Does Democrat Joe Biden have too much baggage?

Yesterday, Democratic frontrunner Joe Biden apologized for his working with segregationists in the past. The Hill reported that he maintains he did the right thing by working with those with whom he fervently disagreed with but apologized if he came off as supporting their views. Without doubt, having to defend oneself on the campaign trail against allegations of opposition to civil rights is not a favorable position. What Biden did yesterday is part of a pattern of his to explain away the pile of baggage that has amounted from decades in politics.

                This comes on the heels of presidential hopeful Kamala Harris’s lambasting of Biden at the recent Democratic debate. Prefacing her comments by saying that she did not think him a racist, she went on to infer all but that of him. Harris hit him over the head with what she painted as his previous opposition to school bussing during the civil rights era. To follow that up, she shared an emotional story of her being in one of the first newly desegregated classes in the Berkeley school district. While she spoke he looked down at the ground like a child being disciplined. In response, the Democratic frontrunner came back with his experience as a public defender cast in the light of civil rights and a poorly executed elaboration of his views that allowed for much ambiguity. He was manifestly unable to defend himself against Harris’s attacks on his civil rights record. She received a standing ovation for her oration on the subject while Biden sadly looked on.

                Harris clearly was prepared for that debate and set a trap for Biden based on his long record in government. In classic Joe Biden fashion, he waltzed right over the trap and fell smack dab in it. These were just two recent incidents but they show that Biden’s record on civil rights will be a stick his opponents can use against him in the future. Experience contrary to popular wisdom is not always a good thing. He has more experience playing politics and statecraft than most could boast but this is a two edged sword. Years in Washington produces mountains of baggage that can come back to haunt a candidate just as much as any Lovecraftian horror could.

                It all begs the question how much will be too much for the voters? Over the period of the past few days, Biden’s Real Clear Politics average is 26.0% which does indeed make him the frontrunner by a respectable margin. It is also worth noting that Kamal Harris mas eclipsed the socialist Bernie Sanders as the next best in the same poll. Harris at this time is at 15.2% and Sanders is at 14%.

                For the conservative, watching and picking apart the Democratic infighting is a joy; perhaps schadenfreude but a joy nonetheless. The among the Democrats so far is not nearly as bad as it was with the Republicans in 2016 but as the election progresses it may degenerate. Any damage dealt by the Democrats to themselves in this way benefits principally the GOP and Donald Trump so the prospect of a hard fought primary season for the left is very appealing.

Photo credit: PEOPLE “Inside vice president Joe Biden’s family tragedies”

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