AMAC Exclusive – By Claire Brighn
Throughout the 2020 election, one of the main “selling points” for Joe Biden, pushed relentlessly by Democrats, the mainstream media, and Biden himself, was that he was a “moderate” who would represent a “return to normalcy” if elected. More than a year later, however, Biden has proven to be anything but moderate, confirming the worst fears of conservatives and vindicating former President Trump’s characterization of Biden as a radical hiding in plain sight and a “Trojan horse for socialism”. In the wake of a number of disasters resulting from Biden’s failed far-left agenda, and with more crises looming, here’s a look back at just a few of the many, many statements and narratives that helped build the myth of a moderate Joe Biden – and how that myth has come crumbling down.
“Character is on the ballot. Compassion is on the ballot. Decency, science, democracy.” – Joe Biden, Address to the Democratic National Convention, August 2020
After beating out openly progressive candidates like Bernie Sanders and Elizabeth Warren, Biden’s DNC Convention speech was carefully crafted to sell a pragmatic, peace-making “Uncle Joe” brand ahead of the general election showdown against Trump. At stake, he insisted, was the “soul” of the country and a return to normalcy.
Of course, these overtures to moderation were undercut by Biden teaming up with Bernie Sanders to release a set of “Biden-Sanders Unity Task Force Recommendations” that essentially said Biden would enact a far-left agenda if elected. Biden has worked to make good on those promises from day one of his presidency, when the curtain was finally drawn back as he released a flurry of radical executive orders. In the months since, Biden’s actions and statements following disasters like Afghanistan have called into question everything he claimed to have—“character,” “compassion,” and “decency.” His administration’s COVID-19 policies have undermined his commitment to “science.” And his wholesale assault on election integrity and the secret ballot through multiple attempted federal takeovers of elections has destroyed any credibility he had as a defender of “democracy.”
In short, it may well be that character, compassion, decency, science, and democracy were on the ballot in 2020 – but it wasn’t Joe Biden who best represented those ideals.
“I know that if we entrust this nation to Joe, he will do for your family what he did for ours: bring us together and make us whole.” – Jill Biden, Address to the Democratic National Convention, August 2020
Jill Biden gave an added boost to Joe’s “moderate” portrayal throughout his campaign, claiming at one point he wouldn’t just be “Commander-in-Chief,” but also “Healer-in-Chief,” and that, entrusted with the White House, he would “heal this country.”
However, Biden’s actions thus far have certainly done little to heal any divisions. Take, for example, his treatment of parents who spoke out at school board meetings against the Critical Race Theory being taught in schools. Instead of trying to engage in dialogue with those concerned about political indoctrination in classrooms, Biden ordered the FBI to target parents and label them with “threat tags,” likening them to domestic terrorists.
Biden has also continued to stoke divisions even among his own party. Last month, he said that Democratic Senators Joe Manchin and Kyrsten Sinema were “on the side of” Bull Connor and Jefferson Davis for refusing to end the filibuster.
With his approval rating hovering between 30%-35%, it may well be true that Biden brought the country together – just not in the way he promised.
“I can think of no one better suited, better prepared. I can think of no one with the integrity, no one more committed to the fundamental principles that make this country what it is [than] Joe Biden.” – House Majority Whip James Clyburn (D-SC), February 26, 2020
It wasn’t just members of the Biden family who fostered the myth of a moderate Joe Biden. When Rep. Jim Clyburn gave his stamp of approval to Biden before the South Carolina Democratic primary, he provided a critical boost to his campaign that helped carry Biden to the nomination. The widespread understanding was that Biden would be a much more believable “moderate” candidate in the general election than would Bernie Sanders or Elizabeth Warren.
The reality, though, is that since Biden took office he has undermined the very “fundamental principles” that “make the country what it is.” He has, for example, pushed initiatives to federalize elections, eliminate the filibuster, and enforce his unconstitutional vaccine mandate. And based on the cascade of disasters plaguing the country under his watch, most Americans now see that Biden was not at all suited or prepared for the job or the responsibility of the presidency.
