by Jeffrey A. Rendall
It could easily be argued the greatest threat to President Donald Trump’s reelection chances next year is a sane, middle-of-the-road and likable Democrat opponent.
Good luck finding one. As the party hubbub over Virginia’s trio of politically correct absconders (Governor Ralph Northam, Lieutenant Governor Justin Fairfax and Attorney General Mark Herring) demonstrated, there’s no easy way to meet the impossible lasting purity standards of today’s race/sex/gender/national origin/gender identity obsessed Democrat base. Tasteless and patently offensive but basically harmless blackface moments from the 80’s and a probably unprovable (in the criminal sense) he said/she said sexual assault claim from 2004 (there are others, too) are apparently enough to sidetrack any serious contenders for the Democrat elites’ favor in the Old Dominion and elsewhere.
Unless you’re a Clinton. But that’s another story.
Too bad, you chuckle, what comes around goes around, even for Democrats. Republicans and conservatives still smart from last fall’s open mic inquisition of now Justice Brett Kavanaugh, and the Democrats’ moment of reckoning couldn’t come fast enough for most of us — though Speaker Nancy Pelosi says what happens in Virginia stays there and Northam’s, Fairfax’s and Herring’s problems don’t translate to the national party.
Pelosi’s wrong. The longer Virginia’s three slimeball stooges stay in office — and on the establishment media’s front pages — the more the party’s demonstrated fondness for castigating successful would-be public servants and ruining reputations will appear to be what they are, baseless witch hunts intended only to smear and destroy conservatives dedicated to preserving individual rights and freedoms.
It’s almost like a “Get Out of PC Jail Free” pass for Republicans, disarming Democrat attacks before they originate. And there will be plenty of closeted skeletons set to expose themselves as former vice president and current Democrat presidential poll leader Joe Biden’s case illustrates. Amie Parnes reported at The Hill, “Biden is popular with Democrats, polls show he leads most of his competitors in the 2020 field and a survey this week found more than 60 percent want him in the race. He routinely leads polls of Democrats asked to pick their favored presidential candidate.
“But his words on Iraq from nearly two decades ago sound out-of-step with the increasingly left-leaning party he would be seeking to lead.
“Biden backed the resolution giving President George W. Bush the authority to invade Iraq, and he also praised the president in a Senate floor speech at the time for his handling of the case for war.”
Yes, technically speaking Biden’s views on the Iraq War were a long time ago but they still are well within memory of the Google-armed hater research coalition. With a few clicks of the smart phone or computer touch pad we all have access to everything the man’s ever muttered about… well, just about everything! And big mouth Biden’s said a lot during his nearly half-century in politics, including his 1975 praise for racist “Segregation now, segregation forever!” figurehead Governor George Wallace. Good luck explaining that one away in 2020, Joe!
Of course ‘ol Uncle Joe is notorious for saying just about anything to please his audience of the hour and there’re no shortage of memorable Biden faux pas — both the brazenly plagiarized and those stemming from off the top of his once balding skull. Similar to Hillary Clinton (and every other old-style establishment Democrat these days), Biden’s problem is he always figured he had to appeal to everyone’s unique sense of belonging to be liked.
When Joe talked to white southern Democrat audiences in the late 80’s (when he ran for president in 1988) Biden touted his home state’s (Delaware) status as a slave state and that, through unfortunate geographic disqualifiers, couldn’t fight with the Confederacy against the dastardly slavery abolishing Union. Twenty years later he was tabbed by Barack Obama as his running mate and suddenly Joe’s prior views of race didn’t fit any longer, so he bashed Wallace and claimed Obama was his “buddy” (Biden: “I mean, you got the first mainstream African-American who is articulate and bright and clean and a nice-looking guy.”).
Biden similarly offered kind words for President George W. Bush in 2002 as Congress debated the resolution authorizing military force in Iraq. Joe, along with then-Senator Hillary Clinton, voted to give Bush the Congress’s blessing to go after Saddam Hussein, an action he later renounced and was given tacit party forgiveness once he became Obama’s right-hand man (the always political Biden no doubt noted Bush’s sky-high approval ratings in 2002).
It might not be so easy for Biden to dodge the inconsistencies this time around as he’s likely the only Democrat in the 2020 field whose history stretches back that far (unless Hillary runs again!). And let’s not forget Biden was chair of the Senate Judiciary Committee during Justice Clarence Thomas’s 1991 confirmation hearings, so the whole Anita Hill pre-#Me Too matter will be open season for sleaze-purveyors to pore over and underscore.
There’re also reports (and video) of plenty of the Delaware Democrat’s inappropriate behaviors over the decades, including his allegedly repeatedly swimming au naturale in front of female Secret Service agents in addition to being accused of “creepy touching” of young girls and officials’ wives at various times. If you’re a Democrat and you’ve been around the Washington scene long enough this stuff is bound to come out despite the establishment media’s best efforts to preserve the secrets of the liberal ruling class.
In essence Biden will need to defend his well-documented racially-related utterances, his alleged personal #Me Too moments and his past support for sending American troops to fight in the unsolvable quagmire that is the Middle East. Even a talented bull-crap artist like Biden will have difficulty explaining all of this away on a debate stage with self-interested and egotistical Democrat opponents nipping at his polling lead. Do you think Kamala Harris and Corey Booker will be any less ruthless to Biden when he stands in the way of their presidential aspirations?
No chance. More likely than not every Democrat 2020 hopeful will earn his or her turn before the value shaming inquisitors for indiscretions committed long ago. Rich Lowry wrote at National Review, “Democrats are about to embark on the first ‘woke’ primary, a gantlet of political correctness that will routinely wring abject apologies out of candidates and find fault in even the most sure-footed. The passage of time will be no defense. Nor the best of intentions. Nor anything else…
“In every presidential campaign, candidates have to explain and backfill to get with the party’s latest program. What will make this process so much more intense for Democrats is the belief that even past mistakes involving the choice of words or symbolism are affirmatively injurious of other people. And that such mistakes represent deep sins to be repented of.
“Even Kamala Harris, who calls racism, sexism, and transphobia matters of ‘national security,’ isn’t safe. She was once a prosecutor, after all. Reviewing her record, a New York Times op-ed writer said that ‘she needs to radically break with her past.’”
Judging by Harris’s candidacy announcement she intends to use her years as a prosecutor to make herself look more moderate to the small contingent of party faithful who cling to a mainstream label. But by this time next year (assuming she’s still in the race) Harris will no doubt be disavowing any connection to putting people in jail or prison.
These are Democrat voters we’re talking about, right? Democrats demand complete allegiance to the belief systems of their politically correct interrogators. To disavow or downplay events of the past aren’t good enough any longer. Purity is an impossible standard to satisfy.
Political campaigns are always fascinating to watch as they evolve from beginning to close. Candidates must move with the flow as new revelations and events occur to change the narrative the media presents. For Democrats in 2020, that process starts now — and it won’t end… ever.
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Photo “White House” by © Ad Meskens / Wikimedia Commons. CC BY-SA 3.0.