Election Coverage / Opinion / Politics

Dear Biden Supporters: We Can Read, You Know

bidenThe Democrats’ pundit class has a Joe Biden agenda problem. On the one hand, they are devoted to reassuring centrist voters that Biden is a soothing moderate because of things he did decades ago (say, the 1994 crime bill), because he talked down some of the most ridiculous of the left wing’s policy proposals (notably “Medicare for All”) in the primary, or because he does not speak the language of the woke “defund the police” faction. But at the same time, they are hard at work loudly telling the Bernie/Warren/AOC wing of their party: Don’t worry, Joe won’t stop you from getting what you want. He’s actually going to help you.

The problem is: We can read. This stuff is all out there. And voters who are being sold the “moderate Joe” line need to understand that the people selling it are simultaneously building support to govern with a much more radical agenda.

Let’s walk through some samples — the headlines, the arguments, the quotes from Democratic sources, some of the policy examples they cite, and the smug certainty that most voters aren’t noticing. This is all out in the open. Peter Beinart in The Atlantic, “Biden Goes Big Without Sounding Like It. Perceived as a moderate, he has embraced strikingly progressive goals without facing any political backlash”:

Despite embracing an agenda that is further to the left than that of any Democratic nominee in decades, he’s avoided the specific policy proposals and catchphrases that Republicans find easiest to attack. As a result, he appears more centrist than he actually is . . . on issue after issue, he’s adopted policies that are strikingly progressive while stopping just shy of the specific formulations that might leave him vulnerable to Republican attack.

Paul Waldman in the Washington Post, “How Joe Biden is moving left while still being seen as a moderate”:

When Sen. Bernie Sanders said recently that if Joe Biden implements his policy agenda, the presumptive Democratic nominee could be “the most progressive president since FDR,” he was probably right. In fact, something extraordinary is happening: Biden is getting more progressive in substance, yet it has done nothing to change his image as a moderate. . . . [This is] pretty clearly the product of a careful strategy on Biden’s part . . . the continuing evolution of Biden is a fascinating story, and one most of the public is probably unaware of.

Take, for instance, the climate change plan Biden released this week. . . . The average voter — who right now is paying attention to the presidential campaign on only the most superficial level — probably heard next to nothing about it. But the reaction from progressives and climate activists ranged somewhere between surprise and joy. As one co-founder of the Sunrise Movement tweeted, the plan is “a VERY BIG DEAL, and is a huge victory for the #GreenNewDeal movement.”

. . . . There’s a kind of shift we expect from presidential candidates: In the primaries they appeal to their party with pledges of ideological fealty, then when the nomination is secured, during the general election, they head back to the center. Biden, however, is doing the opposite, in substance if not in rhetoric.

Oh, that silly, superficial, “average voter,” blissfully unaware of Biden’s agenda.

Jonathan Chait in New York magazine, “Joe Biden’s Platform Is More Progressive Than You Think”:

[T]he truth is that Biden has a domestic agenda that, while nowhere near as radical as the Bernie Sanders platform, is almost certainly to the left of anything even a Democratic-run Congress would pass. . . . There is plenty more liberal meat on the bones of Biden’s program. He is proposing more generous subsidies and Medicaid funding along with a public option in order to achieve universal health care; a combination of $1.7 trillion in clean energy investment and a suite of tighter regulation to bring emissions to zero by 2050; a combined $2 trillion in new spending on early education, post-secondary education, and housing, a $1.3 trillion infrastructure plan, and a $15 minimum wage.

Matt Yglesias in Vox, “Progressives don’t love Joe Biden, but they’re learning to love his agenda”:

His platform is in many ways a surprisingly progressive approach to policy that the left sees as a triumph of their own work in trying to change the terms of debate in American politics. Biden “envisions a massive public sector role for job creation,” points out Faiz Shakir, who managed Bernie Sanders’s 2016 campaign. . . . It’s “the most progressive platform of any Democratic nominee in the modern history of the party,” [said] Waleed Shahid, communications director for Justice Democrats . . . Biden is proposing a substantial expansion of the welfare state . . . as Ezra Klein and Roge Karma wrote in December, the dynamic of the 2020 primary was that on economic policy, “by the standards of the Democratic Party in 2008, the moderates look like leftists.”

Ella Nilsen in Vox, “How the coronavirus got Joe Biden to think much bigger. Biden knows there’s no pre-Trump ‘normal’ to go back to”:

Biden’s campaign was defined early on as a return to “normalcy” — the time before President Donald Trump took office — but now he is thinking much bigger. . . . Biden’s rhetoric has shifted as well, increasingly laying out a transformational vision for the country. . . . [Many progressives] sound a lot more hopeful that he now shares their goals. . . . “Biden’s been very clear: To get back to where we were sets the bar way too low,” Biden campaign adviser Jared Bernstein, who served as Biden’s chief economic adviser in the Obama administration, told Vox. “Much like FDR faced a structural crisis of economic insecurity, we’re at a similar place. The vice president recognizes that the extent of market failure here is not something you can fix with a Band-Aid and that structural reforms are necessary.” . . .

Biden now envisions a much larger role for government in his administration if he wins than past Democratic presidents have been comfortable with . . . Biden realizes he needs the left wing of his party. And to bring in the progressives, he recognizes that collaborating with them on meaningful policy is a way to gain their support . . . “I think the compromise that they came up with, if implemented, will make Biden the most progressive president since FDR,” [Bernie] Sanders said on a recent MSNBC appearance.

More from Nilsen, “How Joe Biden and Bernie Sanders joined forces to craft a bold, progressive agenda”:

Progressives see a list of ideas “that goes beyond a status quo and goes beyond where Biden had campaigned in the primary,” Faiz Shakir, Sanders’s presidential campaign manager in 2020 and an integral member in creating the task forces, told Vox. “If you look across all these documents, you’re going to see a massive public sector investment in job creation.” Numerous people Vox interviewed said Biden’s thinking about how bold to be is being pushed by the Covid-19 pandemic, the resulting economic woes, and the national conversation around systemic racism in America.

Nilsen also notes the delight of special-interest activists:

On education, American Federation of Teachers president and task force member Randi Weingarten, a Biden pick, told Vox she thinks the task force recommendations could encourage Biden’s education plan to go much further than either the Trump or Obama administration did. “It’s a paradigm shift from the tearing down that you have right now with Trump and [Education Secretary Betsy] DeVos and their defunding, destabilizing, undermining philosophy,” Weingarten said. “But it’s also different than ‘accountability is the be-all, end-all’ of the Obama administration.”

We certainly wouldn’t want anything so moderate as accountability in education, would we?

Former Obama-era State Department speechwriter Michael A. Cohen in the Boston Globe, “Democrats are no longer a party in disarray — The party approaches its convention united behind the Biden-Harris ticket — and a progressive agenda”:

Joe Biden, who will accept the Democratic nomination for president this week, has taken a very different approach. He ran to the center to win his party’s nod and has since pivoted to the left. . . . It’s precisely because Biden is seen as a pragmatic moderate — and not a controversial liberal — that he was able to capture the nomination. But since then, Biden has moved increasingly leftward. He is pushing for $4 billion in higher taxes; has rolled out a $2 trillion plan to fight climate change; has a $700 billion plan to invest in US manufacturing; and has even hinted that he would support an effort in the Senate to scrap the filibuster. He endorsed Elizabeth Warren’s bankruptcy reform plan and worked out a compact with Sanders to back a host of progressive policy priorities. If Biden follows through on his plans he would be, as Sanders has argued, one of the most progressive presidents in American history.

Katrina vanden Heuvel in the Washington Post, “Why Biden may follow through on a bolder agenda”:

[T]he Democratic policy community has dramatically shifted left. From Paul Krugman acknowledging that he and his colleagues were wrong in discounting the misery and dislocation caused by corporate-led globalization to pro-austerity voices (temporarily) hibernating in the face of the current crises, a new generation of economists is legitimizing ideas once considered verboten in establishment debates.