“I think Joe [will] try to find common ground to move things forward…I really believe that by [having the filibuster rule] you have the ability to find common ground.” Former Senator Doug Jones (D-AL), August 2020
At the time Doug Jones offered this glowing review of Biden, he was still an incumbent senator. But Jones is at this point probably somewhat relieved he has escaped Biden’s scorched-earth strategy when it comes to dealing with opposition in the Senate. Not only has Biden called on Democrats to abolish the filibuster, but he has found no common ground and things haven’t moved forward – his agenda remains stalled due to his own stubborn refusal to compromise on his progressive pipe dreams.
“Joe Biden pays attention to science, we know that – whether it’s COVID-19 or climate change… He is not going to end fossil fuels, he’s not going to end a lot of these industries from day one.” – Michigan Governor Gretchen Whitmer, October 25, 2020
Another selling point pushed by elected Democrats was that Biden would not sell out to niche progressive interest groups on issues like climate change and the energy sector.
On day one of his presidency, however, Biden revoked the Keystone XL Pipeline, killing 11,000 American jobs. He also banned oil and gas leases on federal lands and signed a grab-bag of executive orders aimed directly at placating fringe environmental groups. And he re-entered the Paris Climate Accord, which, if implemented, will certainly have the ultimate effect of crushing the American oil and gas industries.
The results have been predictable. Gas prices have shot up, real wages have dropped, and former Keystone pipeline workers are asking where those supposed “clean energy” jobs are. Meanwhile, Biden was left begging OPEC to increase production.
On COVID, Biden hasn’t followed “the science” or any sort of moderate approach. He’s instead pursued unconstitutional vaccine mandates and undermined confidence in the nation’s public health infrastructure. He even went against the advice of his own CDC on reopening schools in a bid to please national teachers’ unions.
“Surprise! Joe Biden is a moderate institutionalist!” – Chris Cillizza, CNN Editor-at-large, November 17, 2020
Perhaps no element of the Democratic coalition was more critical to selling the myth of a moderate Joe Biden than the mainstream media. In April of 2019, an NPR headline asked “Is Joe Biden too centrist for today’s Democratic Party?” A New York Times article from November of that year proclaimed that Biden appeals “directly to these more moderate voters in battleground states in the Midwest and the Sun Belt.” Even when Biden slipped up and told an interviewer that he was “always labeled as one of the most liberal members of the United States Congress,” PolitiFact was there to rate the comment as “false,” thereby helping limit the damage to Biden’s moderate image.
This central proposition of the mainstream media that Biden was not cut from the same cloth as socialist “Squad” members or Bernie Sanders has of course proven totally false throughout Biden’s first year in office. Aside from a litany of far-left executive actions, Biden has also tried to ram through the most sweeping set of progressive policies in history and the largest spending binge in American history.
In fact, Biden has governed so liberally that even AOC – leader of the “Squad” – said that Biden’s first 100 days in office “exceeded expectations that progressives had.” And she added: “I’ll be frank. I think a lot of us expected a much more conservative administration.” Apparently, even she was fooled by the false claims of moderation.
“Biden has made a corrupt bargain in exchange for his party’s nomination,” Trump said in the final weeks of his campaign in 2020. “He’s handed control to the socialists, the Marxists, and the left-wing extremists.” While the media, elected Democrats, and even some Republicans expressed skepticism and even mockery of such a characterization of Biden and his agenda, Trump’s prediction turned out to be spot on. Far from governing as a moderate pragmatist committed to uniting the country, Biden has pursued a far-left agenda and attempted to steamroll anyone and anything that stands in his way. But with November’s midterm elections fast approaching Biden may soon find that Americans as a whole are much less impressed by the bait-and-switch routine than Congresswoman Ocasio-Cortez.
Claire Brighn is the pen name of a conservative researcher and writer with previous domestic and foreign policy experience in the Executive Branch.
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