Does Biden’s 45-Year Political Career Help Him? Or Haunt Him?

Joe Biden’s record as the tough-on-crime Democratic Senator from Delaware is a liability in today’s more-progressive Democratic Party.

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Discussion With Local Families on Protecting the Affordable Care Act — Lancaster, PA — June 25, 2020. (Photo by Adam Schultz / Biden for President)

“Every major crime bill since 1976 that’s come out of this Congress. Every minor crime bill has had the name of the Democratic Senator from the state of Delaware, Joe Biden, on that bill.” — Sen. Joe Biden, 1993

By the current standards of progressivism, Joe Biden has been a hawkish, tough-on-crime conservative Democrat until rather recently. Attitudes on the left have changed a great deal over the past 45-years in which Joseph R. Biden, Jr. has held a high public office; Joe Biden has changed with them.

“Oh God. In any other country, Joe Biden and I would not be in the same party, but in America, we are.” — Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez. January 6, 2020.

Ocasio-Cortez might have an excellent point: Biden’s policies for his 2020 campaign reflect the desires of his voters, but his history as a senator and Vice President is working overtime against him.

Criminal Justice Reform

Outlined in his policies for his 2020 campaign, Biden plans to take direct action on criminal justice reform. Despite this new position, Biden’s history as a Senator is working against him.


Former Vice President Biden has voted against vouchers for private schools, and has acknowledged that charter schools take resources away from public schools. As Vice President, Biden was part of an administration that made support for charter schools a requirement to access federal grant funding.


Biden has also been widely criticized by former Democratic Presidential nominee Elizabeth Warren (D-MA), for his role in the Bankruptcy and Consumer Protection Act of 2005. The bill made it more difficult for many Americans to get rid of debts by filing for bankruptcy under Chapter 7 bankruptcy laws.

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