Since announcing his candidacy for the Presidency, Joe Biden has obliterated whatever small respect I had for him—it was small indeed—and established himself as the official expediency candidate of the Democratic Party.
There was a time in 2016 when I had resolved that if Biden threw his hat in the ring, I would hold my nose and vote for him. He was less offensive to my ethical values and priorities than Donald Trump— few would not be—and less cynical, manipulative and untrustworthy than Hillary Clinton (see interjected comment above.)
If he had been the Democratic nominee, would I have still concluded, as I did late in the campaign, that the Democratic Party was as unsupportable as an institution as Trump was as an individual, being so corrupt that it was increasingly willing to abandon core American rights and principles in its pursuit of power? I wonder. As it has turned out, I was more right than I knew. Now Joe is proving it, and leading Democrats to prove it as well.
Astoundingly, he is the runaway leader in all polls of the contenders for the nomination, though not all are really “contenders.” In part this is the predictable consequence of being Vice President for 8 years: the order of the top candidates tracks almost exactly with the national awareness of who the candidates are, with the exception of Elizabeth Warren, and thank God for that. Most Americans still aren’t paying close attention to Presidential politics, meaning that they can’t pronounce Buttigieg, don’t know that he’s gay, couldn’t pick Amy Klobuchar out of a line-up, and get Cory Booker confused with Cuba Gooding, Jr.
Another reason Biden may be ahead is that he’s the only recognizable candidate who doesn’t sound like he’s running for President of Venezuela, although he has also made it crystal clear that if sounding like a socialist is what it tales to get the nomination, he’ll sound like a socialist.
In other words, Biden displays the exact opposite of what is arguably Donald Trump’s best trait. The President is consistent in presenting himself as who is is, and takes positions that many disagree with, perhaps violently. In contrast, if Joe Biden has any integrity at all at this point in his career, please point me to it. More disturbingly, no progressive who supports Biden can plausibly regards integrity as an important ethical virtue (It may be the most important ethical virtue, especially for leaders.)
Listen to this classic late stage Trump Derangement rant that Joe was confronted with by a woman at a campaign stop: Continue reading