3 Reasons Biden Did So Much Worse Than Expected
If you struggle this much against the worst President in American history, you didn’t do a very good job
How can it be this close? Tell me you didn’t ask yourself that question last night or when you woke up this morning.
How is it possible that Joe Biden did not win this election in a landslide? And don’t come with vague accusations of white supremacy and disgruntled white working-class men, because Biden also underperformed against Latino voters.
This is a president who has shown no leadership whatsoever during the biggest and most deadly pandemic in a century; who suggested we inject people with disinfectants to cure COVID; who lies so much it’s impossible to keep up; who has been impeached for abuse of power (remember? I know, seems so long ago);who has refused to commit to a peaceful transition of power; who has insulted war heroes, disabled people, immigrants, etc, etc, etc.
How can it be that Joe Biden didn’t blow this guy out of the water?
One, Biden was not the strongest Democratic candidate. His campaign was lackluster from the beginning, and he was outperformed by both upstart candidate Pete Buttigieg, the young former mayor of South Bend, Ind., and Bernie Sanders. In fact, Biden couldn’t even get past Sanders after he had a heart attack.
But then Biden cashed in on a long-standing political connection in South Carolina, James Clyburn, who essentially crowned him King of the South just in time to kill Sanders’ momentum. Hurray.
Clearly, Democrats need to rethink their primary election system. Because if in an election against an incumbent this terrible, the best person you can come up with is a 77-year-old man who is undisputedly past his prime and almost no one’s favorite candidate, you have a problem.
Two, Biden has not shown a lot of leadership during the past few months. His election strategy seemed to be built around letting the other guy make all the mistakes. That’s understandable—because Trump has made so many of them—but it’s also lazy.
Why should you vote for Joe Biden? Because he’s not Trump. That’s his main asset. Maybe it should have been his slogan: “Biden. Because he’s not Trump.” (I can’t even remember his real slogan right now, and don’t feel like looking it up either.)
One of the main disappointments for me was that Biden would not say whether or not he would pack the Supreme Court, a harebrained scheme so extreme even Bernie Sanders has voiced opposition against it.
Asked whether the voters didn’t deserve to know his position on court-packing, he bluntly said, “No, they don’t.” He said the American people will “know my opinion on court-packing when the election is over.”
What kind of an answer is that? Obviously, I want to know where he stands before the election. But Biden didn’t want to give any ammunition to the opposition, so he kept dancing around it. That’s weak, no matter how you look at it.
Three, many voters are uncomfortable with the growing influence of the far-left within the Democratic Party.
Democrats may be united in their desire to beat Trump, they are divided about many other things. During the last few years, a civil war has been brewing in the Democratic Party between centrists like Hillary Clinton, Joe Biden, and Nancy Pelosi, and left-wing progressives like Bernie Sanders, Elizabeth Warren, and Alexandra Ocasio-Cortez.
It goes beyond the scope of this piece to go into all their differences, but at its core, moderates like Joe Biden want to reform American society while far-left liberals like Ocasio-Cortez want to completely remake American society. The far-left liberal wing makes up only about 15% of all Democratic voters, but as the success of many relatively smallish extremist movements has shown: if you don’t counter them early on, they could push you out—and then you’re done.
I suspect many moderate voters are uncomfortable with what’s happening in the Democratic Party. They want to get rid of Trump, but at the same time they’re asking themselves: Are they really going to defund the police? Are they going to raise my taxes to pay for things like free college, canceling all student debt, medicare-for-all, reparations, and this Green New Deal thing? Am I going to have to give up my private insurance? Are they going to take my car? How big would the federal government need to become to achieve this? How much would I be forced to change my life?
It doesn’t help that the progressive left is also ardently advocating for packing the Supreme Court. Is it because they need to make sure the Court won’t stand in their way when they start implementing laws that might run afoul of the Constitution? If that’s true, that would put them dangerously close to the Venezuelan and, more recently, Polish government, who used the same tactic to eliminate opposition from their judiciary.
One thing is clear: Biden did far worse with Latino voters in the key battleground states Florida and Ohio than Hillary Clinton did, even though Trump has called Mexican immigrants criminals and rapists. Most Latino voters in Florida are Cuban-Americans, though, and if there’s one thing they really, really hate it’s authoritarian socialism.
Bottom line: if Joe Biden really wants to bring the country together as a “president for all Americans,” he should make it clear from the beginning that he is not going to kowtow to left-wing extremists the way Trump has done to right-wing extremists. Because most Americans are neither.
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