Delaware National

So let’s talk about that speech last night…

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.

Delaware politics from a liberal, progressive and Democratic perspective. Keep Delaware Blue.

75 comments on “So let’s talk about that speech last night…

  1. Blueneck

    I glad I decided that the price per plate was worth more in campaign donations.

  2. Delawaredude

    I almost spit out my vodka and tonic when he said “brown person” about Lisa. And what’s with this new thing where he yells at you to “listen up”

    • As a teacher I was shocked when he told a class of 4th graders to “shut up”. This was a long time ago, and I’m just as shocked by his ranting now. What shocks me most is that the party slavishly still supports him. He should have been gone a long time ago.

  3. Reminds me of another antiquated senator who stayed far too long, a sad Delaware tradition.

  4. Mitch Crane

    On the other hand, Kerri Evelyn Harris was elected Delaware National Committeewoman yesterday!

  5. I found his nostalgia heartwarming as a relative newcomer to Delaware. You don’t know how lucky you are to have Carper, compared to the mean spirited hacks in Cornyn and Cruz I had to live with in Texas for it seemed a lifetime. I for one also was heartened that Sen. Carper gets it about our bipartisan creation of the crises in Central America resulting from our economic policies in place down there, I guess to assure we have enough bananas in our food supply. We have totally fucked their economies over and propped up corrupt right wing leaders who totally fuck over their own people.

    • Carper being better than Cornyn and Cruz isn’t a positive, it’s the bare minimum of humanity.

    • Trueblue

      I get that you are from texas and that was probably horrible having those leaders. However we have a lot for more flexibility here in DE and we need to grab hold of as much progress as possible. Carper is our senator regardless but we can’t say at least he’s not Ted Cruz… We are DE and we should and could do better next time around. We can only concentrate on 2020 now regardless. And lastly there is NO excuse for the “brown” comment regarding LBR and the longer we excuse those ingrained racists behaviors the longer it will take us to move forward.

    • delacrat


      Texas is a low bar.

    • An accurate analysis.

  6. Fuck these new hearing aids; I totally missed the “brown” comment. Jeeeze.

    • Prop Joe

      Count yourself lucky… I wish I could unhear it! Though, it’s the same cringe-worthy crap he’s been vomiting for several years. But since he’s old, white, and blathers on about the Delaware Way, voters give him a pass.

  7. Prop Joe

    Almost as offensive as Carper’s “She’s Brown” comment was Creepy Uncle Joe, in the same speech, bloviating about how we need to be friends with Republicans and question only their policies, not their motives… or that the only right way to govern is “The Delaware Way”… At which point I began wishing for a meteor to strike me while I sat in that ballroom.

    • cassandram

      The real thing to pay attention to in that room was the enthusiasm people had for the “bipartisan” message AND for Joe’s claim of a progressive record. Although the applause could have been for the gaffe-announcement.

  8. nathan arizona

    We hear a lot about ‘brown’ people these days, referring to hispanics. I think carper just got confused. That in itself is not a good sign, but it seems foolish to get hung up on terminology when there are so many more serious issues to deal with.

    • cassandram

      It is plenty serious for someone to completely erase who LBR is. She won’t make a big deal of it. But it is simply disrespectful to not be able to represent *even your colleagues* correctly.

      When white supremacy speaks, it tells black and brown people not to be too hung up on who they are. Sheesh.

    • If he spent more time listening to her, this “problem” would never have emerged. He’s a TERRIBLE listener.

  9. nathan arizona

    LBR has not been “erased,” except that she has pretty much erased herself in D.C. She is still LBR no matter how much Carper mangles the terminology. You’d think Carper had called on people to gun down unarmed black (and brown) people in the streets. Sheesh.

    • cassandram

      She is a black woman representing Delaware in Congress. Her job performance does not not erase the fact that she is black. Either for Carper or for you.

      • I’m not sure what nathan’s point is here. His last comment (about a week ago) was about how a commenter discusses women. Are you just looking for a fight, nathan?

        (He’s white)

  10. nathan arizona

    I’m trying to caution against the kind of politics that will discourage people who might otherwise vote against Trump and his ilk. The fine points of identity politics or at least the language associated with it are not compelling (or are an absolute turn-off) to a lot of voters that liberals/democrats could otherwise get. There’s big stuff and smaller stuff. Let’s keep our eyes on the big stuff or we might blow it.

