Biden’s First Campaign Mistake

Vice President Biden is making a mistake, in our view, in trying to run for president on the idea that America is full of deplorables. He’s launched his campaign with a video featuring neo-Nazis marching at Charlottesville. He’s suggesting that President Trump — and his millions of followers — are racists and anti-Semites. That libel backfired on Secretary Clinton. What can Mr. Biden be thinking?

It may be that the ex-veep wants to deflect attention from the Democrats’ own problems. Mr. Biden’s party hasn’t been able to condemn the anti-Semitism surging in the Democrats’ own caucus. Even Mr. Biden himself, supposedly a centrist, shrank from taking on Congresswoman Ilhan Omar and her ilk. Mrs. Pelosi at least tried to get a statement, though she backed down.

Nor have Mr. Biden’s apologies for his own self-perceived defaults cut much ice in his own party. This week he reportedly telephoned Anita Hill to express regrets that he was unable in 1991 to ensure a proper hearing of her allegations of sexual harassment against Justice-to-be Clarence Thomas. Ms. Hill promptly let it be known that his call left her, as the New York Times put it, “deeply unsatisfied.”

The Democrats’ own issues are but part of the problem. Mr. Trump has set his own traps for Mr. Biden on race and related issues. This flashed in the news earlier this month when Mr. Trump hosted at the White House an astonishing event for the First Step Act. That’s Mr. Trump’s new bipartisan prison reform measure that helps deserving prisoners win early release from long sentences.