Voters Don't Get Based Joe Biden
He built the Wall, funded the police, drilled for oil, and screwed the Iranians. Also: The left hates him. So why do people think he's a radical progressive?
1. Based Joe Biden
I was listening to Ruy Teixeira on The Focus Group over the weekend—it was a great show—and came away somewhat confused. On the one hand, Ruy is inarguably correct that non-college voters continue to realign toward Republicans and that this is the biggest electoral challenge for Democrats.1 If Republicans keep gaining with non-college voters, they’re going to win elections. Probably.2
What I’m not sure I understand is Ruy’s explanation for why Republicans are doing better among non-college voters.
Ruy tends to blame Democratic declines with non-college voters on the excesses of “the Left.” And that’s fine so far as it goes—it’s a big country and there are a lot of excesses. You don’t have to look hard to find examples on Twitter/Threads of libs who favor some combination of:
Decriminalizing illegal immigration
Defunding the police
Banning fossil fuels
Supporting Hamas (or being anti-anti-Hamas)
Transgender integration in youth sports
But then we start getting into a philosophical debate over the nature of things.
Because Joe Biden is the president of the United States and the leader of the Democratic party and he has . . . not governed in any of those ways. Here are some actual policies Biden has enacted in the real world during his administration:
Building a portion of Trump’s border wall
Adding $37 billion in federal money to support local law enforcement
Approving the Willow oil project in Alaska
Standing shoulder-to-shoulder with Israel
Now, it’s true that Biden has not taken any federal action to stop transgender kids from playing youth sports and if someone is going to vote for Donald Trump because of that, then fair enough.
But maybe trans youth sports should be below the pay grade of the commander-in-chief? I’m just asking questions.
In any case, here are some other
conservative moderate policy outcomes Biden has achieved in the real world:
Killed Ayman al-Zawahri
Bitch-slapped Vladimir Putin back to the ‘70s
Blew up a bunch of Iranian Revolutionary Guard troops in Syria
Secured the release of U.S. hostages from Iran and then re-froze the ransom money
Spent a bunch of money to kickstart semiconductor manufacturing as a way to (a) bring jobs back to the United States and (b) create a hedge against Chinese aggression
Passed Joe Manchin’s bipartisan infrastructure law with tons of spending for red states and rural areas
Passed gun reform so moderate that he got 14 Republicans in the House and 15 in the Senate to vote for it
If Biden has been governing for the left then he’s done a bad job of it. Here, for instance, is Jacobin magazine running an excerpt from a book titled Yesterday’s Man: The Case Against Joe Biden.
Tl;dr: The progressive left seems to view Biden as something between a disappointment and a traitor.
As always: None of this is to argue that Biden doesn’t have legitimate problems. To give you just one for-instance, Border Patrol apprehensions are way up, which is objectively both a real-world problem and a political liability.3
The point is that Biden himself and the Democratic caucus in the House and Senate have not—for the very large part—governed in ways which are out of step with mainstream opinion, on economic, social, or cultural issues.
And yet the electoral problems they have with non-college voters, which Ruy correctly observes, exist anyway.
So what’s going on? Three possible explanations: