We Know Joe - The Chameleon
What to Expect From a Biden Presidency?
I have been a registered Democrat since I began voting. I have never voted the straight Democratic ticket, judging the candidates on their individual merit rather than party affiliation. And I don’t like the cut of President Trump’s jib. His “tweeting” infuriates me, and too often he talks before he thinks.
But as the Bible says, “by his works you shall know him.” He has improved the economy, lowered unemployment and raised wages, cut my taxes, defeated ISIS, and reversed ill-advised trade deals. I approve of his judicial appointments, being someone who believes that judges should interpret and apply the law to the facts rather than write (or rewrite) the law.
By way of full disclosure, I am a pro-life Democrat, much in the same mold as former Senator Joe Donnelly of Indiana. As Mayor Pete told Democrats for Life during his short-lived Presidential campaign, don’t expect anything from him if he becomes President.
Well, then, what can we expect from a Biden Presidency? Joe Biden, the “great chameleon,” has changed his positions so often, offering each time that he has “evolved” and can’t and should not be held to positions advocated and statements taken in the past. Understandably, the Democrats ignore the past and embrace the present. As Nancy Pelosi has famously said “we know Joe.”
Put another way, whatever Biden has said in the past, or whatever positions he has formerly advocated, he can be counted on to change his mind and his position when politically expedient. From none other than the progressive and ultra-liberal Washington. Post, the following:
Progressives, particularly former supporters of Sen. Bernie Sanders, worry that Biden cannot be trusted to advance their values. They say he’s a centrist — or even a conservative — Democrat, pointing to past votes and rhetoric at odds with the progressive worldview. Some progressives say they won’t vote for him against President Trump, and others allow that they’ll do so grudgingly but then support a primary challenge against him in 2024 if he wins. One former Green Party organizer put it this way: “How could I in good faith tell someone to vote for someone who I don’t agree with on any issue? I can’t. No. Absolutely not.”
It’s not wrong that Biden has in the past embraced positions the left today sees as unacceptable. But it’s also true that, in almost every instance, he has moved along with the shifting consensus in his own party — and finally led on that consensus. Those who worry Biden won’t absorb enough of Sanders’s values and positions — whether on climate change, holding corporate corruption accountable or ensuring relief on crushing student debt — should consider his history of evolution. As the Democratic Party has updated its views, Biden has demonstrated consistently that he does, as well.
Charlotte Clymer, Take Heart, Progressives: When the Party Moves Left, Biden Has Always Followed, The Washington Post April 8, 2020.
But for COVID, Joe would not have a chance in this election. The country is afraid, frustrated, and desperate. Trump has tried a balancing act. Fall back on federalism, leaving it to the states to come up with plans tailored to local conditions, and support the states. Given the upcoming election he could do no right by Democratic governors. At the same time, Trump initiated Operation Warp Speed to develop an effective vaccine, and accelerated the production of tests and medical. supplies and equipment needed to counter the virus. But the virus and deaths continue. Businesses are failing, people remain isolated, and children remain out of schools. A vaccine is on the way, but the timing is uncertain.
Trump has encouraged the country to open up. In doing so he has not lectured Americans on wearing masks and social distancing, although he has not expressly dismissed those measures.
Biden has for the most part hunkered down in his basement. He has advocated masks, social distancing, contact tracing, remote learning for schools, and self-imposed isolation (for now).
He attacks Trump for having no coherent plan, and he advocates a vague “national strategy,” that would follow the advice of “scientists and physicians.” He has stated that he would not rule out “shutting the country down” if so directed by his advisors.
There exists a lively debate about whether shutting the country down serves the public interest. Doing so will result in more businesses closing, more unemployment, and the deterioration of mental health and educational progress. A national shut down will require the imposition of martial law.
Biden’s gamble will require a massive infusion of cash to provide income to the unemployed and bailouts to those businesses that survive the shut down. Businesses and industries that don’t survive the shut down will shrink the tax base. Biden’s promise not to tax anyone with income below will fall by the way side. His explanation - “I have again evolved.” Some (many) with incomes above $50,000 will have to pay “their fair share.”
Assuming the development of truly effective vaccines, national inoculations will be mandatory. Those vaccinated will be given a card (in the words of Bill Gates, “digital certificates”). They will be permitted to come out of isolation. Those who have not will continue on house arrest. Will the military and law enforcement enforce this?
Unfortunately, my fellow Democrats are like the citizenry in the fable of “The Emperor’s New Clothes.” They know Joe. He stands for nothing and everything, depending on what is expedient. No one will call him on it. But in truth he is empty and malleable.