Now that he’s all but won his party’s nomination, Joe Biden can follow the time-honored strategy of Democratic presidential candidates by scurrying to the political center.
He’ll pretend he didn’t say what he said (in Joe’s case, the age-associated-memory-loss thing will help), or he’ll offer an explanation so incoherent that everyone will fall asleep trying to figure out what he means, or he’ll tell skeptics, “Don’t be such a horse’s ass.”
It won’t work.
The Sanders-AOC-Tlaib-Omar gang won’t shut up. They’ll keep barging into the conversation and embarrassing him with middle-class voters. But if he disowns them, he risks losing half the party.
Throughout the primary season, the media did its best to sell Biden as a moderate, a regular guy — good ol’ Lunch Bucket Joe, a throwback to the days when Democrats stole your money, but didn’t give it to illegal aliens.
Biden the moderate is pure media hype. Lately, Joe has been telling the Resistance: I’m Sanders too, but a Sanders who doesn’t scare the hell out of normal people – a Sanders who can win.
Here are a few of his channeling-my-inner-Bernie moments:
- Immigration – “Lunch bucket Joe” wants wide-open borders: free health care for illegals and no deportation except for felonies committed in the United States (felonies in Mexico don’t count, neither does drunk driving, says Joe). Biden demonstrated his clear-thinking and firm grasp of the issue when he proclaimed during a speech in January that DACA recipients become Americans before many Americans do. (He neglected to explain the process whereby Americans become Americans.) A November report showed that 1 in 10 “Dreamers” have a criminal record – but they may have been tagged for something inconsequential, like drunk driving.
- Taxes – In the words of the 5th Dimension song, “Up, up and away.” Repeal the Trump tax cuts and double the capital gains tax. In all, Biden envisions $3.2 trillion in tax increases. With the country trying to make up for the economic losses of COVID-19, punishing investment will work wonders.
- College Tuition – Biden recently adopted Sanders’ College-for-All Act — free tuition for students at public colleges and universities whose family income is below $125,000, and regardless of the student’s major. Why should those majoring in transgender studies be denied public support for training that will allow them to make a crucial contribution to society.
- Government health care – While criticizing Sanders’ Medicare for all, Biden’s plan has been called Medicare for Most: Bringing back the individual mandate and spending $750 billion to expand Obama Care.
- Climate and energy – Joe’s positions here might be called the Lime Green New Deal. He started with the grandiose pronouncement, “We are going to get rid of fossil fuels.” This includes no new fracking, off-shore drilling or spending for pipeline infrastructure. The candidate who’s said to have blue-collar appeal told miners to learn computer programing – Hillary-style elitism at its worst. There goes Pennsylvania, Wyoming and West Virginia. There’s also $1.7 billion to establish the framework for his plan to achieve zero carbon emissions by 2050.
- Gun control – Biden says Beto O’Rourke (“Hell yes, we’re going to take away your AR-15!”) will be in charge of firearms policy in his administration, because no one needs “a clip that holds 100-rounds.” There goes every state with a large contingent of sportsmen.
- Abortion – Biden wants publicly funded abortion. He’ll also use abortion as a litmus test for court appointments. This will be a big hit with traditional Catholics. The South Carolina priest who refused to give communion to Joe in November may have started a trend.
- Bringing civility back to government – Joe told the Human Rights Campaign that with Trump as president, “virulent people” and “the dregs of society” have a friend in the White House. Basket of intolerables here we come.
All of this puts the Vice President far outside the mainstream of American politics. If that weren’t enough, while he’s trying to rationalize, modify and explain away what he said, like the ghosts of dialectical Christmas past, Sanders, Warren and the squad will relentlessly try to pull him to the left.
The Trump campaign can reasonably ask what Biden will give Bernie and company if elected. Will he make Sanders Secretary of HHS, Warren Secretary of Treasury, Ilhan Omar Ambassador to Israel?
While the Vice President scurries to the middle, the radical rodents will block his way and gnaw away at his credibility.