Er … so what? Yes, it’s another great catch by the long-memoried folks at the Free Beacon, who published this delicious — and accurate — analysis by Joe Biden v1.0 thirty-six years ago. Since when do we demand consistency from our politicians, however? Especially from Joe Biden?
“President Roosevelt clearly had the right to send to the United States Senate and the United States Congress a proposal to pack the Court,” Biden said during the hearing. “It was totally within his right to do that—he violated no law, he was legalistically absolutely correct.”
“But it was a bonehead idea. It was a terrible, terrible mistake to make, and it put in question, for an entire decade, the independence of the most significant body—including the Congress in my view—the most significant body in this country, the Supreme Court of the United States of America.”
If anyone still valued intellectual and political consistency, this would bury Biden and other Democrats who are more vocally endorsing a court-packing project. Let’s remember who we’re dealing with, however. Four years after this clip, the New York Times would bust Biden for plagiarizing his stump speeches from British politician Neil Kinnock, as well as for law-school plagiarism, both of which Biden called at the time “much ado about nothing.” Five years after that, Biden would threaten to block a new Supreme Court nominee in an election year, a red line that Democrats conveniently forgot when fulminating over the injustice dealt to Merrick Garland by Mitch McConnell in the exact same set of circumstances.
And yet, the world awaits Biden’s entry into the race as its most pivotal moment. Clearly we aren’t being governed by ethics and consistency. (And we can point to both major-party nominees in the 2016 election as confirmation of that, too.)
It’d be nice to think that Democrats would look at this clip and say, “Gee, never mind about the court packing, because we want to be consistent.” It’s expecting far too much to apply that even to Biden, who spent 2016 trying to convince everyone that his 1992 posturing had no relevance to Garland’s confirmation. It’s even too much to expect that the wisdom of this analysis — which is undeniable — would make a dent in the nihilistic, iconoclastic nature of the progressive populism that drives the Democratic Party and their presidential primary, at least thus far.
At least we have this for amusement’s sake. And to remember that Biden was going bald at one point, too.