Since When Is Joe Biden a 'Moderate'?

In an exultant commentary on Joe Biden’s victory on Super Tuesday, New York Post-syndicated columnist Salena Zito tells us: “The Dems’ silent majority, which doesn’t tweet, is finally crying out for moderation from the party.” Zito also quotes Dave Saunders, “a legendary Democratic strategist in Virginia,” who “finds it ‘ironic’ that southern voters are often criticized by the national party for being too moderate, but they’re the ones who saved the party from a left-wing candidate like Sanders.” Presumably Biden is the personification of “moderation,” as I’m reminded whenever I hear the Fox News All-stars praise him, while attacking the evil Bernie as a commie-loving radical. It’s been Joe’s accomplishment to rescue his party and nation from the “leftist demagogue” who is running against him. He is helping to return the country to “moderate” government, which presumably is not something that Trump has been doing because of his divisive personality.

Unfortunately, there is no indication that Biden will be practicing any kind of “moderation” if elected. For one thing, depictions of him as a moderate overlook the inconvenient fact that he is running well to the left of former president Obama, who was our most leftist chief executive up until his election in 2008. Candidate Obama publicly opposed gay marriage, favored strict border controls, and would never have announced, in contrast to Biden, that he wished to provide medical assistance and public benefits to those who were here illegally. On just about every social issue, Biden the “moderate” has positioned himself well to the left of Obama. On immigration and advancing the LGBT, feminist, and Black Lives Matter agendas, I don’t find any distance between Joe and Bernie.  Certainly not enough to justify the exaggerated contrasts between the “moderate” Biden and the “radical” Sanders.

Second, in assessing how Biden would govern this country, we should consider his continuing gaffes on the stump. Why are we supposed to think that Biden’s stumbling for words, incoherent outbursts, and inability to recognize what day of the week it is or what state he is in tell us nothing about how he would govern? Biden may well be in mental decline, and if that is the case, there are lots of people out there waiting to take advantage of his presidency. We might start the list with the Secret Service officials who have been in trouble because of their felonious misdeeds and rank partisanship. But perhaps we should look for Biden’s beneficiaries in public administration more generally. Federal employees are overwhelmingly Democrats and would be delighted with a presidency that allowed them to have their way. However ineptly Trump has called out his bureaucratically entrenched enemies, he has correctly observed where they are. Biden is also indebted to the media for methodically covering up his ridiculous statements and his fits of anger when encountering unwanted questions. He also owes the media big time for their steady recent attacks on Sanders, which helped cleared the way for Biden’s nomination. Such unfailing support may come at a high price, if Biden is elected. And let’s not forget those black leaders like Jim Clyburn of South Carolina, who have vigorously campaigned for Joe. What exactly will a President Biden owe such leaders for gaining him the overwhelming support of black Democrats? One can only imagine. Of course, Biden’s helpers were right to pick him over the principled socialist Sanders. Joe is not likely to refuse favors and he does have a proven record of corruption, and very corrupt relatives whose corruption he’s facilitated.

There are also neocons and #NeverTrumpers ready to pile on to the gravy train. Bill Kristol has talked up  Biden on his website The Bulwark as the candidate for “normal Americans, who don’t care to choose between Donald Trump and Bernie Sanders." From Bill’s standpoint, Joe is “the simple answer” for those who wish to avoid extremism.  According to this endorsement: “if you’re inclined toward American constitutional democracy, the rule of law, and a free economic order -- as well as a liberal world order anchored by the United States -- it’s Joe Biden. And if you’re not, then it’s Bernie Sanders.”  Allow me to place the emphasis here exactly where Kristol and his anti-Trump friends would want it to go, namely on “a liberal world order anchored by the United States.” That signifies continuing confrontation with those countries that Bill and his friends don’t like; and this happy dream might become reality under President Biden, who would be aided in his protection of our democracy by neocon advisers.   

We have not yet reached, however, the ultimate beneficiary of a Biden presidency, the person whom he chooses to be his running mate. Since “I’m an old guy,” as Joe recently admitted, he will need a “vice-president capable of being president.” In December he mentioned as possible picks certain left-leaning women, including the “woman who should have been governor of Georgia, Stacey Abrams.” Assuming Joe wins in November but his mental acuity continues to decline, a leftist woman possibly of color may be our next de facto president.

