News & Politics

Joe Biden Refers to Satchel Paige as ‘The Great Negro’

AP Photo/Evan Vucci

Any time Old Joe Biden gets near a microphone, there is a very real possibility that he will confirm Barack Obama’s famous dictum: “Don’t underestimate Joe’s ability to f*** things up.” In a Veterans Day speech Thursday, Biden blundered toward a point, saying: “You know, I’ve adopted the attitude of the great Negro at the time, pitcher in the Negro leagues, went on to become a great pitcher in the pros, in the Major League Baseball after Jackie Robinson, his name was Satchel Paige.”

It’s fairly clear what was going on in the senescent puppet’s cobwebbed mind. He meant that Satchel Paige had been a great pitcher in the Negro Leagues, and that’s absolutely true. But the “Imagine if Trump had said this” scenarios unfold with particular piquancy this time. Biden’s vintage-1955 characterization of Satchel Paige will be excused as a slip of the tongue, as another valiant effort by Old Joe to overcome his famous “stutter,” while it’s patently obvious that if Trump had made a similar slip of the tongue, it would be held up relentlessly in the establishment media as a Freudian slip, as evidence that Trump, in his heart of hearts, longs for the bad old days of Jim Crow and the slaver’s lash.

Biden, meanwhile, clearly really likes his Satchel Paige story, but he never can seem to manage to tell it right. When the pseudo-president met with pseudo-Pope Francis on October 29, he bizarrely told him, “You’re the famous African-American baseball player in America,” to which the woke Pontiff politely and uncomprehendingly responded, “I know.” Biden then explained, or tried to, by telling Francis that Paige “pitched a win on his 47th birthday” (he didn’t), and that sportswriters then told him, “Satch, no one’s ever pitched a win at age 47,” (not true), and that Paige had responded: “Boys, that’s not how I look at age. I look at it this way: How old would you be if you didn’t know how old you were?”

Related: Biden Meets Pope, Rambles On About…Satchel Paige

That was one part of Biden’s story that was actually accurate: Paige really did say that, and was famous for his longevity. He even pitched three innings against the Boston Red Sox when he was 58 years old, and as I am 59 as I type this, I can tell you from personal experience that those three innings must have been one of the most remarkable displays of athleticism that America and the world have ever seen. And that was actually Biden’s point: that he is 78 years old, and the pope is 84, but they are vigorous for their ages, as was old Satchel Paige, mowing down batters who hadn’t even been born yet when he began pitching professionally.

However, in the Veterans Day speech, Biden’s point was belied by his delivery. His reference to Paige as “the great Negro,” in the course of telling the same story that led him last month to refer to the pope as a “famous African-American baseball player,” shows that cognitively speaking, Old Joe has lost a step. He is not a young 78. If anything, he is an old 78. He has gotten to the point where virtually every time he steps in front of the microphones, he says something that Jen Psaki or Karine Jean-Pierre has to explain away. And they’re lucky that they only have to do this in front of a compliant and sycophantic media, instead of in front of the hostile and malevolent crowd Sarah Huckabee Sanders and Kayleigh McEnany had to face.

Because Psaki and Jean-Pierre only have to deal with glorified press agents, this story will likely die here and not get any attention in the establishment media at all. This will actually save CNN and the New York Times and the Washington Post and the rest of them a lot of work: if Trump had said it, they would be busy today, convening panels about systemic racism, the illuminating nature of Freudian slips, and the evils of the segregated society that the evil Republicans and their authoritarian master want to bring back. Instead, they can ignore this story altogether, or dismiss it with a line: “He meant great Negro Leagues pitcher.”

Terrific. But what the political and media elites don’t seem to realize is that this glaring double standard increases distrust in establishment media reporting, as well as in the heroes of the Left who are increasingly presented to us in Soviet-style hagiographical fashion: witness the recent documentaries about Buttigieg and Fauci and the children’s books celebrating Old Joe and Kamala Harris. Or maybe those elites just don’t care if we don’t trust them. After all, what can we do about it? Old Joe called Satchel Paige a “great Negro”? It was a slip of the tongue, you kulak wrecker! How dare you question our wise leader? And remember: say the same word, even in a slip, and your personal and professional life will be destroyed. Get back in line and keep your wallet open.

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