After Biden Blasts Trump's 'Lynching' Comment, Video of Biden Saying Same Thing Goes Viral


There’s not really any good defense for President Trump’s “lynching” tweet.

It articulated a common frustration many Republicans have with the president: At a time when different language might have served to buttress his case that the Democrats’ impeachment inquiry was making a mockery of historical precedent in favor of a railroading, the focus was instead on the president’s phraseology.

Just in case you missed it, on Tuesday, the president caused no small amount of controversy by using the metaphor in a Twitter post admonishing the Democrats for the zeal with which they’re pursuing their impeachment inquiry.

“So some day, if a Democrat becomes President and the Republicans win the House, even by a tiny margin, they can impeach the President, without due process or fairness or any legal rights,” he wrote.

“All Republicans must remember what they are witnessing here – a lynching. But we will WIN!”

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Biden got in on the condemnation with a decided swiftness, calling Trump’s remarks “abhorrent.”

“Impeachment is not ‘lynching,’ it is part of our Constitution,” he tweeted.

“Our country has a dark, shameful history with lynching, and to even think about making this comparison is abhorrent. It’s despicable.”

So it’s “abhorrent.” It’s “despicable.” It’s also a metaphor Biden himself employed during the 1998 impeachment of Bill Clinton.

Biden was, at the time, a senator from Delaware and had previously been both chairman and ranking member of the Senate Judiciary Committee.

He was a vociferous opponent of the Clinton impeachment, which isn’t any surprise; almost all Democrats were.

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What might have been surprising, given Biden’s contribution to the sturm und drang created by Trump’s tweet on Tuesday, was the language that he used in an appearance on CNN during the Clinton era.

“Even if the president should be impeached, history will question whether or not this was a partisan lynching or whether or not it was something that, in fact, met the standard,” Biden told Wolf Blitzer, arguing Clinton’s behavior in the White House didn’t meet “the very high bar that was set by the founders as to what constituted an impeachable offense.”

Biden, of course, was very apologetic about using this language once the video went viral.

“This wasn’t the right word to use and I’m sorry about that,” Biden said.

“Trump on the other hand chose his words deliberately today in his use of the word lynching and continues to stoke racial divides in this country daily.”

This doesn’t wash, for several reasons.

It’s worth noting that with many of Biden’s racial controversies, mores do shift. His comments on busing back in the 1970s and his support for tough crime bills in the 1990s were very much in line with the spirit of the times, even if they don’t sound good to Democratic audiences in 2019.

Do you think Biden's lynching comment was offensive?

His comments regarding lynching are different.

We knew the evils of lynching and the tacitly sanctioned murder of blacks in the American South just as manifestly in 1998 as we do in 2019. We knew how inapt the act of lynching was as a metaphor for a political process. All of this was known — and all of it was ignored by the media in the aftermath of Biden’s CNN appearance.

Furthermore, Biden’s claim that Trump “chose his words deliberately” also doesn’t hold water, at least as a defense. Take a look at the Biden-Blitzer interview. It doesn’t seem like someone shooting from the hip. Biden instead looks like a man choosing his words with the same amount of deliberation that President Trump did. Yet we’re supposed to believe this was just some slip of the tongue.

If Biden is saying he didn’t choose his words deliberately, the same could be said for Donald Trump. If he’s saying Trump meant his words deliberately, we can safely assume Biden did, too. An apology 21 years after the remarks were made isn’t worth the keystrokes Biden expended typing it out.

Nobody ought to pretend that Donald Trump’s tweet was proper. But then, neither were Biden’s remarks.

This isn’t bothsidesism or equivocation. Instead, it’s pointing out the fact that nobody in the media seems to want to hold Democrats to the same standards they’re holding the president.

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C. Douglas Golden is a writer who splits his time between the United States and Southeast Asia. Specializing in political commentary and world affairs, he's written for Conservative Tribune and The Western Journal since 2014.
C. Douglas Golden is a writer who splits his time between the United States and Southeast Asia. Specializing in political commentary and world affairs, he's written for Conservative Tribune and The Western Journal since 2014. Aside from politics, he enjoys spending time with his wife, literature (especially British comic novels and modern Japanese lit), indie rock, coffee, Formula One and football (of both American and world varieties).
Morristown, New Jersey
Catholic University of America
Languages Spoken
English, Spanish
Topics of Expertise
American Politics, World Politics, Culture