Biden’s inaugural message to America: ‘It’s time to grow up’
It was a call, above all else, for maturity.
More than a dozen years earlier, in 2008, Biden faced a similar reckoning of his own. After securing the Democratic presidential nomination, then-Illinois Sen. Barack Obama called to offer Biden a spot on the ticket. At first the elder senator declined. “Can anyone even name Lincoln’s vice president?” he asked his aides.
But Biden’s wife, Jill, urged him to reconsider, reminding him that he “started out in politics because of civil rights.” Now he had a chance to be “a major part” of “this historic moment,” she said — to support “the first Black man ever elected to be president of the United States.”
Still Biden hesitated. In his six terms as a senator, he’d never had to answer to anyone except the voters of Delaware. He’d run for president himself. To borrow a phrase attributed to Nelson Rockefeller, he never wanted to be vice president of anything.
“How am I going to handle this?” he asked Jill.
Her reply was simple: “Grow up,” she said.
Biden’s targeting of racist extremism is being portrayed as an attack on the right itself
“If you read his speech and listen to it carefully, much of it is thinly veiled innuendo,” Sen. Rand Paul (R-Ky.) said during an interview on Fox News, “calling us white supremacists, calling us racists, calling us every name in the book.”
Paul also apparently objected to Biden’s saying that “there is truth and there are lies, lies told for power and for profit.”
“Calling us people who don’t tell the truth,” Paul continued. “ ‘And going forward we’re not going to have manufactured or manipulated truth.’ That’s another way of saying ‘All of my opponents manufacture or manipulate the truth and are liars.’ ”
In that last sentence, Paul does explicitly what he did implicitly on the issue of race: conflate Biden’s constrained criticism with a broad attack on Republicans generally. Biden never specifically mentioned who was telling those lies, although the focus was obvious. He never even called out the extremism he was targeting as being right-wing. But for Paul, the implication was clear: Biden thinks Republicans are racist liars.
Probably because the Republicans in DC, at least the ones who voted to reject the election results, are racist liars.