By Nate Odenkirk | Staff Writer
In a rare admission, Joe Biden today expressed regret regarding some of the most grammatically incorrect sections of the 1994 crime bill. The presidential nominee delivered a two-hour address to the ACLU (Americans for Correct Language Use), in which he lamented the devastating effect his crime bill had on English language. “The 1994 crime bill includes portions that were never proofread for clarity. We should have been more sensitive to the grammatical implications of this sweeping legislation,” said the former vice president.
Once a Senator who appreciated little about the grammatical impact his legislation caused, Biden has been forced to reconcile with his past slip ups. “Joe Biden is running in today’s Democratic party, which is far more aware of syntax, tone, and sentence structure than three decades ago,” said J. Klyman, English professor at DeVry’s physical campus. “There are huge mistakes in the crime bill that became obvious the moment they turned it in.” Despite the measured apology, the nominee continues to make embarrasing gaffes on the campaign trail. Just weeks ago, Biden received harsh criticism for saying African Americans who don’t vote for him “ain’t Black.” Recognizing the potential fallout, he quickly apologized for using “ain’t,” which many pointed out was not a word.
There are huge mistakes in the crime bill that became obvious the moment they turned it in.
The 1994 crime bill has long been a point of contention in Joe Biden’s extensive record. Criticism from the liberal wing of the Democratic party has centered around its poor grammar. Countless spell checks since its passage have shown numerous errors in the bill, including six instances of improper contractions, nearly ten words needlessly capitalized, and implemented a three strikes law that contributed to the carceral state (which was egregiously hyphenated as “three-strike law”). The Biden campaign insisted the grammar mistakes were honest, and that no one could have seen the implications of his language.
President Donald Trump, himself dogged by accusations of improper grammar and even spelling issues, quickly pounced on the apology, calling him “Sloppy Joe,” and accusing him of not fixing the errors in his long public career. “Sloppy Joe had 50 years to revise his bill, and he did nothing,” said the Trump campaign in a release. “The American people see the president’s incredible grammar and impeccable sentence structure.” In recent days, Trump has looked to highlight his support from English teachers, an important base for the GOP.
Biden’s apology came with tangible, if incremental, policy changes. The campaign promised to proofread more than once from now on, but resisted calls to repeal the crime bill altogether, opting for gradual reform. They note that the bill also contains the Violence Against Women Act, and that part has very few errors. Instead, the candidate suggested a more moderate approach, hinting that he’ll use spell check or even hire a tutor to do a once-over of the legislation and suggest edits. “My mistakes should not take away from the fact that I wrote a good bill,” said Biden. “C’mon, man.” He paused. “I mean, come on, man.” ♦