Monday, 12 November 2012

Biden Time In 2016?

My candidate for the Democratic nomination is Marcy Kaptur, and I wish that I could do more to encourage and support her, although I do receive fairly regular communications from people in the United States agreeing with me. As I always say to them, "Over to you, then."

But what of Joe Biden? Yes, he will turn 74 a few days after the election. But that is no disqualification. His hawkish foreign policy views modified considerably during the Dubya years. And at least he is not The Clinton, that double-headed beast of Glass-Steagall repeal, exportation of jobs to un-unionised Third World sweatshops, importation of those sweatshops themselves, global trigger-happiness, decades of race-baiting, and spectacular failure to deliver healthcare reform. The beast that is now plotting a return to its old lair on Pennsylvania Avenue, 24 years after first infesting it. Biden is not much older than The Clinton, but even a very small age difference makes all the difference between being 1968 and not. It is. He is not.

For example, he was already a United States Senator before the judgement in Roe v Wade. During 36 years in the Senate, he voted to overturn that judgement by means of an amendment to the Constitution, he voted year on year to renew the Hyde Amendment banning federal funding of abortion, he voted against rape and incest exceptions until Henry Hyde himself was forced to accept them rather than see that renewal vetoed by The Clinton (meaning that Biden has never actually cast a vote in favour of them), he voted to ban partial-birth abortion, he voted to overturn both of The Clinton's vetoes of that ban, and he voted to recognise as legally protected persons those infants who survived abortion.

That is Biden's record, still unchanged in terms of votes cast. To this day, whenever he has had the opportunity, he has never failed to vote in favour of a Human Life Amendment, in favour of the Hyde Amendment, against any rape or incest exception, in favour a ban on partial-birth abortion, in favour of overturning any Presidential veto of such a ban, and in favour of recognising surviving infants as fully protected legal persons. Biden has never signed up to the Freedom of Choice Act, and no Presidential nominee other than Barack Obama could possibly have got away with picking him as a running mate. Even Obama could not have done so if he had needed or wanted someone new in 2012. The wonder is that Biden was not made the occasion of a Roman holiday, so to speak, for the PUMAs, The Clinton's irreconcilable followers among ageing 1970s feminists.

Across the full range of issues, including abortion, Biden is not as good as Kaptur. But he is far more likely to run.

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