Today’s show is so jam packed it’s almost an hour long! The popular debate which aired Thursday June 26th on NBC, MSNBC and Telemundo is the focus of this blog and podcast.
The ratings for night two became the highest rated democratic debate in broadcast history according to Nielsen. But this episode will focus squarely on the disappointing history if desegregation efforts that failed in part due to white moderates like Joe Biden.
The push by those on the progressive left and the internal struggles this nation faced trying to fight integration in the north and the south, transformed the democratic party for a second time.
As civil right drained the party of dixiecrats, busing drained the democratic party of liberal progressives, helping to give rise to the Regan Revolution, conservatism and eventually Donald Trump.
NRA in meltdown? Koch and Chamber of Congress bow out?
According to Politico, the NRA which went strong for Trump and helped get out the vote for him in 2016, is in such disarray they may not be a factor in 2020.
In addition, the conservative Koch brothers who helped fund project redmap through Americans for Property is turning their attentions elsewhere.
“ …the Koch network is gradually shifting away from partisanship and toward policy issues like addressing poverty and drug addiction. “
,And the Chamber of Commerce, also a Republican ally, has, perhaps, changed course as well:
The Chamber of Commerce…[only] spent just $10 million during the 2018 cycle, about a third of what it spent during the previous election cycle, according to the Center for Responsive Politics. The scale back has led many to believe the organization, a staple of the business community, is preparing to play a diminished role in 2020.
In April, Chamber leaders told The Washington Post they were seeking to rebrand the organization as a bipartisan outfit. And in January, Rob Engstrom stepped down as national political director, a role the Chamber is in the process of filling. People familiar with the arrangement said Engstrom remains a consultant with the organization.
The Chamber pushed back against that notion, but time will tell. Fortunately for the RNC it’s still popular with the donor base as it raked in 100 million this quarter as discussed in our podcast.
Harris Flip Flops
Although Harris is rising in the polls her rise may be short lived. The California senator has already flip flopped since Thursday.
Denise from California tells me The Young Turks reported on this:
Will she take a hit on this? Or will her commanding performance as perhaps being someone who can face Trump one on one on the debate stage give her a pass?
Time will tell.
The sorted history of busing and redlining
In yesterday’s blog I wrote about project redmap. So you could be forgiven if you think redmap and redlining have something to do with one another.
They do not.
Redlining has to do with real estate and property and where you can buy and where you can’t buy.
Redlining was a virtual (and sometimes physical) redline drawn on district maps that indicated areas where African Americans and minorities could and could not live.
The concern by white legislators, homeowners, real estate sales people, mostly in the north, was that if you allowed minorities into the white communities those parts of the city would lose their value.
The busing and redlining efforts are tied together because the overall argument against busing and for redlining are the same.
If you let blacks anywhere en mass, the value your property will go down, there will be more crime, more violence and things will get worse.
As a senator once said, past is prologue. It is also cyclical.
What was said about blacks then is being said about immigrants today.
Joe Biden – The White Moderate
The history of busing and the democratic party is bad. You were not popular in the country if you were as senator and you supported busing as discussed in today’s podcast.
Enter Joe Biden and last Thursday’s debate. Kamala Harris hit Biden hard on his history of being against busing.
Biden countered with his history as a liberal democrat fighting for civil rights and the rights of African Americans in those days.
But excerpts from the book All Eyes Are Upon Us* gives us a particularly damning look at Biden and his work with southern Democrats to cripple desegregation efforts.
It says, in part:
… in the summer of 1975, Boston erupted in more racial violence and braced for its second year of busing. Meanwhile, [Massachusetts Senator Ed] Brooke and Biden steeled themselves for a showdown on Capitol Hill.
[notorious racist] Sen. Jesse Helms, a Republican from North Carolina, was the first to strike. On September 17, 1975, when a larger education bill came up for debate, Helms offered a crippling anti-integration amendment. It would prevent the Department of Health, Education, and Welfare from collecting any data about the race of students or teachers.
Biden rose to support Helms’ amendment. “I am sure it comes as a surprise to some of my colleagues … that a senator with a voting record such as mine stands up and supports [the Helms amendment].” Helms replied that he was happy to welcome Biden “to the ranks of the enlightened.”
After the laughter died down, Biden launched an anti-busing screed. “I have become convinced that busing is a bankrupt concept.” The Senate should declare busing a failure and focus instead on “whether or not we are really going to provide a better educational opportunity for blacks and minority groups in this country.”
Biden proposed his own amendment to the $36 billion education bill, stipulating that none of those federal funds could be used by school systems “to assign teachers or students to schools … for reasons of race.” His amendment would prevent “some faceless bureaucrat” from “deciding that any child, black or white, should fit in some predetermined ratio.” He explained, “All the amendment says is that some bureaucrat sitting down there in HEW cannot tell a school district whether it is properly segregated or desegregated, or whether it should or should not have funds.” Finally, Biden called busing “an asinine policy.”
This position and history explained in the book is the very issue brought up by Kamala Harris on Thursday’s debate. She asked him to admit he was “wrong on busing”.
The exchange is here:
It is odd, as Denise from California states, that Biden’s first hit on Kamala Harris is that he left a “good” law firm to become a public defender not a prosecutor.
What is the former senator saying here? Was this a hit on her record as a prosecutor? Is there something wrong with being a prosecutor?
Perhaps he was gearing up to go after her record as a prosecutor and forgot or thought better of it?
And as a public defender whom did he defend? Why was he trying to cover up his history against busing by bringing this up?
As a side note, look at Bernie standing there between them. I am surprised there are no memes with thought bubbles over his head about what he is thinking.
For more the history of busing take a look at popular commentator and civil rights expert Roland Martin Unfiltered on his video podcast:
Dr. King and his famous letter
As discussed in the podcast, we remind people (thanks to Essence magazine) of Dr. King’s disappointment in white moderates (like those in the current Democratic party that are part of the so called Problem Solvers Caucus).
An except from the famous letter:
“I have almost reached the regrettable conclusion that the Negro’s great stumbling block in the stride toward freedom is not the White Citizen’s Council-er or the Ku Klux Klanner, but the white moderate who is more devoted to ‘order’ than to justice; who prefers a negative peace which is the absence of tension to a positive peace which is the presence of justice.”
Here is Dr. King’s letter in its entirety:
Here is a video on the reading of that letter:
What does it all mean?
So, what is the significance of all of this talk of Biden and busing?
It appears the campaign is on the ropes.
Polls show support for Biden is crumbling in Iowa just as his campaign is getting off the ground there. But nationwide Biden is still popular and as I mentioned in our podcast, it’s way too early to count him out.
And no one has talked about the crime bill Uncle Joe co authored which is many times worse than the busing issue.
And for anti-war, moderate democrats, what about his vote for the war in Iraq? It was brought up briefly during the debate by Bernie, but Biden had no real answers.
Could we be seeing the end of Joe Biden’s bid for president? And, by comparison, the white moderate democrat? Again, the positions the former vice president has taken is still popular in the electorate, but as I mentioned in the podcast, you can’t win the domination without the black vote.
Will black folks be so willing to forgive and forget?