Yascha Mounck in The Atlantic, “Biden’s Agenda Is Plenty Bold. There is a large constituency for a racially inclusive form of social democracy that is not democratic socialism”:

What should be heartening for Americans who want their country to be more economically just is not only the fact that Biden has won on a social-democratic-policy program that (while sharing his general view of the world) is significantly bolder than Barack Obama’s, but the kind of coalition he has been able to unite behind it.

What about staffing this agenda? Kara Voght in Mother Jones, “Joe Biden Is Promising Progressive Policies. Who’s Going to Hold Him to It? Inside the scramble to fill the Biden administration with liberal wonks”:

[T]he Progressive Change Institute—an affiliate of the [Warren-aligned Progressive Change Campaign Committee]—has set about creating a “personnel power map” of the executive branch, showing which appointed positions have the authority to enact, or thwart, various policy ideas. “The goal is to have people throughout the federal government who know how to exercise power,” says Stephanie Taylor, a PCCC co-founder.

Let that last line sink in.

Finally, it’s not just Biden, and it’s not just print outlets. Former Obama speechwriter Jon Favreau on the Pod Save America podcast:

Favreau laughed at media outlets on Thursday for calling Sen. Kamala Harris (D-CA) a moderate, pointing out that Harris has one of the most progressive records in the Senate. “It was hilarious to me that she is being called in all this coverage a moderate, like Joe Biden has found a fellow moderate or centrist,” Favreau said on an episode of his podcast, “Pod Save America.” “She supports something extremely close to Medicare For All, which Bernie Sanders acknowledged in his statement supporting her. She’s for the Green New Deal. She has one of the most liberal records in the U.S. Senate.” “If you want to call Kamala Harris’ record in the Senate and her policies that she’s supporting now centrist or moderate, great. If that’s where the Overton Window has moved, then congratulations to all the progressive activists because you have f***in’ moved the s*** out of that window, that supporting the Green New Deal and, basically, Medicare For All is now moderate and centrist. Fantastic, I’ll take it,” Favreau said.

His Obama-alum co-host joined the fun:

Dan Pfeiffer, another former Obama staffer and cohost of “Pod Save America,” joined Favreau on Thursday’s episode and advised progressive activists disappointed with Biden’s pick for vice president that progressives “are going to have an opportunity to have a real influence on the agenda in a Biden/Harris administration.” “He’s really the first candidate that I can ever think of that wins a primary and moves left,” Pfeiffer said, later adding, “Biden has made real, fundamental, substantive shifts on issues like climate and student debt and taxes and other issues.”

We have written plenty on the radicalism of Biden’s policy agenda, such as this editorial on what his race and gender plans explicitly promise. The quotations above, however, are not the words of the Trump campaign, or of conservative columnists, or any other critic of left-wing ideas. These are the people who like these ideas, are champing at the bit to implement them, but are also hoping that voters won’t notice until the election is over.

I just have one question for all these people: You do know we can read, don’t you?

Reprinted with Permission from - National Review by - Dan Mclaughlin

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1 year ago

For four years all I’ve heard from Democrats is lies, spite, revenge, destruction, hypocrisy, name calling, jealousy and Goofy Joe caught on microphone using that “f” word when speaking to Obama.
I’ve seen NOTHING constructive, positive, cooperative, truthful, decent or anything in favor of the American people. Anyone who swallows their crap is a complete sucker.
The Democratic Party is dead, gone. They need to rename themselves. They certainly are not democrats. They are Communist/Socialists.
MAGA. I’m voting for Trump AGAIN.

Mark Bonner
1 year ago

I don’t trust Joe Biden. He has been caught lying too many times in the past. Added to his diminished mentality it would also make him very receptive to ideas from his handlers.

Joann M Evjen
1 year ago

I am curious. It is obvious that Joe Biden is not of sound mind. I don’t make fun of him as it reminds me of my Dad when he was in the beginning stages of Alz. My question is; doesn’t Mr. Biden have to be of sound mind to run for President? If waiting to have a physical after the election is standard protocol, I’d say, that is a problem. Does anybody question this?

