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Politics Opinion: Tim Scott's deeply deceptive response to Joe Biden

02:15  30 april  2021
02:15  30 april  2021 Source:   cnn.com

Fact check: Biden's speech had an estimated 26.9 million viewers

  Fact check: Biden's speech had an estimated 26.9 million viewers The president’s first address to Congress had 26.9 million viewers, not 11.6 million as claimed in a social media post.An April 29 Facebook post from James T. Harris, a conservative radio host and social media personality, lists television ratings for five past presidential addresses — four from former President Donald Trump and one from Biden. The post says Biden’s address to Congress had only 11.6 million viewers, compared to 37.2 million viewers for Trump’s 2020 State of the Union speech.

Sen. Tim Scott ' s rebuttal to President Joe Biden 's joint address to Congress showcased one of the main requirements for today's Black Republicans, says Clay Cane: the tricky logic of downplaying racism while simultaneously playing the race card.

And Scott was the one designated to front all this misery in response . He gave a speech brimming with misinterpretation and doubt. There has never been a blanket so wet as the one in which Scott wrapped himself Wednesday night. But President Biden promised you a specific kind of leadership.

Wednesday night, President Joe Biden delivered his first address before a joint session of Congress -- a speech full of optimism, policy priorities and an expansive vision for the future. I wasn't surprised that the Republican Party chose to put South Carolina Sen. Tim Scott forward for their "rebuttal" -- in this case, 15 minutes of dissembling in the service of an obvious plea to voters who do not look like him.

Tim Scott wearing a suit and tie © Pool

One of the main requirements for today's Black Republicans appears to be the tricky logic of downplaying racism while simultaneously playing the race card. Scott was clearly ready to perform that number last night. He quickly went viral for his rebuttal to Biden, saying: "I get called 'Uncle Tom' and the N-word -- by 'progressives'"! Minutes later he added, "Hear me clearly: America is not a racist country."

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The Plum Line. Opinion : Tim Scott ’ s weak rebuttal shows a GOP badly on the defensive. Sen. Tim Scott (R-S.C.) delivers the Republican response to President Biden 's speech to a joint session of Congress on Wednesday (AP). Instead, Scott employed a two-step. He portrayed the GOP as favoring government spending amid crisis, by citing spending Republicans supported under President Donald Trump, while falling back on bromides about big government to dismiss spending proposed by Biden .

Tim Scott : Biden ' s administration pushed us apart. Sen. Tim Scott (R-SC) criticized President Joe Biden ' s infrastructure plan during the Republican party' s response to Biden ' s first prime-time joint address to Congress. Tim Scott : Biden ' s administration pushed us apart. CNN poll: 53% approve of Biden ' s handling of presidency. Americans evaluate Biden ' s first 100 days in office. Biden : A nation in crisis is 'on the move again'. Van Jones: The messenger was great, but the message was nonsense.

There are two big problems with that take. First, it's hard to imagine a country where people are calling you the N-word as not being racist. Second, as much as Scott's pronouncement of an un-racist America may have appealed to some Republican White voters, it wasn't an actual rebuttal to Biden's remarks. Biden never said America was a racist country. Scott created a strawman talking point for his party's base so he could tell them what they wanted to hear. He was joyfully playing the role of the Black man who makes White Americans more comfortable.

Here are some recent facts about Biden -- or other elected leaders -- calling America racist.

In January of 2020 the New York Times asked presidential candidates at the time if the United States was a racist country, and not one of them said yes.

Why President Joe Biden's speech to Congress was unlike any other in modern history

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Tim Scott Calls Out WaPo, Gets Personal in Response to Biden Speech: ‘I Get Called Uncle Tom and the N-Word by Progressives’. Hunter Biden to Lecture Tulane University Students About ‘Fake News’. Fox’s Bill Hemmer on Anchoring From the Studio During Covid, the Cable News Landscape, and The MSNBC panel Wednesday night went on a tear over Senator Tim Scott ’ s response to President Joe Biden ’s address to a joint session of Congress. Rachel Maddow started by saying “it’s going to be hard for most people that are paying any attention to politics to swallow the ‘Republicans support making it

Tim Scott on Wednesday knocked President Biden for “empty platitudes” about national unity while also accusing the US of “systemic racism” in a blistering Republican response to Biden ’ s first speech to a joint session of Congress. The South Carolina Republican said Democrats hypocritically talked about unity while filibustering his policing reform bill And Scott accused Democrats, including Biden , of divisively mischaracterizing a Georgia election reform law that expanded early voting but imposed new rules on absentee voting. “Despite what the president claimed, it did not reduce election day hours.

Former New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg answered, "I don't think it's fair to categorize it as a racist country."

Even Sen. Elizabeth Warren only said, "I think that racism is a serious problem in this country."

Mayor Pete Buttigieg avoided saying the country was racist: "I am convinced that white supremacy is the force most likely to destroy the American dream."

Vermont Sen. Bernie Sanders has never explicitly said America was a racist country and was consistently criticized for appearing to focus more on class.

In July of 2020, Biden came under fire for saying Trump was America's first racist President, which was pretty shocking to historians considering how both Democratic and Republican Presidents upheld the extermination of Native Americans, the enslavement of Africans, advocated for Jim Crow laws and supported voter disenfranchisement via the Southern Strategy. Also, we must never forget the war on drugs, which directly targets Black and brown people, and the tragedies of mass incarceration.

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Tim Scott , R- S .C., delivers the Republican response to President Joe Biden ' s speech to a joint session of Congress on Wednesday, April 28, 2021, in Washington. (Senate Television video via AP). U. S Sen. Tim Scott , R- S .C., said President Joe Biden is dividing Americans and has failed to deliver on his promise of unity. "I want to have an honest conversation," Scott said. "About common sense and common ground. About this feeling that our nation is sliding off its shared foundation and how we move forward together."

