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HomeIllinois NewsBeckman: Will Joe Biden's creepiness turn off voters in 2020?

Beckman: Will Joe Biden’s creepiness turn off voters in 2020?

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By Hank Beckman - 

It’s been a tough couple weeks for Joe Biden.

He’s spent virtually his entire working life in the U.S. Senate, chaired both the Senate Judiciary and Foreign Relations committees, run for president twice, become vice president and a permanent fixture on the national scene. Along the way, he’s become the rarest of creatures in the modern political era—someone liked (if not quite respected) by people from both sides of the partisan divide.

But in the #MeToo era, where everyone—especially in the Democratic Party—is as “woke” as can be, his habit of getting publicly affectionate with women not his wife has seen his reputation go in warp speed from one of everyone’s favorite uncle to “Creepy Uncle Joe”.

There is a certain wicked satisfaction in seeing Biden set upon by howling leftist mobs that normally have their sites set on whichever conservative or Republican happens to be handy. After all, one of the issues Biden was most associated with during his time as vice president was aiding and abetting the very mobs that have spent the last decade or so on the prowl for ever rarer forms of sexual assault, harassment, or discrimination.

From the completely bogus statistic claiming one in four college women were victims of sexual assault, to the campus kangaroo courts designed to find men guilty without due process, to the obvious—and despicable—Rolling Stone/University of Virginia rape hoax, Biden has been there every step of the way, assuring the radical feminists of his sympathy for their cause, while shaming men as predators or enablers.

Remember the “dear colleague” letter the Obama administration sent to college administrators intimating dire consequences for schools not lowering the standard of evidence from beyond a reasonable doubt to a preponderance of evidence in sexual assault cases? Creepy Uncle Joe was one of the biggest supporters of a move that can only be described as a tilt toward assuring a verdict of guilty, damn the evidence. When current education secretary Betsy DeVos revoked the Obama-era guidelines, Biden said, “Your government’s let you down.”

So let’s not feel too bad for Biden; if there’s a better example of someone being “hoisted on his own petard,” I’d like to see it.

As for the leftist members of his own party that are calling for his blood, their political motives are obvious; most are supporters of policies and candidates much farther to the left than Biden. And being Democrats, they’re immune to the shame that might come from turning on one of their own.

The reaction of the conservative commentariat is a little more complicated.

While some are rightly condemning Biden’s behavior and noting the hypocrisy of people like Nancy Pelosi who insist on defending him, others seem determined to carve out some nuanced, moral high ground without regard to practical effects.

At the National Review Online, Rich Lowry stressed that Biden’s transgressions are “less blameworthy” than other incidents of harassment and “shouldn’t be disqualifying.” Jonah Goldberg says of Biden’s handsy habits that “we’ve known about this for a long time.” Both criticized his behavior, but you got the distinct feeling that they weren’t eager to see it used as a political weapon.

Heather Mac Donald, in a thoughtful piece, lays out the case against the #MeToo hysteria currently sweeping the nation, saying it would be a mistake for conservatives to “confer legitimacy” on a movement that at times resembles the Salem Witch Trials.

Of course, Mac Donald is right; she usually is. But let’s not let this impulse toward intellectual purity get in the way of practical political concerns. The pundits are free to dissect the meaning of #MeToo and try to fit the Biden case into one category or another to their hearts’ content.

But with Biden possibly a formidable challenger to the president in 2020, what the political professionals should do is prepare to hang the issue on Biden like a bad paisley necktie and run commercials 24/7 highlighting his hypocrisy and general creepiness.

In case you haven’t noticed, we’re in a fight for nothing less than our survival as a sovereign nation and constitutional republic. If we don’t do everything we can to keep the Left at bay, we run the risk of becoming nothing more than a banana republic.

Prominent Democrats, even presidential candidates, are on record as supporting reparations for slavery, abolishing ICE and creating a completely open border, abolishing the electoral college, packing the Supreme Court, letting in the country thousands of refugees from countries loaded with Islamists, and giving the franchise to 16-year-olds and convicts—the latter while still behind bars.

Unless these establishment conservatives want to live in a country dominated by trial lawyers, the Ivy League, public sector unions, and Hollywood, now would be a good time for them to lose whatever reservations they have about rough politicking.

This is not the 1960s, when John Kennedy and Barry Goldwater planned to travel together on a plane to debates. It’s not the 1980s, when Ronald Reagan and Tip O’Neil would, over a drink or two, put aside their differences after 5 p.m. Hell, it’s not even the 1990s, when Bill Clinton and Newt Gingrich fought like cats and dogs, but still managed to balance the budget together and conduct a reasonable foreign policy.

The radical Left dominates the modern Democratic Party and the national mainstream media. There is no sleazy power move beneath them, no lie they won’t tell, no groundless charge they won’t make. They are all about power, most don’t care how they attain it and, however imperfect Donal Trump might be, he is the best hope we have in beating back the rise of radicalism.

Establishment conservatives should consider this a warning, not unlike the one Margaret Thatcher gave George H.W. Bush in the run-up to the Gulf War: “This is no time to go wobbly, George.”

It was good advice then; it’s even better now.

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3 COMMENTS

  1. First, former Vice President Joe Biden ran for POTUS three (3) times, not twice (1984, 1988, 2008). If he runs in 2020 as expected, it will be his 4th try. While I have all faith that President Donald Trump will win re-election next year, I also have faith that neither Joe Biden nor Senator Bernie Sanders will be the Democratic nominee.
    Even the Democratic Party knows deep down that a septuagenarian will not be the nominee to challenge President Trump next year. Biden will be 77 through Election Day 2020, and would be 78 at inauguration. Sanders would be 79 if he were elected, and Speaker Pelosi is 79, too.
    Don’t think Senator Warren’s dismal showing in early polls does not have a little to do with her age, and she turns 70 this year. Toni Preckwinkle turned 72 last month before her April 2 trouncing and Bill Daley was 70 when he got beat in February for Chicago mayor.
    Younger voters, both Generation X and especially Millenials, are tired of the same, old men and women running this country the way they are running it. At some point, and I think it will be sometime this year, both Biden and Sanders poll numbers will come down, especially when the monthly Democratic presidential debates begin come June.
    Seeing these septuagenarians like Biden, Sanders and Warren (turns 70 in June) on stage with Millenial candidate Pete Buttigieg, Gen X candidates Beto O’Rourke, Cory Booker, Andrew Yang, and Kirsten Gillibrand. Late Baby Boomers (born 1960-1964) like Kamala Harris and Amy Klobuchar will also contrast Silent Generation Biden and Sanders, and born-in-the-1940s Warren.
    A thinking could be among Democratic caucus and primary voters next year, “We already have 1 septuagenarian curmudgeon in the White House, why should I replace 1 with another?”
    And don’t think this is restricted to Democrats. State Senator Jim Oberweis will be 73 come the 14th congressional district primary, and will be 74 if he won and faced Congresswoman Lauren Underwood in November of next year. That’s why State Representative Allen Skillicorn (44) and State Senator Sue Rezin (55) are seen as viable alternatives by many in the 14th district, in spite that neither of those 2 potential congressional candidates live in the district.
    Do age alone influence elections? No. Lori Lightfoot won in Chicago because of her message, but the septuagenarian candidates have been around so long, they were tainted by the storied history of Chicago politics, both in the distant past as well as a recent decision by the Cook County state’s attorney.
    Biden, Sanders and Warren will learn the same lesson when one of the younger candidates makes their acceptance speech in Milwaukee in June of next year.