Do Democrats want to win the 2020 election? Do they understand why they lost in 2016? I’m increasingly unsure. It seems like every time a relatively reasonable candidate or undeclared candidate gets a little buzz, the Democratic base tries to derail any possible momentum. It happened with Amy Klobuchar who is apparently a hardworking hard-ass. So what? I want a president who is tough enough to run the country. Being nice isn’t a qualification for the job.
Neither is being in tune with the most recent sensitivities of the tribe of the politically correct. Throughout his many years in public service, we’ve all seen the myriad photos and videos: Joe Biden is touchy. Very touchy. Sometimes bizarrely so. And yet, at least as a detached observer, his worst transgression seems to have been being a little out of touch and unaware. Has there ever been so much as a single whisper of actual assault?
I’m genuinely sorry for Lucy Flores whose experience, if it happened precisely as she describes, sounds more than a little uncomfortable. But ‘creepy uncle Joe’ gave her a kiss on the head. He didn’t grope her chest or pin her down. It’s hard to speak truth to power, but that’s a concept the left preaches all the time. Flores herself admits that his behavior ‘wasn’t violent or sexual.’ She wasn’t being threatened or intimidated. She should have turned around and said ‘next time, I’d prefer a good luck handshake,’ or some such. The #MeToo movement has made some important strides and has certainly raised awareness of the prevalence of sexual assault. But it has also degraded conversations about assault to such an extent that we are in the midst of a giant news cycle about Biden’s overly friendly conduct and whether his actions should disqualify him from running for president.
The answer, of course, is no. But a key section of the Democratic base seems eager to disqualify anyone who isn’t a woman, or better yet, a woman of color.
Does the average voter care if a candidate satisfies every line on the progressive wish list? Do they care if Biden is a little more friendly than society deems normal? It takes about one minute off Twitter and in the world of living, breathing people to realize the answer is a resounding no. Some Democratic politicians seem to disagree. Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand said Monday that ‘Lucy Flores felt demeaned and that’s never OK. and if Vice President Biden decides to run for president this is something he’s going to have to address directly with the American people.’ (Emphasis my own).
As one of the American people, I feel Biden has addressed this non-controversy as much as he should. I’d strongly prefer the candidates and would-be candidates for president stick to addressing the issues concerning our republic.
The Democratic base may believe that they don’t have a winning candidate unless she’s a gay, black, transgender, socialist who genuinely has Native American ancestry. But the reality is that Dems have a real chance to win over centrists and even a nice chunk of right-of-center voters, if they only remember that their more recent ideas of what makes a candidate attractive are totally bonkers.
Biden has decades of relevant experience, and despite being a partisan figure, he isn’t a divisive one. If Democrats send him packing because of these ‘accusations’ they’ll be sending plenty of potential voters along with him.
Daniella Greenbaum Davis is a Spectator columnist and a Senior Contributor to the Federalist.