    I apologize for my whiteness, but I will vote for liberals over conservatives every time. I just prefer liberals who can win. Get the votes first and then make the good things happen.

    • All politics are identity politics.

      • Nice try, but no, unless you expand the meaning of “identity” to the point where it’s meaningless.

        • I’m not expanding the meaning of identity. I’m just not setting ‘white’ as the default position. (White) working class is identity politics.

          The only people I hear using the term identity politics (either as a slur or a warning) are white people. While both are coming at this topic from very different places, both are still coming at it from their identity.

          • Lots of people don’t come at politics via their identity. Is class politics identity politics? It’s an identity, so in a way yes, but it’s not what people mean when they use the term.

            • yes. Class politics is identity politics. So it Generational politics.

              You say you worry about it being watered down until it’s meaningless, but it IS menaingless. the term “identity politics” is a term used, mostly by the magat right to diminish and dismiss issues that dont matter to them…. the “identity white people” (consider the terrorist organization that service members and cops are being found to be a part of is called identity europa)
              So it’s all identity politics. Trump plays to the shitty identities of white trash. Coons plays to the identities of Netanyahu supporters and banks.

            • Lots of people don’t come at politics via their identity.

              Sure they do. It just isn’t called identity politics when applied to white people – aka the default citizen. People support things that benefit them while lessening the importance of things that don’t impact them.

              Even class politics. It’s no accident that working class has come to mean white working class. Even free college, put out there without an equal emphasis on K-12 education, falls into this category. It upholds the status quo of the group already on the college path. People who send their kids to ‘good’, low needs schools (whether by paying for private, choice, or where their home is located) are all for free college, but aren’t so supportive of equitable funding or a feeder that lets kids from Lancaster Court Apartments into their new school. Anyone promoting free college without a plan for K-12 – a plan that would make free college attainable to kids who now have no chance of benefiting from such a policy – is, imo, making a mistake.

              Also, anyone saying, “European countries offer free college, so why can’t we” displays their ignorance on the topic.

              • ” People support things that benefit them while lessening the importance of things that don’t impact them.”

                Nonsense. If that were true, given my income bracket I’d be a staunch Republican.

                • Income is only one indicator. And it depends on, not only where you place it in importance, but how comfortable you are that your circumstances won’t change. Being economically secure allows us to focus on other issues – issues that would change if our income/lifestyle changed.

              • I have no dog in that fight anymore, as my kids are grown. But I still support your positions on this. I think free college gets more attention because young adults with student debt can vote, while K-12 students have only their parents to depend on.

                What you’re saying, if I understand it correctly, is that Americans layer racial politics over even class politics, and I agree with you there. But my No. 1 issue now is global warming, and I put it there not solely because it’s an existential issue for humanity but for most other species as well.

                So I guess my position is that MOST people practice identity politics, but there are exceptions.

                As for the European system, you’re right. It’s free, but they greatly restrict who gets in.

                • I hear you. I’ll just point out that global warming (one of my top issues, too) doesn’t mean much if you’re worrying about your kids getting home safely from school or a night out with friends.

                  Issues move up or down in importance depending on real life circumstances. I’m not saying college debt isn’t an issue. I’m just pointing out that there are kids who will never face this problem due to the lack of resources in their K-12 schools. Free/debt free college appeals to a specific demographic (identity) – and they have every right to be concerned about this problem. My issue is when they stop there, not realizing the advantages that got them into that position. Basically, we should address the cost of college while addressing K-12 at the same time. The candidate who does this will catch my attention. Stopping policy at free/debt free college is telling and limiting.

                • delacrat

                  “But my No. 1 issue now is global warming,… – alby

                  You can’t be serious about global warming if you’re a fan of a “global American military footprint” (Alby, delawareliberal, 2/19/2019)

                  knowing that “The U.S. military uses more oil than any other institution in the world”


                  • Your simplemindedness is dispiriting, but oh so familiar.

                    To acknowledge its existence is not to be “a fan” of it. To pretend that war will end if we withdraw is simpleminded. See the Ukraine.

                    • delacrat

                      You did more than “acknowledge its existence”. You’re just not honest enough to admit that. And it’s slick how you moved the goal posts away from global warming to the Ukraine.