1 year ago

The dems continue to look for anyone to write a hate Trump book before the election like those we got from Bolton and Trumps sister.

1 year ago

In the end we all know the dems will rely on their old playbook which is “we are the party for blacks, the repubs want to take away your
social security, the repubs are waging a war on women, free college, free heathcare, and free abortion” If the US voter is suckered by all
this we will get the diaster we deserve.

1 year ago

I don’t think Biden is behind any of these probable agendas. He doesn’t have it in him. The democrats are behind it all by using his name, and the whole thing is very scary. The American voters better wake up to it because we cannot afford his tax package.

1 year ago

I really hope and pray that the American people will come to their senses and NOT vote for Biden. Why do you think he was selected as VP the last years before President Trump. The last administration’s wanna be “president” broke the first rule of a good manager “hire people who are smarter than you”. I will be very bold here and say this has been the agenda of the left for many years and the last REGIME picked him as they knew he was a useful idiot” and now the “marxists” will use him once again. I have written before but am not sure how many people are ready for the bluntness of what I say. But all I am telling you is based on observations of the world the way it really is for at least 50+ years both here and in other countries. I have never seen what is happening in my country although when I look back on my life God has placed in all the right places at the right time! I am so sick of the good people of this country not understanding what is happening to their world. I can only pray that the “silent majority” is out there and will vote November 3, 2020 for 4 more years of President Trump and Vice President Pence. If all the leftists and the Rinos would leave him alone (he could have done so much more during the last 4 years) he will do so much more for this country. Each of you can make a difference. I know this in my heart. Thank you, Carol

1 year ago

It is unfortunate that our country has become so divided over policies that do not make sense. We were founded by men who clearly understood that men (women and everyone included) do not need a King and can govern themselves. They built a county to give EVERYONE an opportunity to make their way in the world. Out history sometimes is not pretty – but it is ours. We lost the last generation with the misinformation they were taught and that is each of our faults. We sent our kids to Caesar’s Schools and we now have kids loyal to Caesar instead of the ideals of self reliance and freedom. We need to take our schools back and when we do then we can teach our history and provide the next generation the opportunity for life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness instead of looking for the Department of Happiness in Washing, D.C.

1 year ago

Let’s think back to the last failed progressive who was elected , obama was an abject DISASTER for America.
President Trump has been cleaning if that destruction of Our Great Country his entire first term.
America must support 4 more years to finish the job!

1 year ago

This dem party is a group that redefines itself daily. If yesterday had any bad image blemish they simply say the next day ” we didn’t mean that. This is what we mean today and we expect you to buy it immediately. We have the right to change every minute. Its your job to keep up.”
“Don’t expect us to know what we will be tomorrow. We will figure it out at 10 pm tonight but trust us. We know what we’re doing. ” And we will not answer hard, challenging questions. You show your unimportance by asking them.

1 year ago

Well, this board does not seem to concerned about the large numbers of Republicans that came over to support Biden this week. And there is the Lincoln Project made up of Republicans that have turned. Just think that all of these people are voters & can pull a lot more against Trump. He will need more than 40% of voters to win in November & he needs to realize he needs to change a few things.

1 year ago
Reply to  JohnH

I’m sure you loved the Never Trumpers (now re-branded the Lincoln Project for 2020) that were showcased at the DNC convention. A bunch of globalist RINO’s that are still upset a non-politician has done more for the American people than any of them could ever hope to accomplish. Now they’re on board with Senile Joe and socialism, if it will get them another government pay day. Geez! Based on your steady stream of criticism of everything President Trump or the Republican party does in supporting him, you are a good fit for them.

FRank D
1 year ago

All this by the man whose been in politics for five decades. He did nothing then and as an empty suit whose led around by his caretaker wife who should be ashamed of herself for letting him be played for a total fool. All this to get kamela in office. These are sad excuses for respectable human beings. The closets are full so let the airing begin.

1 year ago

Does Biden support the NewGreenDeal?? Not sure, but this policy as AOC puts it would be the death of America economics & put everyone out of work. I hope the Blue party does not support this. The Paris treaty under Obama was bad enough to America.

