By Dave Andrusko
It’s no secret that Joe Biden, the Democrats’ presumptive presidential nominee, is attempting to navigate a particularly bad patch of rough waters. As they say, it’s not one thing, it is a proliferation.
Supporters and critics alike shake their heads after Biden’s many attempts to construct an understandable sentence. While that’s old news, the former Vice President seems to be getting worse.
And, of course, the most damaging development of late are the allegations made by Tara Reade. Biden has denied all wrong-doing, but the heat is slowly building. (See below.)
But there’s much more. As we discussed Tuesday, the Harvard School of Government’s Institute of Politics put the best face possible on a recent survey of 18-29 year olds. Truth be told Biden generates neither good numbers [only 34% have a favorable opinion of him] nor enthusiasm [16% would vote for an Independent].
Slate’s Leon Krauze reported earlier this week “A recent Latino Decisions poll reveals a clear enthusiasm gap among Latinos for both Biden and the 2020 election itself, with only 49 percent of registered voters currently committed to choosing Biden over Trump, and just six out of 10 planning to go to the polls in November.”
And, in an interesting experiment, the Morning Consult showed self-described Democrats a clip of Biden vigorously defending himself against Ms. Reade’s allegations after which 26% said Democrats “should select a different candidate for the 2020 general election.”
In addition, “Forty percent of Democrats under the age of 45 said the party should pick a different nominee.”
What’s interesting is these Democrat voters were shown only a 30 second clip where Biden denied the allegations “unequivocally.” If they had been shown the entire interview on “Morning Joe,” my guess is a much larger percentage would have wanted Biden replaced.
Then there’s this, from a long story that appeared today in the National Catholic Register. This post, written by Lauretta Brown, ran under the provocative headline “Running for President as a Pro-Abortion Catholic, Is Biden a Problem for US Bishops? News Analysis: Biden’s presumptive nomination echoes the intense controversy that erupted in 2004 when John Kerry, another Catholic supporter of legal abortion, was the Democratic presidential nominee.”
It’s important to read in its entirety, but here are four takeaways.
1. Biden is a “Catholic presidential nominee who overtly supports abortion rights” and continues to do so aggressively. Referring to April 28 remarks, Brown writes, “This was only one of a series of times that Biden has defended abortion on the 2020 campaign trail, in direct contradiction to the Church’s teachings about the intrinsic evil of abortion.”
2. Back in September 2008, when Biden was a U.S. Senator, he appeared on Meet the Press, as Obama’s vice-presidential nominee. Biden said, Brown writes, that while he was “prepared as a matter of faith to accept that life begins at the moment of conception,” he would not impose that belief on anyone through law because that would be “inappropriate in a pluralistic society.”
Archbishop Charles Chaput and Bishop James Conley responded in no uncertain terms:
“Abortion is a foundational issue” and “is always grievously wrong,” Archbishop Chaput and Bishop Conley stated, adding that, “in reality, modern biology knows exactly when human life begins: at the moment of conception. Religion has nothing to do with it.”
“If, as Sen. Biden said, ‘I’m prepared as a matter of faith to accept that life begins at the moment of conception,’ then he is not merely wrong about the science of new life; he also fails to defend the innocent life he already knows is there,” the two bishops said.
3. Brown interviewed Russell Shaw, a Catholic author who served as secretary for public affairs of the National Conference of Catholic Bishops/U.S. Catholic Conference from 1969 to 1987. Shaw said, according to Brown, “that, as the 2020 campaign heats up, the bishops could potentially speak out again if Biden presents his positions a certain way.”
“The really crucial thing for the bishops as pastoral leaders is to make it perfectly clear to Catholics generally that the fact that Biden or some other candidate holds views in conflict with the clear, authoritative teaching of the Church does not somehow make those views acceptable for Catholics to hold — and that is not a political position, but a pastoral one.”
4. Brown writes that according to Archbishop Naumann [chairman of the USCCB Committee on Pro-Life Activities],
following an ad limina visit, Pope Francis agreed with the U.S. bishops’ identifying abortion as the “preeminent” priority, Catholic News Service reported.
“His response to that was, ‘Of course, it is. It’s the most fundamental right,’” Archbishop Naumann told CNS. “He said, ‘This is not first a religious issue; it’s a human-rights issue,’ which is so true.”
And we still have 179 days until the November 3 elections.