Election 2020

These Debate Moments May Haunt Joe Biden for the Rest of the Campaign

AP Photo/Patrick Semansky

Tuesday night’s debate was a noise-fest, with lots of interruptions and a moderator who at times lost control. But the debate did manage to pull out two very damaging moments from the Democratic Party nominee.

One concerns the Green New Deal. That far-left proposal to remake the U.S. economy in socialism’s image has animated AOC and her radical followers for more than a year now. It’s such a popular proposal that it received zero votes when it was up for one in Congress.

During the debate, Biden was asked directly about it and he claimed he does not support it.

This would be news to Joe Biden and whoever wrote his website. Back in June, Biden had this to say about the GND:

Not only did he support it, it was a defining issue for him. His official campaign website has this to say on the GND:

Biden believes the Green New Deal is a crucial framework for meeting the climate challenges we face. It powerfully captures two basic truths, which are at the core of his plan: (1) the United States urgently needs to embrace greater ambition on an epic scale to meet the scope of this challenge, and (2) our environment and our economy are completely and totally connected.

How does one go about not supporting something that is “crucial”?

Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, whose office first proposed the Green New Deal complete with its attacks on airline travel and cow farts, offered a muted reaction to the debate-night rejection, but this will leave a mark on the left and with those who are skeptical of Biden’s ability to fend them off if he’s elected president. Biden needs his left flank, but he gave them a reason not to turn out for him. He also gave undecided voters reason to doubt that he means what he says.

Biden was also incoherent on the basics of his own leadership during the debate. Moderator Chris Wallace asked Biden one very good question: whether he has ever called up a single Democratic governor or mayor and asked them to deal with the ongoing violent and deadly riots in Democrat-run cities.

Biden admitted that he has not. Instead of leadership, Biden offered an excuse.

“I don’t hold public office now. I am a former vice president. I made it clear in my public statements that the violence should be prosecuted,” Biden said.

As its presidential nominee, Biden is the leader of the Democratic Party. The position he holds carries the moral authority to push his fellow Democrats to uphold the law if he chooses to push them. Biden has also been in office for 47 years. Is that worth nothing in terms of moral leadership in his party?

It took Biden two months to even denounce the riots. Members of his campaign, including running mate Kamala Harris, raised money to spring violent rioters from jail. One of the beneficiaries of this was a child abuser. Democrat district attorneys in several cities, including Portland and Seattle, all members of his party, are engaging in catch-and-release, which puts violent rioters back on the streets to foment mayhem night after night. Democrat-controlled city councils in several cities have defunded police, and crime is skyrocketing.

Biden has challenged none of this. He has offered no support to those Americans who live in these increasingly violent cities.

Biden still to this day has not denounced antifa, which is organizing and instigating the riots. During the debate, he clung to the outdated notion that the left-wing terrorist group is “an idea, not an organization.”

Biden based that claim on comments by FBI Director Christopher Wray. But Wray has since publicly revised his comments to note that antifa is capable of organized action, at least on the local and regional level.

[Wray] continued that the FBI has seen Antifa engage in “organized tactical activity” at the local and regional level. Its adherents have coalesced and worked together in “nodes” rather than a structured hierarchy across the country.

The type of organization does not diminish how serious the FBI considers the threat, Wray said. “We don’t view how nationally organized something is as a proxy for how dangerous it is.”

Reality is, antifa has existed as communist street-fighting groups since the 1930s. Its current iteration is very much like al Qaeda and ISIS have been in years past, using like-minded cells and individuals to carry out actions of their own rather than have a formal top-down command structure.

The victims of violence in Democrat-run cities certainly see the violence antifa instigates, and are breaking for Trump. Biden’s refusal to address them and his failure to lead won’t go unnoticed, except by him.

During the same debate in which Biden claimed not to be a leader capable of making phone calls, he declared that he is the Democratic Party.

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