While Biden has promised a break from Trumpism, in Tuesday’s debate and beyond, the former vice president has shown an utter disregard for the truth.
By Branko Marcetic
In These Times (1/15/20)
One running theme of the bipartisan outrage at Donald Trump and his administration has been the constant stream of falsehoods emanating from the White House since he took office.
Ever since Kellyanne Conway defended the Trump administration’s use of “alternative facts” following the president’s inauguration, nary a week has gone by without a string of stories criticizing the president for his lies and mischaracterizations. The New York Times made a mosaic comprised of them, news outlets keep a running tally of them, and others rank them in end-of-year lists. The media, academics, institutions and other prominent individuals have charged that this “post-truth” politics is “dangerous,” rewiring our brains, leading to creeping fascism, and corroding, subverting, and otherwise threatening democracy.
Both in Tuesday’s debate and beyond, Biden has exhibited the same kind of disregard for the truth as Trump.
And with former Vice President Joe Biden remaining a frontrunner for the Democratic nomination, it’s safe to say that Trump’s mendacity is a large part of the reason many Democratic voters are putting their faith in Biden to unseat the president this year. Yet as Tuesday night’s debate showed, playing unabashedly fast and loose with the facts is one of the very things Biden shares with Trump.
Continued lies about his role in Iraq War disaster
Tuesday’s debate saw yet another instance of Biden being confronted about his role in leading the country to war in Iraq, and choosing to lie about it.
“It was a mistake to trust that they weren’t going to go to war,” he said in relation to his October 2002 vote to authorize the war. “They said they were not going to war … The world, in fact, voted to send inspectors in and they still went to war. From that point on, I was in the position of making the case that it was a big, big mistake and from that point on, I moved to bring those troops home.”
As fact-checkers have pointed out repeatedly, and as I detailed multiple times for In These Times, almost every part of this statement is a lie. Biden knew George W. Bush’s ultimate goal was regime change because he himself spoke openly about the need to remove dictator Saddam Hussein from power as early as February 2002. By June of that year, when asked about a leaked White House directive for the CIA to help capture and kill Saddam, Biden gave it his nod of approval on CBS’s “Face the Nation” and said that “if the covert action doesn’t work, we’d better be prepared to move forward with another action, an overt action,” which the Associated Press reported as an endorsement of an invasion. That month, Biden’s aides told Roll Call that the then-senator had told Bush he supported regime change in Iraq.
The next month, Biden said on “Fox News Sunday” that Bush would have the authority to pre-emptively invade Iraq if it was revealed that Saddam was in league in al-Qaeda—“justifiably given the case being made,” as he put it. And after voting to authorize the invasion, Biden embarked on a world tour to drum up support for the impending war, traveling to neighboring Jordan, Israel, Qatar and even to Kurdish-run northern Iraq, speaking to the Kurd parliament and assuring them the United States would stand with them.
Once the Iraq war began, far from “making the case that it was a big, big mistake,” Biden remained perhaps its most implacable cheerleader, even as the rest of the Democratic Party rapidly turned against it. Biden insisted in July 2003 that he would “vote to do it again,” referring to the invasion of Iraq …
Biden Borrows From Trump Fake News Playbook Trying To Duck Social Security Video
[Editor’s Note: Here’s a little prediction… Coming on the heels of Warren’s shoddy, lying attack on Bernie regarding the issue of his supposed lack of support for female candidates, this ‘fake news’ attack by Biden indicates Warren and Biden are joining together as a ticket. Maybe Biden will even promise to not run for a second term. If this happens, get ready for a second Trump term. This might work in the primary but it will fail in the general. — Mark L. Taylor]
By Marc Caputo
INDIANOLA, Iowa — Joe Biden accused Bernie Sanders’ campaign Saturday of issuing a “doctored video” to attack him over Social Security, a false claim that ratcheted up the tension between the two campaigns in the run-up to the Iowa caucuses.
“Let’s get the record straight,” Biden said at Simpson College here. “There’s a little, doctored video going around … saying I agreed with Paul Ryan, the former vice presidential candidate, about wanting to privatize Social Security.”
But the video in question — of Biden’s 2018 remarks to the Brookings Institution think tank — was not doctored by Sanders, whose campaign this month stepped up criticisms of Biden’s record on Social Security. …
- Sanders Campaign Posts Story Showing Biden Supporting Cuts To Social Security Way Back In 1983: Link To Story
- Sanders Campaign Reports Biden Refusing To Answer Questions On History Of Calling For Social Security Cuts: Link To 2-Minute Video
- Joe Biden Doubles Down On A Racist Myth About Black Parents — The former vice president repeated a debunked trope about the racial achievement gap and blamed minority parents for the legacy of segregation. … Link To Story And 6+-Minute Video
(Commoner Call cartoon by Mark L. Taylor, 2019. Open source and free for non-derivative use with link to www.thecommonercall.org )