Rumblings abound that Joe Biden is considering a 2020 run. His book is littered with hints and insinuations. In page after page, he rehashes his decision not to run in 2016. He believes he is the only Democrat who can beat Trump in 2020. He told The Today Show that he is “not closing the door” on running.
Close the door, Joe.
Biden is a relic of an era that’s hopefully taking its last breath. His handling of women, literally and figuratively, is a problem. And as a centrist Democrat, his politics are hardly revolutionary but arguably dated. He has a mixed record on abortion: he is “pro choice” but supports banning partial birth abortions and allocating federal funds to abortion. His 1994 crime bill, signed by Bill Clinton, dramatically increased incarceration rates of minorities across the country and has had lasting devastating effects. His politics in general are just a hair to the left of center. We learned two things from Hillary Clinton’s presidential run: people are more misogynistic that we ever thought and centrist politics won’t do it anymore. We have little to gain by electing to him but a lot to lose.
Politico recently polled a hypothetical contest between Trump and Biden and Biden won by eleven points. That’s no surprise. The margin was wider between Trump and literally any Democrat. Everyone to the left of Sean Hannity loathes Trump. The last thing we should do is waste the momentum brought by near-universal Trump-hate by electing yet another generic creepy old man.
Biden’s “Uncle Joe” schtick is marred by his creepy Uncle Joe actions. For every adorable meme with him and President Obama is a photo of him getting just way too close to women: touching their shoulders, kissing them and generally rubbing up on them like a labrador.
Remember in 2015 when he rubbed the shoulders of Defense Secretary Ashton Carter’s wife’s, at the secretary’s swearing in ceremony? Or when he hugged Hillary Clinton for a weird amount of time? People, then and now, brushed it off as “Biden being Biden,” a play on the “boys will be boys” anthem that has defended the gross and predatory actions of men for decades.
Men like Supreme Court Justice Clarence Thomas.
In 1991, when he was on the Senate Judiciary Committee, Biden refused to allow key witnesses to testify in defense of Anita Hill’s accusations of sexual harassment against Thomas. Anita Hill’s testimony brought a shift public understanding of sexual harassment in spite of Biden.
Biden was recently asked to comment on Hill and the part he played in burying her story. Instead of apologizing, he said he believed her, “from the beginning.” To win some women points.
When asked if he had a message for Hill, who has said she did not feel she was given fair process, he offered a “I’m sorry you feel that way” non-apology:
“I am so sorry if she believed that,” Biden said. “I am so sorry that she had to go through what she went through. Think of the courage it took for her to come forward.”
He pointed to the cultural shift that her story brought and did what powerful men do best: take credit for women’s accomplishments.
“I feel really badly that she didn’t feel like the process worked, but I tell you what, I said something at the time that proved to be right. I said this is going to be the start of a fundamental change of what constitutes harassment in the workplace and people are going to begin to change.”
Yes. He was right. People have changed. They’ve changed even more in the past two years than they did in the two decades since Hill’s testimony. That’s precisely why Biden should stay far away from the 2020 race.
The Harvey Weinstein scandal was followed by dozens of stories of powerful men abusing their power to harass and assault women. Women are more empowered than ever to come forward about abuse in the workplace. And it’s got some men concerned that at this rate, everyone in the government will be accused of harassment or assault and that the government itself will cease to exist.
We have only one solution left: robot politicians.
— Ben Shapiro (@benshapiro) November 16, 2017
Men like Shapiro will go to impressive lengths to forget that women can run things countries and businesses—or that women are now allowed to show their ankles and drive cars. More women and minorities are running for office than ever before. People are calling this the post-Weinstein era. And maybe it is. But it won’t stay that way if we elect yet another wizened old dude with a history of creeping on women.