“When it comes to civil rights and civil liberties, I’m a liberal but that’s it. I’m really quite conservative on most other issues.”-Actual quote from Joe Biden when he was elected to the Senate
Why is Biden such a bad candidate? Mainly his views on issues. He’d be the same disappointing President Clinton and Obama were, continually caving to Republicans if not outright agreeing with them. It would be a return to business-as-usual politics, which served pretty much no one than the rich and powerful.
Secondly, Biden has unique issues in terms of electability. He’s most popular when he’s outside of politics, which he’s been since 2016. Like Clinton, his numbers will likely tank once he fully re-enters the public sphere.
Here is an analysis of Biden’s record:
He doesn’t back Liberal Priorities
Biden doesn’t back Medicare for all, is opposed to UBI and hasn’t came out and supported the Green New Deal. He hasn’t ever fought for defense cuts in his career. His campaign will likely be funded by Democratic bundlers, and he hasn’t pledged to take no Corporate PAC money. He opposed legal weed as recently as 4 years ago and rarely speaks against capitalism’s failings. He’s in favor of the Death Penalty and offered to cut Social Security and raise the retirement age in a “grand bargain” with Republicans. Over the course of his career he backed 23 separate military operations in 15 countries.
“The younger generation now tells me how tough things are. Give me a break. No, no, I have no empathy for it.” -Biden in 2018
Bad on Civil Liberties
Biden has a pretty bad record on civil liberties. In 2006, Biden wrote a bill that would have banned Encryption for private use. He wrote the predecessor to the Patriot Act and subsequently voted for the Patriot Act and supported its reauthorizations. He has publicly advocated for the arrest of Edward Snowden and voted for bills that militarized the police in the 80s and 2000s.
Biden was in an administration that used the Espionage Act to prosecute journalists and came to embrace worldwide surveillance under Obama.
“I don’t think 500 billionaires are the reason we’re in trouble. The folks at the top aren’t bad guys.”-Biden in 2018
A moderate economic record
Biden supported Reagan’s 1981 tax giveaway to the rich and the 2010 bill that made the Bush tax cuts permanent. He voted to repeal Glass-Steagall in 1999, which laid the groundwork for the 2008 banking collapse and lobbied for loose credit card regulation (Delaware became the state of the card industry) He opposed anti-monopoly legislation in the 1970s and voted to deregulate derivatives market in the 1990s.
He even supported a balanced budget amendment championed Ronald Reagan and Newt Gingrich. He voted to make it harder for people to file for bankruptcy in 2005 and supported NAFTA, CAFTA, WTO, NPTRC, and TPP. All bills designed to deregulate and cut taxes on multinational corporations.
“I am a gaffe machine”-Biden, admitting the truth in 2018
Biden is uniquely bad on crime
Biden wrote the 1994 crime bill that doubled the prison population in ten years, created mandatory minimum sentencing and increased sentences for most crimes. It expanded the number of crimes that the death penalty could be used for. It created “3 strikes your out” laws, barred people in prison from getting PELL grants whiling hiring more cops and building more prisons.
He attacked the first Bush administration for not being tough enough on crime, helped create the “drug czar” position and passed a bill in 2003 that gave the DEA new power, including infiltration of pro-drug groups.
“I don’t care why someone is a malefactor in society. I don’t care why someone is antisocial. I don’t care why they’ve become a sociopath. We have an obligation to cordon them off from the rest of society.”-Biden in 1993
But maybe Biden is better on cultural issues? Nope. He voted for the Defense of Marriage Act in 1996. During the Clarence Thomas hearing, he didn’t allow 3 different Clarence Thomas accusers to testify against him and described the Anita Hill situation as “he said, she said” and “character assassination” at the time. He voted for No Child Left Behind and for Border Fencing in 2006. He was part of an administration that set deportation records and militarized the border. He remains a staunch supporter of AIPAC and is an Israel hardliner. He even opposed busing in the 1970s (the means of racial integration at the time).
“We made it a death penalty for everything but jay walking” -Joe Biden (bragging about a crime bill he wrote) in 1991
Biden’s political acumen
Biden has run for President twice. In 1988 he had to withdraw from the race after plagiarizing a UK politician. He got 0.05% of the delegates at the convention. Joe Biden ran again in 2008, and dropped out after the first contest where he received 1% of the vote. Joe Biden calls Mike Pence a “decent guy”, Gave George W. Bush the Liberty Medal, and defended GOP Rep. Fred Upton in 2018 when his seat was vulnerable. He’s had 7 women accuse him of unwanted touching and has photo evidence that affirms the claims.