Mass Incarceration

In mishandling documents, Biden and Trump are more alike than different

SAN DIEGO — Present occasions make me glad that I’m — because the title of my podcast suggests — “Ruben within the Middle.”

I despise each events. Neither my liberal pals nor my conservative ones get offended at me for saying that. What bothers them is after I add, “And infrequently, I can’t inform them aside.”

My pals in each events have a lot invested in attempting to persuade contributors and voters that there are main variations between the events. However what they’re speaking about are insurance policies; e.g., solely liberals care about local weather change, and solely conservatives care concerning the safety of the U.S.-Mexico border. Ship your checks, of us!

I don’t put a lot inventory in insurance policies. Positions change. Guarantees get damaged. Politicians are chameleons; they know tips on how to survive.

Whereas serving within the California State Meeting within the early 2000s, Kevin McCarthy was thought of a average on immigration who was wanting to make peace with Latinos after the state GOP alienated them. Right this moment, the brand new Home speaker falsely claims that the border is open and threatens to question Homeland Safety Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas for failing to seal the border. He is aware of higher.

Individuals are additionally studying…

In 1994, Joe Biden — then a Democratic senator from Delaware who pandered to working-class whites — teamed up with a legislation enforcement group to write down a racist crime invoice that fueled the mass incarceration of African People. Right this moment, President Biden — who selected Black ladies to function vp and a Supreme Court docket justice — is without end making overtures to African People and aspires to be one of the vital racially delicate presidents in U.S. historical past.

You may’t rely on insurance policies. The one factor that issues is character. And sadly, that’s in brief provide within the politics of in the present day.

Nothing may higher drive residence that time than the scandal involving Biden’s sloppy dealing with of what seem like Obama-era categorized paperwork. Based on the White Home, 4 batches of paperwork have been uncovered to this point: a “small” quantity on Nov. 2 in a Washington workplace on the Penn Biden Middle utilized by Biden after he was vp, one other set within the storage of his Wilmington, Del., residence on Dec. 20, a single categorized doc in a room adjoining to the storage on Jan. 11, and 5 extra pages within the Wilmington home on Jan. 12.

Biden insisted at one level that he didn’t know concerning the paperwork. After all, later — at a distinct level — he knew sufficient concerning the paperwork to guarantee reporters that they have been protected and sound in “a locked storage” alongside his Corvette.

In Washington, “ethical consistency” is simply one other highfalutin phrase lawmakers in each events shrug off as quaint.

It looks as if solely yesterday — or extra exactly, August — that Republicans intent on defending their very own insisted that former president Donald Trump improperly warehousing categorized materials, together with top-secret paperwork, at his personal residence at Mar-a-Lago was no large deal. Apart from, they stated, the American public didn’t care about any of that as a lot as they did the value of milk.

In the meantime, Democrats claimed to be outraged and insisted that this kind of offense was a reckless and irresponsible breach of nationwide safety that will absolutely trigger the collapse of the republic if Trump weren’t severely punished — and ideally barred from ever once more holding elective workplace. And sure, they argued, the American folks do care about conserving categorized paperwork secured.

However that was then. That is now. The 2 events have flipped the script and brought to reciting one another’s dialogue. Republicans now see the knowledge in coming down exhausting on any former vp or present president who mishandled categorized paperwork, and a few Democrats are already making the argument that the American folks don’t care about this kerfluffle practically as a lot as they do concerning the worth of eggs.

After all the events will push again. Republicans will dismiss any comparability between what Trump did and what Biden did. Democrats will do the identical for wildly totally different causes.

See what I imply? These two siblings have been separated at start.

Look, the circumstances are totally different. However the root is identical. That is about an individual in a really excessive place taking residence categorized paperwork that have been imagined to be turned over to the Nationwide Archives.

Possibly there’s a silver lining — or two. Possibly each events will emerge from these scandals a tad chastened. Possibly, sooner or later, they received’t be so fast to thrill within the misfortune of opponents, as a result of, given the cyclical nature of politics, it’s probably their flip will come.

Washington Submit columnist Ruben Navarrette’s electronic mail handle is

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