Biden has just blown his cred as a moderate, non-scary Dem
The dirty little secret of Joe Biden's frontrunner status is that most traditional Democrat voters are scared of the party's vocal left-wing faction and the politicians who pander to them with ruinously expensive policies like the Green New Deal, racialism like "slavery reparations," and talk of raising taxes and imprisoning Donald Trump on charges to be determined later.
The inevitable fall of Biden just accumulated downward momentum by his reversal of position on the Hyde Amendment (banning federal funding of abortion except in cases of rape, incest, or threat to the mother's life). For decades, he has cited his deep Catholic faith as the reason he cannot support taxpayer-funded abortions. But what's a deeply held religious position when his political career is at stake?
Apparently, it is disposable.
There is now no reason for moderate Democrats, scared of the party's vocal activist base and the hard-left shift they have forced on it, to trust that Biden won't cower and cave in to that base on other issues. So why support a bumbling, gaffe-prone (AKA stupid), ancient pol if he is useless as a bulwark against the hard left?
The process by which Biden handled the flip-flop was execrably clumsy. David Axelrod succinctly described it in an interview on CNN:
Joe Biden was out on his — on the campaign and he's not been out that much, and a voter challenged him on the question of Hyde, video was rolling and he said he would reverse this policy. Then the next day, the campaign — when it came to light, the campaign put out a statement and said, 'No, he still believes in the Hyde Amendment.' Then there was a furor and last night he flipped again. So that was a flip-flop-flip, which is never a good thing in politics and it raises questions about his own performance and his own steadiness and his campaign's performance. So this was not a good — you know, beyond the issue itself, this was not a reassuring episode for the Biden campaign.
This confirms my call just before Biden's latest disaster:
The purported frontrunner of the Democrats' presidential field is certain to self-destruct before the Democratic National Convention votes on a nominee more than a year from now, because he loves to talk and is too stupid to avoid making fatal mistakes.
In the words of Frank Bruni of the New York Times, Biden has a "soft front-runner status," telling CNN:
Remember, a lot of the people saying I want Joe Biden are saying it because they want, first and foremost to dislodge Donald Trump and they think he is the safest bet. When things happen like this Hyde reversal in 24 hours, he doesn't look the safest bet anymore and his campaign should be concerned.
Howard Schultz, who spoke of running for president as a moderate, has not been heard from since the supposedly moderate Biden emerged as the frontrunner. Perhaps as Biden tanks, he will re-launch his campaign talk.
Image credit: Kelly Kline.