Wisconsin’s in-person primary last week was a sham.
The state’s Republican-packed Supreme Court eliminated thousands of mail-in ballots and forced people to show up in person to cast votes, putting an untold number of lives at risk. And it actually wound up backfiring, as liberal judge Jill Karofsky defeated conservative incumbent Daniel Kelly for a spot on the State Supreme Court.
Still, it was the perfect opportunity to attack Republicans for prioritizing political power over public health and safety. Joe Biden simply had to take his shot.
I am grateful to have the support of so many Wisconsinites and proud of the courage and commitment folks showed during last week's primary — but it should never have come to that.
No one should ever have to choose between their health and our democracy. pic.twitter.com/D4PpzYkter
— Joe Biden (@JoeBiden) April 14, 2020
But there was a slight problem with: Biden essentially advocated for the same thing just a week ago.
— Adam H. Johnson (@adamjohnsonNYC) April 14, 2020
Prior to the Wisconsin primary, Biden was asked about voter safety during the pandemic after the Democratic Party had delayed its convention indefinitely. The former vice president said voting isn’t the same as packing thousands of people into a basketball arena for a major convention. That’s true. But it’s irresponsible for any public official—let alone one who essentially has his election wrapped up—to advocate for in-person voting during a pandemic. And that’s exactly what Biden did.
Is Biden’s endorsement of in-person voting as vicious as Wisconsin Republicans literally disenfranchising voters in real time? No. But his backtrack is a craven attempt to gloss over his own very recent, very public statements. His campaign advocated for in-person voting in Illinois, Florida, and Arizona several weeks ago for the exact same reasons. And no matter how badly Republicans deserve shaming, Biden can’t hide from that.