The Left Comes to Kick the Corpse of Joe Biden's Campaign

Democratic presidential candidate former Vice President Joe Biden speaks at a campaign event in Columbia, S.C., Tuesday, Feb. 11, 2020. (AP Photo/Gerald Herbert)

The Left can forgive anything but a loser.

Look at Ted Kennedy: He abandoned a woman to needlessly die, but championed “women’s rights” or whatever when he wasn’t making waitress sandwiches with fellow Democratic Senator Chris Dodd. When Kennedy died — unlike Mary Jo Kopechne, at an old age and of natural causes — he was still the Democrats’ revered “Lion of the Senate.”

When Hillary Clinton finally kicks off, the mourning will be less subdued. Not because she got anyone killed — or did she? — but because she committed the most unforgivable of sins: She lost. She lost to Donald Trump.

And so it goes today with Joe Biden. Biden didn’t just lose to… well, pretty much every other Democratic contender with something more than a bunny’s chance in an industrial turbine of winning Iowa or New Hampshire… but he’s taking heat for ruining everything.

Perhaps no one is feeling the pain today as much as lefty writer Jonathan Chait, who says that Biden’s campaign was a “disaster for liberalism and the Democratic party.” Chait complains — and you really can’t fault him for this — that Biden’s “campaigning pace is languid, his debate performances unsettling,” and that “his organization has underperformed in Iowa and New Hampshire.” True dat. The bigger problem is that Biden’s name recognition and (now tenuous?) connection to Barack Obama “stunted the growth of every other center-left alternative.” Biden’s very presence sucked the air out of a crowded room full of other contenders who otherwise might have had a better chance to beat Trump.

The Week’s Matthew Walther went out of his way not to mention Biden by name, but his meaning is clear in an article explaining why the “Democratic establishment is out of time” to stop Bernie Sanders. He notes that “if the vote shares of Buttigieg, Klobuchar, and Warren, who have all denounced Sanders as either too radical, a sexist, or both, were combined, [Sanders] would lose by a wide margin.” However, “the moderate vote is spread thin across five campaigns.” It’s sad that the moderate vote is spread across a bunch of candidates who (except for Klobuchar) refused to denounce socialism when given the chance in a recent debate, but that’s another story.

Perhaps most damning is this next graf from Walther:

A large number of Americans want to be told that while the mean orange man in the White House is an evil fascist demagogue, the vast increases in the size of their investment portfolios under his administration and the generous health care plans they have been given by their employers and their debt-free college educations are things to which they are entitled because they worked hard. They don’t want a revolution; they want more of the same, but without the mean tweets and with the approval of their neighbors. This is what the Democratic party establishment would like to offer them in November 2020.

But it’s likelier than ever that they’ll get Bolshie Bernie instead, in no small part because of Former Veep Who Shall Not Be Named.

Martin Frost, onetime chairman of the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee, is less circumspect. He calls the current state the race “the murkiest situation I have ever seen” in 50 years of being active in Democratic presidential politics. On the bright side, he says, “the party should have a strong challenger to President Trump when the dust settles,” without explaining how a “murky” (and increasingly bitter, I’d add) campaign will produce such a challenger. But getting there “all starts with Joe Biden: His future must be resolved before there is any clarity in this race.”

In other words: Biden is spoiling everything for everybody.

Business Insider’s Anthony Fisher let his anger flow through him in a piece headlined “Drop out, Joe Biden. New Hampshire proves you are done.” Fisher says Biden is “going for the faceplant trifecta in 2020” after losing badly in 2008 and dropping out early in 1988 after getting caught plagiarising from UK Labour leader Neil Kinnock. If Biden doesn’t drop out now, and pledge his support to one of the other so-called moderates, then “Bernie Sanders — a socialist who’s never been an official member of the Democratic party while in Congress — could run away with the nomination.”

A Biden advisor, speaking to POLITICO on condition of anonymity, said, “This is horrendous. We’re all scared.” They went on to say that they think Biden will “make it to South Carolina,” which is just two weeks from now — hardly a ringing endorsement of Biden’s chances.

If Biden is going to drop out as part of a DNC effort to blunt Sanders, the time really is now. Andrew Yang dropped out of the race on Tuesday night, and although his support was only in the 3% range, Grace Panetta reported midday today that Sanders “stands to benefit most” from Yang’s absence because “69% of the businessman’s supporters” will likely shift their allegiance to the Vermont socialist.

So what’s it going to be, Joe: ego or party?

The smart money isn’t on “party,” and for that Democrats might never forgive him once Donald Trump wins his second term.