Biden Time

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And apparently we're supposed to be outraged by this, too.

CHRIS WALLACE: What kind of chance would a northeastern liberal like Joe Biden stand in the South, if you are running in Democratic primaries against Southerners like Mark Warner and John Edwards?
JOE BIDEN: Better than anybody else. You don't know my state. My state was a slave
state. My state is a border state. My state is the eighth largest black
population in the country. My state is anything from a northeast
liberal state.

Like Biden's earlier comment that—shock!— Indian-Americans own convenience stores and Dunkin Donuts—there is nothing offensive about this at all. Nothing. Biden was a little put out explaining Delaware's unique and vital relationship to the rest of the contiguous United States to a shallow talking head. I'm often stuck explaining to people that, while Delaware is on the Northern side of the Mason-Dixon line, it has a historic Southern culture that's increasingly politically outmatched by economic immigrants to Wilmington or the beaches. Before Emancipation, it was a slave state. But since all DC journalists know of Delaware is the Rehoboth-Dewey-etc pleasure circuit, they assume it's got the culture of Vermont.

Just another example of the media's structural bias against Delaware and Joe Biden, which I've raged against previously.

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  1. Forgive me for being absurdly pedantic this early on Monday morning, but Delaware was a slave state until passage of the 13th Amendment. The Emancipation Proclamation only applied to the rebelling states. We still invite you all to celebrate Juneteenth, however.

  2. Off topic, But CNBC just announced that someone from Reason is going to be on shortly!

  3. Note that Delaware is NOT on the North side of the Mason-Dixon. The Mason-Dixon is the border between Maryland and Pennsylvania.

  4. I prefer:

    Chris Wallace- “…a [hollow] talking head.”

    As for “…Delaware’s unique and vital relationship to the rest of the contiguous United States…” I suppose you are referring to the Chancery Court.

  5. It is sad that an appeal to southern voters should turn on whether or not a politician’s state had slaves 160 years ago.

  6. “It is sad that an appeal to southern voters should turn on whether or not a politician’s state had slaves 160 years ago.”

    It just shows how out of touch with the world Biden is. The South has long since moved on from 1960s letalone thee 1860s. For Washington Dems, however, the South is always the South of Bull Conner and marches on Birmingham.

  7. Where is Delaware anyway? I think I drove through it once but I don’t remember a thing about it, except maybe it still had a 55 MPH speed limit.

  8. Ed,

    Delaware is actually not a state but a collection of toll booths on I-95 on the border of Maryland and New Jersey. Somehow the toll collectors managed to get themselves a Senator.

  9. You might want to run that theory by George Allen, John.

  10. Bias against Delaware? Screw Delaware; it’s the worst state for many reasons, not the least being that it’s a parasite, the tiny little tick on the bum of the Northeast. And my in-laws live there.

    Sucky schools in the northern part, despite the prosperity, and then lower slower Delaware is just unspeakable until you get to the beaches. Blechh.

  11. Yes Joe,

    Everyone in the South is a racist yahoo. There are no cosmopolitan cities like Atlanta or Houston full of ethnic groups, northerners and the like. Nope, it all a bunch of poor black people descended from slaves, rich white people living like Rhett Butler and poor white people going to evangelical churches where they handle snakes and burn crosses.

    Note of course Allen is exactly the kind of guy I am talking about. A rich elite who grew up on the coast who has the bizarre idea that the entire South is a bunch of tobacco chewing neckcar fans worried about being caught by the local revenuer.

  12. John,

    Ah, now I remember. The toll booths!
    It’s on their license plate, isn’t it?
    “Delaware – The Toll Booth State”
    Good times.

  13. It is sad that an appeal to southern voters should turn on whether or not a politician’s state had slaves 160 years ago.

    Sad, at least, that Biden thinks it should.

  14. Ed,

    The state is like 8 miles wide, four of which is a giant bridge and it costs ten dollars to drive through it.

  15. If I were John, arguing with a liberal, I’d make up straw men, too.

    I’ve actually written posts about the existence of blue cities in the South, in response to broad denunciations of the entire region as backwards, on this very web site.

