Short Take: Biden’s Bar

About an hour after the passing of Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg, Senate minority leader and one of the largest consumers of microphones in New York, Chuck Schumer, threatened to “pack the court.” No, the Republicans aren’t, and haven’t packed the court, no matter how despicable you might believe their mad rush to fill judicial slots (including Justice Ginsburg’s). Packing the court has a specific meaning, to add new seats to the Supreme Court for the purpose of installing one’s own people under the belief they will serve a political cause.

If Judge Amy Coney Barrett is confirmed, as appears likely, will Joe Biden pack the court? It’s a fair question.

Mr. Biden and Kamala Harris have been ducking it, and on Thursday Mr. Biden said voters will “know my opinion on Court-packing when the election is over.”

He added: “Now, look, I know it’s a great question, and y’all—and I don’t blame you for asking it. But you know the moment I answer that question, the headline in every one of your papers will be about that.” Yes, it’s called news.

On Friday Mr. Biden compounded this political gaffe when a reporter in Las Vegas asked “Don’t the voters deserve to know where you stand on” court packing? “No, they don’t deserve,” Mr. Biden snapped. “I’m not going to play his [Donald Trump’s] game.”

There are two approaches to the question, each suggesting what Biden should do about it. The first approach is that Biden is not Trump, and a vote for Biden is a vote to remove Trump from office. For some people, they would vote for Bozo the Clown over Trump, so it doesn’t really matter what Biden says or does, as long as he’s not Trump. To these people, Biden’s refusal to answer is exactly the right reaction, as any answer would give rise to either an attack from the right or left. Bear in mind, the fringe left is livid about the Barrett nomination, certain that she will reverse Roe v. Wade, Obergefell v. Hodges and somehow make Trump the winner of the presidential election notwithstanding the votes.

For these people, electing Bozo Biden is an existential cause, and they wouldn’t care if Biden shot someone dead on Fifth Avenue. Sound at all familiar?

But if the merit of electing someone other than a vulgar, amoral, deceitful, ignorant narcissist to the presidency is at stake, then the bar for Joe Biden isn’t just that he’s not Trump. What will he do as president other than not be Trump?

Just asking this question marks me as completely unwoke, for if I were otherwise, I would understand that unseating Trump is the only thing that matters. But if, as I expect, Biden will prevail in the election, and the national punishment of Trump is over, we will then have a term of Joe Biden as president. Or at least some portion of a term. What happens then?

I have a lot of questions about what happens then. What will he do about Title IX? What will he do with healthcare and the myriad freebie entitlements the left believes it’s due? How does he plan to fulfill workers’ dreams if there are no employers able to maintain going concerns? How will he end the riots and looting?

And will he pack the court?

Yes, Biden is not Trump, and if that’s the only thing that matters to you, then there is nothing more Biden needs to say to get your vote. And to be frank, that’s a pretty good argument. But if Joe Biden assumes the presidency, this national angst starts anew and we will face whatever Joe Biden plans to do with his time in office. Should the Dems get the Senate as well, the doors are thrown wide open for some monumental changes in who and what we are as a nation.

So Trump is gone. Now what? If Joe Biden gets elected, it’s something we should want to know. Telling Americans that they don’t deserve to know what he’ll do isn’t a whole lot different than Trump. Is that the bar, that Biden’s not Trump, or is Joe Biden’s bar that we should want to vote for him?

28 thoughts on “Short Take: Biden’s Bar

  1. Turk

    There are two ways to pack a court. One is by adding seats and one be subtracting.

    And the GOP subtracted a SCOTUS seat while Obama was in office taking it from 9 members to 8.

    1. ASM

      I can’t phantom the level of postmodernist mental gymnastics necessary to create such kind of false equivalence. This is the kind of 2+2=5 mental op that some concerned liberals are warning us against.

    2. David Meyer-Lindenberg

      This is why I refuse to tailgate with you anymore. You say you’ll pack a cooler and then I end up owing you a beer.

    3. C

      The seat wasn’t removed – the opposite of added. I was simply not filled on the first vote. The American people did not give Mr Obama a democratic majority senate in his last 2 years. They did give Mr Trump a republican senate. The senate in both cases did/should do the job of confirming. Whether you, I or the wash likes the out come is not relevant. Don’t like the way the senate voted? Choose new senators the next time

      It is my understanding of how things work.

      1. Onlymom

        True and if they had just had the hearing and voted no. That would have been that. The problem is that is not what they did. They choked and lied with their excuse that it’s only 11 months before the new president so we should let the people’s choice pick the new justice. Sorry but that makes them two-faced conniving criminals they lied. Last time i looked lieing to a government agent is a crime even for politicians.

  2. Raccoon Strait

    Politicians lie. They lie to get elected and they lie to defend whatever actions they take (or don’t take) while in office. It’s a shame, but here we are. To some (maybe large) degree it does not matter what a politician says during the campaign (except possibly to the press), it matters what they do once elected. There is no way to know what Biden might, or might not, do once (and if) office is attained.

    As for court packing, what is the health status of the remaining 8? Unless something drastic happens, any presidents ability to pack a court is limited to what Nature has to say about it. Then of course there is the Senates’ interpretation of ‘advise and consent’ (which for me is out of tune with what those words mean), and will be dramatically impacted by which party becomes the majority in the next Congress.

    Besides, does anyone actually think the President packs his own suitcase?

      1. KP

        Should be the start of every new bulletin because people seem to forget!

        Instead of “Latest News, bought to you by..” we need “Remember folks, politicians lie for a living. Now here’s Senator…”

    1. Dan

      “Unless something drastic happens, any presidents ability to pack a court is limited to what Nature has to say about it.”

      Would “something drastic” include adding seats on the court, as the Dems have explicitly threatened to do, and as is the only meaning of “packing the court”? You didn’t even have to know this; our host explained the meaning of the phrase in the third sentence of this post.

  3. phv3773

    Biden has been around long enough to know that, in politics, you win some and you lose some, but it rarely the right thing to change the game. He may be being coy because he doesn’t want to tell the progressives that he would not try to pack the court.

  4. B. McLeod

    The choice we face is and has been horrific. The country will once again have no great leader out of the general election. If citizens are lucky, the GOP will at least manage to keep the Senate, so that there will be some means to check Biden’s msd schemes.

    1. phv3773

      Cheer up, winning coalitions are paralyzed by infighting. Think of all the trouble the Tea Party caused for the Republicans. And all the debt run up for pandemic relief will make it a lot harder to pass expensive programs for years to come.

      1. LocoYokel

        What in recent history (say the past 60 years) makes you think increased debt has any effect on Washington’s spending habits?

    1. SHG Post author

      Just because there are issues with Biden doesn’t make Trump a good (or better) choice. The alternative to bad isn’t necessarily good. It can always get worse (or remain worse, as the case may be).

      1. LocoYokel

        The problem here is that there is no “better” this election, just like the last one. The best we can hope for is the status quo, the alternative is VERY worse.

        1. LY

          Thinking about this, I didn’t phrase this the way I really wanted. Instead of status quo I should have said

          “The best we can hope for is bad, the alternative is VERY worse. I leave it up to the reader to decide which choice is bad and which is VERY worse.”

          I know which one scares me more.

  5. Anonymous Coward

    Biden was a Senator for over 35 years and a failed presidential candidate in 1988. He won’t shake up the status quo because between bills he wrote, sponsored or voted on he created the status quo. I am baffled and disappointed that my fellow Democratic primary voters chose him as the future leader of our country. The man who eagerly pushed the Clinton era crime bills, deregulated banks and voted to make student loans non-dischargeable so that the DoE now sends SWAT teams to collect them is not a force of change, nor should he be a mere vehicle to sneak Kamala Harris into office. I think court packing is a threat rather than a reality, Biden doesn’t want to alter things and Harris lacks the juice

  6. Jardinero1

    To change the structure of the federal courts, legislation has to be proposed; and pass the Senate and the House. The Democratic leadership of both houses has already come out for packing the court, so that part of the question is moot. The question for Biden is really more fundamental: Would he sign or veto such an act of Congress? Of course Biden could obfuscate and say, “It really depends on how the act is written.” This question and answer would take Biden off the hook. I wonder how many days before he is asked and answers the question in this way.

    1. SHG Post author

      There were many ways Biden could have responded appropriately without committing. He chose not to do any of them.

    2. Rengit

      Biden has to appeal to moderates, independents, and committed Democrats all at once, while the Democratic leadership in both parties are in states/districts that are as blue as it can get and have to talk big to please activists and die hard progressive. They’re speaking to two different audiences, so it’s Biden that has to hedge rhetorically.

  7. Ahaz

    This is only an issue if the Dems take the Presidency, Senate and retain the House. Until then, this is purely speculative And hypothetical issue that deserves little attention. The GOP want to make it an issue to energize their base. The Dems are rightly angry at the GOP and their unabashed use of their power. Biden is right to keep his mouth shut a hypothetical. But the GOP should remember as they push forward….Consequences.

  8. Pedantic Grammar Police

    I’ve never liked Biden but I don’t think he would pack the court. The problem is that Biden isn’t on the ballot. The withered husk of Biden is on the ballot. They will tell him that the court-packing bill is a birthday card for his granddaughter and give him a cookie after he signs it. Or President Harris will sign it.

    I’m not worried about a greedy real estate hustler profiteering from the presidency. We can survive 4 more years of that. The people around Biden do scare me. I’m reminded of a C.S. Lewis quote:

    “The robber baron’s cruelty may sometimes sleep, his cupidity may at some point be satiated; but those who torment us for our own good will torment us without end for they do so with the approval of their own conscience.”

  9. Steve KIng

    At some point you have to look objectively at accomplishments, not personalities. In my observation the Democrats have been going down hill since Truman. Do they even recognize any form of objective reality as to actions and consequences?

    You may hate Trumps personality, but he has accomplished a great deal of good in a short period of time. Has he made mistakes? Yes. But so far he has not made any truly humungous ones-like getting into another stupid, endless, war. We do not need the dictatorship of the Democrats endless “its for your own good” politics and policies. So Trump will get my vote.

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