By Kevin Gosztola
An emerging defense of Joe Biden’s Democratic presidential campaign is that many of his questionable political acts occurred during a “different time.” When it comes to the 1994 “crime bill,” it is excused as a product of a time when the United States was more tolerant of racial injustice than it is today.
Biden wrote the legislation that became the law signed a few months prior to the first midterm election of Clinton’s presidency. It was not an organic response to public concern but a deliberate strategy to appeal to conservative white voters.
Nonetheless, pundits like Josh Marshall of Talking Points Memo, for example, believe progressives are missing some sort of context for Biden’s policy positions and suggests it’s naive to believe they are any cause for concern.
“The [crime] bill was coming just after the peak of the late 20th century crime wave which totally transformed American politics. Though we know now it had just crested, this was not at all clear at the time,” Marshall wrote. “It was also to a great degree meant to counter throw-away-the-key crime politics being pushed by the GOP.”
“If you were alive at the time you’ll remember that…