The big story after South Carolina and Super Tuesday is that Joe Biden now has the momentum to fend off the socialist threat of Bernie Sanders and win the Democratic Party nomination by this summer’s convention. With endorsements from former challengers like Amy Klobuchar, Beto O’Rourke, Pete Buttigieg, and Mike Bloomberg, Biden is poised to make the case that his presidency would return things to “normal” after the Trump years, ushering in a new age of moderate politics that can appeal to everyone…even if they don’t necessarily excite anyone.
It’s important to realize that Biden’s “moderate” position, however, is mostly a myth.
When you’re running for president against a certified communist like Sanders, it’s not all that challenging to look like a reasonable candidate. Hold off on praising Fidel Castro, pump the brakes on a socialist takeover of private health insurance, and suggest that, y’know, the United States isn’t totally evil…and there you have it. Freshly baked moderate, straight out of the oven. Enjoy!
Problem is, Biden’s platform is only moderate when you compare it to the crazy left-wing of the party, occupied by Sanders, Elizabeth Warren, Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, and others. If you compare it to anyone else – even Biden’s former boss, Barack Obama – you get the truth: A Biden presidency would be the most liberal presidency in the history of the United States of America.
On health care, Biden doesn’t just want to preserve the Affordable Care Act. He may be resistant to Bernie’s Medicare-for-All proposal, but his version of a healthcare takeover is still significant. Expanding Obamacare through a public option, like Biden wants to do, would cost us another $750 billion over the next ten years on top of the taxpayer money already invested in the ACA under Obama. Sure, that is a drop in the bucket compared to the trillions that Sanders is ready to spend on health care, but comparing everything to the “democratic socialist” is a great way to move the Overton Window all the way to the left.
Biden’s liberal plans don’t stop with health care. He wants to spend nearly $2 trillion on climate change. He wants to spend nearly a trillion on education. He wants to ban so-called assault rifles, kick the minimum wage up to $15 an hour, and fleece America’s taxpayers for an additional $3.4 trillion in government revenue.
When you compare Biden to Sanders and Warren (or really, anyone who ran for the nomination with the possible exception of Bloomberg and Tulsi Gabbard), he seems just as he’s portrayed: A moderate candidate. But let’s not forget that Biden’s “moderation” is less a reflection of historical politics and more a reflection of where the Democratic Party mainstream is these days.
Off the deep end, in other words.