    It ain’t me who’s thinking in stereotypes, bub.

    It is interesting to note, however, that Virgina Republicans had absolutely no problem election “A rich elite who grew up on the coast who has the bizarre idea that the entire South is a bunch of tobacco chewing neckcar fans worried about being caught by the local revenuer,” and national Republicans were plumping for his Presidential campaign until a couple weeks ago. They didn’t seem to find anything offenseive about his shtick. In fact, they seemed to find it quite charming when he referred to West Virginia as “the counties calling themselves West Virginia.”

  16. If I were John, arguing with a liberal, I’d make up straw men, too.

    I’ve actually written posts about the existence of blue cities in the South, in response to broad denunciations of the entire region as backwards, on this very web site.

    It ain’t me who’s thinking in stereotypes, bub.

    It is interesting to note, however, that Virgina Republicans had absolutely no problem electing “A rich elite who grew up on the coast who has the bizarre idea that the entire South is a bunch of tobacco chewing neckcar fans worried about being caught by the local revenuer” to be their Senator, and national Republicans – party thoroughly controlled by its Southern wing – were plumping for his Presidential campaign until a couple weeks ago. They didn’t seem to find anything offenseive about his shtick. In fact, they seemed to find it quite charming when he referred to West Virginia as “the counties calling themselves West Virginia.”

  17. If I were John, arguing with a liberal, I’d make up straw men, too.

    I’ve actually written posts about the existence of blue cities in the South, in response to broad denunciations of the entire region as backwards, on this very web site.

    It ain’t me who’s thinking in stereotypes, bub.

    It is interesting to note, however, that Virgina Republicans had absolutely no problem electing “A rich elite who grew up on the coast who has the bizarre idea that the entire South is a bunch of tobacco chewing neckcar fans worried about being caught by the local revenuer” to be their Senator, and national Republicans – party thoroughly controlled by its Southern wing – were plumping for his Presidential campaign until a couple weeks ago. They didn’t seem to find anything offenseive about his shtick. In fact, they seemed to find it quite charming when he referred to West Virginia as “the counties calling themselves West Virginia.”

  18. The relationship between Delaware and the Mason-Dixon line is complicated. Originally the line was between the colonies owned by the Penn family (Pennsylvania and Delaware) and the colony owned by the Calvert family (Maryland). Technically, then Delaware is on the northern side (actually eastern in its case, however) of the line, but as a former slave state, it could be considered to be on the southern side of the cultural line.

  19. that Virgina Republicans

    Are they in The Virgina Monologues?

  20. ? wins the award for best post of the day.

  21. Here’s the skinny on the mason-dixon line, the 12-mile-circle and the border between PA, MD and the state of tax-free-shopping. (no html, too lazy)

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Twelve-Mile_Circle

  22. “In fact, they seemed to find it quite charming when he referred to West Virginia as “the counties calling themselves West Virginia.””

    Joe, West Virginia used to be a part of Virginia. I don’t think making a joke to point that fact out to a bunch of Virginians is exactly being racist. That is the best you can do to slam on George Allen?

    Please feel free to have the same patronizing attitude towards the South. It will just ensure that Republicans conintue to win elections there.

  23. All of Delaware is geographically south of the Mason-Dixon line, except for the very tip, under the dome. (The dome was drawn by Mason and Dixon at the same time they drew the line, interestingly enough.)

  24. John,

    You should try reading one of those things with the pages inside of it.

    “The counties calling themselves West Virginia” is how Confederates refered to West Virginia during the Civil War. Allen used this archaic, pro-Conferderate term in official documents in the 1990s.

    Let me know if I can school you on anything else.

    But please continue to insist that the South is being persecuted. It will help keep Republicans from winning anywhere else.

  25. Of give me a break Joe. Yes it was confederate code. Just like everyone who says “war of northern agression” really wants to reinstate slavery. I fully aware of the history of the term. Can you get over yourself for just one minute? There are a lot of things for which to show your rightous anger over. I would think you could find something better than this.

