At this point, Joe Biden’s crossed the aisle so many times, I’m not sure he remembers which side is his own.
The latest act of Republican back-patting from the former vice president came three weeks before the 2018 midterms, when Biden traveled to Michigan to give a $200,000 speech before the Economic Club of Southwestern Michigan, per the New York Times. At the time, Congressman Fred Upton—whose family is a major benefactor of the club—was locked in a dead heat with Democrat Matt Longjohn. But during the speech, Biden touted one of Upton’s cancer-research bills (Biden’s son died of brain cancer in 2015) and called the Republican “one of the finest guys I’ve ever worked with,” per the Times.
Now, a quick primer on who, exactly, Biden was stumping for: Upton helped draft the American Health Care Act, the bill that would have repealed the Affordable Care Act, otherwise known as Obamacare—as in, you know, former President Barack Obama, the man who Biden worked under as vice president for eight years. Upton also proudly sports an “A” rating from the NRA, and in 2010, he co-bylined Wall Street Journal op-ed in which he wrote that he was unconvinced “carbon is a problem in need of regulation.” He is and has always been for his 30-plus years in office, a bad Republican.
Following the speech, Biden refused to do damage control for the local Democratic Party and got the hell out of dodge. Meanwhile, Upton flashed Biden’s kind words in a debate against Longjohn to show he had bipartisan support. Come election day, Upton eked out a four-point victory over Longjohn. By then, Biden had pocketed the $200,000 check he received for the speech at the Economic Club of Southwestern Michigan, whose sponsors include both the company co-founded by Upton’s grandfather and the foundation set up in his name.
This is not new, at least not for Biden. The former Delaware senator that was so very clearly molded by the ashes of the 1970s Democratic Party will say this is nothing more than another example of him crossing the aisle to support “decency”—same as the time he bestowed George W. Bush with a gold medal, or the time he made the trip to North Carolina to honor legendary racist Jesse Helms.
Throughout his entire career, be it for hollow award purposes or heinous legislative ones, Biden gleefully shook the hand of whoever was most willing to stuff his bank account and then turned up his nose and pointed to all his friends whenever anyone had the gall to call him out for being the exact kind of Democrat that made concession after concession until there was nothing left to give away except the presidency. That he pulled the same stunt weeks before one of the most important midterms in recent memory shouldn’t be a shock, if you’ve been paying attention.
Now please, go forth and yell about how perfect is the enemy of good. Joe won’t hear you. He’s too busy counting his stacks.