Biden – Busing – Harris: Will Biden Escape His Past? 1 of 6

Poor Joe Biden. He never saw it coming during the Democratic debate last Thursday. His  campaign slogan which is something like “Look to the Future”  was his attempt to cover up some of the knots in wood of his years as a politician. How naive could he be that he thought he would be able to gloss over his past and mainly talk about his plans for the future. As that famous American pundit said: “On the journey through life your past travels with you.”

Joe’s been around a long time. The United States has added over 100 million people to the population since he was first elected to the U.S Senate in 1972. People born that year are now 17 years older than he was at that time. From his many years in politics if he was paying attention it had to be obvious to him because he was touted as the front-runner that the guns would be aimed at him.

Yet, he seemed caught unaware when Kamala Harris leveled her charges of racism at him. Harris as a child lived in Berkeley, California. She was bused from a mostly black school to one in a white neighborhood that had a majority of white students in second grade in 1969. She first chastised Biden for having cozied up to a couple of segregationist Democratic senators. If they had their way she would never have become a U.S. senator. She then pointed out that Biden was opposed to busing. She implied it allowed her to receive a better education than she otherwise would have received. Without specifically saying it we were supposed to conclude from her well prepared attack that it was busing that enabled her to be on the debate stage that night.

Biden somewhat at a loss that the Kumbaya moment quickly evanesced responded he was a hero in the fight for black civil rights. He added he was not against the type of busing that Harris was involved in which was established by the City of Berkeley. He was against that imposed by the Department of Education. The next day Biden made clear he was not opposed to voluntary busing.

The Berkeley busing was no more volunteer than that which occurred in Boston in the early 1970s. Harris’s attack sent many back to see exactly what Biden’s position on busing was shortly after he was elected to the Senate. Back in 1981 Biden talked about his stance on busing: “That is when blacks moved north, they were either pushed into or moved into black ghettos. Just like when Irish moved, they went into Irish ghettos and Jews into Jewish ghettos et cetera. In the south, after the Emancipation Proclamation, the slaves didn’t move off the plantation. The point I was trying to make is when you’re trying to remedy the situation, what happened was the system whereby you could impose a busing remedy in an area where you had black, white, black, white living on the same block, it made a great deal of sense. But where you ended up with disparate neighborhoods long distances apart but were segregated and you tried to integrate the facilities, it created a number of mechanical problems that are significant.”

That was a lot of babble. If blacks and whites lived in the same neighborhoods there would be no busing. The issue was what to do when they lived in separate areas. Joe noted that significant mechanical problems would be created in any attempt to integrate the schools. What those would be he didn’t say. From what would appear after looking at the issue those “mechanical problems” boiled down to white opposition to busing.

(cont tomorrow)


  1. 1 of 6? Remember when the elder Bush went to the Supermarket and looked at the scanner and said wow what is that? Joe Biden is no average Joe! Home on Nantucket, lots of money , defender of credit card backers! God bless you for your coverage, I find Joe hard to watch, never mind read about.

  2. I wouldn’t bury Biden yet. We’ll need to see how things shape in the months to come. He still has a solid lead in the latest Harris poll. (I loved watching Trump ask Kim Jung Un — pretty please! — for permission to step into North Korea. Trump is capable of handing the election to Joe Biden.)

  3. Don’t spend too much energy evaluating Biden. He is the Jeb Bush version of the 2020 campaign. Low Energy and yesterday’s news. Dukakis has a better chance of getting the nomination. It looks like Avenatti, Jussie Smollet or Rufus Jones will get the nod.

  4. william m. connolly

    There was a movie: 12 Angry Men.
    The Democratic Debates looked like 20 Angry Pols
    None showed a sense of humor.
    None had hardly anything good to say about America.

    Biden and Bernie are OLD HAT. This is their LAST HURRUH. Neither have the grace to retire gracefully; Joe just wants more political power, to continue in office; he’ll stake out any position anyway on anything to get back in office; Bernie thinks socialism’s day is dawning. We’ve heard their sad old songs before. Americans ain’t tune in.

    MOST OF THE REST of the DEMS, (except the woman from Hawaii, Tulsi Gabbard (sp?) who makes some sense), are just angry, and angrily spout the leftists’ nostrums”their platform: FREE STUFF for everyone; and HATE THE HATERS: we hate Trump; we hate the Deplorable racists, sexists, homophobes, transvestiphobes, germaphobes, phobo-phobes, etc . . .

