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Pierce writes: "The Pragmatic Center and The Left are occupied, along with plenty of other lanes. Even the former VP himself doesn't seem to know where to stand."

Joe Biden. (photo: Getty Images)
Joe Biden. (photo: Getty Images)

There Is No Room in the Democratic Field for Joe Biden

By Charles Pierce, Esquire

24 April 19

The Pragmatic Center and The Left are occupied, along with plenty of other lanes. Even the former VP himself doesn't seem to know where to stand.

NN ran the Pol-a-Palooza on Monday night, with back-to-back-x-five town halls with, in order: Amy Klobuchar, Elizabeth Warren, Bernie Sanders, Kamala Harris, and Pete Buttigieg. All of them stayed pretty much in their lanes, especially Buttigieg, who is by god going to romance those Better Angels until they cry uncle.

As Democrats, this is a habit that we have. We go right to the policy proposals and we expect people to be able to figure out what our values must be from that.

I think it’s important that we not drown people in minutia before we’ve vindicated the values that animate our policies.

I realize that everybody's mileage may vary on this but, to me, this is doublespeak edging toward weaselspeak. How does one vindicate one's values in a political context without enacting policies, and how does one enact policies in a democratic republic without explaining them to the people who elect the people who will vote for those policies? Nevertheless, you'd have to be stupid to think that there isn't a substantial audience for this kind of thing, and it's clear that Buttigieg has found the cause for which he'll ride to Jerusalem.

Warren, of course, took an opposite tack, proving that you can explain the minutiae of policy without drowning people in them. (And her answer on impeachment was unequivocal, which was a relief.) Klobuchar was being sturdy and moderate, especially on impeachment, and has no gift for snappy comebacks. Harris seemed to have an off night generally, but really lit up a question on gun control, saying she'll give Congress 100 days to do something or she's taking out the Executive Order bazooka.

And Sanders somehow drew the short straw on bizarre questions—especially that exceptionally weird one about whether or not Dzokhar Tsarnaev should be allowed to vote from inside SuperMax prior to his eventual execution. Sanders stood by his position—yes, the franchise should be extended to the incarcerated—which is admirable, and which gave CNN the soundbite it was looking for all evening, and, alas, gave 100 GOP oppo bandits a late chocolate Easter bunny.

What was clear about the evening, especially when one considers the candidates who weren't there, is that there just isn't any room for Joe Biden this time around. A huge chunk of the party has moved on from him. There are plenty of people to run as pragmatic moderates; Klobuchar and Buttgieg did so on the stage Monday night. The left is locked up between Sanders and Warren. What does Biden bring besides name recognition, some old-line union support, and boatloads of money from sources that half his party is going to be running against?

Which makes Tuesday's news about Biden's postponing his official campaign launch even more intriguing. From WLS:

According to a writer for the Atlantic , the announcement of Joe Biden’s run for president has been delayed. “Several sources say the Biden announcement, which had been planned for Wednesday by video, has now been pushed back,” tweeted writer Edward-Isaac Dovere. Even though the announcement date is up in the air, donations for the campaign are still being collected. “The guy has been running for President since 1987 and can’t figure the basics out, like where to stand on his first day? This should make everyone very nervous,” a former Biden aide said.

Biden seems literally unsure where to stand when he announces he's running for president. The metaphor isn't helpful, either.

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