Former Vice President Joe Biden enjoys touting what he calls his proven track record of “bipartisanship” with Republicans. How exactly he perceives this as a strength while he hopes to capture the presidential nomination of an increasingly partisan Democratic Party is something of a mystery. Political outsider Donald Trump’s destruction of the Republican establishment in 2016 on the way to the White House marked the end of a certain brand of DC insider politics that Americans of all stripes had long grown weary of. Now Biden is trying to turn back the clock with a 2004-style campaign that completely ignores the fact that the political landscape is not populated with John Kerrys and George W. Bushes anymore.
“I get in trouble,” Biden glibly declared at the U.S. Conference of Mayors in Washington, D.C, in January. “I read in the New York Times today that one of my problems is if I were ever to run for president is I like Republicans. OK, well bless me, Father, for I have sinned.” As the primary process advances, it will not be difficult for rivals to portray the ever-smiling 76-year-old who spent 36 years in the U.S. Senate before serving as Barack Obama’s vice president for eight years as a sad relic of a dust-covered Washington “Good Old Boys” club. In such a scenario, a word like “bipartisan” merely represents a shared key to the executive washroom for elitists on both sides of the aisle.
Grand Old Pals
The fact is Biden has never reached across the divide to anyone who ever challenged business as usual in the Swamp. The Republicans he admires and who admire him represent a roll call of establishment figureheads with no genuine base of support either within today’s GOP or among the American people at large. As 2020 Dem opponents start dropping names, Biden will appear more and more stale in a political climate that is all about change.
Grassroots conservatives hammered presumed GOP frontrunner Jeb Bush in 2015 for personally awarding Hillary Clinton a Liberty Medal on behalf of the National Constitution Center in 2013. The visual could not have been worse for Jeb, making him appear as a living embodiment of the chummy Uniparty insider.
Biden will now face this same anti-establishment wrath with Democrats as pictures of him awarding a Liberty Medal to former president George W. Bush in 2018 re-surface. Protesters outraged over Bush’s “endless wars” attempted to disrupt the ceremony.
If Biden doesn’t want to be tied to Bush’s Iraq and Afghanistan wars, he will also have to backtrack from his 2015 comments about chief Bush administration architect Dick Cheney. Obama’s former vice president lavishly extolled his friendly relations with Bush’s former veep, saying, “[f]irst of all, I really like Dick Cheney, for real. I get on with him, I think he’s a decent man.”
When Biden is done explaining his high opinion of a man universally loathed by Democrats, opponents can then bring up his kind words for former GOP House Speaker Paul Ryan and his attempts to cut Social Security. “Paul Ryan was correct when he did the tax code. What’s the first thing he decided we had to go after?” Biden asked in 2018. Then, in a whispery voice, he replied, “Social Security and Medicare.”
The Ryan praise is not unusual for a man who had warm relations with the now-faded political ghosts that were congressional GOP leaders circa 2012. Former House majority leader Eric Cantor called Biden “awesome” in 2014 shortly after his Swamp world came crashing down on him while Biden expressed his “love” for former House speaker John Boehner in 2016. How exactly are cozy ties with Eric Cantor and John Boehner going to help Biden capture Dem primary votes in 2020?
Biden seems especially tone deaf to the clubby atmospherics he exemplifies while praising his Republican “friends.” In a mutually grinning 2017 appearance with Never Trump stalwart John Kasich, former governor of Ohio, Biden decried the “polarization” of politics under President Trump by breezily telling his “buddy” Kasich: “We talked about this John, when you and John Boehner and Barack and I were playing golf last time… and you guys won.” Yes, this is how he criticizes populist uprisings.
Biden’s elitism was also on offer in June of 2017 when he appeared at a weekend retreat hosted by current Trump-hating Sen. Mitt Romney (R-UT). “Biden is attending because he believes in bipartisanship and the importance of keeping good lines of communication open across the aisle,” his spokeswoman said at the time.
Also attending the get-together were powerful globalist corporate titans Fred Smith, CEO of FedEx, and Andrew Liveris, CEO of Dow Chemical. “We are honored once again to gather leaders of business and industry, innovators from across the globe, and political representatives from both sides of the aisle to discuss the future of American leadership,” conference executive director Matt Waldrip said of the meeting, the Associated Press reported.
Joe Biden wants to sell Americans a bill of goods that makes him appear to be a reasonable and responsible statesman in his reaching out to Republicans over the years. Unfortunately for him, the Republicans he clutched so close to his bosom have all been emphatically rejected by the voters of this country since the Uniparty shell game was toppled by the Trump Uprising in 2016.
There is no reason to believe that Democrats, even in their eagerness to defeat Trump in 2020, have the least inclination to return to the suffocating era of crony Swamp politics so clearly represented in the person of Joe Biden. Thoroughly discredited names like Bush, Cheney, Kasich, and Cantor will be tied around his neck like an anchor when he debates other Democrats. It is a sign of how truly outdated Biden has become that he doesn’t yet seem to realize this as he prattles on about his good Republican friends.
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