Dennis and Deana Molla, who had draped “Trump 2020” flags on their home in Minneapolis, awoke Wednesday morning to find their garage and trucks ablaze and graffiti scrawled on the two doors of the garage. On one door was painted “BLM” over the circle-A anarchism symbol, and on the other “Biden 2020.”
We have witnessed an unprecedented degree of political stupidity in recent months but the comedic contradictions make this case special.
Leaving aside the idea that anarchists would endorse a career politician to be head of state, it is impossible to logically reconcile support for the Black Lives Matter movement with an endorsement or even a vote for Joe Biden. For those who are passionately angry about the number of black people caged and killed by police in recent decades, Biden should in fact be the object of more scorn than any other politician, including Donald Trump. And yet many people holding a Black Lives Matter sign in one hand are holding a “Biden 2020” sign in the other.
It is now fairly well known that as Democratic Senator from Delaware, Biden was the author and principal proponent of what became the Violent Crime Control and Law Enforcement Act of 1994, which included an unprecedented expansion of mandatory minimum sentences, applied the death penalty to 60 crimes, and funded state prison construction and the hiring of 100,000 new police officers. Biden used the law to respond to the common — and erroneous — criticism that liberals were soft on crime:
Let me define the liberal wing of the Democratic Party. The liberal wing of the Democratic Party is now for 60 new death penalties. That is what is in this bill. The liberal wing of the Democratic Party has 70 enhanced penalties…. The liberal wing of the Democratic Party is for 100,000 cops. The liberal wing of the Democratic Party is for 125,000 new state prison cells.
Four years after Biden’s crime bill became law, the number of people under correctional control was seven times greater than in 1970, and the black-to-white ratio for incarceration rates had risen from 3-to-1 to 6-to-1. The legions of police that were deployed into the streets by the federal law and the new responsibilities they were given to enforce drug laws and ever more “quality of life” laws — largely in Democrat-controlled cities — radically increased the number of encounters between police and the less-wealthy residents of those cities, with predictable results: there are now 2.3 million people incarcerated in American prisons and 1,000 civilians killed by police per year.
No one has done more to create the very conditions that the Black Lives Matter has organized itself against than Joe Biden.
And it doesn’t end in the US: if black lives matter, we should also consider Biden’s record overseas. Yet I have not seen any pictures of signs at Black Lives Matter protests denouncing the killing of black and brown lives in the ongoing U.S. wars in East Africa, Yemen, Syria, and—seemingly always—Iraq and Afghanistan, but if BLM protesters believed those non-white lives mattered as much as George Floyd’s or Jacob Blake’s they would consider Joe Biden to be a monster worse than Trump.
As chairman of the Foreign Relations committee in 2002 and 2003, Biden championed the invasion and occupation of Iraq and was deemed by the New Republic the Democrats’ “de facto spokesman on the war against terrorism.” He served as the Bush administration’s close ally in prosecuting the war, declaring in one hearing that the “weapons of mass destruction” alleged to be stockpiled in Iraq “must be dislodged from Saddam, or Saddam must be dislodged from power.”
As vice president, Biden was tasked with coming up with a strategy to maintain the intensity and breadth of the war on terror but with fewer U.S. boots on the ground. He proposed what he called “counterterrorism plus,” which ultimately became the Obama administration’s general approach to the wars in Africa and the Middle East. Biden helped invent what came to be known as the “Obama Doctrine” of increased “surgical” tactics, which involved sending in Special Forces on assassination missions and bombing suspected terrorists via drones. By the end of Obama and Biden’s two terms, the US military was bombing seven different Muslim-majority countries, killing hundreds of civilians — farmers, funerals, a wedding party, and even the sixteen-year-old American citizen Abdulrahman Anwar al-Awlaki, whose father had been assassinated by a drone two weeks earlier.