Joe Biden might be a walking, talking gaffe machine, but despite that, he’s still the frontrunner for the Democratic presidential nomination. That says a lot about the Democrats as a party and Biden as a candidate.
Far more than Republicans, Democrats are at war with each other. Who speaks for the party? Who leads? In an interview set to air this Sunday on “Axios on HBO,” Biden tries to paint radicals like Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez and Bernie Sanders as being out of the mainstream of their party.
Biden was asked in an interview with “Axios on HBO” what he thought of “Medicare-for-all” plans being pushed by 2020 presidential rivals Sen. Bernie Sanders, I-Vt., and Sen. Elizabeth Warren, D-Mass. While Biden has called for health care reform, he has warned against a full-blown government-run takeover.
“The party’s not there, the party’s not there at all,” he said.
Is this wishful thinking on Biden’s part?
He went on to accuse to the media of misjudging what the ascension of Ocasio-Cortez to the House of Representatives meant for the direction of the Democratic Party.
“You guys got it all wrong about what happened,” Biden said.
Ocasio-Cortez, along with other radical left-wing freshman who have grouped together as the “Squad,” has proved highly influential since being sworn in and has helped move once-fringe proposals such as the Green New Deal into the Democratic mainstream.
AOC has nearly six million Twitter followers. Socialist Bernie Sanders has raised $73 million for his 2020 campaign, twice as much as Biden. These two individuals represent the heart and soul of the Democratic Party. What is Biden talking about?
But Biden pushed back against the claim that she represents a broader shift to the left by the Dems.
“It’s just bad judgment. You all thought that what happened was the party moved extremely to the left after Hillary. AOC was a new party, She’s a bright, wonderful person. But where’s the party? Come on, man,” Biden said.
Biden doesn’t know where the party is either if that’s what he thinks. “Mainstream Democrats” are ready to embrace a health care system run by the government. They’re enthusiastic about the Green New Deal and free college tuition.
Sure, there are millions of ordinary people with middle-of-the-road views who support Democrats. Nearly 30 million Democrats are expected to vote in the 2020 primaries. The Democratic nominee will get twice that number in the general election.
No, there aren’t 60 million radical socialists in America. But what Biden doesn’t seem to understand is that elections are about choices. And the choices being presented to Democratic voters are left, more left, and farther left.
The “mainstream” of the party is not determined by ideology. If the choices presented to rank-and-file Democrats are limited to leftists who do a good job in disguising their radicalism, and those who don’t they are likely to choose someone based on entirely different criteria.
That’s where the party is now. It is Joe Biden who is out of step with them, and not the other way around.