Election 2016

Joe Biden is So Much of What's Wrong With the Democratic Party

Luckily for Democrats intent on more of the same, the remaining presidential candidates are too.

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afagen/flickr

Joe Biden is not running for president, which is a disappointment to anyone who likes to derive entertainment from politics, which, judging from polling this year, is quite a bit of people.

But when Joe Biden announced the "window is closed" on a presidential campaign for him in 2016, the news also elicited a more genuine disappointment. There are people out there who non-ironically thought Vice President Joe Biden would be a substantive addition to the Democratic field. They are in your social media feeds. Some of the support is just a form of expression of sympathy, since Biden lost his adult son to brain cancer earlier this year, not the first time Biden's lost a child. If the presidential campaign can be used for whatever it is Donald Trump is using it for, Joe Biden can certainly use it to work through his grief. "It's a free country," after all.

But it's not as free as it could be and part of that is on Joe Biden. Insofar as Americans looked to "Uncle Joe" as an authentic political leader, the lack of introspection at the apparent end of a career spanning five decades ought to be problematic for those Democrats who claim to be concerned about issues like civil liberties and criminal justice reform, hot topics a few short months ago.

Bill Clinton, after all, apologized for the 1994 Crime Bill earlier this year as the discussion about criminal justice reform heated up briefly in the nascent Democratic primary campaign. Joe Biden helped write that bill and shepherd it through Congress. He boasted about it putting more cops on the street as recently as this year. Mother Jones suggested his past as a "tough-on-crime hardliner" might be a problem if he decided to run. Yet as recently as last month Biden, still a non-candidate, hit 20 percent in the RealClearPolitics average of Democratic presidential polling.

The other Democratic candidates aren't better on this issue that earlier this year was supposed to be a defining one for Democrats, or their base voters, because of their supposed moral clarity and sense of social justice. Hillary Clinton is a johnny-come-lately, and -weakly, on criminal justice reform.

In its write up of the 1994 Crime Bill, even Vox.com suggested Bill Clinton didn't understand why the bill was wrong, and that the instinct to just "do something" to fix a "problem" contributed a lot to mass incarceration in the first place.

Hillary Clinton's excuses about the crime bill betray the same kind of ignorance—that politicians simply had to "do something" about crime in the 1990s. And now things are different. Too many Democrats hand wave this kind of political expediency as if she were triangulating her position on a wedge issue and not something that ruined millions of lives. Biden's role many ignore, preferring to build a narrative about the "smart people" in the Democratic presidential field. The ones who brought America the crime bill.

The sad coda to this is the contempt shown Jim Webb after he dropped out of the Democratic primary. He was talking about substantive criminal justice reform before any other Democrat running for president now. But he dared point out gun control laws have the tendency to deprive the poor and less privileged from a right to self-defense while keeping the elites who push the laws well protected. He might as well have called them all white supremacists. Maybe some Democratic voters might pay attention to that, and look at how oblivious their party's leadership is about how destructive their policies have been to poor and marginalized people, how surface-level their acknowledgement of that is, and how little they've shown they've learned from it.

But wouldn't it have been neat if Uncle Joe ran?

NEXT: What Bernie Sanders Doesn't Understand About Germany's Free College

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  1. But wouldn’t it have been neat if Uncle Joe ran?

    Some people just want to see the world derp.

    1. Je m’accuse….

    2. “I’d like to see a world of derp,
      of mass stupidity.
      I’d like to hold it in my hand
      and smash it on my kneeeeee.
      I’d like to give the world some hope
      and pull it back for spite.
      I’d like to taunt it just for fun
      even thought that’s just not right…”

      /Coke Less Than Zero

      1. [polite applause]

    3. You know who else was called Uncle Joe?

      1. My grampa’s brother-in-law?

      2. My grandmother’s brother?

        A proggie friend went off on the derpbook yesterday complaining that we shouldn’t refer to Biden as “Uncle Joe.” I lol’d.

      3. Hit….wait, no…..

      4. Stalin?

    4. Uncle Joe is a horses ass! Although, now that he is not running, Hillary will be our next president for 8 years. The only way a Democrook can lose; is, if they are beat by another Democrook! So, we are stuck with that asshole, Hillary.

  2. At this point, I have come to the conclusion that it is not possible to have a new president that is better than the old. Because they just. Keep. Getting. Worse. Every time. The whole system is incentivized to get the worst possible people in the position. The more support a new president has because people think they’re going to improve things means more horrible shit they can get away with while still maintaining supporters and popularity.

    So, get ready for fun!

    1. Are you saying that 2024 is Nikki’s year?

      1. “Nikki for President – 2024
        I Absolutely Guarantee I Will Make It Worse”

        1. Commence the “Great Purge of the Mothers.”

          1. *SHUDDER*

    2. meh we’ve always kind of had the worst people in charge, it’s the american way.

    3. “At this point, I have come to the conclusion that it is not possible to have a new president that is better than the old. Because they just. Keep. Getting. Worse. Every time. “

      Libertarians, standing athwart history, moaning, “I told you so”

      1. Except I’m not a libertarian.

        1. Shut the fuck up, Donny!

        2. AT LEAST IT’S AN ETHOS DUDE!!!!

        3. How convenient

      2. Well, yes, we truly are the Cassandra of politics.

    4. Exactly, they are assholes in government!

  3. Personally, I thought Joe’s RAVE Act was his low point.

    Fruitloop Carson and Wall-Builder Trump are our only hope!

    1. Thanks for your input, Tulpy-Poo. It’s as brilliant as ever.

      1. shriek: HURR DURR HURRRRRRRRRR!

        Flight Attendant?: “Can somebody translate??!!”

        Old Woman: “I speak moron….”

        /Airplane – 2015

        1. PB YOU ARE MY BESTS FRIND I MISS NO ONE BUT WHEN YOU ARE NOT ARROUND!!!11!!!!!1

        2. Shreek, Have you fully accepted your responsibility for being white?

    2. From the creators of Der, and Tum Ta Tittaly, Tum Ta Too…

  4. If Joe Biden were president he would focus on the important issues, such as creating that necessary three-letter-word, J-O-B-S.

    1. We don’t need more WORDS created, we need MOAR JERBZZZ! CAUSE THE MESSICANS TUK RRRRRRR JHERRRRRRRRRBANZXCC{KERF!]~109i234u79!!!

    2. Obama would have created lots more jobs except for those oppositionist teabagging naysayers! (shakes fist) At least he ended all the wars and regained the world’s respect.

      1. Don’t forget about healing the planet and slowing the rise of the oceans!

      2. And stopped the oceans from rising!

  5. Again, somebody should ask both Hillary and Mumbly Joe if Biden was promised anything by the Clinton campaign in order to drop out of the race.

    Hillary got the Secretary of State job as a quid pro quo from the Obama campaign for dropping out of the race so that he could move to the center and not have to defend himself from the left. If Biden didn’t ask for anything when he was in the goodie room, then he’s the dumbest politician in Washington.

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=uvkuLe-s_po

    Ask Joe. He’ll say he wasn’t offered anything Ask Hillary. She’ll say something evasive.

    When Joe ends up appointed to a major cabinet position, he’ll walk into confirmation with the stink of lie all over him. Hillary will have to start squandering her political capital before she even gets into the Oval Office,…

    But somebody’s got to ask her point blank on camera, “Did your campaign promise Joe Biden anything in return for not running?” Someone should ask Joe, too. Publish their answers, and then save that tape. Save it for later.

    P.S. Best scenario is that Joe ends up on the board of the Clinton Foundation. Is that what you promised him, Hillary? A whole lotta money?

    1. You’re full of shit.

      Hillary got the Secretary of State job as a quid pro quo from the Obama campaign for dropping out of the race

      Hillary went right to the last primary in 2008. She only ended her campaign because the whistle blew to end the game.

      1. I LOUV YOU PB YOU ARE SHOWING US HOW AWEZOME YOU ARE AND US LIBERTARDIANS JUST NEED TO LERN FROM YOU!!11!!!!

      2. She could have and would have continued to campaign right up until the convention. The point was that Obama didn’t want to fight off Hillary by appealing to the left and those delegates. He wanted to move to the center so he could start appealing to swing voters instead. Promising Hillary the Secretary of State in exchange for her dropping out let him do that. From June to September, he could start selling the Democrats as centrists–and that’s what he did. His rhetoric took a sharp turn to the center. “Marriage is between a man and a woman”, etc.

        Hillary refused to concede on June 4, 2008.

        http://www.nbcnews.com/id/2495…..ik9Oysxd4M

        She conceded on June 7, 2008.

        http://abcnews.go.com/Politics…..581&page=1

        Something happened between that time–and it wasn’t a primary.

