There are just as many impassioned defenses of Joe Biden as there are condemnations of him in the press these days. Democrats seem to be fairly evenly divided on the subject of Joe Biden.
There are two distinct camps: Those who haven’t been watching Biden’s performances in the past few Democratic debates- and so still believe he can win- and those who have been watching Biden in the debates and therefore know he can’t.
Those who have been watching the debates, or at least were willing to subject themselves to video clips on youtube after the fact, seem compelled to admit that the former Vice President is in no way ready to take on Donald Trump in the general election.
During this last debate, Biden struggled to make sense more often than not.
It is not rude or unsympathetic to point out Joe Biden’s personal weaknesses, beyond just that of his terrible voting record and wrong-headed foreign policy positions- many of which are problematic enough for a Democratic Party centered more and more around Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez these days.
And we all know how Ocasio-Cortez feels about Joe Biden. It isn’t wrong to critically access Biden’s strengths and weaknesses.
Joe Biden is a person with a long, distinguished career in politics and public life. He is also a person who has willingly, and with full knowledge of the consequences of such, put himself forth for the Democratic nomination. In so doing, he has invited- no, prevailed upon- his fellow Democrats and voters of the electorate to access his suitability as 2020 Democratic Party standard bearer.
Even absent Trump’s Ukrainian impeachment, and the accusations of influence peddling it levels at Biden’s son Hunter, Joe Biden would still be a terrible candidate in this race.
At every point since accidentally announcing his run in a gaffe, it is only Biden’s support from the African-American community- and this only by virtue of his association with the still-popular former President Barack Obama- that has kept him in the race.
That support isn’t as strong as some Democrats- including Joe Biden- think it is. And while some in the African-American community have been much harder on relative newcomer Pete Buttigieg, Biden is starting to draw his share of ire.
Though whether or not it is a fair share is debatable.
The most promising Democratic candidate in the race was Sen. Kamala Harris. She, not Joe Biden, is the only candidate that genuinely frightened Republican strategists including, more than likely, Donald Trump.
But #KamalaisaCop, among other things, sunk the Harris campaign, however. This stands in marked contrast to Biden, who supported and championed “tough on crime” measures that directly resulted in some of the mass incarceration problems the U.S., and disproportionately the African-American community, are still facing today.
The Root published a hard-hitting piece on Joe Biden recently and that isn’t the only place cracks are showing in Biden’s support from black Democrats.
Trump’s FIRST STEP Act- the first significant piece of criminal justice reform passed in decades and the first reform ever passed to address systemic racial bias in sentencing- has won more than a few words of praise from prominent members of the African-American community. Some of these have appeared in major publications and major media outlets.
None of these things, however, is Joe Biden’s biggest problem. His biggest problem is coming down the pipeline and scheduled to hit on January 21, 2020.
That is the date Peter Schweitzer’s new book- he of breaking the Hunter Biden/Burisma story in the first place fame- will be published. (You can even get a $10 kindle credit, reserve yours today.)
Profiles in Corruption: Abuse of Power by America’s Progressive Elite is scheduled for publication next week and is already on the best-seller list. Conservatives smarting from years of impeachment inquiries and allegations that have gone nowhere are eager to get their hands on this book that promises to be a real barn burner.
After almost two years of research, Schweitzer claims Burisma is only the tip of the Biden corruption iceberg.
Quid Pro Joe tee-shirts are *probably* already being printed by the Trump campaign.
Considering the Biden campaign still hasn’t managed to put together a coherent response to questions about Hunter Biden’s business dealings in the Ukraine after many months of being headline news, it is likely the response to these new accusations will be just as unsatisfactory.
And considering Biden himself flies into a rage whenever the Hunter subject is mentioned- even challenging one Democratic voter to a push-up contest for having the temerity to bring it up- it is tough to see how the Biden campaign will survive this.
But it is hard to see how the Biden campaign survives each successive debate, which is successively worse than the preceding one.
Biden’s fellow Democrats and CNN moderators might be willing to politely allow Biden to avoid a topic he obviously finds so difficult to discuss.
Donald Trump will not be so considerate.
That Schweitzer’s previous book, while salacious, failed to fell the Biden campaign should not fill Biden’s Democratic supporters with confidence.
The playing field has changed. Being inexorably tied to the impeachment of Donald Trump means Hunter Biden and Burisma have a much wider audience than they ever had before.
Then, again, there is Donald Trump. More people will read Peter Schweitzer's new book than read his last one- because Donald Trump will tell them all about it.
If Joe Biden, and the Democratic establishment, fails to admit that the Biden campaign has been torpedoed by these accusations- among other shortcomings- and he is the nominee, Donald Trump will win in November.
(contributing writer, Brooke Bell)