                    • You mean the way it’s slick that you never discuss the issue, only someone’s position on the issue?

                      The Ukraine has always been the fly in your Russian ointment.

    • cassandram

      The way you get rid of “identity politics” is to police your own. “Identity politics” did not start with black and brown and Native American and LGBTQ people. It started when white people decided that you were more important and that making the rest of us second class citizens was important to you. Donald Trump *still* keeps working this supremacist vein; there are non-stop studies that indicate that his voters voted exactly for this kind of resentment politics and here you are telling us that our issues are not important to you and other white voters.

      That’s gonna be just Too Damn Bad. You fix your community’s issues with the rest of us and “identity politics” no longer has a need to exist.

      • This is all true, and yet has not been proved as a winning strategy in statewide or national elections. I don’t know why this is so, but I see no signs that asking white people for racial justice works on more than the 35% or so of white people who vote with the Democrats already.

        Jesus, white people aren’t even moved by the murder of unarmed blacks by police. I’d be thrilled with them taking that one step alone, and they won’t do it. They actively resist.

        • cassandram

          For many of us this is a winning strategy for our day to day lives — elections be damned. But if we have Republicans literally campaigning on racial resentments — that there are other than white people getting to the head of the line before white people — the people who need to stop campaigning on identity politics is not Democrats. So if you want to see Identity Politics go away, you need to stop arguing with me and go and get your boys.

          • They’re not my boys. And I’m well aware of its importance in day to day life. See my comment below — only whites can afford to ignore race.

            But elections be damned? Really?

            • Sure they’re your boys. Just like women are warned to not push #MeToo too far, and Muslims are constantly being asked to denounce terrorism, or black people are told to police their own communities and Latinos told to assimilate and LGBTQ people are told to tone it down about their rights.

              As white people we can do more to stop bad behavior in our community than any minority group. And while we may distance ourselves from racists and bigots, we end up benefiting or not being threatened by their behavior. So, you and I need to and get our boys and girls. The heavy lifting is up to us.

              • No, the law is the instrument that needs to rein them in. These calls you cite are wrong-headed and make no logical sense, and to respond in kind is to further the illogic.

                If you accept that we are responsible for them, they you think it’s right that all Muslims are responsible for terrorist Muslims. It’s wrong, and multiplying it won’t make it right.

                • The difference, of course, is that you and I benefit, or, at the very least, are not hurt by racist and bigoted behavior. And I’m not saying we’re responsible for these people. I’m saying that we have a responsibility to not remain silent and let minorities carry the load.

                  This is where our coveted individualism/default citizen comes into play. People tossing out the term ‘identity politics’ as a warning or acting like that term doesn’t apply to everyone is a magnificent blind spot (not always so blind).

                • In one case, Hillary’s notion that you cant change hearts, but you can change laws makes a lot of sense. You cant legislate away hate…. you CAN keep hateful shits from having a say through laws.

                  But a more important point is that just enough minds have to be changed to GET those laws changed. Racist misogynists arent going to listen to POC or women. It is white cis-het men’s responsibility to convince/overpower/silence these men so they are no longer calling the shots. You’re being asked to be the guy in the razor commercial who stop shis friend form harassing women on the street and that is, somehow, too much of a burden.

                  • “It is white cis-het men’s responsibility to convince/overpower/silence these men so they are no longer calling the shots.”

                    This is no more true than to say it up to peaceful Muslims to end Islamic terror.

                    And if you think individual acts will change anything, you have nothing meaningful to add. Furthermore, I actually do do that, to strangers. It doesn’t work as well as you think.

                    To typify all white men as one way is no more reasonable than typifying all blacks, or Jews, or feminists or any group. Y’all are replicating the injustice and declaring it just.

            • cassandram

              They are your boys. Your community. Your source of privilege. If giving up my means of survival is how elections get won, then, yeah, elections be damned. Because I keep hearing people tell me what I have to give up here and you sacrifice nothing.

              • Yours means of survival is not how elections are won. You can stamp your feet as long as you want and that won’t change. Sorry.

              • OK, then, you’re to blame for every instance of black thuggery. Seem fair? Because it doesn’t to me.

