If Joe Biden is actually preparing to enter the 2020 presidential fray as the closest thing Democrats can find to a moderate, he’ll find himself pedaling alone in the bike lane on the far right of the Democratic primary superhighway, with four clogged lanes of traffic roaring by to his left.
Notwithstanding some who might try to argue that the latest Democrat dance craze, the white-privileged young Beto O’Rourke, is a moderate – hardly a credible claim given his radical positions on climate change and guns, among other things, and his promise to actually tear down any wall Trump constructs on the southern border – Democrats seem intent on digging their own electoral grave in plain sight. Their top tier of candidates – Bernie, Kamala, Fauxcahontas, and Spartacus – have all affirmed their support for nakedly socialist proposals, ranging from a virtual government takeover of the economy through the green new deal to reparations for the descendants of slaves, abortion to the point of birth, open borders, sanctuary cities – and the list goes on. Oh, and since President Booker is a vegan, he’ll take action to make sure you won’t be able to eat meat either.
What a mess.
Enter Barack Obama’s vice-president, and the theory goes that if “electability” – or suitability for beating Trump – is the sole premise upon which to base a nominee, then perhaps Biden is the only one who can soothe the savage left-wing beast, serve as the voice of reason, and carry the Democrats’ banner into the inevitable white-knuckle street fight with Trump. On paper, that might make some sense, as Biden already said in 2016 that he’d like to “beat the hell” out of Trump. But remember who we are talking about here.
There are so many problems with Biden, it is hard to enumerate them all. But let’s give it a shot.
CLEAN AND ARTICULATE
Imagine if Biden were to call Obama today what he did in 2008: “the first mainstream African-American who is articulate and bright and clean and a nice-looking guy.” This breaks every rule of the politically correct left wing, managing to be seen as paternalistic, patronizing, and racist all at the same time. But let’s not get ahead of ourselves.
Front and center is the immutable fact that, in a party where gender, race, and youth are the currency of the day, ol’ Joe is a 76 year old plain-wrapper white guy. He can’t check even one of the intersectional boxes, which have incalculable value among the progressive base. And he can’t compensate for it by calling himself a democratic socialist like Bernie.
Those who think the fact he was an appendage of Obama makes him electable have evidently failed to consider that Biden crested around 1% and failed to capture a single delegate – not one – in two previous presidential runs that could only be characterized as dismal failures. His 1988 campaign ended in the disgrace of plagiarism. In 2008, he quit the race after finishing at or near the bottom of every early primary.
The electability argument is almost a mirror image of 2016, when on the strength of a single home-state primary win (something Biden failed to achieve in either ‘88 or ‘08) and a few polls posing theoretical questions, John Kasich proclaimed himself the most electable candidate in a crowded and heavily conservative Republican field, because he was the most moderate. Just like Biden. Do any of us believe Kasich was actually electable?
A REGULAR JOE
Even if you believe Biden has somehow transformed from a two-time loser to an attractive “ordinary folk” candidate who stands alone in his supposed ability to communicate with the blue-collar voters that abandoned Hillary, is that a trait the Democrats are even seeking in their nominee?
In Biden’s attempts to break away from the progressive pack and take it to the house on the strength of his “ordinary guy” persona, his voice will likely be drowned out, and he has hardly shown the guts to stand up to the vicious rhetoric of the radicals in his party. Exhibit A is a recent incident in which he was vilified by leftist Cynthia Nixon for calling Vice-President Pence a “decent guy.” Biden responded with an almost immediate apology: “You’re right … There is nothing decent about being anti-LGBTQ rights, and that includes the Vice President.” Some backbone.
It brings to mind when the malaprop-inclined Biden asked a man in an audience to stand, unaware he was in a wheelchair. Or when he more malignantly declared to a black audience during the 2012 campaign that the radical Mitt Romney and Republicans “will put y’all back in chains.”
GO AND SIN NO MORE
Biden also has a lot of ‘splainin to do about his past sins against the left.
He is still vilified in liberal circles for failing to ride to the rescue of Anita Hill when she brought forth incredible last-minute accusations against Clarence Thomas in his senate confirmation hearing.
He was an opponent of forced busing, a signature policy advanced by the left in the late 20th century. He once said, “I do not buy the concept, popular in the ’60s, which said, ‘We have suppressed the black man for 300 years and the white man is now far ahead in the race for everything our society offers. In order to even the score, we must now give the black man a head start, or even hold the white man back, to even the race’ … I don’t buy that.” A lot of white privilege revealed in that incendiary statement.
In a party now openly discussing reparations for the descendants of slaves, Biden also once stated, “I don’t feel responsible for the sins of my father and grandfather. I feel responsible for what the situation is today, for the sins of my own generation. And I’ll be damned if I feel responsible to pay for what happened 300 years ago.” Legendary conservative senator Jesse Helms even welcomed Biden “to the ranks of the enlightened.” Not a good look in 2019-20.
In addition, Biden was both an enthusiastic drug warrior and architect of the 1994 Violent Crime Control and Law Enforcement Act, an attempt to reposition Democrats as tough on crime. Neither of those positions will be looked upon favorably by a radical base demanding “social justice.”
If, as so many conventional analysts opine, Trump should be most fearful of Biden, the president is not exactly trembling in fear of his nomination. In an interview with CBS News last summer, Trump spoke of Biden being a washout, and that Obama took Biden “out of the garbage heap, and everybody was shocked that he did. I’d love to have it be Biden … I dream about Biden.”
Yes, Trump is confident he can mop the floor with Biden, but it’s still hard to believe the president wouldn’t rather run against any of the ample assortment of hard leftists sucking up all the oxygen in the race. But it will be easy pickins’ either way, he likely figures.
So is there any appetite at all for a recycled remnant of the good old days of Obama’s fundamental transformation of America? Is this two-time loser the answer? Could the Democrats really be that desperate?