Joe Biden is a man in the middle. He’s not stuck. He’s exactly where he wants to be.
Biden’s campaign for the 2020 Democratic primary has been defined by repeated acts of hewing toward an imaginary political utopian center, where segregationists and warmongers clasp hands with climate change activists and skip in rhythm into the future. So it came as little surprise on Friday when Bloomberg and Reuters offered up yet another pair of prime examples of Biden’s insistence on being the second coming of Barack Obama and Bill Clinton.
The first, from Bloomberg, highlighted a speech the former Vice President gave at a fundraiser in Brentwood, Calif., in which he appealed to the conscience of GOP voters, a tactic that has proven disastrous on a national level as recently as three years ago!
If Republicans “become part of a coalition that can win on important things, they will begin to vote their conscience,” he said.
For a brief moment, let’s engage with Biden’s approach. Should you court people who regularly vote Republican, the question that arises is what, exactly, will this unified coalition deem an “important thing”?
For instance, the formation of a national plan for climate change seems to be a matter fairly heavy on some people’s minds, but especially those on the left. If literally every relevant scientist alive is screaming “We’re screwed!”perhaps Biden has a plan to convince the folks of the right to pitch in with their left-leaning neighbors and lower carbon emissions, right?
Nope! As Reuters first reported, Biden’s big climate policy reveal is not an appeal to the right, but an appeal to the left to relent in their attack on fossil fuels and just, like, work together. Given that his go-to adviser on climate change is the same person who guided Obama’s efforts, it should have been obvious that a copy-and-paste effort of Obama administration half-measures is what America would be in store for, should the voters side with Biden.
The backbone of the policy will likely include re-joining the United States with the Paris Climate Agreement and preserving U.S. regulations on emissions and vehicle fuel efficiency that Trump has sought to undo, according to one of the sources, Heather Zichal, who has become Biden’s informal advisor on climate change policy. She previously advised President Barack Obama.
The second source, a former energy department official also advising Biden’s campaign who asked not to be named, said the policy will likely also be supportive of nuclear energy and fossil fuel options like natural gas and carbon capture technology, which limit emissions from coal plants and other industrial facilities.
Again, Biden’s entire act of attempting to be the Reasonable One is little more than a facade for baseline centrism, an art he’s well versed in. In the end, his goal is not to bring the right to the left, but to bring everyone to the center-right and cash in while he still can.