by Mitch Kokai
Senior Political Analyst, John Locke Foundation
Joe Biden’s billing as the moderate-in-residence of the Democratic primary is a telling statement on the breakneck speed at which the party is radicalizing. His platform offers proof.
A Tuesday report in McClatchy compared Biden’s 2020 platform to Hillary Clinton’s 2016 platform, finding the former vice president’s policy prescriptions have drifted leftward from the former secretary of state’s. “From health care to climate change to criminal justice, Biden has proposed ideas more ambitious and liberal than policies supported by Hillary Clinton in the 2016 campaign,” the article declared. It even went so far as to correctly note that “Biden’s current set of policy prescriptions would likely be considered radical if they had been proposed in any previous Democratic presidential primary.”
Examples include his health care plan, his climate change plan, his criminal justice reform plan, and his position on the death penalty.
Biden hasn’t clinched the nomination, and whether he eventually will is far from clear. But he’s the frontrunner, and like Clinton, a septuagenarian establishment Democrat willing to evolve along with the far left for the sake of political expediency. The movement from Clinton’s platform’s to Biden’s illustrates the level of hard leftism required to compete in the primary and, more broadly, reflects the movement of the party. What’s remarkable is that it happened in the span of three years.