Roll the tape back to early March of 2020, when the Democratic establishment closed ranks around Joe Biden after he had performed miserably in all of the early primaries. They managed to put Biden over the top in the South Carolina primary, and conveniently persuaded several competitors in the field to drop out and endorse him. The motive for this was transparent: it appeared that Bernie Sanders might run away with the Democratic nomination, and Bernie was a sure loser to Trump, COVID or no COVID.
And good ol’ Joe, he was as familiar as an old shoe, and above all a moderate, who promised to be less divisive than the Bad Orange Man.
But what we got was the Bernie Sanders Administration after all. Biden handed over policy wholly to the progressives who are hollowing out the Democratic Party. If Biden was merely the senile doddering fool so evident every time he opens his mouth it would be one thing, but he insists on rank demagoguery as often as possible.
At this point what social scientists call “pattern recognition”—an updated version of Occam’s Razor—is kicking in. We’ve now had three Democratic presidents in a row— stretching back to Clinton in 1992, then Obama in 2008, and Biden in 2020—who all campaigned as moderates, but lurched sharply left once in office. In other words, Democratic presidential candidates lie to us, over and over again, and then voters issue a restraining order at the first opportunity. It’s as though voters need reminding every other decade how bad Democrats in power can be. “Swing voters,” wise up.
Here’s how the Democrat-leaning Andrew Sullivan describes the scene in his latest Substack entry:
I hoped in 2020 that after a clear but modest win, with simultaneous gains for the GOP in the House and a fluke tie in the Senate, Biden would grasp a chance to capture the sane middle, isolating the far right. After the horror of January 6, the opportunity beckoned ever more directly.
And yet Biden instantly threw it away. In return for centrists’ and moderates’ support, Biden effectively told us to get lost. He championed the entire far-left agenda: the biggest expansion in government since LBJ; a massive stimulus that, in a period of supply constraints, fueled durable inflation; a second welfare stimulus was also planned — which would have made inflation even worse; record rates of mass migration, and no end in sight; a policy of almost no legal restrictions on abortion (with public funding as well!); the replacement of biological sex with postmodern “genders”; the imposition of critical race theory in high schools and critical queer theory in kindergarten; an attack on welfare reform; “equity” hiring across the federal government; plans to regulate media “disinformation”; fast-track sex-changes for minors; next-to-no due process in college sex-harassment proceedings; and on and on it went. Even the policy most popular with the center — the infrastructure bill — was instantly conditioned on an attempt to massively expand the welfare state. What on earth in this agenda was there for anyone in the center?
There’s also this nice little bit:
David Brooks wrote this morning:
Over the past few years, the Democrats have made heroic efforts to win back working-class voters and white as well as Black and Hispanic voters who have drifted rightward.
What planet is he living on?
One other stray tidbit. Colin Cowherd is a very popular sports analyst on YouTube, but on politics he says he leans to the left. Nonetheless he tweets this out, congruent with my “desperate housewives election” theme: