Donald Trump Attacks Joe Biden for Supporting 'Superpredator' Crime Bill
Plus: Brexit triumphs in European Parliament elections and Princeton students want an Office of Intersectional Violence Investigations.
President Donald Trump criticized former Vice President Joe Biden over the latter's support for the 1994 Crime Bill, a bipartisan piece of legislation that exacerbated inequities in the criminal justice system and is associated with the racially loaded term "superpredator."
"Super Predator was the term associated with the 1994 Crime Bill that Sleepy Joe Biden was so heavily involved in passing," said Trump in a tweet. "That was a dark period in American History, but has Sleepy Joe apologized? No!"
In a subsequent tweet, Trump touted his own criminal justice reform efforts:
Anyone associated with the 1994 Crime Bill will not have a chance of being elected. In particular, African Americans will not be able to vote for you. I, on the other hand, was responsible for Criminal Justice Reform, which had tremendous support, & helped fix the bad 1994 Bill!
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) May 27, 2019
It's true that Trump has made some significant strides on criminal justice reform: He signed the FIRST STEP Act into law, which erased crack cocaine sentencing disparities for certain incarcerated persons, allowing them to go free.
Trump going after Biden for previous performative toughness on crime is a bit ironic since Trump ran on a fairly standard law-and-order platform when he sought the presidency in 2016. But President Trump has proven more interested in criminal justice reform than expected. (Thank you, Kim Kardashian West.)
Biden, of course, will have to deal with the fact that many of his former political positions—his role in the crime bill, his support for the Iraq War—are out of step with the leftward drift of the Democratic Party. Assuming this doesn't actually cost him the nomination, the general election is going to be fascinating.
Activists at Princeton University are demanding that the administration create and fund an "Office of Intersectional Violence Investigation," which would explore the harms to students who languish under the oppression of more than one kind of -ism. The Atlantic's Conor Friedersdorf reports:
In our correspondence, I asked about a hypothetical in which the activists' suggested reforms turned out to cost $20 million a year. Could they justify that price tag? The activists were undaunted.
For context, "during the 2017-2018 academic year," Princeton notes of its Title IX proceedings, "there were 17 cases in which respondents were found responsible for sexual misconduct, and 16 cases in which respondents were found not responsible." The $20 million–a-year figure would be sufficient to give all confirmed victims of sexual assault $1 million each in cash. And I've seen no conclusive evidence that increasing the size of Title IX bureaucracies reduces the incidence of sexual assault on campus or meaningfully diminishes the pain or trauma of victims.
Intersectionality, the idea that different kinds of oppression are distinct but related, and must all be opposed with equal fervor, has become the core philosophy of progressive activists. I explore why this is so in my new book, Panic Attack: Young Radicals in the Age of Trump.
The Brexit Party performed well in the European Parliament elections, which took place Thursday through Sunday. The results were a win for euro-skeptics, populists, and nationalists, but also the pro-EU left and the greens. Centrist parties had a bad showing, and the coalition led by the center-right European People's Party and the center-left Progressive Alliance of Socialists and Democrats lost its governing majority.
In Britain, both the Conservative and Labor Parties suffered bruising defeats—in fact, Conservatives won just eight percent of the vote. Prime Minister Theresa May has already indicated she would step down.
According to The New York Times:
In effect, voters appear to have flocked to parties that either took an uncompromising stance in favor of Brexit, or those that oppose it altogether — abandoning the Conservative Party and Labour, which have, in their different ways, been trying to offer some sort of compromise.
The results underscore the growing polarization of British politics over Brexit, pointing to yet more political uncertainty and volatility in a country that has been in various degrees of political crisis since 2016, when voters opted in a referendum to leave the European Union.
- In the 1980s, Bernie Sanders was not merely against funding the Contras—he came across as pro-Sandinista.
- The perpetrator of an attack on a Jewish synagogue claims he became radicalized by listening to conservative pundits.
- An alleged anti-gay hate incident on the New York City subway was a hoax, authorities say.
- MacKenzie Bezos is donating half her wealth to charity.
- Jeopardy! champion James Holzhauer is on track to pass Ken Jennings' $2,520,700 in regular game earnings sometime in the next few days.