                • We already do that. What I’m saying is that we have to stop pretending that all politics isn’t identity politics; that there are ‘identity’ issues and ‘real’ issues. Both are real issues.

                  You like this example of blacks and Muslims, but it misses the point. No one is saying that blaming a group for one person’s behavior is right. I am saying that this standard only goes one way. Only one group receives ‘individual’ status.

                  We will never actually have this conversation because we can’t seem to move past individual white people wanting to made the exception. It’s the same when we discuss women. I spend most of time #NotAllMenning – which derails the conversation, which seems like the point.

                  • cassandram

                    The First Identity Politics — the demands of White Supremacy.

                    This person is *never* going to hear me or anyone like me. But they’d hear you at some point.

                    • You’ve got to be kidding. No, they don’t. One of the things that most scared management at my radio job was that I backed BLM and had a great listenership among African Americans, which did not comport with their demographic goals. Among listeners I was routinely criticized with an offensive two-word term ending in “lover.”

                      They don’t listen to anyone, unless that person is on Fox News.

                    • cassandram

                      They don’t listen to anyone, unless that person is on Fox News.

                      Interesting. If they won’t listen to you, but do listen to Fox News, then there is no point to giving up any bit of the “identity politics” you think is so toxic. They aren’t going to vote for Democrats, much less their own interests, yet somehow I need to stop insisting on my rights because these people won’t vote for us.

                      Not even sensible. And stupid as hell to ask the biggest and most reliable electoral block the Ds have to put their own interests aside for these people.

                  • Right. Because individual white people have no right to be upset at being blamed for others’ behavior. Just as other groups don’t have that right, in your mind at least, because some people blame them anyway.

                    This is divisiveness on the hoof. Stop pretending it’s not.

                • Honestly alby, you’re a fading breed and your personal help probably isn’t required. Just get out of the way. If trmp wins a second term and locks the court into magatry for 30 years, your life will be fine. You even have the ability to move to a whole other country and let all the people who tried to show you a different way to their fate.

                  I doubt the Rep Omars of the world care if you think they’re doing it right. Clearly if people listened to incrementalists obsessed with the sensibilities of the “white working class”, Joe Crowley would still have a job as a fake democrat.

                  You could improve things by listening to the advice of people who lived these problems… rather than spent a life time just commenting on them from some “detached” (privileged) perch. Or dont. Old white men who arent currently lawmakers are basically pointless now. Other than the need to out-vote them, they have nothing to contribute or add. Shit, younger white men around my age have 2 choices…. be part of the problem, or listen and be told how to help. The “old way”… the way you’re likely used to “getting things done” doesnt work.
                  You’re now using, close to verbatim, the same arguments used by Fox and the magat world.
                  Boils down to.. “dont you see how YOU’RE being racist by telling me how i’m being racist?!?!?!?!?!” It’s old and it’s tired and it shows a fundamental conservatism and unwillingness to admit fault.

                  • I have no problem with Rep. Omar. I am against incrementalism. But thanks for telling me what I think.

                    They’re not being racist by telling me I’m racist. They’re being divisive in telling me I’m racist.

                    But thanks, also, for proving how divisive your approach is by lumping me in with all old white men.

                    You will lose again, and you will keep on losing until you figure out that shaming other people does not win their votes.

                    • I dont care about winning the votes of a group that is gonna be a non-majority block in a few years and only shrink from there.
                      What the GOP did so effectively to POC for the past 30 years… really since this sham of a nation was founded…. is going to be turned back on the perpetrators. It’s already happening and it’s great. Im not talking about oppression, just “here’s the character of an undesirable”. White men will never see the level of pain they caused everyone else.

                      Vilifying people 100% works, esspecially if those people are actual villains. Sure, many will whine. many younger men will be radicalized because they arent going to be given the same cookie for existing ALL of their ancestors got. They will need to be watched. This isnt about winning an consensus with people who’s existence is about seeing the suffering of others and thinking they won. fuck them and fuck anyone who has the slightest bit of sympathy for them. This is about turning off new voters to the Crowleys and Carpers and Trumps, and leaving the old ways behind.

  11. nathan arizona.

    I didn’t say your issues aren’t important. I just worry that stressing the wrong things at the wrong time will ultimately stall or set back momentum on those issues by getting Trump reelected — not to mention all the other issues Trump would screw up with four more years. Also, I’m only talking about persuadable (moderate or at least not crazy) white voters, not the idiot Trump base.

