A serial plagiarist and prevaricator, a deliberate enabler of his son’s sleazy foreign profiteering, a career-long member of the Democratic left wing, an advocate of notoriously wrongheaded foreign policy at almost every turn for 40 years, Biden should inspire not a lick of confidence from centrists, much less conservatives. He pretends to preach a return to a politics of decency and light, but he was one of the foremost participants in polluting the judicial nomination process by overseeing the character assassination of Robert Bork, lying to Clarence Thomas about how Thomas’s hearings would be conducted, and breaking 216 years of Senate tradition by killing the nomination of Miguel Estrada and subsequent nominees via minority filibusters.

When Biden’s own political interests are at stake, there is almost no limit to how conniving, underhanded, two-faced, or heartless he can be.

And now that he has moved rapidly and radically leftward since clinching his party’s nomination, while choosing in Kamala Harris a likely successor even more leftward still, Biden offers no real impediment to the Bernie Sanders-like lurch toward creeping socialism and no counterweight to the dangerous decline of public safety in our cities. And if Biden is elected with angry Democratic majorities in both the House and Senate as well, with the latter determined to eviscerate the filibuster, there is no limit to the systemic damage they can do.