Wednesday, June 12, 2019

Evolving Into Falsehood


The Hill reports

A Democratic Nevada lawmaker is defending former Vice President Joe Biden after the 2020 White House hopeful flip-flipped on a controversial measure that blocks federal funding for certain abortion services.

“Like any politician, the vice president has evolved in his positions and reconfirmed his commitment to woman’s right to choose and has reaffirmed that he wants to work with women to craft the best policies for women’s reproductive health rights,” Sen. Yvanna Cancela (D) told Hill.TV in an interview that aired Tuesday in response to a question over Biden's decision to renounce his past support for the Hyde Amendment.

“I believe in his sincerity and wanting to do what’s best for women as they make decisions over their bodies,” Cancela added.

There is nothing that says "sincerity" better than a politician with a 47-year career in and about Washington, D.C. opposing Medicaid funding of abortion one night and announcing the next night that he has discovered there are states trying to block a woman's choice.

But in a larger sense: can we have done with the  "evolve" dodge? To his credit, Biden did not claim to have "evolved" on public financing or abortion in the manner that Barack Obama suddenly "evolved" into supporting same-sex marriage three days after Vice President Biden came out in favor. However, the former vice-president admits neither that his previous position put him at odds with Democratic voters, nor  that he had been wrong for so long.

Evolution is "a process of continuous change from a lower, simpler, or worse to a higher, more complex, or better state." More simply, it is "the gradual development of something." It is not something which happens in the space of 24 hours, as in the case of Biden, or in the case of Obama, probably an opinion he had held for many years.

Whenever a candidate or his/her campaign has claimed the candidate has "evolved," the timing must be questioned and explored. And if that's too much effort, pundits can characterize it, almost certainly accurately, as a "lie."








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