CNN’s Gergen tells waffling Biden to pick a lane: Moderate or a radical resister? Can’t ‘have it both ways.’

(Video screenshots)

CNN’s David Gergen doesn’t seem to care much for former Vice President Joe Biden’s refusal to kowtow to the radical left and let them smear him as an old, out-of-touch bigot.

Recall that earlier this week the former VP turned 2020 contender cited his past interactions with two former colleagues who were staunch segregationists as examples of him remaining civil and working with those with whom he disagrees ideologically. His point had been to note that, to get things done in this world, sometimes you have to work with people you dislike. That’s life.

In response, everybody from left-wing critics in the media to Biden’s fellow left-wing 2020 contenders, including Sen. Cory Booker, slammed him for being an old, potentially racist man “out of step” with the modern Democrat Party. Booker went so far as to demand the former VP apologize.

To be clear, the segregationists in question — former Sens. James Eastland and Herman Talmadge — were Democrats, not Republicans. More on this later.

Biden responded to the criticism Wednesday by essentially telling his critics to bugger off.

“Cory [Booker] should apologize,” he said. “He knows better. There’s not a racist bone in my body, I’ve been involved in civil rights my whole career: Period. Period. Period.”


Speaking later Wednesday evening about these remarks, CNN political commentator David Gergen issued Biden an ultimatum: Either promote the centrism and moderation of the Democrats of the past, or embrace the radicalism and dogged “resistance” of the modern Democrat Party.

“This is about people he knew and worked with in the 1970s before some of the Democratic presidential candidates were born,” guest host John Berman initially said on CNN’s “Anderson Cooper 360.” “The other side of this is that Joe Biden wants to lean on his experience. He wants to lean on his ability to reach across the aisle, although in this case he was dealing with Democrats.”

Fair point, right? Gergen disagreed.

“I don’t think you can have it both ways,” he argued. “I understand why he wants to celebrate his experience but he’s going to turn it into a liability if he keeps talking this way.”

That’s right, promoting tolerance — even toward those whose views you find abhorrent — is a “liability.”

“The real issue here is that he seems to be looking at the world through a lens that was created back in the early 1990s and so he interprets things in a different way than what most other people do, especially younger people do today,” Gergen continued.

“It may well be that working with a couple of segregationists got bills passed. But a lot of young people today don’t think you ought to celebrate that. You shouldn’t celebrate segregationists. You should oppose them and I think he missed that, he missed that in his comments.”


Never mind that these interactions occurred decades ago, that the segregationists were Biden’s fellow Democrats and that the Democrat Party is supposed to be the party of tolerance.

Here’s a little secret about tolerance: If you’re not tolerant of those with whom you disagree, then you’re not tolerant, period, period. It’s a little secret that most Democrats appear to unaware of.

This isn’t meant to be a defense of Biden but rather an indictment of how intolerant, hateful and illiberal the party has become post former President Barack Obama’s divisive presidency.

And if you think this mindset regarding the former VP’s remarks is just limited to the zany commentators on CNN, you’re sadly mistaken.



This sentiment is important because it speaks to the wider movement within the Democrat Party to ostracize, silence and/or deplatform anyone with an opposing viewpoint. Yes, this particular discussion concerns segregationists, but Democrats have espoused similar thoughts about everybody from fellow Democrat lawyer Alan Dershowitz to everybody who’s conservative, Christian or both.

Speaking of which, even though the segregationists mentioned by Biden —  former Sens. James Eastland and Herman Talmadge — were Democrats, a number of people, including MSNBC correspondent Kasie Hunt, falsely described them as Republicans.

Coincidence? Probably not …



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