  26. Delaware has only 4 counties. 3 at high tide.
    (You’vebeengreatfolksthanksI’llbehereallweek)

    Stereotypes of the South are fucking getting old. When even Homer Simpson is mocked for stereotyping Southerners, it’s passed into satire.

    Biden’s equally clueless – (what the hell was that?) – is he trying to empathize with blacks by slandering his home state?

  27. Just like everyone who says “war of northern agression” really wants to reinstate slavery

    Near as I can tell that’s a factually true statement.

  28. I’m not angry that Allen used Confederate code, John.

    I just brought it up to deflate your typically fact-averse statement that “The South has long since moved on from 1960s letalone thee 1860s.”

    If the South (or, more accurate, conservatives in the South) had moved on from the 1860s, why would a politician seeking to appeal to them keep making sub-rosa appeals to Confederate pride?

    Any why would it work?

  29. joe, seems you may need something with pages in it. A porn mag. Go rub one off and come back, you’re making me nervous.

  30. No, it’s all true. Deliverance was a documentary.

  31. Also, among many opinions that make me unpopular in the South, I’m of the opinion that Gen. Lee and Jefferson Davis pretty much deserved to be hanged for treason. I try not to mention this too much around town, because I like living and all.

  32. Timothy

    I agree with you, especially about Davis. Lee to his credit refused to endorse launching a guirilla war and told his soldiers to lay down their weapons and go home after Appamattox. That one noble act should have saved his life, but Jefferson Davis was a scoundrel who should have been hung. I am anything but a Southern sympathizer and people like Gail Norton wax nastalgic for the anitbellum South is drives me crazy. That said, I have think the South is a different world than it was 40 years ago and thank God. As far as Northerners throwing stones at the South, go to Boston sometime and try to find a black person in downtown or on the North shore. You won’t find one. Boston is one of the most racist and segregated cities in America. Compared to Boston, Atlanta and Birmingham are racially enlightened pradises. Everytime someone like Joe runs down the South, I think of places like Boston and South Philadelphia and just laugh.

  33. Delaware was also the northernmost NASCAR Cup track except for Michigan (for obvious reasons) until sometime in the 80’s.

  34. “Everytime someone like Joe runs down the South”

    Curses! My demonstrable facts and history of defending the South are no match for John’s warm, wallowy persecution complex!

  35. Hey, look, here I am “running down the South” on a thread about people bashing Red States the day after the 2004 election:

    “The South gave us Bill Clinton, Martin Luther King, Donna Brazile, Jame Carville, the SCLC (Southern, and Christian, and liberal as hell), Al Gore Sr. (and junior, sort of, if you’re going to count W as being from the NE), John Edwards, and Elvis.

    It’s not a North/South thing. That’s dumb.

    Comment by: joe at November 12, 2004 05:11 PM”

    And here I am proclaiming the superiority of northern cities:

    “Northern racism and Southern racism are quite different. It isn’t a matter of one being more racist than the other, but of the intimacy between the races. In the South, people of different races were always in close contact, even in each others houses. For people throughout most of the history of the North, even in the towns, people could go months without seeing a black person.

    As a result, the South developed all these codified manners, laws, and geographies to maintain the separation between the races. While in the north, very little effort had to be made. There were practically no opportunities for adult males of different races to come to know each other, and possibly come to see each other as friends. The distance black people had from the centers of power in the North just perpetuated themselves, because the black people themselves were physically and socially distant. In the South, white supremacy had to be actively maintained, because there was always the “danger” that people would act like human beings and relate to each other as individuals, which is normal when people get to know each other. In the north, only the lowest classes of white people came into contact with black people on a regular basis. Black people were treated more like outsiders in the north, while they were treated more like children or charges or posessions in the south – part of the us, but a subordinate part.

    So there was lot less to overcome in the North in terms of legal equality, but in many ways, achieving actual integration of society has been a lot harder. Massachusetts has a proud history of advancing legal racial equality, from abolitionism to Reconstruction to the civil rights movement, but I could count on my fingers the times I’ve had a black person to my house for dinner. Not because of any hostility or prejudice, but because I’ve so rarely found myself in a situation where issuing the invitation would make sense.

