It's all tribal script now: Kevin Drum says he "doesn't really care what anyone thinks of Joe Biden."
We don't care about that either. By any traditional standard, Biden's too old to be running for president. He has some qualities we like—he knows how to talk about working-class people; he isn't afraid to tell boyhood stories in which his father calls him "Honey"—but there's nothing especially thrilling about him as a White House hopeful.
That said, he isn't Donald J. Trump, and he could be Trump's next opponent. For that reason, we recommend Drum's most recent report about the actually history of mass incarceration.
If you simply click this link, you'll see a graph Drum has prepared concerning incarceration rates from 1930 on. You'll then see Drum say this:
DRUM (5/29/19): As you can see, the 1994 crime bill had no effect on this trend. Incarceration rates started skyrocketing in the late 1970s as a response to rising crime rates, and after the crime bill passed the increase in incarceration started to slow, eventually peaking in 2000.We mention this 1) because Vladimir Putin will soon be emailing us liberals, saying that Biden caused mass incarceration with the 1994 crime bill; and 2) because major segments of our "liberal community" will continue stampeding through the streets, reciting this Russkie script.
As we've mentioned many times, it's all narrative now—and we humans seem to have a fatal attraction to scripts which are factually flawed. This fatal flaw even infects us liberals, brilliant though we so plainly are.
We love to claim that women are underpaid by 20 cents on the dollar as compared to men "for doing the exact same work.". We also love to promote faulty or borderlines claims about the 1994 crime bill, often at the prompting of 1) Vladimir Putin or 2) our assistant professors.
According to future anthropologists with whom we consult, this is what we humans always did. At any rate, Drum's longer complaint reads as shown. We post this for a reason:
DRUM: I don’t really care what anyone thinks of Joe Biden, but liberals should stop inventing reasons to blame him for things he isn’t responsible for. The 1994 crime bill (a) included a lot of good ideas, (b) included some bad ideas at the insistence of Republicans, (c) had nothing to do with skyrocketing incarceration rates, (d) was supported by most black lawmakers, and (e) was a reaction to the fact that violent crime really was high, and nobody at the time had any reason to think this was likely to change.We especially note the fact that the 1994 crime bill "was supported by most black lawmakers," not that facts and perspective actually matter, given the way we're wired.
More precisely, the crime bill was supported by former Black Panther Rep. Bobby Rush; by future NAACP president Rep. Kwami Mfume; and by Senator Carole Moseley-Braun, the nation's only black senator in 1994.
It was also supported by future presidential candidate Bernie Sanders, and by the late Paul Wellstone, the Senate's most revered progressive at that point in time. Jesse Helms voted no.
Because it's all anthropology now, none of this actually matters. According to major anthropologists, we human beings always lived for the joy of reciting tribal script, the more misleading the better.
Tribal script made us feel we belonged. It proved we were better than you were.
Final point: One candidate was quoted on this matter in today's Washington Post. She's the one who keeps "misspeaking" about the gender pay gap—and yes, she was blaming Biden.
According to future anthropologists, this is what we humans were like in the years before Mister Trump's War.