    .Elizabeth Warren is SO in the academic twilight zone . . .she thinks she’s pitching to idealistic pie-in-the-sky undergrad sophomores in leftist studies programs . . .SO…SO is her favorite word. She’s SO passe.

    Who could win? ANYONE:

    In 1968 Harvard beat Yale, 29-29, and when I played with Savin Hill’s basketball team (brother Neal, Dan Ryan, Bob Mancini, et al) a kid I covered in basketball at the Quincy YMCA, Pete Varney, caught the tying two pointer . . .Harvard scored 16 points in the last 43 seconds . . .and Amazing, miraculous win , , ,tie . . . .like Trump’s win in 2016 . . . and three guys on that Harvard Football team were also on my B.C. High football team, where I got the MVP, but anyone of ten of us coulda got the MVP, like Savin Hill’s own Donny Walsh who played at Holy Cross et al, truth be told, and Mike Ananis, PHD, Steve Ranere, MD, and Paul Saba, J.D. were on that Harvard Football team with the great actor Tommy Lee Jones from Texas, and also from our B.C. High football team who played football at Harvard the year before was Skip Sviokla, M.D., who wrote a great book, FROM HARVARD TO HELL AND BACK, about a doctor’s struggle with opiate addiction. Why can’t we get men like them to run for office? Regular guys, like Moakley, Bulger, White, Lynch, like Ryan, Mancini, Varney, Walsh, Ananis, Ranere, Saba, Sviokla . . .salt of the earth . . . .stalwarths . . .stouthearted men . . . .

    Why not? I write: Why not?

  5. william m. connolly

    Rarely, if ever in today’s leftist Main Stream Media, will you hear this story of busing in Boston. A mother and father, whose three grammar school children walked a block to the local grammar school together, were separated, by order of a Federal Court, and put on three separate buses and transported to three separate schools miles from their house. No wonder they and many other loving parents fled the cities.
    Others fled just because they did not want a Federal Judge telling them where to send their children to school.
    It had zero to do with racism, in the vast majority of cases. Opposition was to the FEDs acting as bully boys. The same opposition to the State Courts telling the Veterans how to run a St. Patrick’s Day Parade.
    In retrospect, all forced busing did, by and large, was to worsen segregation in the Boston Schools . . . .a school system that was 70% white, became a school system that was 90% non white, as I recall the statistics. Roughly speaking!
    You know the MSM then and now wants to paint Bostonians as racists, whereas the true racists, those who stereotype by race, by identity politics, by perpetuating “victimhood” for everyone (poor Senator Harris, daughter of a Stanford Professor), are the leftists.
    Rush Limbaugh comes very close to the truth when in recognizing the LEFTISTS’ stereotyping, race baiting, identity politics, and perpetual victimology, describes today’s Democratic Party as the GREATEST HATE GROUP in America.
    The DEMs especially hate THE DEPLORABLES . . .

  6. Brian R. Merrick

    To young progressives Biden is a Confederate general’s statue come to life. Too many statements over too many political eras that oppo researchers can just trip over.

    I like the guy but I’m not their target voter. I’m sure the opponents already have clips of “I’m sorry. My time is up.”

  7. Biden should have told her he worked side-by-side with the first African-American President for four years, chosen by him. That alone should prove his bona fides. Joe isn’t fast on his feet and never was. But at least he didn’t try to give her a hug.

    • “Joe isn’t fast on his feet and never was. But at least he didn’t try to give her a hug.”

      You nailed me on that one, Henry. Extremely funny.

      But sadly he is slow and getting slower on his feet. If you look back to his many quotes on busing he oftentimes paints himself into corners and the paint ends up on his shoes. This slippage will be capitalized on by his own party members and eventually by all on both sides.

      Bill, from Savin Hill mentioned Joe Moakley. God, I loved that guy. And if memory serves, he was profoundly in favor of bussing. I was that security guard standing at the entrance to the Stop & Shop headquarters on D Street back in the winter of 74-75. (Yes, that was me with the uniform and the long hair. I was on post from three to six in the afternoon to try and stop locals, slim-Jims in hand, from blending with the white-collar types leaving for home. I never lost a car but did lose a few gas caps.) Every afternoon three busses full of Massachusetts State Troopers headed down to the school for school dismissal. Anyway, I love the thought of how anti-Trump Joe would have been, and for a million reasons.