Biden wins praise from the ‘norms’ and ‘civility’ crowd after threatening to slap a voter
By Becket Adams
Former Vice President Joe Biden this week told a construction worker in Detroit, Michigan, that he was “full of shit” and threatened to slap him.
Incredibly, the interaction has won the Democratic candidate high praise from the same people who have screamed practically nonstop since 2015 about President Trump’s lack of honor, dignity, and character.
“Kind of amazing that anybody thinks this … makes Biden look anything other than terrific,” said the Atlantic’s David Frum of the former vice president’s outburst. “He shushes the aide who wants to lead him away — and then engages a hostile critic face to face, fact to fact. Impressive.”
Biden blew up on the worker Tuesday morning during a tour of an under-construction auto plant.
“You’re full of shit!” the former vice president yelled, sticking his finger in the face of the worker who accused him of trying to “end our Second Amendment right.”
The man said of the former vice president’s anti-gun platform, “This is not OK, all right?”
“Don’t tell me that, pal,” said Biden, “or I’m going to go out and slap you in the face.”
“You’re working for me, man!” said the worker.
“I’m not working for you,” the 2020 Democratic primary candidate shot back. “Don’t be such a horse’s ass.”
After the interaction went viral, Frum, who has had many, manythoughts in the Trump era on decency, character, dignity, honor, and norms, cheered the former vice president, calling his performance “impressive.”
For the record: Biden said AR-15s are illegal (they are not). He claimed AR-15 semi-automatic rifles, which he referred to at one point as “AR-14s,” are “machine guns” (they are not). Biden also deployed the discredited “fire in a theater” argument for gun control during his argument with the construction worker.
Later, CNN contributor Ana Navarro, who is usually very, very concerned about decency, honor, character, dignity, and civility, had this to say of Biden’s Detroit meltdown: “Apparently, the Trump campaign thinks this makes [Biden] look bad? I love it. This is exactly the Fighting Joe I want to see show up and tell Trump he’s full of it.”
I will let you in on a little secret: She never cared about norms, decency, and character. Opposing Trump was always just part of the character she plays on television.
Over at ABC News, Chief Political Analyst Matthew Dowd, who has opined probably more than anyone else in the Trump era on the assault on norms, civility, dignity, and decency, called the spectacle of Biden berating a construction worker a “net plus” for the former vice president’s campaign.
“Voters are sick of the typical political speak,” said Dowd. “Voters want somebody that they can trust and is genuine and has believability.”
Yahoo Finance columnist Rick Newman, who complains of Trump’s constant attacks on decency, praised Biden for holding “his ground pretty well against the NRA tool.” Journalist Adam Penenberg, who has called for someone with “aptitude, conviction, and a sense of morality” to take back the White House, cheered the former vice president. New York magazine’s Josef Adalian, who also loves decencyand norms, said he was thrilled this week “watching Biden get right back in the face of this man whose mind has been warped by the NRA and Fox News propaganda.”
Perhaps even worse than the obviously two-faced praise from the news media’s self-appointed patron saints of civility are the professional anti-Trump Republicans, who say it is imperative that conservatives protect our precious norms by voting for the Democratic nominee, who have had nothing to say this week about the presumptive Democratic nominee haranguing a pro-gun worker in Michigan.
I do not know about you, but I get the feeling these people were never really concerned about defending good character, dignity, and norms. I get the feeling their opposition to the current White House resident is 100% about advancing the interests of their chosen political tribe.