We have reached the stage in Joe Biden’s presidency where he tells lies about himself and it’s no longer news. Such was the case over the weekend.
The president marked the Martin Luther King Jr. holiday with predictable chameleon-like claims to black audiences. He insisted at King’s storied Ebenezer Baptist Church in Atlanta that, as a child and young adult, he routinely attended a black church after going to Catholic Mass.
In a second speech, in Washington, he claimed to have fought against South African apartheid and was a civil rights activist who marched to desegregate Delaware.
His Walter Mitty fantasies might be endearing if he weren’t the president of United States and if he didn’t have such a sketchy relationship with the truth on serious matters throughout his career. Remember, this is a man who once plagiarized parts of another man’s life story and tried to make it his own!
This is also the same man who implausibly insists he never once spoke to his son Hunter about his multimillion-dollar paydays with foreign firms and governments.
Now, at the ripe age of 80, it’s reasonable to wonder if Biden can separate fact from fiction, or if flights of fancy and convenient political lies are so jumbled in his addled brain that no one in the White House can untangle them or persuade him to stop repeating falsehoods.
All that aside, Biden did say a few very important things in his weekend pander-fest. They were demonstrably false and so inflammatory, they can’t be ignored.
“We have to retrain cops as to why should you always shoot for that with deadly force? The fact is, if you need to use your weapon, you don’t have to do that,” he said Monday.
The president was talking to an audience of Al Sharpton’s National Action Network, and like both Biden and Sharpton, the claim is long past its prime. Worse, it is rooted in ignorance and anti-police bias.
The inference is that trigger-happy cops needlessly kill when, if they were better trained, they would aim for an arm or a leg. That way, the assailant could be stopped but not killed.
It is a prime argument of the “defund the police” crowd that routinely paints cops as cold-hearted killers. Biden says he rejects the defund idea, but then repeats one of the movement’s central tenets.
Moreover, the idea that cops can always shoot to wound is a Hollywood fantasy that’s been debunked repeatedly by police officers and those who train them. They warn that the view can embolden some perps to believe they don’t have to worry about pulling a gun on a cop and influences the public to believe that fatal police encounters are almost always avoidable if only the cops were better trained and more humane.
Yet here we are, with the president of the United States believing and saying such a stupid thing.
If he said it in private, the offense would be bad enough. That Biden said it publicly to a black audience, effectively priming it to distrust and dislike police, is unforgivable. It also a smear on every law-enforcement officer in America.
Cops and others in law enforcement are authorized to use deadly force in certain circumstances, but it is a lie that they are taught to shoot-to-kill. Instead, when they perceive a serious risk to themselves or others and draw their weapons, they are trained to aim for the biggest body mass to stop the immediate threat.
That happens to be the chest, home of the heart and lungs, and shots there can be fatal.
Still, the police motive is not to kill the assailant. The motive is to save the lives of the innocent.
Biden must know that, or certainly should. Instead, as he faces a special-counsel probe over his mishandling of classified documents, he plays the race card and gives a clear suggestion cops routinely opt for “deadly force” when other options are available.
And he didn’t stop there, trotting out another dated trope to make himself look like a hero to his audience.
He urged “a fresh approach to how we recruit, how we hire, how we train, how we promote and how we retain, retain in law enforcement that come from the neighborhoods that they serve and know the people they’re charged to protect.”
He obviously aimed to draw a provocative image of an all-white police force acting as an occupying army in non-white neighborhoods. In doing so, he revealed his own willful ignorance.
Take the NYPD. It has been majority-minority for nearly two decades. And New York has a black mayor, a black female police commissioner and nonwhite officers in numerous positions of authority.
Many cities and their police forces have similar racial make-ups. Does Biden know any of that? Does he care?
From there, he went on to sound another false note when he claimed, “Now, I know a lot of people say community police is not a good idea.”
Nobody says that, certainly nobody in policing. Yet he was just getting started, adding that people in a black community in Delaware he claims to be familiar with “want cops who are fair. They want cops who know their communities. They want cops who are going to be doing it by the numbers.”
Once again, the suggestion is that most cops are not fair and don’t know or understand the people in the communities where they work. The assumption was that all black Americans agree with him, or should.
As he infamously said in another context, if you don’t, “you ain’t black.”
Cornered animals are dangerous animals, and Biden’s desperation is showing. He faces, in addition to the special-counsel probe, a GOP House vowing to investigate his role in his family’s influence-peddling schemes.
So far, he’s behaving the way you would expect a guilty swamp creature to behave: attack your opponents’ motive and tell your supporters they will lose everything they hold dear if the other side wins.
It’s shameful. And a disgrace to the man of peace he supposedly was honoring to use the holiday as an excuse to smear the brave Americans who, regardless of their race, make up the Thin Blue Line.