In a relentless push to appear more progressive, yet also totally moderate you guys, Joe Biden doesn’t know whether to bob or weave, and is facing knockout in a general election against someone who will not be pulling as many punches as his fellow Democrats.
While it may come across to some as disingenuous at best, to others it makes Joe Biden seem like a damned liar, as Joe Biden himself recently called an attendee of one of his events who had the temerity to broach the subject of his son’s business dealings in Ukraine.
Since liars almost always have a good reason for lying, at least in whatever way they’ve managed to justify it to themselves, Biden’s motives are certainly worth considering.
Giving him the benefit of the doubt, we might assume that Joe Biden is lying about being a dyed-in-the-wool moderate but also, and at the very same time, a recent convert to the church of hard line progressivism, because Trump.
Donald Trump is an armchair cover that hides any number of Democratic sins.
But blaming Donald Trump for all the problems facing the Democratic Party, while no doubt satisfying, is such a mistake that presidential candidate Andrew Yang has pointed it out repeatedly on the campaign trail.
The problem with Joe Biden’s many borrowings, misspeaking, flubbings and gaffes isn’t so much that they are more the rule than the exception these days, it’s that it hurts his credibility at a time when there is a higher premium on credibility than ever.
“But, Donald Trump!” liberal progressives might argue.
Except that Donald Trump being a serial exaggerator and user of dishonest hyperbole doesn’t automatically make Joe Biden an honest man by comparison.
If Joe Biden, and Biden supporters, think comparing favorably to Donald Trump is going to be enough to win the election in November, Democrats are going to walk right off a cliff when its time to choose their nominee.
In spite of poor debate performances, performances his team label a success if Biden doesn’t embarrass himself, Biden continues to hold on- somehow- as front runner.
However, Biden’s not embarrassing himself during debates is not going to enough to beat Trump. Not embarrassing yourself is not the same thing as winning.
Biden also continues to be embarrassed on the fund-raising front, routinely out-flanked financially by some of his Democratic competitors for the nomination, including Sen. Bernie Sanders.
Yet, Biden still manages to hold on as front-runner.
His polling is okay; hardly iron-clad.
Belatedly perhaps, Biden’s Democratic competitors are taking aim at his voting record. Besides being pretty abysmal by the standards of today’s Democratic Party, Biden has been wrong about every foreign policy decision he has made in the last 40 years.
And that isn’t including his decision to allow his son to work for a corrupt Ukraine energy company for $50,000 a month.
That Biden doesn’t have a succinct and compelling answer to the Hunter Biden question is something that is making Democratic insiders banking on Biden’s electability very nervous indeed.
There are quite a few calls, and not just from the right, for Biden to explain himself. They are right; Donald Trump is certainly going to talk about Hunter Biden if Joe Biden is the nominee.
Of course Biden is sorry about his record. He is very sorry for his various misspeakings. He is sorry for comments he has made in the past. For positions he has supported. He is sorry for his voting record. He is sorry for his overly-touchy manner that has made more than a few women feel uncomfortable over the years.
Biden can spend the next 9 months apologizing; it is not going to make the progressive hard-liners who have taken over the Democratic Party like him any better.
Democratic Socialist, “Squad” member and Justice Democrat Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, a major favorite of liberal progressives, recently remarked that her and Biden don’t even belong in the same party.
Ocasio-Cortez is right; Biden is a political relic from a different time. He does not understand the game he is playing in, the playing field, or even the team he is playing for anymore.
The Democratic Party has moved left, and left Joe Biden behind.
The problems that dogged Hillary Clinton into the general election against Donald Trump will be as nothing compared with the kind of baggage Joe Biden is bringing into the 2020 race.
In pandering to the left, Biden has eliminated any appeal he may have had for Democratic moderates. In pandering to the moderates, Biden has lost the activist wing of the party.
Biden’s support in the African-American community, thanks to his association with Barack Obama- who still enjoys a very high popularity rating- is still solid. But how solid will that support be after voters watch the former Vice President bumble his way through a series of debates with a bulldog like Trump?
Democratic voters don’t have to vote for Donald Trump in order for him to win; all they have to do is stay home.
With an uninspiring candidate like Joe Biden as the Democratic standard bearer, it is difficult to imagine a massive turnout of the Democratic base. It is certainly difficult to imagine Joe Biden inspiring the type of fervent devotion on the left as Donald Trump does on the right.
Republicans will be showing up to vote for Donald Trump on Election Day. Whether Democrats will support former Vice President Joe Biden en masse is dubious at best.
(contributing writer, Brooke Bell)