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The Biden Buyout of Democrat Defectors

The power of incumbency is all Biden has left.

by | May 8, 2024 | Articles, Opinion, Politics

Joe Biden has thrown just about everything but the kitchen sink at wary Americans as he seeks a second term in the White House, a prize he all but promised not to seek during the 2020 campaign: “I view myself as a bridge, not as anything else.” First, he tried a call for unity, a strategy that might have worked had he not subsequently dismissed half the country as semi-fascists. Conservatives maintain that he tried to sell “build back better” by drowning the nation in debt that triggered inflation and rendered this rebuilt life unaffordable for millions of Americans.

But then there was the fateful third wave in his bid for re-election, the one that has boomeranged as severely as any political strategy in modern times: his clarion call about the impending death of democracy should his opponent prevail, thus requiring extreme judicial intervention to avoid a clean, voter-driven outcome on Election Day. All of it played out against the cacophonous background music of Jan. 6, now mostly drowned out by protesters turning academia into a chaotic petri dish for anti-American, anti-Semitic extremists advocating for terrorism.

At the same time, we know Biden is incapable of winning over voters with his, shall we say, force of personality, a fact all but admitted by his own handlers this week in revealing that the president will be on a short leash for the remainder of the campaign. Truncated speeches on teleprompter and highly choreographed events, assuring less room for error and minimal interaction with voters or media, hardly suggest a campaign confident in its candidate.

Put it all together, and Biden finds himself in a position that was almost inconceivable in the aftermath of the Capitol riot, trailing Donald Trump in both the electoral and popular vote. So when all else fails, what is a president to do? Why, buy votes, of course.

Biden Opens the Cookie Jar

While incumbency has undoubtedly brought Biden low because of his dismal record in office compared to the grand promises of his basement campaign in 2020, it also offers lovely fringe benefits. A president can unilaterally make up or change fundamental policies, usually at taxpayer expense, for nakedly political purposes — as naked as siccing his Justice Department and progressive prosecutors on their mortal enemy, coincidentally the leading candidate for president, in a full-court press to bankrupt and imprison him. Is there anyone left — Republican, Democrat, or independent — who doesn’t see this for what it is?

New banner Memo - From the Desk of Senior Political Analyst Tim Donner 1However, since Trump’s poll numbers have risen rather than fallen under the weight of multi-jurisdictional malicious prosecutions, Biden must find votes elsewhere, so where can he go? Well, the most startling of all the president’s deficits is among those most responsible for his ascension to the White House: blacks, Hispanics, and the young. Trump has doubled his black vote since 2020 according to most polls. Most incredibly, he is tied with or leading among Hispanics — after attracting less than 40% of their support in 2020 — and among voters under the age of 30, who favored Biden over Trump by a whopping margin of almost 40 points in 2020 but are now abandoning the current president in droves with the onset of widespread campus unrest.

The first big Biden purchase paid for by taxpayers was widespread student debt relief. But wait, you say, he already tried that before and was turned back by the Supreme Court. True, but undaunted by a slap in the face by the High Court, Biden has come back for more — with altered parameters that will comply with the law, we are assured. The point is not to win the argument — he should by all accounts be turned aside again — but to impress young voters that he feels their pain. Of course, this also could backfire, given the young’s preoccupation with the Israel-Hamas war, as evidenced by Newsweek’s recent headline: “Biden’s Student Loan Forgiveness Rejected: ‘Not Buying My Vote.’”

But as TV hucksters are wont to say, wait, there’s more. If relieving student debt is not enough, then how about decriminalizing marijuana at the federal level or, more precisely, removing it from the same status under the law as hard drugs like heroin and LSD? It was an initiative long called for but never seriously addressed until the heart of a presidential election campaign. Another coincidence. But now Biden has curried favor, he believes, with young weed smokers, hoping their short-term memory loss won’t cause them to forget to vote.

But then there’s that thorny problem of the Hispanic vote. Patronizing Democrats believing their own hype about “comprehensive immigration reform” have long calculated that the great bulk of Latinos would reflexively support illegal immigration. They don’t. So now they must find something, anything to offer this crucial demographic group that is fleeing the Democratic Party. And so we suddenly see DACA (Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals) back in the headlines, with Biden offering free healthcare to these much-ballyhooed descendants of illegal immigrants.

Biden is trying to depict himself as Old Uncle Joe, the kindly grandfather at Thanksgiving who slips you a flask under the table. And rest assured that going easy on weed, forgiving legitimate student debt, and offering more “free” healthcare to immigrants will hardly be the end of it. Biden and his team have six more months to figure out new ways to flex their incumbency muscles and provide any number of incentives to wavering groups. At this point, like Barack Obama after losing control of Congress in 2014, he is limited to his pen and his phone. Will that be enough to save his presidency?

Doug Burgum probably had the best idea for nakedly buying votes. The North Dakota governor, briefly a candidate in the GOP presidential primary, promised that, in return for just a $1 contribution that would help him qualify for a primary debate, he would send back a $20 gift card. Nice work if you can get it. And at this point, it may be one of the few options remaining for a president with his hand deep in the cookie jar.

Read More From Tim Donner

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