By Dave Andrusko
I don’t know exactly how I missed it, but pro-abortion Joe Biden and the editorial board of the New York Times sat down in January in a mutual back-scratching enterprise. The transcript is full of references to laughter and, obviously, Biden was in friendly hand.
The former vice president was remarkably candid about abortion. So this is very much exploring.
Here’s the way Lauren Kelley began the abortion section:
Lauren Kelley: I have a different topic for you. Mr. Vice President, I’d love to ask you about reproductive rights.
Joe Biden: Yes.
LK: So I think it’s fair to say that this is a pretty extraordinary moment for reproductive rights. They’re more threatened than they probably have been since Roe v. Wade was passed.
JB. I agree.
LK: There are a lot of people who question whether you will go on the offensive for reproductive rights as much as is going to be necessary with Roe v. Wade under threat, given the fact that, while you are pro-choice certainly, you switched your position on Hyde only just recently. For instance, you also originally argued for greater exemptions to the contraception mandate in Obamacare. So I think there’s some concern out there ——
There then ensues a lengthy back and forth in which Biden insists he hadn’t backpedaled. He essentially says that everyone supported the Hyde Amendment at one time or another but now—now—he understands how unfair that was/is.
Note, this turnabout—from support to opposition—occurred in 2019. In fact, it was one day after he reiterated his support—and the usual suspects went ballistic—that Biden had his reverse Road to Damascus experience. Suddenly, he saw the light.
A few minutes later, the topic of the Supreme Court came up:
Nick Fox: I was kind of curious what kind of person? What are you looking for in the Supreme Court?
Joe Biden: They have to have an expansive view of the Constitution. Recognize the right to privacy, unenumerated rights that exist in the Constitution. Not the Federalist Society view that if it’s not listed, it doesn’t exist. And they have to be, they acknowledge the unenumerated rights and a right to privacy in the Constitution, and the “penumbra” [laws] and the Ninth Amendment, then in fact that means I know they will in fact support Roe v. Wade. They’ll support a woman’s right to choose and a whole range of other things that relate to individual personal rights. That is critical. I’ve written about it extensively. I’ve written law review articles about it.
When I defeated Bork, I was able to provide a woman’s right for a generation because had he won, it would have been over.
Two points. First, humble as ever, Mr. Biden takes “credit” for defeating Judge Robert Bork in1987. In fact, Bork was “borked” by a number of pro-abortionists–led by the late Ted Kennedy whose vitriolic attack set the template–not by Biden. Prior to Kennedy’s hysterics, Biden said that if President Reagan nominated Bork, “I’d have to vote for him,” according to the Wall Street Journal.
[According to Merriam-Webster, “to Bork” means “to attack or defeat (a nominee or candidate for public office) unfairly through an organized campaign of harsh public criticism or vilification.”
[The Wall Street Journal put it more frankly: “The borking of Robert Bork taught special-interest groups that they could demonize judicial nominees based solely on their worldview. Worse, character assassination proved an effective tactic, nearly sinking Justice Clarence Thomas’s appointment four years later.”]
Second, Biden’s answer about finding “unenumerated” rights is music to the ears of abortion proponents and others who are enamored with a “living Constitution.” If what you want can be found not in the text of the Constitution but hidden in “penumbras” and “emanations,” then you can read any “right” you wish into the Constitution. Easy peasy.
If you have 10 minutes sometime, do read the entire folksy exchange between Mr. Biden and the editorial page of the New York Times.