Pandering is one of the finer arts in all of politics, and there are few true masters of the discipline left in Washington DC today. This is thanks to the obtuse and literal turn that has been taken by the political media after the inflection-less, text-based reality of the early internet age infected the discourse. Poetic license and allegory are being trampled to death by the fact-checkers and the screenshotters of the world, who refuse to imbue any emotion to the written word.
In other words, it’s rather easy to take a politician’s tweets the wrong way, thanks to the emotionless, mathematical necessity of the medium. When an elected official fails to land a bit of pander on camera, there’s no plausible deniability available to them; no shifting the blame of the misunderstanding.
For President Joe Biden, the lack of public speaking skill makes subtle pandering an even more daunting undertaking. This week proves that.
At a White House reception, Biden appeared to hit Gov. Ron DeSantis, R-Fla., when he declared, “It’s important to say from the White House for the entire country to hear: History matters. History matters and Black history matters. I can’t just choose to learn what we want to know. We learn what we should know. We have to learn everything, the good, the bad, the truth, and who we are as a nation.”
But it was another statement from the event that went viral when Biden was boasting about his knowledge of the Divine Nine historically Black fraternities and sororities.
This is where the President strayed into
“I may be a White boy, but I’m not stupid,” Biden said, as the crowd laughed. “I know where the power is. You think I’m joking? I learned a long time ago about the Divine Nine.”
Other than the fact that there was nothing subtle or tactful about the pandering here, the fact that Biden would willingly foster such a racially-charged point of inflection is bizarre, to say the least.