During the 1980s and ’90s, Joe Biden was an ordinary Democratic politician. He was uncontroversial, “moderate” in the sense that he didn’t stray far from the mainstream, and agreeable.
He was Senate Judiciary Committee chairman in 1994 when he led an effort to stem the frightening murder rate in big cities by reforming the criminal justice system. While opposed by ultra-liberal lawmakers, it had President Bill Clinton’s backing and passed with bi-partisan support.
But that sort of Democrat didn’t get anywhere nationally and Biden realized it. As the Democratic Party crept ever leftward, Biden tagged along. And the label “moderate” stayed with him despite his “growth” as a liberal.
But some of his past votes and positions that reflected his mainstream views, like opposition to forced busing and the aforementioned crime bill, have angered the radical activists who are now firmly in control of the Democratic Party. So Biden’s campaign has pretty much been an apology tour as he has apologized to blacks for his opposition to busing and the crime bill that massively increased the number of criminals going to jail.
.@GStephanopoulos presses Biden on the 1994 crime bill and if he still believes 'more cops mean less crime': "Yes, if in fact they're involved in community policing and not jump squads." https://t.co/JEyTOkB6qk #BidenTownHall pic.twitter.com/OW6MGiw51D
— ABC News (@ABC) October 16, 2020
“Here’s where the mistake came,” he said. “The mistake came in terms of what the states did locally. What we did federally — you remember George, it was all about the same time for the same crime.”
He also defended the legislation as indicative of its time, noting it had the support of the Congressional Black Caucus and Black mayors across the country. Still, he acknowledged the country’s attitude on racial justice issues has shifted dramatically since President Bill Clinton signed the law.
“Things have changed,” he said.
Part of the increase in incarceration rates of black criminals was due to the crackdown on illegal drugs and putting people in prison for non-violent drug crimes. While drug legalization is another issue entirely, releasing criminals for “nonviolent” crimes misses the point. Often, criminals were caught for other crimes and when the prosecution was unable to convict them on those, they prosecuted them for drugs. How many inmates were sentenced for drug offenses but committed other crimes that were subsequently dropped is unknown.
The crime bill made the nation safer. It guaranteed that judges couldn’t allow their bleeding hearts to shorten the sentences of violent criminals. Certainly, the sentences of some drug criminals were too long and unnecessary. But the fact remains that city streets became safer because of the effects of the bill.
Now Biden and radical activists want to undo all the good done by the bill and eliminate bail and drastically reduce the number of crimes for which you should go to jail. We’re already seeing the effects of city and state attorneys emptying the jails and allowing even violent criminals to walk free as they await a trial that may never happen.
Anyone who believes Joe Biden will govern “moderately” should look at the company he’s keeping these days.
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