When Kyle Met Joey

A Kenosha, Wisconsin jury on Friday found Kyle Rittenhouse not guilty on all charges. Judge Bruce Schroeder tossed the weapons charge against the 18-year-old, who never should have been charged in the first place. The not-guilty verdict left Joe Biden “angry and concerned,” and observers have cause to wonder about Biden’s response to other landmark cases. 

In the case of former Minneapolis police officer Derek Chauvin, tried earlier this year for the death of George Floyd, Biden told reporters he was praying for “the right verdict.” Chauvin was convicted of second and third-degree murder, and Biden praised the guilty verdict as “a step forward.” Observers might also wonder about his anger and concern over deadly violence in 2020. 

The widespread riots, which leading Democrats insisted were “peaceful protests,” claimed at least 25 lives, including retired St. Louis police captain David Dorn. The African American was protecting a friend’s business when rioters shot and killed him, live-streaming what amounted to an execution. President Donald Trump honored the fallen officer but statements on Dorn’s murder from Joe Biden are hard to find. 

The major players in the 2020 mayhem were Black Lives Matter and Antifa, but Biden described Antifa as “an idea, not an organization” and said white supremacists pose a greater danger to the country. For Biden, Rittenhouse was a “white supremacist,” implying that his motive was not self-defense but racism. When it comes to true white supremacists, however, Biden readily goes on the record. 

“Although I and my colleagues behind me revere the Senate, Robert C. Byrd elevated the Senate,” said vice president Joe Biden in the July 2010 memorial service for Senator Robert Byrd (D-W.Va.), a former community organizer for the Ku Klux Klan. Byrd once wrote to Senator Theodore Bilbo, a segregationist Democrat from Mississippi, that he would rather die a thousand deaths than see the land “degraded by race mongrels, a throwback to the blackest specimen from the wilds.” 

Senator Byrd opposed African American Supreme Court Justices Thurgood Marshall and Clarence Thomas. Then-Senator Joe Biden joined the former Ku Kluxer in voting against Thomas. Nearly 20 years later, Senator Biden praised Byrd as a friend, mentor, and guide. The previous year, then-Vice President Biden clarified his views on mass murder. 

On November 5, 2009, U.S. Army Major Nidal Hasan, a self-described “soldier of Allah,” gunned down 13 American soldiers, including Lt. Colonel Juanita L. Warman, Sergeant Amy Sue Krueger, and Private Francheska Velez, who was pregnant. The 13 murder victims—14 counting Velez’s unborn child—were more than twice the number killed in the 1993 terrorist attack on the World Trade Center. Hasan wounded more than 30 others, including Sergeant Alonzo Lunsford, shot seven times by Hasan. 

“Jill and I join the President and Michelle in expressing our sympathies to the families of the brave soldiers who fell today,” Biden said in a statement. “We are all praying for those who were wounded and hoping for their full and speedy recovery. Our thoughts and prayers are also with the entire Fort Hood community as they deal with this senseless tragedy.”

Hasan yelled “Allahu akbar” as he killed, but we heard nothing from Biden on Islamic supremacy or Islamic terrorism. The victims included African Americans and Hispanics, but the vice president failed to find any racist motive. The vice president, party to the best information, failed to name a single victim. Warman, Krueger, Velez and the others simply “fell” in what was only a “senseless tragedy.” If the murders left Biden angry or concerned about other jihadists in the U.S. military, he kept his feelings to himself. 

In 2013, Hasan was tried in military court, but Biden did not announce that he was praying for the “right verdict” in the case. Hasan was found guilty and sentenced to death but Biden left the survivors wondering if the verdict was a “step forward” in the interest of justice. If Biden ever reached out to the survivors and their families, nothing emerged in the media. 

Kyle Rittenhouse now understands that it’s “better to be judged by 12 than carried by six.” Without the rifle, Rittenhouse would have been shot or beaten to death at 17, so the verdict also validated the Constitution, which upholds the right to keep and bear arms. The verdict may have left Biden angry and concerned, but then a strong majority of Americans feels the same way about Joe Biden. 

According to a recent Quinnipiac University Poll, only 36 percent of Americans approve of Biden’s performance, down from 37 percent last month. On the economy, 34 percent approve and on foreign policy only 33 percent. Even so, on Saturday, when Biden turned 79, the Delaware Democrat told supporters he’s planning to run again in 2024

Back in March, Biden said “my plan is to run for reelection” and he “would fully expect” Kamala Harris to be on the ticket. Biden called Harris a “great partner” but only 28 percent of Americans approve of her performance. As Trump likes to say, we’ll have to see what happens. 

Meanwhile, during Biden’s colonoscopy on Friday, Kamala Harris was the most powerful person in the world for 85 minutes. Friday night Harris tweeted, “Today’s verdict speaks for itself. I’ve spent a majority of my career working to make our criminal justice system more equitable. It’s clear, there’s still a lot more work to do.” 

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About Lloyd Billingsley

Lloyd Billingsley is the author of Hollywood Party and other books including Bill of Writes and Barack ‘em Up: A Literary Investigation. His journalism has appeared in the Wall Street Journal, the Spectator (London) and many other publications. Billingsley serves as a policy fellow with the Independent Institute.

Photo: 1987. Cynthia Johnson/Getty Images