Will he or won’t he? Only his hairdresser knows. (Younger readers can ask their parents/grandparents about that television commercial reference.) During his town hall last night, George Stephanopoulos surprised me by actually asking Biden where he stood on packing the Supreme Court if Amy Coney Barrett was confirmed. Previously, Biden had either flatly refused to answer or simply said that the voters “don’t deserve to know” his position before the election. Those responses have gone over like a lead balloon, and even Biden’s obedient cheerleaders in most of the mainstream media haven’t swallowed it.
I suppose the negative reactions have taken a toll on Team Biden because this time the former veep had a different answer. But not all that different. He still refused to say but indicated that he might let us know prior to the election. But even then, it would depend on how the Senate GOP handles the rest of the confirmation process. (National Review)
The Democrat said he is “not a fan” of court-packing but it “depends on how this turns out — not how he wins, but how it’s handled.”
“If there is actually real live debate on the floor, if people are really going to be able to have the time to go through this,” he said. “I don’t know anybody who’s gone on the floor who has been a controversial justice in terms of fundamentally altering the makeup of the court that’s gone through in a day kind of thing.”
“It depends on how much they rush this,” he said.
Biden was all over the place during his answers, looking totally at sea. To his credit, Stephanopoulos pressed Uncle Joe further, asking if the voters didn’t have a right to know his position before they voted. Biden responded, “They do have a right to know where I stand and they’ll have a right to know where I stand before they vote.”
We can take that portion of the exchange in one of two ways. Either Biden was totally confused and babbling or he was trying to be too clever by half. Giving him the benefit of the doubt, we should note that Biden only said that voters will “have the right to know where I stand” before they vote. It doesn’t mean they will know… only that they will have the right to. Then he immediately backpedaled again and added that it still depends “on how they handle this.”
Of course, all of this is relatively meaningless at this point. Many of the country’s voters are already voting early or have sent their mail-in ballots. If this court-packing question was part of their decision on who to vote for, it’s too late for them. And by the time we know how the Senate “handled” the Barrett confirmation, it will be only a few days before the election, if that. Biden is clearly aware of this, or at least he should be, so this exchange at the town hall was nothing more than political theater.
This has been a self-inflicted wound for Biden. He could have put the issue to rest when the discussion first arose and picked a side. I was expecting something along the lines of saying that it wouldn’t be his first choice but if court-packing was the “will of the people” as expressed through their elected representatives, he wouldn’t stand in the way. That would have been a fairly safe answer. But instead, he chose to be sneaky about it in a painfully obvious effort to avoid ticking off either side too much. That’s backfired on him entirely, though I seriously doubt the issue is going to change too many votes anyway.