The Thinker: Rich Galen


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Crocodile Tears

Rich Galen

Thursday June 20, 2019

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  • Former Senator/Vice President Joe Biden finally had a Joe Biden Moment.

  • Biden, speaking at a fundraiser, began riffing on his ability to get along to get things done as a U.S. Senator.

  • Via the New York Times:
    "Mr. Biden noted that he served with the late Senators James O. Eastland of Mississippi and Herman Talmadge of Georgia, both Democrats who were staunch opponents of desegregation."

  • Which is Times-speak for "racists."

  • Biden was trying to make the point that refusing to talk to, or work with, people on issues other than those you disagree on is counterproductive.

  • Naturally, his opponents in the vast multitude of humanity that is the Democratic primary field, who have been lying in wait like crocodiles at a wildebeest crossing on a riverbank in the Serengeti, couldn't wait to strike.


    Most modern campaigns employ people called "trackers." In another context they would be called "stalkers."

    Trackers follow political opponents to every event, stick their iPhones into every scrum, listen in on every interview.

    Their job is to catch a politician in an awkward moment saying awkward things.


  • Here's an example.

  • In 2006, Sen. John Kerry was campaigning in California for Democratic candidate for Governor Phil Angelides. The campaign for the Republican candidate, Arnold Schwarzenegger, had a tracker assigned to Angelides' campaign.

  • According to the Associated Press, Kerry said during his remarks to a group of California college students that "those unable to navigate the country's education system "get stuck in Iraq."

  • The tracker who, remember, was not following Kerry, but Angelides, immediately reported the statement back to Schwarzenegger HQ in Sacramento who then contacted the comms shop in the George W. Bush White House and Kerry was back on his heels for days for having said American service members were dumb.

  • In the current instance, Sen. Cory Booker said Biden "was 'wrong' to use segregationists as examples for bringing the country together," and demanded Biden apologize.

  • Biden did not apologize.

  • Joe Biden is stubbornly leading the pack in the Democratic primary. The latest RealClearPolitics average of polls shows Biden with a lead of about 17 points over his closest rival (either Bernie Sanders or Elizabeth Warren depending upon the poll).

  • We have spoken before about another Democratic racist, Southern Senator, Richard B. Russell.

  • Russell was so skilled in using Senate rules to block anti-segregation legislation that he was once called the best Southern General since Robert E. Lee.

  • According to Wikipedia:
    "Russell supported racial segregation and co-authored the Southern Manifesto with Strom Thurmond. Russell and 17 fellow Democratic and one Republican Senators blocked the passage of civil rights legislation via the filibuster.

    After Russell's protege, President Lyndon B. Johnson, signed the Civil Rights Act of 1964 into law, Russell led a Southern boycott of the 1964 Democratic National Convention."

  • Ok? Got the picture?

  • Well, the U.S. Senate honored this paragon of American values by naming one of the three Senate Office Buildings, along with Senator Everett Dirksen and Senator Phillip Hart, after him.

  • Imagine Senator Booker or Sen. Kamala Harris even stepping foot into a structure named after a monster like Richard B. Russell.

  • They might not want to but, included in the Senate's own description of the building's occupants is this: "36 senators and 5 committees occupy space in the Russell Building."

  • Both Harris and Booker have their offices in the newest (and, in many people's minds the least desirable) building, the Hart Building.

  • What had been called the "Old Senate Office Building" was renamed for Senator Russell in 1972. In the nearly half-century since, Democrats have controlled the Senate for 14 Congresses. During any one of those two-year periods, the Senate Democratic majority could have - and probably should have - ordered Richard B. Russell's name stricken from the façade.

  • The Democrats did not do that. The massive monument to a Southern racist remains.

  • So, Senators who are running for the Democratic nomination for President? Spare us the crocodile tears.

  • On the Secret Decoder Ring page today: The NY Times' coverage of Biden's remarks, a history of the Russell Senate Office Building, and that story about trackers catching Kerry.

    The Mullfoto is of the weather outside Mullings Central one afternoon this week.

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