Joe Biden used to be a progressive Democrat. What happened?

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  • #255016

    • Total Posts: 4,914

    A decade later, the “New Deal Democrat” had completely changed his tune. As the Reagan era dawned, Biden recalls listening to friends “mostly on the Republican side of the aisle”. “More and more,” he became “a believer in balanced budgets.”

    By 1984, Biden took his newfound small-government approach to its logical conclusion and proposed a total federal spending freeze. A majority of states had double-digit unemployment rates at the time, and there were widespread economic worries. But instead of taking aim at the structural reasons for decline, Biden focused single-mindedly on the deficit. Along with two Republican colleagues, he spearheaded a plan to “shock the living devil out of everyone in the US Senate” by freezing spending, including cost-of-living adjustments for social security recipients. This despite a majority of Americans supporting more funding for the program, even if it meant higher taxes. At the time, inflation was nearing 5%, so effectively Biden would have taken billions of dollars away from working people.

    “Middle-class Joe” from Scranton, Pennsylvania, the economic populist of 1972, was long gone. And he never regretted his shift. In 1995, when he finally had a Republican majority to work with in the Senate, Biden reminded his colleagues that “When I argued that we should freeze federal spending, I meant social security as well, I meant Medicare and Medicaid.” He joined only a handful of Democrats in backing a Republican proposal to enshrine small government into the constitution through a balanced budget amendment.

    He was just as unremorseful when running for president in 2007, telling Tim Russert on Meet the Press he wasn’t afraid of the “third rail” of American politics – entitlement reform, even cuts to popular programs. In particular, he touted the idea of “protecting” social security by raising the retirement age.

    Jesus: Hey, Dad? God: Yes, Son? Jesus: Western civilization followed me home. Can I keep it? God: Certainly not! And put it down this minute--you don't know where it's been! Tom Robbins in Another Roadside Attraction

  • #255027

    Jan Boehmerman
    • Total Posts: 2,645

    What happened?  He sniffed too many hair sprays and such!

  • #255034

    • Total Posts: 2,366
  • #255041

    • Total Posts: 224

    I remember him from his beginning and he was never a progressive. He was always in with the money people and he never held that anyone who wasn’t white was any good at anything. He ranks down poor black families for not doing more for their kids but he never says the same about poor white kids. He was never a progressive. Ever.

  • #255047

    The Red Menace
    • Total Posts: 1,017

    Joe’s never been a progressive, no matter how much you stretch the word. He’s a 90’s Democrat – specifically the 1890’s.

  • #255074

    • Total Posts: 279

    Looks like most of us will concur that he has never been a progressive. He really has BS’ed a lot of people along with the rest of the DLC/NEW DEM virus.

  • #255083

    • Total Posts: 3,400

    Joe Biden has NEVER been a Progressive Democrat.  Never ever.  Of course, bear in mind that the DNC/Democratic Party has now redefined “progressive” to mean “not actually running as a Republican”.

    I will not vote for a Vichy Dem. Period. As always, I decide who is a Vichy Dem.

    Bernie's ISSUES or Bust!

  • #255087

    • Total Posts: 1,603

    You can balance budgets without giving massive tax breaks to the rich or slashing the safety net.


    I support MFA among other policies to give regular people a balanced budget at home.

  • #255245

    Bill Haywood
    • Total Posts: 138

    Bhaskar Sunkara is reaching with that one…

    “I don’t think the issues mean a great deal in terms of whether you win or lose. I think the issues are merely a vehicle to portray your intellectual capacity to the voters . . . a vehicle by which the voters will determine your honesty and candor.”

    –Joe Biden (1974)

    In dedication to Status Quo Joe the Hollow Man with regards to T.S. Eliot

    We are the hollow men
    We are the stuffed men
    Leaning together
    Headpiece filled with straw. Alas!
    Our dried voices, when
    We whisper together
    Are quiet and meaningless
    As wind in dry grass
    Or rats’ feet over broken glass
    In our dry cellar

    Shape without form, shade without colour,
    Paralysed force, gesture without motion;



  • #255250

    Ohio Barbarian
    • Total Posts: 11,164

    Bribery is what happened. Joe Biden took bribes. Still does.

    It is better to vote for what you want and not get it than to vote for what you don't want and get it.--Eugene Debs

    If Democrats don’t stand for the people, why should people stand for them?--Jim Hightower

  • #255554

    • Total Posts: 406

    Groper Joe was never a progressive. That paedo twat has been a race baiter and a bankster bawbag licker from day one.

  • #255610

    • Total Posts: 4,914

    I think they meant he was an opponent of the Vietnam War.

    Jesus: Hey, Dad? God: Yes, Son? Jesus: Western civilization followed me home. Can I keep it? God: Certainly not! And put it down this minute--you don't know where it's been! Tom Robbins in Another Roadside Attraction

  • #255612

    • Total Posts: 2,480

    Joe had a public image of “the working class guy from Scranton who still took the train home to Delaware every night” from the Senate. But that image never really matched his policy positions. The bankster shilling, the PNAC warmongering, etc.

    "Those who make peaceful revolution impossible will make violent revolution inevitable". - John F. Kennedy

  • #255713

    Blue Meany
    • Total Posts: 194

    I always thought he a blue-dog Democrat.  He was always reminding people that Delaware was culturally and demographically southern, and he worked with southern racists–whether Democrat or Republican.  Obama put him on the ticket to help him carry the South and he took on the facade of a progressive then.  But his professed ability to talk to the working-class coupled with his efforts to dismantle the welfare state would have made him a perfect fit for the Republican Party, at least up until the early 1990s.  Now we are supposed to consider that progressive, but then, as Noam Chomsky says, Nixon was the last liberal president.

  • #255716

    • Total Posts: 6,082

    Joe is just another bastard who used the popularity of progressive positions to get elected, then turned around and betrayed everyone to be paid like the tool he is by the oligarchs. The Democratic Party is full of them.

  • #256040

    • Total Posts: 376

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