    I don’t have a “community.” At least I hope not.

    • cassandram

      You do not have a vote on what “identity politics” issues are important to these communities. You can choose to ignore them and choose to try to argue that the issues of white people must be more important otherwise we never get to the issues of minorities.

      You have a white community. Who provides you all of the privilege you think you need to come here and tell a black woman that her day to day survival needs to be sidelined for the comfort of your people.

      • It’s always interesting how white people balk at being part of a group, while comfortably treating other groups as a monolith. Of course, Nathan has a community. It’s just that white people always view ourselves as individuals.

  12. A Townsend

    These comments simply put are all crap. A huge pile of Sussex County chicken manure. All you libs talk about is race. Are you not just plain sick of the topic? Geesh! Carper himself is for term limits yet runs his old ass again. Carper retire? Nope. He hasn’t the integrity.

    • The ultimate white privilege is to ignore race. People of color don’t have the option, because even if only 1 in 20 whites were racist — and in my experience the percentage is far higher — they will remind you of it every day.

  13. Blue Hens 1993

    I was there and it was painful to hear. It’s time for Carper to pass the baton to one of these young leaders. I’d love to see Bryan Townsend run for that office.

  14. To get back to the original post, in what context did he use the word “brown?” Not that I can imagine any context where it’s acceptable, but what was he trying to say?

    • It was part of his introduction to her as our Rep.. He said something like, “She’s a woman, she’s brown, she’s…” It was really cringe-worthy. I think he was trying to sound woke. 🙂

      • Dear lord. Was he wearing a Captain Obvious uniform? What the hell kind of introduction is that? Nobody introduced him by saying, “He’s white, he’s a dotard…”

  15. nathan arizona

    Cassandra: If it “comforts my people” to have Trumpism defeated, then I’m all for it. Winning elections against these assholes is what I’ve been talking about. I believe it would comfort “your people” too.

    There are many, many white people I do not identify with, no matter what box you and Pandora want to put me in.

    • Have you really just made this conversation about you?

      • cassandram

        He did. When he appears here to school us about “identity politics” he usually does. It was “your people” who voted for Trump. On a very old and very toxic white identity and resentment politics agenda too. You need to make that toxic white identity politics less toxic and less prevalent. All of the other identity politics will fade away as a result. If the roof is leaking, you fix it. You don’t tell the people who have noticed the leak and the discomfort it entails to stop noticing said leak.

  16. nathan arizona

    What are you talking about? My comment was a specific response to Cassandra saying that something was “for the comfort of {my} people.”

    • So brave.
      Nathan. Do not be the type of ally that requires people make you feel welcome and celebrated.
      If you want white guys like us not been seen as trash, show you aren’t trash through your actions and accept the perception won’t change in our lifetimes. 2000 years of European patriarchial atrocities arent going to be undone by you telling women of color how to fight their battles.

  17. nathan arizona

    Good grief, I don’t care about being “welcome and celebrated.” Maybe you do. I’m just expressing opinions about what I think (maybe wrongly) to be smart politics.

    Besides, it gets pretty slow on this blog over here if nobody ever veers from orthodoxy.

  18. More white men voted for Hillary Clinton than all African Americans combined. That’s why you should stop demonizing white men if you care about winning elections.

    My claim is not that white men don’t deserve demonization. They surely do, if anyone does. The claim is that it is not helpful in winning a national election.

    That is all. Everything else you’re saying is secondary.

    • cassandram

      No one is demonizing white men. I am saying that white supremacy is the Original Sin of “identity politics”. If you want identity politics to go away, you need to get your house in order FIRST.

  19. Reparations may be how we get the house in order. What concerns me about the reparations discussion is that resentment is so deeply imbedded we have to include poor whilte people in whatever program. Poor white people should be assisted in other ways. And, I’m really pissed that it is white people that think it is up to them to configure how that program is done for African Americans…….the oppressed, our Black brothers and sisters should configure the program.

  20. Greatest liberal caricature thread ever…. absolutely priceless.

    I urge all Democrats to include reparations as the centerpiece of their platform.

    Thinking about posting the entire thread to r/The_Donald just for laughs.

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