If there were three things Joe Biden had to place atop his to-do list as he considered entering the presidential race, they were to keep his mitts off members of the opposite sex, not plagiarize again, and hold the moderate ground in an increasingly radical Democratic Party.
He has now tanked on all three. He continues to put his hands on females old and young, while inexplicably making light of the legitimate accusations against him. His campaign cut and pasted language from other sources without attribution while trying to gin up a climate change plan, reviving memories of the plagiarism that forced him out of a presidential race a full 31 years ago. But it is on the third issue, holding the center, that Biden has made a fateful choice on an explosive issue, and revealed his true character.
Flipping Under the Pressure
Biden is considered a viable presidential candidate for one reason and one reason only. He’s an “electable centrist,” we’re told; a supposed striking contrast to the 20+ woke candidates scrambling to mollify the party’s extremist base. Indeed, Biden is in the race, the narrative follows, because he is the guy who can win back the party’s traditional rank and file voters, the deplorables in flyover country who abandoned the Democratic ship in 2016 and almost single-handedly awarded the presidency to Donald Trump. Of course, given the strident nature of the party’s woke base, Biden would be certain to encounter unrestrained attacks from AOC-inspired extremists and the rest of the socialist-friendly field of presidential wannabes. It would take some degree of political courage to resist the resistance.
And with his recent flip-flop-flip (or is it flop-flip-flop?) on abortion – or more specifically, the single most significant federal statute pertaining to it – Joe Biden has now fully and finally demonstrated how devoid of courage he really is. For 43 years since it was passed into law, Biden cited his Catholic faith in supporting the Hyde Amendment, the prohibition on federal funding for abortions. It has served as a brake applied to the abortion train that left the station following Roe v. Wade and left in its wake more than 50 million innocent victims.
Earlier this year, the former vice president told a supporter that he would now oppose the Hyde Amendment. Then on Wednesday, his campaign announced that he still supported it. And then a day later, after stinging criticism from pro-abortion groups, he folded like an accordion and reversed course again, not-so-cleverly trying to explain away his flip-flop on a principle he had claimed to hold dear by commingling the issue with health care:
“Women’s rights and health care are under assault in a way that seeks to roll back every step of progress we’ve made over the last 50 years. If I believe health care is a right, as I do, I can no longer support an amendment that makes that right dependent on someone’s zip code.”
Right. It’s as if Biden threw up his hands and said, alright, alright, already. I give up. The radicals win.
We should hardly be surprised. This is a man so willing to abandon even the principle of common decency and pander for power that, in a small but revealing episode this year before he entered the presidential race, he apologized for calling Vice President Pence a “decent guy” in a throwaway line during a speech, one hour after a single LGBTQ activist tweeted her outrage. It was a 2019 reality check – and response – for this man from another era; an immersion into the brave new world of perpetually aggrieved, humorless control freaks who have seized power in what was once a mainstream political party.
But that was hardly the full extent of Uncle Joe’s ever-expanding apology tour. He lamented, “I wish I could have done something” about the treatment of Anita Hill in the 1991 Clarence Thomas confirmation hearing … even though he was the Chairman of the very Senate Judiciary Committee which conducted the proceedings!
In perhaps his most shameless act of pandering – until he flipped on the Hyde Amendment in the space of less than 24 hours – he decried a “white guy culture” that has “got to change,” apparently oblivious to the reality that he is widely viewed as a poster child for that very corporatist culture.
And then, of course, there was Biden’s most famous apology to six women who admitted publicly that they were creeped out by his handsy behavior toward them over the years. His statement was particularly remarkable because he said that “social norms have changed,” thus leaving the impression that he believes what he did was fine, it’s just that he can no longer get away with it in the #metoo era. Talk about tone deaf.
So it all boils down to one question: Are there any principles this textbook career politician won’t abandon in his last desperate grab for the highest office in the land? If the answer continues to be no, the primary – and perhaps general election – voters of 2020 will undoubtedly view Biden as nothing more than the “not Trump” empty suit he is proving to be.
The Democratic frontrunner pines to reverse the course of history; to restore the nice, comfortable political climate from back in his salad days, stretching all the way from Nixon to Obama, pre-Trump, pre-resistance, when he could breeze to victory every six years in the virtual one-party state of Delaware and fail twice to win a presidential nomination, but still be rescued from looming obscurity by the phenomenon known as Barack Obama.
Joe Biden is likely the only candidate among two dozen Democrat aspirants who is positioned to restore some semblance of normalcy to a political environment where ideas like the Green New Deal are actually taken seriously, and unleashing a virtual coup against a political enemy in the White House is done for sport. But he has now proven once and for all that he lacks even the minimal level of political courage and backbone required to fight for it.
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