In 1993, Joe Biden gave an infamous crime bill speech who at the time was a Senator in Delaware.
Biden stated, “It is true, when Richard Nixon was running for president, Richard Nixon used to talk about law and order and the Democratic response was law and order with justice. Whatever either one of those meant, I never knew, I was running then in 1972. I didn’t think Richard Nixon knew what it meant and I didn’t think the opposition knew what it meant. This president is very, very straightforward and simple. He knows there are two basic steps here: One step is you must take back the streets and you take back the streets by more cops, more prisons, more physical protection for the people. I hope this crime bill, when it passes the Biden Hatch crime bill as it becomes law, God willing, I hope that we will have ended once and for all this notion, that is a hangover from the 60’s, that somehow Democrats are weak on crime and Democratic presidents are weak on crime and Republicans are tough on crime.”
Biden continued, “The truth is, every major crime bill since 1976 that’s come out of this Congress, every minor crime bill, has had the name of the Democratic senator from the state of Delaware, Joe Biden, on that bill and has had a majority vote of the Democratic members of the United States Senate on the bill. So one of the things I want to do in addition to end the crime is end the political carnage that goes on when we talk about crime. Crime is not Democrat or Republican. Making the streets safe is not a Democratic Republican issue. This is one of those issues, I hope this passage of this bill will do, will be taken out of the gridlock category. And moved into an emerging consensus and the consensus is as follows, and I will cease when I finish this statement.”
Biden on the consensus stated, “The consensus is A: We must take back the streets. It doesn’t matter whether or not the person that is accosting your son or daughter or my son or daughter, my wife, your husband, my mother, your parents. It doesn’t matter whether or not they were deprived as a youth. It doesn’t matter or not whether or not they had no background that enabled them to have to become a social become socialized into the fabric of society. It doesn’t matter whether or not they’re the victims of society. The end result is they’re about to knock my mother on the head with a lead pipe, shoot my sister, beat up my wife, take on my sons.”
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Biden continued, “So I don’t want to ask. What made them do this? They must be taken off the street. There’s a second thing that we all have agreed upon, and that is unless we do something about that cadre of young people, tens of thousands of them born out of wedlock without parents, without supervision, without any structure, without any conscience developing, because they literally-. I yield myself three more minutes because they literally have not been socialized. They literally have not had an opportunity. We should focus on them now, not out of a liberal instinct for love, brother and humanity, although I think that’s a good instinct.”
Biden then brings up the word ‘predators’ stating, “But for a simple, pragmatic reasons, if we don’t, they will, or a portion of them will become the predators 15 years from now. And, Madam President, we have predators on our streets that society has, in fact, in part because of this neglect created. Again, it does not mean because we created them that we somehow forgive them or do not take them out of society to protect my family and yours from them. They aren’t beyond the pale, many of those people. Beyond the pale. And it’s a sad commentary on society. We have no choice but to take them out of society. And the truth is, we don’t very well know how to rehabilitate them at that point. That’s the sad truth. You’re looking at the fellow who was one of the primary architects of the sentencing commission. You know what the basic premise of the Sentencing Commission is? I know the presiding officer knows.”
Biden continued, “It was the first time in 80 years we rejected the notion that the condition of sentencing must be related to how long it would take to rehabilitate. I’m the guy that said rehabilitation when it occurs, we don’t understand it, notice it, and when we even when we notice it and we know what occurs, we don’t know why. So you cannot make rehabilitation a condition for release. That’s why in our system, there’s the federal system. You serve 85 percent of your time. I remember when it was going on, when I was making these arguments in the late 70s, they used to call ‘Biden’s Same Time for the Same Crime’ provision. It’s a shame, but we don’t know how to rehabilitate, but there is a consensus and I will cease: A we must make the streets safer. I don’t care why someone is a malefactor in society. I don’t care why someone is anti-social. I don’t care why they become a sociopath. We have an obligation to cordon them off from the rest of society, try to help them, try to change their behavior. That’s what we do in this bill, we have drug treatment and we have other treatments to try to deal with it.”
Biden also stated, “But they are in jail. Away from my mother, your husband, our families. But we would be we would be absolutely stupid as a society if we didn’t recognize the condition that nurtured those folks still exist. And we must deal with that. And I think there’s a consensus among Republicans in that. Old barb wire Republican conservatives just want to hang them high. Even those folks are saying, ‘Hey, we’ve got to deal with the root cause of this.’ Not one or the other, but separately. And liberal Democrats who used to say, ‘Let’s look at the sociological underpinnings of why this occurred and we have to…’ They’re now saying, ‘Hey, look, we’ve got to take back the streets. We’ll make that fight later.”
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