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Sunday, July 14, 2024 - 02:44 AM


First Published in 1994


Maybe to some people, Joe Biden's fixation with gender identity feels out of character. But to others, who've watched the president undergo his own radical transformation in recent years, it makes more sense. The man who stood in front of America and defended the rights of little children to change their identities has, in many ways, done the same thing himself -- splitting from decades-old policy positions to assume a completely different political persona. When a reporter asked about Biden's transition -- was he officially identifying as a progressive? -- White House Press Secretary Jen Psaki replied that the president "is not eager to be labeled." Well, Joe Biden may not know what he is, but at least we know what he's not: a moderate.

It only took 24 hours for Americans to realize what an unconvincing lie Biden's promise to "govern from the middle" was. The same Democrat who, two years earlier, believed in common sense limits on abortion, immigration, Senate rules, and the Supreme Court got right to work alienating core constituencies with attacks on life, energy, biology, border law, and taxpayers. The myth of the moderate was blown. "The bait was he was going to govern as bipartisan, but the switch is he's governed as a socialist," House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy (R-Calif.) has complained.

And nowhere has the "evolved" Biden made more enemies than in his crusade for LGBT indoctrination. While the former vice president was always light years ahead of his boss, Barack Obama, on radical changes like same-sex marriage, no one could have dreamed that the father of four would one day call parents' involvement in education "hateful." As the Federalist's Rachel Bovard points out, Joe Biden of 1994 was completely on board with a much stricter law than Florida's Parental Rights bill 30 years ago. Then-Senator Biden didn't blink when it came to voting for a policy that didn't just stop conversations about gender identity -- it outright banned LGBT materials from schools.

Then, much like now, Republicans held up graphic books and curriculum, arguing that they couldn't even quote from them "because to put them on the airwaves in any way, shape, or form," New Hampshire Senator Bob Smith said, "would be considered obscene." Fast forward 30 years, and leaders in states all across the country are still having the same debate. There's just one difference: Democrats are siding with obscenity!

When Psaki was pressed about Biden's support for those reasonable limits in 1994, she refused to entertain the idea that this president might understand where parents are coming from. "In terms of his views and comments from 25 years ago, I think the most important question now is: why are Florida leaders deciding they need to discriminate against kids who are members of the LGBTQ community?"

To most grassroots Democrats, that was an eye-opener. Sure, Bovard said on "Washington Watch," the two parties don't agree on a lot of things, but most moms and dads "want a say in their child's education." For some reason, that's only a controversial view here in Washington, "where it seems like this very, very loud minority within the Democratic Party... not that big of a faction -- but a very loud and aggressive [one] has taken over the Democratic Party in Washington and is forcing these transformative social views on a party where I would wager not a lot of their base actually support." (She's right, Democrats are hugely opposed to Biden's position on the Florida law.)

It's going to be an interesting test for the midterm elections, Bovard went on. "I suspect that a lot of parents in the Democratic Party are scratching their heads saying, 'You know, we can debate some of these hot topics. But the fact that you want to bar me from knowing what's going on in my child's school, that's probably a bridge too far'... So I do think it is this like nexus of a minority within the party that is just incredibly loud. And they have cowed a lot of the Democratic politicians into submission."

In the real world, where D.C. Democrats refuse to live, there's a lot more agreement on social issues than the mainstream media will admit. On things like girls' sports, sex education, privacy, and parents' rights, the overall pushback to Biden's agenda is something that "even moderate Democrats" embrace. They've watched the Left -- formerly the party of "live and let live" -- abandon that motto in favor of "imposing progressive values on everyone," Bovard warned. "It's [either] you agree with them, or you're a racist and a sexist and a bigot -- and whatever else they want to throw at you. So the battles lines have been drawn."

It's been a remarkable shift, she would agree, not just for Biden -- but for the whole Democratic Party. "Even in my lifetime, if you think back to the Clinton administration... saying, 'Abortion should be safe, legal, and rare.' 'Rare' was a big component of that. That's gone now. That moderation is gone. They have gone completely radical..." If you care about cultural issues -- values like life, human dignity, biology, or natural marriage and sex -- "it's a binary choice for you at this point... You're either voting Republican or voting Democrat. There's no in-between... And Joe Biden has been a proxy for that question. His career, I think, really reflects how the Democratic Party has evolved on this."

For a party that claims to like "choice," they've certainly given voters a clear one.