Biden’s Pittsburgh Address Made Him More Vulnerable on Riots

Ideology, rather than performance, was the yardstick for success. We had great stacks of books and brochures on the glories of the . . . revolution,” Egyptian General ‘Abd al-Mun’im Khalil complained to Michael Oren in Six Days of War. “The books,” he added, “kept in perfect condition and inspected constantly, served as the basis for determining a unit’s fighting ability.” 

In the days before the outnumbered and outgunned Israeli Defense Force crushed the Egyptian army, political loyalty held sway over merit in the revolutionary Egyptian ranks. It’s the same impulse that caused Joseph Stalin to purge the Soviet military of most of its best generals. And, it appears, that same impulse may have taken root in Joe Biden’s campaign as revolutionary purists form an echo chamber around their candidate. Instead of picking campaign staff and consultants based on merit, they have concentrated on diversity goals to meet internal purity tests. 

Like the Egyptian army on the eve of its humiliating defeat, Biden takes advice from ideologues instead of voices representing the mainstream Americans he hopes to lead. How else to explain the Biden campaign seeing political advantage from offering financial support to the rioters burning Minneapolis?

“If you’re able to, chip in now to the @MNFreedomFund to help post bail for those protesting on the ground in Minnesota.” Biden’s running mate Kamala Harris tweeted on June 1, 2020. Fox 9 in Minneapolis reports the Minnesota Freedom Fund, with Harris’s help, has raised $35 million—increasing daily fundraising from $1,000 to $100,000 per day. 

Jeff Clayton, the executive director of the American Bail Coalition, noted that all of the money raised in the COVID-19 era bailed out “violent criminals, because that’s all that is left.” MFF used these donations to bail out Donovan Boone, charged with choking his ex-girlfriend in her own home, and Jaleel Stallings, who is accused of shooting at police during a “protest.” Additionally, at least 13 members of Biden’s staff have made donations to MFF. One Biden campaign staffer, a supervising video producer named Sara Pearl, retweeted a comment that, “pigs are sweet, intelligent and compassionate,” police officers are “monsters” who “don’t deserve to be called pigs.”

Harris recently said of the Black Lives Matter protests: 

I am very clear that some of the success that we’ve been able to achieve around criminal justice reform would not have happened in recent years were it not for Black Lives Matter . . . And the intensity and the brilliance of that movement that forced, at least, that there would be some counter-force to the status quo which is so reluctant to change, if not hostile to change . . . They’re not gonna stop. And that’s—they’re not—this is a movement, I’m telling you. They’re not gonna stop.

Hilary Clinton contributed to the “by any means necessary” atmosphere by urging Biden to refuse to concede the election under any circumstances. Any circumstances? Even if Trump gets more Electoral College votes? Chilling.

Then reality penetrated. Don Lemon of CNN accidentally said the quiet part out loud to Chris Cuomo. “The rioting has to stop, Chris, as you know and I know, it’s showing up in the polling. It’s showing up in focus groups. It is the only thingit is the only thing right now that is sticking.” 

The rioting has to stop because it’s showing up in the polling. 

On Monday, Biden attempted to condemn the rioting in an address in Pennsylvania. “The current president is . . . stroking [sic] violence in our cities.” Biden then condemned the police encounters leading to the riots, George Floyd, Breonna Taylor, and “violence of extremists and opportunists—right-wing militias, white supremacists, vigilantes who infiltrate protests carrying weapons of war, hoping to wreak havoc and to derail any hope and support for progress.” 

Of course, it’s just a wishful fantasy that “right-wing militias” cause riots by infiltrating peaceful protests. There are hours of video available online that clearly show the true nature of the leftist mobs rampaging in our cities.

After casting red meat to his activist supporters, Biden then turned to the obligatory condemnation of the riots and looting. 

“Violence will not bring change, it will only bring destruction. It’s wrong in every way. It divides instead of unites,” he said. But Biden quickly returned to blaming Trump for the riots. 

“The fires are burning and we have a president who fans the flames rather than fighting flames . . . he can’t stop the violence because for years he’s fomented it . . . does anyone believe there will be less violence in America if Donald Trump is reelected?” 

Biden then declared, “the incumbent president makes things worse, not better . . . sows chaos rather than providing order.” Trump is making the rioters mad. So the riots are Trump’s fault. 

The Pennsylvania speech attempted to chart a very narrow course between condemning the violence but not the people perpetrating the violence. Biden simultaneously excused, even endorsed, the political violence by blaming Trump for supposedly creating the animosity that justified the violence. The implication is clear: While the violence is bad, we’re all trying to get rid of Trump. So how bad is it really?

Since several members of Biden’s campaign donated money to bail out the violent “protestors” who added to this chaos, it’s impossible for the Biden camp to claim opposition to the beneficiaries of those donations. By blaming Trump, Biden enables the violence. The arsonists and thugs destroying American cities have, by Biden’s estimation, a good motive: get Trump. The condemnation was an apology on their behalf. No, they shouldn’t burn businesses owned by innocent Kenoshans (naughty, naughty) but look at what good reasons they had! Orange Man Bad!

Somebody in the Biden camp continues to restrain the candidate from a full-throated condemnation of these criminals. He’s clearly trying to keep a coalition of allies intact. 

In support of Don Lemon’s caution that the George Floyd-inspired riots are political poison, the media recently failed to cover a new law enforcement shooting. While the front page of the Los Angeles Times reported Tuesday that L.A. County sheriff’s deputies shot and killed an African American suspect, the story appears “below the fold,” and has received virtually no attention in the mainstream press which, until recently, hyped such tragedies to stoke riots. According to the story, the suspect had a gun but dropped it before being shot by law enforcement. 

A week ago, the case would have been sensationalized and distorted by the unitary press. But now that the riots are known to hurt Biden’s political fortunes, the press cynically turns off the rage spigot. In other words, the riots could have been curbed or avoided by responsible journalism at the outset.

Biden has taken three horrible positions that can only hurt him: 1) Responsibility for the riots is with Trump, not the rioters. 2) Yes, we should “redirect” money away from the police forces (cough, “defund”). 3) Hell yes, we’re taking your AR-15 away

Soon Biden’s pollsters will break the bad news: Americans will not elect a president who advocates surrendering our communities to violent criminals.

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About Adam Mill

Adam Mill is a pen name. He is an adjunct fellow of the Center for American Greatness and works in Kansas City, Missouri as an attorney specializing in labor and employment and public administration law. He graduated from the University of Kansas and has been admitted to practice in Kansas and Missouri. Mill has contributed to The Federalist, American Greatness, and The Daily Caller.

Photo: Alex Wong/Getty Images

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