Column: The moderacy of Joe Biden

Former Vice President and Democratic presidential candidate Joe Biden waves to supporters after speaking at a rally, Wednesday, May 1, 2019, in Iowa City, Iowa. (AP Photo/Charlie Neibergall)

Former vice president Joe Biden finds himself in a truly unique situation as he embarks on a third run for the presidency. Due to his record of moderacy over a lifetime of senatorial service, Biden will appeal to independent voters and unsatisfied Republicans alike. He reeks sweetly of blue-collar appeal in such a manner that endears him to the common American while sufficiently distancing him from the out-of-touch radicalism poisoning the Democratic Party. Biden is a legitimate threat to steal the presidency. The problem, of course, is that his party will never let him have a shot at it.

Our story begins during the first term of President Bill Clinton when then-Senator Biden, a New Jersey Democrat, wrote the Violent Crime Control and Law Enforcement Act of 1994. This bill expanded the police force by 100,000 officers, allotted $9.7 billion in funding for prisons, and expanded the reach of the federal death penalty while defining a host of new criminal statutes pertaining to immigration law and hate, sex, and gang-related crimes. To date, this is the largest crime bill in the history of the United States; and it’s Biden’s baby, an offspring that Biden must now defend to a Democratic Party which refuses to be tough on crime.

In 1996, President Bill Clinton signed into law the Defense of Marriage Act, which legally defined marriage as being between one man and one woman. After decades of forcefully battling for gay rights, activists won out on June 26, 2015 when the Supreme Court effectively legalized same-sex marriage in the case Obergefell v. Hodges. It was a massive triumph for the Obama administration, an administration that included Vice President Biden who, 19 years prior, had voted in the Senate to legally define marriage as being between one man and one woman.

In 2003, then-Sen. Biden voted in favor of the Partial-Birth Abortion Ban Act, which barred a late-term abortion procedure known within the medical community as “intact dilation and extraction.” While Biden fancies himself pro-choice, it is simply insufficient to support a woman’s supposed right to choose in modern times. Democrats have graduated to late-term abortions. In fact, most support the termination of living babies.

Earlier this year, 44 Senate Democrats voted against the Born-Alive Abortion Survivors Protection Act, including Sens. Bernie Sanders (I-VT), Kamala Harris (D-CA), Cory Booker (D-NJ), Kirsten Gillibrand (D-NY), Amy Klobuchar (D-MN), and Elizabeth Warren (D-MA). They opposed legislation that would have inflicted legal consequences on abortionists who failed to provide care to babies accidentally born alive during a failed abortion procedure. Biden will have to explain to those despicable radicals his rationale for opposing “mere” late-term abortion in 2003.

A short time prior to his eventual anointment as vice president, Biden voted in favor of President George W. Bush’s Secure Fence Act of 2006, which green-lit the construction of 700 miles of barrier along the U.S. southern border. Biden will now have the honor of defending his support for a barrier to a Democratic Party that has demonized the construction of President Trump’s wall as racist and evil, while simultaneously advocating the abolishment of Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE).

Biden is a moderate. His party is currently radicalized.

The uniqueness of this particular situation is that Biden’s record of moderacy will indefinitely appeal to independent voters and disgruntled Republicans, alike. President Trump’s wild unpopularity renders his incumbency vulnerable to a challenger poised to offer a return to normalcy, so to speak. Biden, as former vice president, has near 100 percent name recognition; and he’s popular.

In all likelihood, Democrats will forcefully unite around whichever candidate is fortunate enough to emerge from the primary. The problem for the left, of course, is that Biden is likely the only challenger capable of unseating President Trump, given his popularity and, most importantly, his record of moderacy, a record insufficiently radical to warrant the nomination.

Socialism. Nationalized healthcare. Free college tuition. Abolishing ICE. Open borders. All ideas that play relatively well to a likeminded leftist base, but not among independent and Republican voters. Biden, thus far, is unique from his competition because he is moderate, yet to embrace the left’s radical proposals.

Biden can win in the general if he campaigns as a moderate. Unfortunately, however, the radicals within his party are poised to deny him that opportunity. In conceptualizing the possibility of Biden’s election, Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D-NY) stated, “I don’t want to go back. I want to go forward.”

It’s a rough day when Biden is too moderate for the radically “progressive” Democratic Party. While that very moderacy is Biden’s strongest asset moving forward, it’s also a cinderblock dragging his campaign down to the pits of hell where moderacy in the Democratic Party may very well rot forever.


Kevin Catapano is a contributor for The Daily Campus. He can be reached via email at kevin.catapano@uconn.edu.