Joe Biden departs after a campaign stop in Manchester, N.H., June 5, 2019. (Brian Snyder/Reuters)
In an effort to woo leftist primary voters, the former vice president is showing himself to lack principles — and further damaging his party’s 2020 prospects.
Nineteen Democrats running for president took the stage in Iowa on Sunday to woo voters. It was a circus of left-wingers going bonkers for things most Americans don’t want. The front-runners back abortion any time before birth, abolishing Immigration and Customs Enforcement, outlawing gas-burning cars, shutting down fossil-fuel industries that employ millions, and redistributing wealth. These White House contenders are veering far left, even though polls show half their own party’s voters aren’t “liberal.”
It’s a worrisome spectacle. For 150 years, our two-party system has provided political stability envied by the rest of the world. Republicans and Democrats put forward broad agendas to compete for the widest number of voters. When one party wins, the other cedes power and cooperates in governing.
Not this time. The Democratic contenders are espousing policies few Americans support and giving moderate and conservative members of their own party the cold shoulder. They’re also vowing to destroy their Republican opponent, President Donald Trump.
Front-runner Joe Biden wasn’t in Iowa, but his three nearest challengers — Senator Bernie Sanders (Vt.), Senator Elizabeth Warren (Mass.), and South Bend, Ind., mayor Pete Buttigieg — took aim at Biden, warning against picking a moderate. “We’re not going to win by playing it safe,” said Mayor Pete. Sanders railed against a “middle-ground strategy” that “changes nothing.”
So far, Iowans aren’t convinced. Polling shows Biden almost ten points ahead of the radicals, because he has name recognition and he’s electable.
But Biden’s changing fast. He’s dumping long-held positions and kowtowing to radicals nipping at his heels. He’s already careened left on abortion and climate and is likely to go for open borders, too.
For decades, Biden opposed taxpayer-funded abortions, citing his Catholic faith. He even authored the 1981 Biden amendment banning foreign aid from paying for abortion research. But last week, he flip-flopped, announcing he now supports federal funding. Does he actually have principles?
Most Americans, including Democrats, see abortion as a wrenching, complicated issue. A recent NPR/Marist poll finds only 18 percent support third-trimester abortion. Yet every senator running for president voted against a bill requiring doctors to help infants who survive a late-term abortion. Senator Kirsten Gillibrand (N.Y.) says there’s no room in the party “for a Democratic candidate who does not support women’s full reproductive freedom.” That’s slamming the door on a majority of voters.
On climate, Biden’s already capitulated to the Green New Dealers. Last week, he announced his plan to force the U.S. into zero net carbon emissions by 2050, including regulating gasoline-powered cars out of existence. This may be popular with coastal elites, but say goodbye to heartland voters working in the auto and fossil-fuel industries.
For years, Biden and mainstream Democrats such as Bill Clinton and Barack Obama called for strong borders. President Obama was dubbed “deporter-in-chief.” Yet Biden’s now under assault for his past views. Expect another flip-flop.
Today, most elected Dems are siding with illegal immigrants instead of with the public. Last week, the House was asked to pass $4.5 billion in border-relief funding — with the lion’s share for food, medical care, and schooling for children. Democrats refused because a sliver of the funds would pay for border guards and enforcement.
This is proof that Democrats are for open borders. Yet polling shows that 54 percent of Americans want more done to stop illegal immigration. Last week, they got it. Trump, the deal-maker, used tariffs to coax Mexico into stopping the caravans long before they would reach the U.S. border. Trump’s success left Dems such as Sanders mumbling platitudes about not going to “verbal war” with our allies.
Eleven of the Democratic presidential contenders are also calling for the House to impeach Trump, while House speaker Nancy Pelosi says she wants him in prison. That’s banana-republic talk.
Democrats eyeing the White House need to get real. By writing off moderate and conservative members of their own party, they’re boosting Trump’s chances of reelection. Then again, Trump’s reelection may be the gut punch that brings the Democratic party back to its senses.