Pity Joe Biden. The lifetime political also-ran (what exactly does he stand for? No one really knows. Probably not much) finally has his moment in the sun, leading the Democratic pack in the polls, and the current president, Donald J. Trump, is presiding over a boom economy the likes of which we have never seen in years.
So what’s a poor candidate to do? Complaining about income inequality seems a little too, well, Bernie (more of that in a moment). Issues, for Joe, aren’t really his thing anyway. He has shifted on them so much over the years. And what exactly would he have to disagree with Trump about? (More of that in a moment too.)
So he has no choice. He has to go #NeverTrump. As with #NeverTrumpers, the real problem for this country is not the myriad migrants streaming over the border, or North Korean nukes or Iran or whatever healthcare “crisis” people think is happening, but the personality of the president. How can anyone so boorish be allowed to change the drapes in our beloved White House or represent us in discussions with such distinguished world leaders as Recep Erdoğan? (Okay, kidding.)
It’s the “soul of America,” Biden told us in the video declaring his candidacy, that’s in question. He is battling for our soul.
What utter hooey.
But again, what’s a poor candidate to do? If you say it’s the economy, stupid, then you are stupid because the economy is fine. If you say it’s the foreign policy, what exactly is wrong? If anything, things are better than they were four years ago.
So — NeverTrump.
But the problem with that is it didn’t work for the NeverTrumpers themselves. It made fools of them. In some cases, as with Bill Kristol, it was disastrous. He tanked a once-excellent magazine, The Weekly Standard, in the process. Other NeverTrumpers have had similar results. I won’t name them because I’ve lost enough friends as is. But suffice it to say there aren’t very many NeverTrumpers left. They are a truly endangered species somewhere between the red-faced spider monkey and the black rhinoceros. Most of the remaining few have been driven back into the Republican fold by Democrats acting like left-wing imbeciles. Adam Schiff and Jerry Nadler kill off several dozen NeverTrumpers by themselves every half hour. They should have hunting licenses.
Therefore, poor Joe is caught between a rock and the proverbial hard place. The hard place is the literally insane positions taken by his fellow Democrats exemplified by Bernie Sanders’ insistence that incarcerated serial killers, rapists, and terrorists who murder our citizens and seek the violent overthrow of the U.S. government should have the right to vote. (Bin Laden for president! Bernie for VP!) The Democrats have gone so far mindlessly left that some of them didn’t even have the basic common sense to say this was crazy when they first heard it. What should I do? What if AOC or Ilhan Omar criticize me?)
The rock, however, is more interesting and, superficially at least, more controversial. The truth is Joe Biden, in his heart of hearts, has far more in common with Donald Trump in terms of policy — as far as Joe has any policy — than eighty to ninety percent of his own party. In another universe, and not one that far away, Biden would actually be backing a good percentage of Trump’s proposals. I would go so far as to say he would probably agree with Trump more than he really did with Obama when Joe had Barack for a boss and had to go along with him.
Of course, Biden will be forced to move left just to get nominated and likely say things he doesn’t believe in, probably forgetting what he believes in the process. After that, if elected president, he’ll end up doing some of those same things because of who put him there. That’s how politics works, here and everywhere else — a profession for unremitting narcissists willing to change their opinions at the drop of a vote or a check.
But that’s not Biden’s real problem. It’s not even the economy, stupid. Or even the fact that’s he’s a multiple plagiarists, something people like me (writers) find especially abhorrent. (Who likes to be robbed?) It’s Ukraine, not to mention China. The man is corrupt to the core and the Democratic Party better hope he doesn’t get implicated in what is coming soon — the devastating investigation of the predicate of the Russia investigation. That investigation, which would make an all-time great movie that will, alas, never be coming to a theater near you because of the nature of Hollywood, nevertheless will be the story of stories starting in a month or two. It’s just beginning to unfold.
Roger L. Simon — co-founder and CEO emeritus of PJ Media — is an award-winning author and Academy Award-nominated screenwriter. His new novel — THE GOAT — is coming soon.