You’ve probably heard the word “lynching” a bunch of times today. It started this morning when President Trump used the word in a tweet about impeachment:
That set off a flurry of condemnations from the left and even Sen. Mitch McConnell called the remark unfortunate:
One of the people who was quick to attack Trump was former Vice President Biden who called the comparison “despicable.”
Biden (or whoever is running his Twitter account) should have checked the record. This afternoon, CNN’s Andrew Kaczynski dug up this old appearance in which Biden tells Wolf Blitzer, “Even if the president should be impeached, history is going to question whether or not this was just a partisan lynching or whether or not it was, in fact, something that met the standard, the very high bar that was set by the founders as to what constituted an impeachable offense.”
Awkward! But Biden is far from the only Democrat who made that comparison 20 years ago. Tom Elliott put together this supercut to highlight several more examples.
One of the people in that clip above is Rep. Gregory Meeks. Back then, Meeks said, “What we are doing here is not a prosecution, it is a persecution and, indeed, it is a political lynching.” This afternoon Meeks appeared on CNN’s Anderson Cooper show where he was asked about having used the term in connection to impeachment in the past. You can see Rep. Meeks’ full response below.
In short: Only black Democrats can weaponize this particular term in a political context. But even if you buy Meeks’ claim that it’s okay for him to talk about impeachment as lynching because of his family history, what about Joe Biden and Jim McDermott. I guess this is just another case where it’s different when Democrats do it.