Elections

Enter Joe Biden

Former Vice President Joe Biden addresses union workers at the Teamsters Local 249 hall in Pittsburgh, Pa., April 29, 2019. (Aaron Josefczyk/Reuters)
That Biden is considered a moderate is a testament to how far his party has moved to the left.

That Joe Biden, at this writing the most recent candidate to file for the Democratic presidential nomination, is considered a moderate is a testament both to how far and rapidly his party has moved to the left and to the portward skew of the national press.

A Democratic politician now qualifies as a moderate if he believes that 180 million Americans should not be forcibly removed from private health insurance and put in a government system; that third-trimester abortions should be restricted; and that deportation must continue to be a key part of our immigration regime. All of these were positions that liberal Democrats considered compatible with their creed when Biden was vice president, less than three years ago. All of them are still positions held by millions of Americans who regularly vote for Democrats. But all of them are being anathematized by the left-wing activists who hold disproportionate sway in the party’s primaries.

In the progressive media, Biden is even being slammed because his indictment of President Donald Trump has not been widened into an indictment of America for electing him.

The effort to win the primaries may make Biden move further left himself: He has already denounced our legal system as “white man’s law,” possibly because it respects the presumption of innocence. (Reporters may wish to get some clarity from him on this question.) Were he to get the nomination, his alleged moderation would become a key selling point.

Step outside the funhouse mirror of Twitter. Biden has for his entire career been a strong, albeit not wholly consistent, supporter of every left-wing cause from higher taxes to hate-crimes laws to liberal judicial activism. Conservatives should not let themselves be fooled into thinking he is a moderate, and neither should actual moderates.

The Editors comprise the senior editorial staff of the National Review magazine and website.

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