Kenosha has gone through a lot recently, what with riots and shootings. So Joe Biden’s visit, which sought to “heal the divisions” in the city, only added to residents’ woes.
Perhaps the Democratic mayor and governor should have advised the former vice president not to come, as they did with Donald Trump. They would have saved Kenosha more pain and grief.
Biden put on a carefully scripted town hall at a local black church on Thursday — except Biden didn’t exactly follow the script. After droning on and on, uttering unintelligible, incomplete sentences at times, the crowd got a little restless. Several stood up as if to leave. Seeing this, Biden tried to ad-lib a joke.
It didn’t work out very well for him.
While explaining to locals in attendance at Grace Lutheran Church how he planned to pay for several of the initiatives aimed at combating racial inequality that he’d outlined moments earlier, Biden alluded to several people in the audience who appeared to stand up during his remarks or otherwise seemed antsy for the Democratic nominee to wrap up.
“I don’t want to punish everybody, but everybody should pay a fair share,” Biden said of corporations and America’s ultra-wealthy. “I can lay it out for you — I won’t now, because he’ll shoot me — but here’s the deal,” he said.
Joe Biden appeared to joke on Thursday that if he spoke any longer about his plan to increase taxes on the wealthy “he’ll shoot me,” as he addressed a group of Kenosha, Wisconsin, residents following the police shooting of Jacob Blake https://t.co/mfyED6lwFw pic.twitter.com/hVOcBLqtLN
— POLITICO (@politico) September 3, 2020
Joking about being shot in a city where the memory of violence is still an open wound is either the height of stupidity or demonstrates a tone-deafness that makes Biden ineligible to lead the nation.
The whole event was off-key. The fact that it was scripted did not sit well with some people.
“We’ve gone through a lot. We’re finally now getting to a point we’re going to be addressing the original sin of this country, 400 years old, the original sin of this country, slavery,” he said.
A handful of people lined up at a microphone to share their thoughts and opinions about the racial tensions in Kenosha and other places. One participant noted that she was speaking off-script, claiming, “I was told to go off this paper, but I can’t. You need the truth.”
There was an interesting contrast between the city’s response to Biden’s visit and the president’s stop on Tuesday.
Much more low key response to @JoeBiden #kenosha visit than @realDonaldTrump – this is deliberate, Biden wanting to avoid a circus, but the media pack easily outnumbers supporters here @theheraldsun @dailytelegraph pic.twitter.com/4WVtXgWdiK
— Sarah Blake (@sarahblakemedia) September 3, 2020
— Kylee Zempel (@kyleezempel) September 1, 2020
A bigger contrast between the two candidates is in what they said.
“Americans didn’t hear any denunciation of antifa or any other left-wing agitators who have rioted in American cities from coast to coast,” Trump campaign spokesman Tim Murtaugh said. “He said nothing about Wisconsin Gov. Tony Evers’s acceptance of federal assistance from President Trump to quell the riots and did not explain that he opposed calling in the National Guard to protect Americans from violent left-wing rioters. Joe Biden made this above-ground excursion from his basement for purely political reasons and it shows.”
That’s why Trump has a better than even shot at taking Wisconsin. The president is speaking to people’s justified concerns about the country coming unglued under a Biden administration. Biden was so busy feeling other people’s pain and pandering to his black base that he forgot the first rule of good governance: there must be order for justice to flourish. In fact, there can be no justice for anyone without law and order.
It’s not just a slogan. It’s a fact.