    Comment by: joe at November 12, 2004 09:05 PM”

    And the funny part is, after those two comments, I was attacked throughout the rest of the thread for stereotyping all people from the south as racist, and proclaiming the north to be superior.

    There is simply no way to make a dent a perseuction complex that ingrained. It’s just too much a part of some people’s identity.

  36. I am not even from the South Joe. I am from the Midwest. I don’t have a persecution complex. As I explained to Timothy above, I can?t stand people who wax nostalgic about the antebellum South. But, I have seen enough of this country to call bullshit when one section of the country claims to be more enlightened than the others. The people in places like Lexington and Concord, Mass are just flat out racist. They are every bit the racists that the worst southern redneck is. I don?t care if they do drive Volvos and vote Democrat. Why aren’t there any black people who live in their town? Gee, could it be that the Real Estate agents don’t show houses to black families who try to move there? Ask any middle class black family about what it is like to buy a house in a white suburb in the northeast. It is well neigh impossible.

    It is more than a little ironic that me the conservative is having to convince you the liberal about the prevalence of racism in America.

  37. Yes Joe,

    Everyone in the South is a racist yahoo. There are no cosmopolitan cities like Atlanta or Houston full of ethnic groups, northerners and the like.

    You might want to rework that a bit. Your defense of Southerners here seems to be that some of them are Northerners. “Hey, not all Southerners are yahoos! Some ah us are Northerners!”

  38. Delaware, culturally, has always straddled the fence: Wilmington is about as Blue State as you can get (the state went for Kerry in ’04, mainly due to Wilmington); in the unreconstructed (s)lower part of the state they have a saying: “There is no life West of the Chesapeake Bay.”

  39. Yes Joe,

    Everyone in the South is a racist yahoo. There are no cosmopolitan cities like Atlanta or Houston full of ethnic groups, northerners and the like.

    You might want to rework that a bit. Your defense of Southerners here seems to be that some of them are Northerners. “Hey, not all Southerners are yahoos! Some ah us are frum up North way!”

  40. My state is the eighth largest black population in the country.

    Setting aside the atrocious grammar, am I missing something? According to the census Delaware has the 32nd largest black population. If everyone in Delaware was black it would still not be in the top 10.

    I’m Neil Kinnock and I approve of this ad.

  41. Setting aside the atrocious grammar, am I missing something? According to the census Delaware has the 32nd largest black population. If everyone in Delaware was black it would still not be in the top 10.

    Presumably (though I’m too lazy to look it up to see if the math works) he means by percentage, not by absolute numbers.

  42. Some of my best friends are black.

  43. Everyone in the South is a racist yahoo. There are no cosmopolitan cities like Atlanta or Houston full of ethnic groups, northerners and the like. Nope, it all a bunch of poor black people descended from slaves, rich white people living like Rhett Butler and poor white people going to evangelical churches where they handle snakes and burn crosses.

    as a born and raised cascadian this decription is how i alwasy imagined it…hey john could you please take back the stars and bars that strangly appear in the eastern part of my state…which is somehting like 2000 miles from dixie.

    I normally agree with john or at least sypathize with him but when it comes to the south I have nothing but contempt.

  44. As a young Virginian, I can say we always give West Virginia a hard time about being “the counties” all the time, with no hidden or overt reference to race.

    I mean it’s West Virginia, they are asking for it. They use a song in their tourism commercials that is not even about their state (i.e. John Denver, Country Roads). That, in itself, should disqualify them from state status.

  45. Delaware has three counties – at LOW tide.

    For those of you complaining about tolls entering DE, look at a road map; the booths are easy to avoid. And there is no toll to cross over into Jersey (of course they charge you a RANSOM to get OUT of that state).

    Joe Biden is a chronic blowhard; he deserves mockery even when it’s unfair.

  46. The song “Take Me Home, Country Roads” certainly is about West Virginia.

  47. Dang, we’re all just bigoted dumb asses down here. We should be rounded up in some of them there concentration camps and shot.

  48. Pro Lib,

    You were the whiniest of the wanna-be victims on the November 2004 threat I quoted from, as well.

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