Not Joe Biden’s speech where he performed the ultimate Biden gaffe where he announced his run for President in a Freudian slip during a mistaken tangent where he was trying to claim that he was the most progressive candidate in the race. Yeah, no, Joe. You are progressive on some issues, like LBGTQ issues. But praising David Brooks in the same speech negates some progressive cred, as does pining for a time with Republicans had good faith while ignoring their constant bad faith. Recognize your lane and stay in it. Don’t try to claim you are Bernie Sanders.
No, I am talking about our senior Senator Tom Carper, with an emphasis on senior. Mr. Carper was there last night to introduce an award to a friend of mine, Robert Burns, the party’s parliamentarian, but Rob was an afterthought to what can only be described as indecipherable tirade. Mr. Carper now has one speaking style: screaming. He informed the audience that he was going to talk about immigration, even though he was supposed to be giving a 2-3 minute introduction for an award. The audience audibly groaned. He proceeded to talk about helping Colombia back in the 90’s and how we need to do the same with Guatemala now, to prevent crime and violence in their country, thus preventing the formation of caravans threatening our border (nice use of Trumpian framing there, Tom).
The point he was trying to make was a good one and he is correct. Our nation’s deportation policies (deporting criminals to their country), our society’s desire for drugs in the first place, and our cutting of the funding we do provide to help reduce crime and poverty in these countries only serves to destabilize these countries further, perpetuating a vicious cycle to repeat and get worse. But boy is Tommy (as Joe Biden calls him) Carper the wrong messenger for this idea, especially when delivered, and I keep returning to this, as a literal scream. It was the wrong context and moment for that kind of speech. This was a party dinner where volunteers are being honored. Tom’s role was to honor them, not to give a foreign policy speech in a incoherent scream. But I suppose he saw a bank of national TV news cameras on the press riser in the back and he could not help himself.
One of the reasons I voted for Kerri Evelyn Harris in 2018 is because it was long past time for Tom Carper to retire. Last night did nothing to convince me otherwise. Not because his ideas were old (and they are), but because he was, and it showed. He is no longer fit for office. It was embarrassing, for us as Delawareans and Democrats, but also for him. I mean, he cannot possibly be proud of how he speaks publicly now, can he? Does he have people in his life, his wife perhaps, to tell him to stop screaming? To stop these painful old segues into some ancient memory of an easier earlier time in his or Delaware’s history that only he is familiar with.
Oh, and I didn’t even mention the cringe-worthy moment when he referred to Congresswoman Lisa Blunt Rochester as “brown.”
Retire now Tom.