Joe Biden couldn’t withstand the heat he generated by talking up his ability to work with powerful Democratic Senators of yore such as James Eastland and Herman Talmadge. These Democrats of course hewed to the party’s segregationist persuasion. Biden’s advertised ability to work with them is, shall we say, out of joint with the Democratic times.
Biden’s ritual apology was only a question of time. The time came today in Sumter, South Carolina. Biden said he had wrongly conveyed an impression that I don’t think his words conveyed: “Was I wrong a few weeks ago to somehow give the impression to people that I was praising those men who I successfully opposed time and again? Yes I was. I regret it,” Biden told a crowd of a few hundred at a campaign stop on Saturday. “I’m sorry for the pain and misconception.”
Students of ancient history may recall that this is what Biden actually said about Eastland and Eastland: “We didn’t agree on much of anything. We got things done,” Biden said of his late former colleagues, quipping that Eastland, “Never called me ‘boy’; he always called me ‘son.’”
Speaking of Talmadge, Biden said, “a guy like Herman Talmadge, one of the meanest guys I ever knew, you go down the list of all these guys. Well guess what? At least there was some civility.” Making his point, Biden continued,”We got things done. We didn’t agree on much of anything. We got things done. We got it finished. But today, you look at the other side and you’re the enemy. Not the opposition, the enemy. We don’t talk to each other anymore.”