“No, I’m serious. … There’s some really decent Republicans that are out there still, but here’s the problem right now with the well-known ones: they’ve got to step up. You know what I mean?” he said. “I’m not being a wise guy.”
So before I even get started down this thread I want to say that Joe Biden will NOT choose a Republican running mate. Even if he could find a single GOP in all of Washington DC or the hinterlands that is not either “all Trump all the time” or so busy threading the needle of standing up to him while holding onto their own constituencies back home, why would he really? Why all the trouble of trying all that hard when the GOP ain’t done squat for us throughout this American horror story? And the mere mention of passing over all these remarkably able decent Democrats to make some gesture of solidarity… Well, this is just not the time.
More importantly, the party will have none of it and Joe Biden is nothing if not a Democrat. No way in this world or any other will the party allow him — nor would they take him seriously if they thought for a moment he was serious — to put a Republican, in this political climate, a heartbeat away from the Oval Office. Especially when he’d be going into it with a seventy-eight year old president.
So please, let’s not go down the “nutty narrative” rabbit hole.
Absolutely no one has been more scrupulous or critical of many of Joe Biden’s choices than I have, and this was a choice. I understand the “why,” as he’s making the argument that he wants to appear as reasonable, receptive and flexible as possible to those trying to find a way out of the ditch they dug for themselves in supporting Trump. For those voters, Biden has to sound like the sane response to the mad king.
And that may work with moderate Democrats who are willing to think outside the soundbite, Independents who invite thinking outside the soundbite, and even some waffling Republican voters who can’t believe the mess they’ve gotten themselves into when they decided to give “let Trump be Trump” a try. But to the Democratic base, in particular the self identified left so called “progressives” — seriously, some of these folks are the least progressive human beings ever to draw breath — are predictably responding like six year-olds on crack.
“Mr. Biden, a leading contender for the 2020 Democratic presidential nomination, has talked up the notion that if President Trump is defeated in 2020, Republicans will be more willing to compromise and work with Democrats — a view critics on the left have dismissed as naive.”
Joe Biden holds a more forgiving view of Republicans, writ large, because his experience of working with them over the decades has been different than what the party of Lincoln has since devolved into. But most of us don’t feel that way, and right now, I — for one — don’t really care about GOP sensibilities or what may or may not be any individual’s quest for redemption. I care about ending the tyranny of this criminal reprobate and giving the party that enabled him some real “Treaty of Versailles” style options for their salvation.
And I know I’m not the only one: the only reason that Joe Biden doesn’t have a default understanding of that is that his immediate lifestyle has not been directly threatened by the initiatives some of his old colleagues have implemented. We will heal with time, but that time is way off down the road right now and even insinuating that it’s time to bring the perpetrator into the house — even when he knows he doesn’t mean it — is purely bad politics.
This particular response was so unnecessary. He’s not going to even consider a Republican running mate. He’s gone on at length articulating his own issues with the radically bizarre behavior of this president and his defenders. Democrats need to get very specific on policy and precise in their talking points about the fool Donald Trump. Why even toss this out there so now everyone will need to dial it back? And I don’t think this is an unforced error, I believe he believes this: but it is one of those things that he should have held closely, privately knowing full well that he is never again going to have the relationships with any of the remaining Republicans that he once had with John McCain. TMI, Joe, TMI.
So, why Joe? If just for the sake of having one less bit of flotsam banging around in the echo chamber that is social media, why — in the name of God — couldn’t you have just kept this particular riff to yourself?
“Whomever I would pick for vice president — and there’s a lot of qualified women, there’s a lot of qualified African-Americans, there really, truly are … whomever I would pick were I fortunate enough to be your nominee, I’d pick someone who was simpatico with me, who knew what my priorities were and knew what I wanted to do.”
About the Author:
Gayle Leslie is a writer, political consultant, published author, actor, and policy wonk publishing extensively on Medium and other platforms. She is a native Texan, graduated from Trinity University in San Antonio, Texas, and Circle in the Square Theatre School in NYC. She wrote her serialized memoir, Dwelling in the Vast Divine Vol. 1 & Vol 2. You can follow on Twitter at @gayleleslie7