Biden Is No Moderate
Written by Steve Byas
A persistent myth percolating this election season is that former Vice President Joe Biden, the probable nominee of the Democratic Party for president of the United States this year, is some sort of “moderate.” This centrist image is being cultivated by the media, as a way of contrast to President Donald Trump’s supposed “right-wing extremist” image, and the looney Left in Biden’s own Democratic Party — those such as socialist Senator Bernie Sanders of Vermont, or Representative Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez of New York.
Those who are perpetuating this moderate myth about Biden point to his long career in the U.S. Senate and how he worked “across the aisle” to achieve passage of certain legislation. Others note that Biden opposed forced busing while he was in the Senate, while some argue that he was balanced in his treatment of Supreme Court nominee Clarence Thomas and his accuser, law professor Anita Hill.
The truth is far different. Biden’s record during his senate tenure was anything but “moderate.” For instance, Biden’s score on the Freedom Index published by the New American magazine, which rates members of Congress according how their votes demonstrate fidelity to the U.S. Constitution that they take an oath to uphold, was a dismal 18 percent. That compares unfavorably to the scores of avowed socialists in Congress today, such as Ocasio-Cortez, who has a 23-percent score, and Bernie Sanders, who has a score of 28 percent!
During his time in the Senate, Biden voted to hold oil companies “accountable” for their actions that result in high energy prices; for a cap-and-trade system to fight “global warming”; against repealing the federal Estate tax; for increasing the federal minimum wage; and in opposition to a bill that would have made it a federal crime to transport a minor across state lines for the purpose of that minor obtaining an abortion to circumvent state laws requiring parental notification.
When asked recently if he was going to govern as a progressive, Biden coyly responded, “I’m going to be Joe Biden. Look at my record.”
Let’s look at the Biden record.
While Biden once supported the Hyde Amendment, which prohibits the use of federal money for abortion, he quickly abandoned that position in his current quest for the Democratic Party nomination. In contrast to his primary rivals, Sanders and Senator Elizabeth Warren (D-Massachusetts), who promised “free tuition” for students at public universities, Biden offered his supposedly “moderate” alternative — only free for those attending community colleges. But he soon moved leftward, and now supports free tuition at all public colleges and universities for students whose families make less than $125,000 per year. Of course, this increases the tax burden for those who decide to take important jobs that do not require a college education. Bricklayers, welders, bus drivers, and the like will be paying for the diplomas of others.
His present plans on “climate change” differ from those of Green New Deal advocates very little. Biden wants to expand government-financed health insurance via Medicare to anyone 60 years of age or older, and backs another increase in the minimum wage — to $15 an hour — an additional burden on small business owners that will lead to increased unemployment for low-skilled workers. He has excluded about half the population from consideration to be his running mate simply because they are males.
Sounding very much like socialists such as Bernie Sanders, Biden has even argued that the coronavirus pandemic is an opportunity to “not just rebuild the economy but to transform it.” It is highly doubtful that he means less government control over the economy, but rather more — much more.
In comparing Biden to Sanders, Bill Press —a liberal commentator — recently wrote, “Both champion universal health care, raising taxes on the wealthy, wiping out student debt, making college affordable, if not free, and leading the fight against climate change. They differ only on how to get there.”
Examining the “record” that Joe Biden asked us to look at, it is clear that a President Joe Biden would be no moderate, but rather a champion of current liberal causes. Since the George McGovern debacle of 1972, Democrat presidential candidates have chosen to run as more “middle of the road.” But the truth is, Biden is to the left of where McGovern was in 1972. Let that sink in.
In order to get the Democratic nomination, opportunist Biden moved ever more to the left. He gives every indication that he will continue to do so, so as not to lose the support of the progressive Left that now dominates that Democratic Party. And what should be clear is this: If Biden is able to win as a strong progressive, he will conclude that that is the way he should conduct himself as president.
Joe Biden is no centrist. At best, he is an opportunist — a politician who has decided that his chances for electoral success lie in swimming in the left-wing sea occupied by those such as Bernie Sanders and Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez.
Steve Byas is a university instructor in history and government and the author of History’s Greatest Libels. He may be contacted at [email protected].
Courtesy of The New American