaign, not only for his insensitivity but for his record on opposing busing programs created to undo decades of institutionalized racism. The damage inflicted was immediate as the "Uncle Joe" persona was displaced by a front-runner who appeared angry at the thought that one of his opponents was daring to challenge his record. In the days and weeks that followed, Biden sunk deeper into a quagmire as he avoided the inevitable. In the end, he finally delivered the apology that Booker had requested, but not before his large lead over the rest of the field was largely sacrificed.

The number of people who are going to place their vote in next year's elections based on the issue of busing is infinitesimally small. In fact, most modern voters are probably not even familiar with the intricacies of the issue or that it was once an issue at all. Forced busing was long ago replaced with magnet schools and other methods of desegregating schools. Yet, at least for a time, Biden felt that his record on the issue was one worth spending political capital to defend.

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The cost to the Biden campaign has been substantial. Once seen as the ultimate foil to Trump in a debate, the former VP no longer seems invincible. By allowing Harris to step up, he has given the Democratic primary voters the ability to imagine her ability to prosecute a case against the current president. The very fact that he has had to spend time proclaiming that he is not a racist allows dangerous seeds to be planted in the minds of voters, a situation that is not helped when he uses his working relationship with Obama as a calling card while his former boss has declined to endorse him.

Not to be outdone in the race to the bottom, Trump stepped up to prove that he will beat any Democratic candidate in a battle of incompetence. While he Tweeted during the debate that his Democratic rivals were boring, the truth is that he was lost. The conversation being held by Democrats may have been outdated, but it was still grounded in the important topic of race relations. When asked for his opinion on the subject, Trump response indicated that he thought that they were talking about the best way to transport students to school. The leader of the free world could offer nothing more to the conversation than busing is "a primary method of getting people to schools."

It has never been clearer that the Democratic primary voters need to do a better job at vetting their candidate than they did in 2016. The incumbent has a proven ability to float above reality and will use whatever he can, whether real or imagined, to secure a victory. Whether the eventual nominee has to defend themselves against birther conspiracies, trumped-up charges about email servers or flip-flops on important issues , the eventual nominee has to be able to rise above the fray. In the past month, Biden has not proven that he has the focus that will be needed to accomplish this task.

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Carl Petersen is a parent and special education advocate, elected member of the Northridge East Neighborhood Council and was a Green Party candidate in LAUSD's District 2 School Board race. During the campaign, he was endorsed by Network for Public Education (NPE) Action and Dr. Diane Ravitch called him a "strong supporter of public schools." His past blogs can be found at Opinions are his own.


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Carl Petersen is a father of five, including two daughters who are on the autism spectrum. His involvement in education issues began when the Los Angeles Unified School District (LAUSD) refused to provide services that his daughters' teachers (more...)

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3 people are discussing this page, with 3 comments  Post Comment

Dennis Kaiser

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IMHO Biden was never intended to be the Presidential candidate for the DNC. His role has been to elevate Kamara Harris whose sister was an advisor to Hillary in 2016. Harris has many of the traits of Hillary in that she lies, cheats, and does whatever it takes to get ahead. She also has the bought and paid for media promoting her candidacy by not exposing her lies and covering up her past, both which would eliminate her in the run for President.

A campaign of Harris vs. Trump would once again give the American people little hope of improving domestic and foreign issues as both have no positive relationship with the truth and both give the appearance of being a bully.

Make no mistake, Harris is dangerous to our country if she should be in a seat of power. Maybe more dangerous than Trump is proving to be.

Submitted on Thursday, Jul 11, 2019 at 11:04:11 AM

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Michael Dewey

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Am afraid you are too right about what wish he would just plain fade away out of sight like many others in DC should do as well. I can not understand how either sold out corporate owned parties still have any support at all. Guess lots of that is due to the slime oozing across our living room floors that Frank Zappa sang about in early 70's. It drives me nuts. Sad that Tulsi seems to have as much chance as Ron Paul or Dennis Kucinich had with all 3 being right about the wars.

Submitted on Friday, Jul 12, 2019 at 11:06:06 AM

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shad williams

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Is the US government legitimate? Sorry that was too indirect. The state is illegitimate, and almost totally corrupted by oligarchs.

We have to stop giving credence and authority to the state by resisting all of its insane acts.

Einstein would probably consider our participation in voting for members of the political class who are the front line of the oligarchs who own the government as insanity.

Assange says we are to resist.

Submitted on Thursday, Jul 11, 2019 at 3:22:59 PM

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