Painting Joe Biden as a man of honor is a piece of cake for Democrats who have centuries of practice portraying sinners as saints. We don’t even need to go back to Jim Crow-era racists who dominated the party after the Civil War.

Or presidents with feet of clay like Woodrow Wilson, who re-segregated the federal workforce in Washington, or even Franklin Roosevelt, who turned away a ship carrying Jews fleeing the Holocaust while allowing Japanese Americans to be placed in internment camps.

Their modern hero, JFK, was a philanderer whose sex partners included a mob boss’s mistress and White House interns not yet out of their teens. Bill Clinton has remained a party stalwart despite the infamous dalliance with his own intern and strong evidence that he committed sexual harassment in Arkansas and multiple felonies – including perjury and suborning perjury – while in office.

Democrats haven’t worked this sleight of history on their own – liberal historians and partisan journalists have eagerly twisted the past to create their canyon of heroes. That some of these leaders are now facing a long overdue reckoning only underscores how successfully their soiled sides have been swept aside.

Now that Biden is their candidate – now that they need him – the propaganda effort to paint this troubling man in a rosy light is in full swing. Echoing scores of ink-stained and talking head hosannas, a recent editorial in my hometown paper asserted that Biden “is extraordinarily kind, that he is principled in public and private and that he is fundamentally decent.”

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Their evidence: The video messages extolling Biden at the Democratic National Convention.

The issue is not the Democrats’ hagiography – the Republicans did the same for Donald Trump during their convention – but the media’s embrace of this spin as fact. Instead of addressing Biden’s disturbing past regarding areas they constantly assail Trump on – race, gender, abuse of office, veracity, and general character – news outlets simply declare his virtue and move on.

They ignore, for example, his troubling history on race. In 1991 Biden pulled the rope in the “high-tech lynching” of Clarence Thomas, seeking to derail his Supreme Court nomination in 1991 by trafficking in racist tropes about hyper-sexualized black men.

In 2007, Biden asserted that Barack Obama was “the first mainstream African-American who is articulate and bright and clean and a nice-looking guy.” Pause for a moment and consider how deep the reservoirs of racial stereotypes one must pull from to say that.

Where is the kindness?

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The same media outlets that advanced every smear about Brett Kavanaugh during his Supreme Court fight in 2018 quickly dismissed the more credible claims of a Senate aide who said Biden sexually assaulted her in 1993. As a candidate, Biden doesn’t just hector and bully opponents, as Trump does – he does it on rope lines to ordinary Americans who ask him questions he doesn’t like.

Where is the principle?

The media has shrugged off clear evidence that Biden stood by while his son Hunter exploited his father’s position as vice president. While Joe Biden served as the Obama administration’s point man on policy in the Ukraine and China, Hunter received $80,000 per month for a no-show job on the board of a Ukrainian gas company; through another one of his concerns Hunter cut lucrative deals with the Chinese.

Where is the decency?

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Perhaps the most troubling example from Biden’s past was the lies he used to tell about the death of his first wife and daughter in a car accident in 1972. Police reports say she drove into the path of an oncoming truck. For years Biden claimed that the truck driver, who tried to save his family, was drunk. He only stopped when the man’s daughter tearfully complained.

Where is the honor?

These questions must be asked and answered before Nov. 3.

By J. Peder Zane for RealClearPolitics. Syndicated with permission from RealClearWire.

J. Peder Zane is an editor for RealClearInvestigations and a columnist for RealClearPolitics.

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