You are undoubtedly familiar with the “good news, bad news” joke format: The good news cheers you up, then the bad news takes away all the gains from the good news and usually makes it worse.
This paradigm applies to recent developments in the Democratic Party.
The good news is that Democrats—through their votes in recent primaries and through multiple presidential candidates halting their campaigns and throwing their support to Joe Biden—have made it clear that they don’t want Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.) to be their presidential candidate.
The bad news is that they want Biden to be their candidate.
It definitely was encouraging to see Sanders’s early lead evaporate and the prospects of his candidacy plummet. The Vermont senator, being an ideological fanatic and nothing more, will continue his incessant hectoring about the alleged virtues of socialism and his unconscionable apologetics for communist regimes, but unless something totally and miraculously unpredictable happens, this monotonous zealot won’t become president of the United States.
It would have been the most stunning of ironies if Americans elected a socialist to the presidency exactly one century after Ludwig von Mises irrefutably demonstrated the inherent unviability of socialism (and with a century of failed experiments in applied socialism confirming his theoretical proof). Thankfully, enough Americans aren’t that gullible, blind, and woke to embrace an ugly, inhumane pack of lies and fallacies.
From a strategic standpoint, what the Democrats have done is pragmatically astute. They have circled the wagons around a candidate who has widespread name recognition, who represents the Democratic establishment, and who is widely perceived as being relatively “moderate,” therefore giving the Democrats a much better chance of winning the general election in November. And if Biden becomes president, he probably would secure passage of more of Bernie’s leftist agenda than Bernie would, for he would be a less strident, less polarizing president.
The bad news, though, is that the candidate is Joe Biden. Yes, he has the right resumé, but, like Toto pulling back the curtain and revealing the real wizard of Oz, let’s look at the man behind the resumé.
This is a horribly flawed candidate. I say that not because I disagree with most of his policies. I fully acknowledge that Biden is representative of what most Democrats want, and that they should field a candidate whose policies reflect their political beliefs. From that perspective, a candidate such as Biden makes all the sense in the world. But Biden himself doesn’t make sense as a presidential candidate.
There are at least two reasons why Biden shouldn’t be president of the United States: questions of corruption and questions of competence. I say this not out of any personal animus against him. Rather, after the partisan tumult that has roiled our polity for the last several years, the last thing we Americans need is a president who might be impeached or who might have to resign. Our country needs some stability and normalcy (although normalcy may no longer be possible in Washington).
House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) and House Democrats could have done the country a great service if, when they were trying to paint President Donald Trump as corrupt for having wanted Ukraine to investigate the appearance of corruption by a previous vice president (Biden), they had been impartial in their hearings.
They should have held Biden as accountable for threatening to hold up aid in exchange for firing a prosecutor (who was investigating an energy firm at which Biden’s son was a board member) as they did Trump for allegedly trying to use the same leverage to extract a different quid pro quo from the Ukrainians. The difference, of course, is that Trump received no quid pro quo, whereas Biden apparently did.
Having impeached a Republican for a non-offense, if Democrats lose their majority in the House this fall, what’s to keep Republicans from retaliating by impeaching Biden with their much stronger case? Ideally, Congress should get to the bottom of l’affaire Biden and resolve it ASAP, but the timing has the wrong optics. Democrats and the mainstream media are drooling at the opportunity to cast Republicans as banana republic-type goons who resort to dishonest dirty tricks to destroy their political opposition.
Of even greater concern than his seeming willingness to use high office to enrich those close to him is Biden’s mental condition. Biden has a long history of getting facts mixed up, but his recent gaffes suggest the possibility of serious mental decline.
I’m not concerned with incidents like losing his temper and cussing out an autoworker. Most of us would lose our cool occasionally if we were confronted with what political candidates have to face. But the fact that Biden’s handlers are limiting him to seven-minute appearances, and then hearing some of the things he says, raises disturbing questions.
First, who is pulling the strings? If he were elected, would there be a shadow president—his wife, his inner circle of aides, certain Democratic kingpins?
Second, what if a President Biden would have to resign as per the 25th Amendment? I wonder if one of the reasons that Amy Klobuchar, Pete Buttigieg, Beto O’Rourke, and Michael Bloomberg rushed to endorse Biden so closely together was that word seeped out that Biden’s mental condition was deteriorating and that whoever became his running mate would have a good chance of later ascending to the presidency.
If that’s the case, then the real drama this summer—and the highest-stakes battle before the election—will be who will emerge as the Democrats’ vice-presidential candidate.
It’s a shame that the Democratic Party is presenting Biden as its candidate for president. In fact, they are being unfair to our country. If he’s the best candidate for president that the Democrats can come up with, then our country is in serious trouble, and the entire Democratic Party needs a major shakeup.
Mark Hendrickson, an economist, recently retired from the faculty of Grove City College, where he remains a fellow for economic and social policy at the Institute for Faith and Freedom.
Views expressed in this article are the opinions of the author and do not necessarily reflect the views of The Epoch Times.