Joe Biden, What Are You Even Doing?

In Pennsylvania's 18th District, there is a special election to be decided in one week to fill the seat vacated by Republican Rep. Tim Murphy, who recently resigned after revelations that he urged his mistress to have an abortion, despite being a virulently anti-choice candidate.

It's a Republican district: Trump carried the 18th by 20 points in 2016. But Democrat Conor Lamb nonetheless has a legit shot at beating Republican candidate Rick Saccone. He's made himself competitive mostly by shit-talking Nancy Pelosi and demurring on gun reform, which isn't great, but, again, this has been a reliably Republican district and the special election is now a toss-up.

Anyway. Former Veep Joe Biden traveled to the 18th, which is near Pittsburgh, to support Lamb and rally the Democratic troops.
At the Pittsburgh rally [before a crowd of union workers], Biden stressed the importance of standing with unions, and protecting Medicare and Social Security.

Roughly 10 miles away at Robert Morris University, he again discussed the middle class with a packed room of Lamb supporters and took more swings at Republicans.

Biden slammed the GOP tax overhaul, saying it would lead to cuts in entitlement programs. And he denounced the millions spent on the airwaves to support Saccone and attack Lamb.

"If there's going to be a fight out there, I'm betting on that guy working construction or in a steel mill, I ain't betting on that fat cat writing a big check," the former vice president said, arguing that the grass-roots energy could overcome the barrage of critical TV ads.
All of that is fine. Good stuff. It's important to remind voters that the Republican tax cut is rank garbage and hardly a gift to the working class.

But Biden didn't stop there. And it's no coincidence, of course, that this clip came from Fox News, to whom Biden delivered a perfect gift:

I know what it's like, watching uncles, aunts, friends, neighbors losing jobs. My dad used to say, "Joe, remember: A job's about a lot more than a paycheck. It's about your dignity. It's about your respect. It's about your place in your community." [edit] Some people in my party don't even get it anymore. They don't get it. It's about our pride. It's about our dignity. It's about who the hell we are and what we've done. [edit] And it makes me angry; it makes me angry.
Joe Biden is not talking about women here. Because jobs that confer dignity have historically been reserved for men.

There is a long history, in fact, of women — and men of color — being harassed and threatened for "taking away" jobs that confer dignity from white men.

By deliberately concealing that history, Biden is being, at best, extremely careless.

But then comes this: Flanked by workers who are almost exclusively white and male, Biden says, "It's about our pride."

To call that gross dogwhistle careless would be to give it good faith it doesn't deserve.

I am a practical person. I understand, no matter how much I don't like it, that a Democratic candidate in a Republican district may have to distance himself from national party leadership and hedge on gun reform.

But if the only way to win is to go full Nazi, party affiliation becomes nothing but a distinction without a difference.

Shame on Joe Biden. If this is a preview of what his 2020 campaign would look like, and I'm sure it is, he'd better fucking stay home. We're all full up on white supremacist patriarchy here.

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