USA Today - March 18, 2020
Former Vice President Joe Biden’s pitch is that he will defeat President Donald Trump and restore decency to the country. He can do neither.
Though he’s branded as the affable “Uncle Joe,” his policy record and personal temperament are far from decent. And while conventional wisdom holds that “moderate” equals “electable,” there’s nothing particularly safe about him, either.
In 2016, Democrats ran the candidate with a perfect résumé and party credentials. She lost to a far-right game show host. Biden has every liability Hillary Clinton had and then some. His Iraq War vote, ties to the financial sector, scandals involving his son and brother — these issues got little attention from the liberal press during the primary, but Trump and the conservative media will give no quarter.
Biden’s one advantage over Clinton — his folksy charm — has been eroded by age. Last fall, pundits and politicians alluded to him “losing a step.” Sen. Cory Booker, D-N.J., said at the time that he wasn’t sure whether Biden could get "the ball over the (goal line) without fumbling.”
Since his South Carolina win, Biden’s campaign has kept him on a lower profile — probably to avoid gaffes, like the incident in Michigan where Biden threatened to slap a union worker. Biden blew up at an immigration activist, whom he told to “vote for Trump.” He has also gone ballistic on multiple voters in a similar fashion.
This is the “safe” candidate who’s supposed to beat Trump and “restore decency.”
And a return to the status quo ante Trump might sound nice to some, but it’s not acceptable to everyone. About 87 million are uninsured or underinsured. Nearly two-thirds of Americans can’t afford a $500 emergency. People are dying and losing limbs from rationing insulin. Just getting rid of Trump won’t fix these problems.
What is a veneer of “decency” worth when half the country is living indecently?
Biden has no vision for the future past November. Few can say even what his platform is because he never really talks about it. Recession looms. We have 10 years to get climate change under control. The coronavirus has exposed how fragile our health care system is.
And if voters’ main priority is just to replace Trump with a nice old man, what’s wrong with Bernie?