The 2020 Democratic frontrunner, former Vice President Joe Biden, is showing his true career politician colors as he flips his stances on many mainstream issues, in an attempt to appease both his core, moderate base and the growing progressive mob within the Democratic Party. To woo the latter group of voters, Biden had initially taken more radical stances on issues such as abortion and climate change. This voters in this block are cheerleaders for abortion-on-demand, funded by taxpayers, and in order to break through the “old, white man” stereotype, Biden came out against the Hyde Amendment in his campaign rollout.
The Hyde Amendment exclusively protects taxpayers from funding abortions. It does not ban, prohibit or restrict access to abortion in any way. The amendment has exceptions written in for the life of the mother and for in cases of rape or incest, in which case public funds can be used to seek an abortion. This amendment, originally passed in 1976, is highly uncontroversial, and then-Senator Biden threw his support behind it. Even the most pro-choice politicians have historically supported it, on the basis of protecting taxpayers while not restricting abortion access.
The former vice president must have been briefed on the polling regarding the Hyde Amendment, which is overwhelmingly supportive of the measure. As John McCormack of the National Review reported, the amendment has a 22-point margin of support, per a Harvard poll of likely voters in 2016. Biden re-affirmed his support for the measure on Tuesday, per NBC News; the former Vice President clarified that this support is contingent on Roe v. Wade remaining intact. This third flip on the issue makes clear to voters that the former Vice President has no real stance on the issue of taxpayer-funded abortion.
Naturally, pro-abortion groups who support the repeal of Hyde and forcing taxpayers to fund abortion, ripped the former vice president on the issue:
There’s NO political or ideological excuse for @JoeBiden’s support for the Hyde Amendment, which translates into discrimination against poor women and women of color plain and simple. His position further endangers people already facing enormous hurdles. https://t.co/3jDleIq077— NARAL (@NARAL) June 5, 2019
In a crowded field of Democrats who are competing in a race to see who can take the most outrageously progressive stances, former Vice President Biden is not only brave, but smart to take this stance. The polling is on the side of the Hyde Amendment, and outside of the social media bubble that is dominated by young progressive activists, the average American is reasonable, and supports a measure like the Hyde Amendment. Protecting taxpayers from funding abortions is not controversial to the overwhelming majority of Americans. Biden has the opportunity to make headway with Independent and Republican voters who are not happy with President Trump, and supporting the Hyde Amendment unapologetically is a viable avenue to make those gains; Biden has to pick a stance and stick to it, though. He has to choose between appeasing the growing progressive wing of the Democratic Party that does not speak for the majority of Americans, or his traditional moderate base, and even some Republicans. If he is smart, he will choose the latter.