Tim Scott , R- S .C., delivers the Republican response to President Joe Biden ’ s speech to a joint session of Congress on Wednesday, April 28, 2021, in Washington. (Senate Television via AP) (Uncredited/Senate Teleivsion). We just heard President Biden ’ s first address to Congress. Our President seems like a good man. His speech was full of good words. But President Biden promised you a specific kind of leadership. He promised to unite a nation. To lower the temperature.

In Wednesday's speech, Biden only mentioned racism twice, when he called "to root out systemic racism in our criminal justice system" and also said, "we have a real chance to root out systemic racism that plagues American life in many other ways."

The truth is that Scott wasn't there to rebut Biden's speech. He had one job: to soothe racial guilt at any cost.

He pursued it with precision. The Charleston, South Carolina, native repeatedly called on his Christianity, catnip to White evangelicals (even those who supported an adulterer, a historic liar and a person who never asked for forgiveness at 80%). After telling his audience that "the real story" for our souls and our nation isn't "original sin" (a loaded term when talking about the US and its history with racism) but "redemption," Scott even quoted "The Blessing," a popular song by worship duo Kari Jobe and Cody Carnes (who visited the Trump White House in 2019), which quotes Scripture. It was as if he was putting the imprimatur of holiness on his wholesale dismissal of racism as a systemic problem in America.

Sen. Tim Scott responds to Biden speech: 'America is not a racist country'

  Sen. Tim Scott responds to Biden speech: 'America is not a racist country' The Republican Party put forward one of its most ascendant and interesting figures to respond to President Biden’s address to Congress on Wednesday, giving Sen. Tim Scott of South Carolina the microphone. In a speech that clocked in at just under 15 minutes, Scott portrayed President Biden as someone who “seems like a good man” but is nonetheless dividing the nation by pursuing major legislation like the $1.9 trillion COVID-relief bill in March without Republican support. Scott argued that the Biden administration’s accomplishments in fighting COVID-19 were largely due to efforts made in the Trump presidency.

Unlike Scott, I do not care about partisan politics. If this were 1870, I'd probably be a Republican. But it's 2021 and I am a Democrat -- but my loyalty isn't to party. It's to defending the most vulnerable and attempting to right the wrongs of the past. Scott's allegiance is apparently the opposite.

Republicans' racist policies, from a voter suppression bill that has been called Jim Crow 2.0, which civil rights organizations sued over, to bills that grant immunity to drivers who hit protesters, speak louder than their words. For all of Scott's anxieties about delusions like "woke supremacy," the targets of Republicans policies are obvious.

In Scott's remarks, he defended Georgia's voter suppression bill by saying, "It will be easier to vote early in Georgia than in Democrat-run New York. But the left doesn't want you to know that."

What Scott conveniently left out was that Senate Bill 202 limits ballot drop boxes in predominantly Black areas, criminalizes handing out water to voters and, worst of all, gives more power over elections to the Republican legislature.

That said, defending racist polices isn't a shocker from Scott. He often brags about so-called opportunity zones but fails to mention that they increase gentrification, displacing African Americans out of their neighborhoods and giving a tax bonanza to corporations.

Sen. Tim Scott is expected to deliver a hopeful speech on GOP values

  Sen. Tim Scott is expected to deliver a hopeful speech on GOP values Sen. Tim Scott is approaching his moment in the national spotlight Wednesday night with a bit of mystery, humor, a pair of new socks and some relaxation with his mother. "Chilling. Normal things. Lots of ice cream and cookies and sitting on the couch, hanging out a little bit," Scott said of his preparations on Tuesday. "From my perspective, you figure out who your audience is, you figure out what you want to say, you try to find a way to say it well, and you lean into who you are.

Scott uses his Blackness when it's convenient, and so does his party. Scott will say he has been stopped by police but craft a weak Justice Act that doesn't end qualified immunity. Now he has the chance to support the George Floyd Justice in Policing Act but reportedly wants to "compromise" on qualified immunity, when there should be no compromise on holding police accountable.

Scott voted with Trump over 90% of the time, including to weaken the Dodd Frank Act, which aims to stop discrimination from mortgage lenders -- with Black businesses and owners being disproportionately affected. In 2016, he got just 8% of the Black vote in South Carolina, so it's clear he doesn't speak for the overwhelming majority of Black voters, even in his home state.

In the 1870s, Hiram Rhodes Revels and Blanche Bruce, both Republicans, became the first two Black US Senators. I have to think they would be appalled to see what has been done with their legacies.

I would never call Scott an Uncle Tom. It's an insult to the character Uncle Tom, who was the opposite of Scott's buffoonery in Harriet Beecher Stowe's 1852 novel. While a problematic character in other ways, Tom is a man who sacrifices himself for the good of others.

In his unswerving devotion to party politics, Sen. Scott is an embarrassment on his own -- not just for his lies or his cavalier dismissal of systemic racism but for his pursuit of political gain at the expense of the health of our democracy.

Clay Cane wearing a suit and tie smiling at the camera © Courtesy of Clay Cane Clay Cane

President Biden's first 100 days: What he's gotten done .
President Joe Biden has moved fast since his January 20 swearing-in, signing a $1.9 trillion Covid relief bill into law less than two months into his term and issuing more executive orders so far than his three predecessors. © Genaro Molina/Los Angeles Times/Getty Images A first-grader works on an English exercise on the first day of class in Los Angeles on April 13, 2021. Those efforts have paid off, with the administration reaching the milestones of 200 million coronavirus shots delivered and vaccine eligibility opened to everyone 16 and over before Biden's 100th day in office.

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