That Time Joe Biden Voted To Restore Robert E. Lee’s Citizenship


“…This is just a fun story from the Daily Caller to help you digest your meal. As we discussed here previously, Joe Biden made the curious decision to focus his entire announcement video on Charlottesville, igniting another round of debate over the President’s comments during that period. Much of it centered on Trump’s (correct) claim that he had been referring to protesters who were there opposing the decision to take down a statue of Confederate General Robert E. Lee.

Lee is, of course, a hated figure for anyone who wants to talk about the Civil War, slavery and all the rest. But it wasn’t always that way. The DC takes us for a stroll down memory lane to 1975. That was when Biden (and nearly everyone else in the House and Senate) voted to restore the citizenship of General Lee. Ah… it was a glorious time to be alive, wasn’t it?

Former Vice President Joe Biden was a part of the 94th Congress that voted to restore Confederate General Robert E. Lee’s citizenship over 100 years after his death, and yet Biden attacked President Donald Trump’s support of the general in his campaign announcement video earlier this week.

On Thursday, Biden entered the presidential race, and he used Trump’s words about a statue of Lee and the people who attended the Unite the Right rally in August 2017 as the focal point for his announcement video…

While many have begun criticizing the dead former Confederate leader, in 1975 the Senate, which included freshman Democratic Delaware Sen. Joe Biden, unanimously approved the reinstatement of General Robert E. Lee’s citizenship to the U.S…

Lee died in 1870 without citizenship.

Independent Virginia Sen. Harry F. Byrd spearheaded the push for reinstating Lee’s citizenship posthumously, and it passed through both chambers after the House, voting 407 to 10 in favor of the reinstatement on July 23, 1975.

So as the debate continues, how exactly do Biden and the Democrats plan on playing this one? (By the way, Patrick Leahy was there for the Lee citizenship vote too.) I believe that the Democrats have already established under the new rules of play that you’re not allowed to say “that was another time,” or “that was then and this is now.” There is no statute of limitations on doing anything insensitive on the civil rights front.

So with that in mind, Biden has to stand against the wheel and account for that vote, right? Sounds like something that would be totally disqualifying if he had an R after his name. But this is the primary season and plenty of young Democrats are trying to nab the nomination for themselves. Would any of them be so rude and discourteous as to bring up Biden’s vote on General Lee? I wouldn’t put it past them.

Robert E. Lee died 149 years ago. He fought for the South and he lost. Nobody left alive today was ever oppressed by him and he’s just part of the country’s history. A big part of it, really. I’m left wondering what the old warhorse would say if he could come back today and see that his name was still being tossed around in a heated debate. Part of me likes to think that he’d probably crack open a bottle of bourbon, light up a cigar and let a big smile creep across his face…”


Doug Santo