1 year ago
Reply to  JohnH

Yes Biden has signed onto all the major policies of the GND, the Paris Climate Accords and even reversing the U.S. stance on ending the Iranian Nuclear Deal. Whatever Sanders and AOC were pushing is what he is now supporting to get the progressive voters to vote for him. He has stated he fully intends to revive the Iran deal and to drop all the economic sanctions we’ve put on Iran. Fracking will be banned in the United states and we will return to being dependent on the Middle East for oil. He is committed to ending all fossil fuel production (oil, natural gas, coal) and use in this country in 10 years, which of course will lead to the collapse of the economy. Renewables won’t cut it, just like they haven’t in Europe that has already tried this nonsense for the last 5 or 6 years. But hey, that’s socialism for you. It’s not a workable ideology for real-world governance, but the idiots that believe in it just keep trying it over and over again.

1 year ago

Let’s call it what it is, folks! The Communist Socialist Party vs. the Americans!

1 year ago

I have heard from two health care specialists about 2 people who died were labeled as having died from COVID. The one was an Amish man who tipped his buggy over and drowned in a creek. The woman died of a heart attack, after years of cardiac problems. Both families contacted those who make these decisions.. Both were denied a change. So WHY would someone want every death be labeled as a COVID. I’m sure the death for COVID is way over listed. Tell me why someone (and tell me wHO these people actually are taking this route) are taking this view?

Larry W
1 year ago

It’s no surprise that folks are drinking the Biden Kool-aid. We live in a time where a lot of folks idolize pop stars and sports figures who clearly can’t manage their own lives but are seen as political experts who want to tell us how to live our lives. We are seeing it everyday, more and more folks are believing a LIE .

K C Jenkins
1 year ago

Why I am so frustrated with politics today? When the very Judges (FISA) who are appointed by the Chief Justice are not willing to uphold our constitution, when they describe crimes as just mistakes or situations and do nothing about them, what confidence can we have in them? They let people walk on felonies over and over! Where do “we the people” turn for justice?  

Fraud, incompetency, and inefficiency are a feature, not a bug, of government agencies and state-run systems. Why? Well, in private enterprise, there exists a profit motive. A business is run by an entrepreneur whose take-home pay—and his very livelihood—depend on earning as much as possible while restraining costs. It’s a system that incentivizes efficiency. Any company or entrepreneur who fails the efficiency test is unlikely to stay in business for long, regardless of how good their product is, since customers will take their business to more frugal competitors who can offer lower prices. In bloated government agencies, no such pressure exists.

Deb Lundquist
1 year ago

And just why is it that Joe Biden will not take hard questions? Because he doesn’t have a teleprompter with the answers that he still flubs up. He won’t make it through his full 4 years if he is elected and she is definitely far left! They didn’t list their agenda, they just led a negative and hate filled agenda.

Danny Estridge
1 year ago

I’m sorry, but hasn’t Biden been around for like 40 plus years. Why wasn’t any of his stuff done in 40 years? Now he expects us to vote for a person that hasn’t done anything in 40 years? Not to mention, and I hate to, but he kinda reminds me of a Jim Crow type guy. Come on, if your Black and don’t vote for him, your not Black? Something smells here, like when he said some dude (can’t remember name)will put you back in chains. Talk about somebody whose reality isn’t the same as the rest of us. I hate race BS, my Brother is 1/2 Mexican and has brown skin, I’m white. Our Dad brought us up proper, we don’t see any colors, just people that can do the job or can’t. Like my Brother, I’m sick of this race BS. Color never mattered, can you do the job? Was most important to me. My Brother ended up being a fire fighter and I became a combat doc. What the hell is the big deal about color? This just pisses me off, there isn’t a race card unless the Democrats use it and it’s worn out.

Dino Deplorable
1 year ago

This biden/camel bunch are really a bunch of anti AMERICAN idiots that are inspired by nobambabambabamba and his live in entity MOOCHELLE,totally sick [email protected]&ds.AMERICA will prevail despite you criminals.

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