In an exultant commentary on Joe Biden’s victory on Super Tuesday, New York Post-syndicated columnist Salena Zito tells us: “The Dems’ silent majority, which doesn’t tweet, is finally crying out for moderation from the party.” Zito also quotes Dave Saunders, “a legendary Democratic strategist in Virginia,” who “finds it ‘ironic’ that southern voters are often criticized by the national party for being too moderate, but they’re the ones who saved the party from a left-wing candidate like Sanders.” Presumably Biden is the personification of “moderation,” as I’m reminded whenever I hear the Fox News All-stars praise him, while attacking the evil Bernie as a commie-loving radical. It’s been Joe’s accomplishment to rescue his party and nation from the “leftist demagogue” who is running against him. He is helping to return the country to “moderate” government, which presumably is not something that Trump has been doing because of his divisive personality.

Unfortunately, there is no indication that Biden will be practicing any kind of “moderation” if elected. For one thing, depictions of him as a moderate overlook the inconvenient fact that he is running well to the left of former president Obama, who was our most leftist chief executive up until his election in 2008. Candidate Obama publicly opposed gay marriage, favored strict border controls, and would never have announced, in contrast to Biden, that he wished to provide medical assistance and public benefits to those who were here illegally. On just about every social issue, Biden the “moderate” has positioned himself well to the left of Obama. On immigration and advancing the LGBT, feminist, and Black Lives Matter agendas, I don’t find any distance between Joe and Bernie.  Certainly not enough to justify the exaggerated contrasts between the “moderate” Biden and the “radical” Sanders.

Second, in assessing how Biden would govern this country, we should consider his continuing gaffes on the stump. Why are we supposed to think that Biden’s stumbling for words, incoherent outbursts, and inability to recognize what day of the week it is or what state he is in tell us nothing about how he would govern? Biden may well be in mental decline, and if that is the case, there are lots of people out there waiting to take advantage of his presidency. We might start the list with the Secret Service officials who have been in trouble because of their felonious misdeeds and rank partisanship. But perhaps we should look for Biden’s beneficiaries in public administration more generally. Federal employees are overwhelmingly Democrats and would be delighted with a presidency that allowed them to have their way. However ineptly Trump has called out his bureaucratically entrenched enemies, he has correctly observed where they are. Biden is also indebted to the media for methodically covering up his ridiculous statements and his fits of anger when encountering unwanted questions. He also owes the media big time for their steady recent attacks on Sanders, which helped cleared the way for Biden’s nomination. Such unfailing support may come at a high price, if Biden is elected. And let’s not forget those black leaders like Jim Clyburn of South Carolina, who have vigorously campaigned for Joe. What exactly will a President Biden owe such leaders for gaining him the overwhelming support of black Democrats? One can only imagine. Of course, Biden’s helpers were right to pick him over the principled socialist Sanders. Joe is not likely to refuse favors and he does have a proven record of corruption, and very corrupt relatives whose corruption he’s facilitated.

There are also neocons and #NeverTrumpers ready to pile on to the gravy train. Bill Kristol has talked up  Biden on his website The Bulwark as the candidate for “normal Americans, who don’t care to choose between Donald Trump and Bernie Sanders." From Bill’s standpoint, Joe is “the simple answer” for those who wish to avoid extremism.  According to this endorsement: “if you’re inclined toward American constitutional democracy, the rule of law, and a free economic order -- as well as a liberal world order anchored by the United States -- it’s Joe Biden. And if you’re not, then it’s Bernie Sanders.”  Allow me to place the emphasis here exactly where Kristol and his anti-Trump friends would want it to go, namely on “a liberal world order anchored by the United States.” That signifies continuing confrontation with those countries that Bill and his friends don’t like; and this happy dream might become reality under President Biden, who would be aided in his protection of our democracy by neocon advisers.   

We have not yet reached, however, the ultimate beneficiary of a Biden presidency, the person whom he chooses to be his running mate. Since “I’m an old guy,” as Joe recently admitted, he will need a “vice-president capable of being president.” In December he mentioned as possible picks certain left-leaning women, including the “woman who should have been governor of Georgia, Stacey Abrams.” Assuming Joe wins in November but his mental acuity continues to decline, a leftist woman possibly of color may be our next de facto president.