What’s happened is, between gerrymandering and unlimited campaign spending, we found ourselves in a position where an awful lot of Republicans have become intimidated by the president. f you notice, most Republicans — leaders, don’t lose from the left. They lose on the right. … I think there is not a middle ground.
That is a Joe Biden reluctant to sharpen, or even acknowledge, ideological differences with the Republican Party. one much in evidence at the debate in Cleveland, Ohio, where we heard
TRUMP: Joe, you agreed with Bernie Sanders's far left on the manifesto, we call it.
BIDEN: Manifesto? Look...
TRUMP: And that gives you socialized medicine.
BIDEN: Look, hey, I'm not going to listen to him. The fact of the matter is I beat Bernie Sanders...
TRUMP: Not by much.
BIDEN: I beat him by a whole hell of a lot. I'm here standing facing you, old buddy.
Maybe instead of boasting that he won't listen to the runner-up in the Democratic sweepstakes, Biden could have reminded the audience that Donald Trump (actually, the Attorney General's office) is in court trying to eliminate health care for pre-existing conditions, and that coverage still exists only because John McCain cast the deciding vote to protect them from Trump's scalpel.
If President Interruptus had allowed him to continue, Biden could have mentioned that the Democratic Party platform calls for a public option, as well as lowering the Medicare eligibility age from 60 to 65 because no American should go without health care.
"Look, hey, I'm not going to listen to him" was a reference to a U.S. Senator whom tens of millions of Democrats voted for in 2016 and 2020 and whom has been a loyal supporter of Biden since the latter became the party's presumptive nominee. Bad form.
Biden renounced support for the Green New Deal, admitted he is "not opposed to the justice" (Barrett), and employed the word "Republican" merely four times. One time, he was cut off and the other three times struck a bipartisan note, once remarking "And I'll be a president not just for the Democrats, I'll be a president for Democrats and Republicans."
Bump concluded his column 17 months ago with
Maybe Biden doesn’t believe Republicans will have an epiphany but, instead, believes that voters want to hear that there will be. Or maybe he thinks there will be an epiphany and Republicans will seek to work with President Joe Biden. If he does, recent history suggests that he’s in for a surprise.
Joe Biden spent eight years serving a Democratic President whom many Republicans refused to acknowledge was born in this country, and whom even more charged was exercising dictatorial powers. Nonetheless, he still expected that post-Trump "You will see an epiphany occur among many of my Republican friends." It was extraordinarily naive at the time, is more so now, but apparently he still believes it.