        And I’m hardly the first person to notice. We had full threads about the horsetrading here at the time. I don’t understand why you’d resist the suggestion of horsetrading anyway.

        What, do you think Hillary isn’t smart enough to press her leverage when she has it?

        Do you think Obama isn’t smart enough to give Hillary what she wants in order to be able to move to the center earlier and increase his chances of winning in the general election?

        You must think either one or both of them are pretty stupid!

        1. Shreek is the dumbest troll on the entire interwebs.

          1. He is dumb.

            I thought I’d at least get a “Well Bush Sr. horsetraded to get on Reagan’s ticket, too!”, but it didn’t even rank that.

            It is absolutely typical of candidates to horsetrade. What would not be typical is for Joe Biden to end up Hillary’s payroll by way of the Clinton Foundation.

            It’s also an excellent opportunity to catch Hillary in another lie walking through the door. Did your campaign offer anything to Biden if he didn’t run, Hillary? If the truth is that she did, she can’t say so. If the truth is that she might want to use Biden for something, she’ll have to say something evasive. If the truth is that she doesn’t want anything to do with Biden, she can’t say that either for fear of turning off people who like him. It’s a win/win/win!

            1. I am sure it was a combination of bribery and the promise not to reveal whatever dirt the Clinton machine has on Biden. Hillary is thoroughly evil.

            2. Biden would split Hillary’s vote for sure. The real committed Bernie voters (from my view) would never vote for Biden for obvious reasons. So your mainstream Democrats who can’t describe the immensity of the fuck they can’t give about things like war, criminal justice reform or civil rights would then have to split between Hillary and Biden, possibly pushing up Bernie’s percentage in the primary.

              With Biden running, there’s an actual good chance Bernie would be the Dem nominee.

              1. I think primary voters would have fled Hillary and voted for Biden like rats off a sinking ship. They realize what a horrible candidate she is and are desperate for an alternative. Sadly for them, there doesn’t seem to be one.

      3. Hillary went right to the last primary in 2008. She only ended her campaign because the whistle blew to end the game.

        Right, that whistle was the promise of a cabinet-level position.

  6. Maybe some Democratic voters might pay attention to that, and look at how oblivious their party’s leadership is about how destructive their policies have been to poor and marginalized people, how surface-level their acknowledgement of that is, and how little they’ve shown they’ve learned from it.

    BUT WHAT ABOUT TEH FEELZ?!?!11??

  7. So my father watched the Hillary hearings and his conclusion from them is that Ambassador Stevens committed suicide and Hillary is such a wonderful person she has withheld that fact out of respect for his family. He concludes this because according to Hillary neither her nor anyone at the state department was responsible for Stevens being where he was with no protection. Stevens went out there on his own and choose to be unprotected because well he must have wanted to just end it all.

    1. Ever hear the expression, “a thief’s mind”? It means that thieves and con-men are always assuming that everyone is trying to rip them off–because that’s what’s in their own hearts.

      It works the other way, too. Your dad must be a real honest guy–because he seems to assume that people like Hillary are telling truth. My grandmother once got cussed out by a bum. She offered to make him a sandwich for mowing her lawn. He was holding a sign that read, “Will Work for Food”, and she thought he meant it. She assumed he was an honest to God hobo, and she wanted to help.

      Hillary isn’t an honest to God hobo either.

      1. He was being sarcastic. His point was that if you listen to what Hillary says and take it seriously that Stevens must have committed suicide is the only rational conclusion you can make. That of course is utterly fucking ridiculous just like everything Hillary had to say.

        1. Grandma was as serious as anything. She’d been through the depression, and she really thought he wanted to mow her lawn for a sandwich.

  8. In its write up of the 1994 Crime Bill, even Vox.com suggested Bill Clinton didn’t understand why the bill was wrong, and that the instinct to just “do something” to fix a “problem” contributed a lot to mass incarceration in the first place.

    If “just doing something” is no longer a central tenet of the Democratic party, someone is in for a rude awakening.

  9. He was talking about substantive criminal justice reform before any other Democrat running for president now. But he dared point out gun control laws have the tendency to deprive the poor and less privileged from a right to self-defense while keeping the elites who push the laws well protected. He might as well have called them all white supremacists.

    Jim Webb is clearly out of touch with the reality-based Democratic party. Good riddance.

    1. I think that’s exactly what the Salon headline is.

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