Why is President Biden so liberal? | Bob Loevy | Content reserved for subscribers

The one-year anniversary of Joe Biden’s inauguration as President of the United States (January 20, 2022) has produced much commentary on the successes and failures of Biden’s first year in the White House.

Most assessments have been unflattering for President Biden.

He neither sought nor won much cooperation from Republicans in Congress, although he campaigned with a promise to be bipartisan.

The lingering coronavirus pandemic, particularly the delta and omicron variants, continues to disrupt commerce, education and social life across the country.

The military withdrawal from Afghanistan, which American soldiers fought and died to liberate for 20 years, was far too hasty and incompetently handled.

Shortages of consumer goods, caused by worker absences due to the coronavirus, have led to inflation in the national economy. The prices of the goods and services that Americans buy every day are rising rapidly.

Most mysterious of all, President Biden failed to be a moderate, middle-of-the-road president. He has clearly supported far-left and very progressive legislative proposals, such as the $3 trillion “social infrastructure” bill that would fight climate change and fund many social welfare and social service programs. popular with Liberal Democrats.

Add to that a Biden-backed voting rights bill that, in essence, would transfer control of the vote in the United States from the states to the national government, again serving the interests of progressive liberals rather than moderates.

Why is President Biden doing this? Here is an explanation.

Two years from now it will be the 2024 Democratic presidential primaries and caucuses. Similar to most first-term incumbent presidents, regardless of age, Joe Biden will likely want to run for re-election as the country’s chief executive. in 2024.

It’s a big deal being President of the United States, especially with the two-term limit. There is a good chance that Joe Biden wants to run for and win this second four-year term that is allowed to him.

That means the first electorates Joe Biden will face in his quest to stay in the White House will be in Iowa, New Hampshire, Nevada and South Carolina. Under Democratic Party rules, promulgated by the Democratic National Committee, the four states will vote first in the 2024 presidential primaries and caucuses.

As with nearly all Democratic primaries these days, voters in the top three of these top four caucuses/primaries will be far more liberal than voters in the country as a whole. In two years, Joe Biden will be especially afraid of being confronted in these first three caucuses and primaries with a very liberal opponent rather than a moderate or conservative opponent.

It is therefore believed that President Biden is working hard to establish strong liberal and progressive positions that will protect him, in the first three caucuses and primaries, against an ambush from the left.

It also explains the hasty and mismanaged US military withdrawal from Afghanistan under Biden.

Since 1972, when US Senator George McGovern won the Democratic nomination on a “Get out of Vietnam” platform, there has been an outspoken and politically active pacifist wing within the national Democratic Party. By getting all troops out of Afghanistan as quickly as possible, Biden has eliminated the ‘war problem’ from his 2024 re-election campaign and staved off any chance in caucuses and primaries of being branded a ‘warmonger’ .

The public quickly forgets the presidential primaries and caucuses of the past, but incumbent presidents who want to be renominated and reelected know how to remember them well.

In 2020, Joe Biden lost the Iowa caucuses to liberals Pete Buttigieg and Bernie Sanders. In the 2020 New Hampshire primary, Biden came in fifth, well behind Sanders, Buttigieg, Amy Klobuchar and Elizabeth Warren. In the 2020 Nevada caucuses, Biden was beaten nearly two to one by Bernie Sanders, a candidate so liberal he identified as a socialist.

It wasn’t until the fourth election, the South Carolina primary, that Biden finally won decisively and began racking up the delegate votes needed to secure the 2020 Democratic presidential nomination. Many observers believe that Biden was very lucky to win the nomination after losing the first three primaries/caucuses to mostly liberal opponents by wide margins.

My argument is that President Biden does not want to repeat in 2024 what happened in 2020 – losing three of the first four presidential and primary caucuses. To this end, he positioned his presidency on the liberal left. He will remain there until two years – February 2024 – when the next round of presidential caucuses and Democratic Party primaries begin.

Bob Loevy is a retired political science professor at Colorado College. He has written extensively on the presidential nomination process.

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