Beats me, except for voters like Mother of the Radical (MOTheR), who is a formerly Hillary-supporting Pennsylvania voter and thinks Joe Biden is the bee's knees. The comb over doesn't seem to bother her at all.
But Delaware? Who needs Delaware in a general election? Wait! I know! Except for an accident of colonialism and the fact that it is owned by Dupont, Delaware is actually a county in Pennsylvania. Don't believe it that Obama is eschewing the old "state strategy" by choosing a senator from little, insignificant Delaware as his vice president: the campaign is hoping that Joe will bring in the very important swing state of Pennsylvania (where, by the way, black politicians are not overly popular and gregarious, boot-straps white guys are.)
Of course, I didn't like any of the people on the finals list, except perhaps Evan Bayh. And I was a little afraid of the Governor of Virginia. Given this, maybe Joe will be OK. And his wife is hot. The Michelle-Jill wife ticket is one I can totally get behind.
So what do we think of Joe? Here are some highlights:
On abortion: not so good. Voted for the so-called "partial birth" ban; claims to believe life begins at conception (which is a stance that was invented so that people could fudge their position on abortion and hope Christians wouldn't notice); voted against maintaining the abortion ban on military bases; consistently voted for federal funding for contraception; claims to support Roe strongly, but has voted for a great many laws that have greatly restricted who actually has access to abortion.
Conclusion: Joe is pro-choice, but wants to placate the pro-life crowd (a group of people who are, I think, not that stupid) and is not willing to stand up for a universal right to choose.
On civil rights: voted against court-ordered bussing to desegregate schools; believes gays should be allowed to serve in the military and have civil unions. Believes that gay marriage is probably "inevitable", but that "government should not be able to dictate to religions the definition of marriage" (as if marriage were a religious rather than a political institution); voted for the Defense of Marriage Act which makes it ilegal for the federal government to recognize gay marriages enacted legally by states (because he knows marriage is a political act --duh.)
Conclusion: probably not homophobic, but caters to the homophobic on Sundays and holidays. Has gay friends.
On education: Believes that his vote for No Child Left Behind was an error (good thing his own children didn't go to public school!); doesn't think segregated schools are an issue as long as racial separation isn't enforced by law; voted no on school vouchers in DC, an unsuccessful effort to prevent draining public money into private education corporations who now educate half of the children in the District of Columbia; voted in favor of funds for abstinence education -- $75 million dollars worth -- that was under the Clinton administration!-- as well as for funds to provide information about contraception as part of a comprehensive sex ed package.
Conclusion: not the sharpest knife in the drawer when it comes to education, but has many bases covered. Doesn't quite get it that most minority and poor kids get screwed because middle class and wealthy people of all colors don't have to go to school with them.
In case this leaves you feeling lukewarm to cold on Joe, here's the bright side. Joe received an "F" from the National Rifle Association; a 16% rating from the Christian Coalition; a 0% rating from the National Right to Life Committee (but only a 36% rating from NARAL-ProChoice America); 100% from the NAACP (but only a 78% from those centrist queers at the Human Rights Campaign and a dismal 60% from the American Civil LIberties Union). The United States Chamber of Commerce gave him an anti-business 32%; and the AFL-CIO a 100%, for his pro-union stances.
Oh and the other bright side -- Did I mention that the wife ticket is really hot?
CM Roundtable I: Surkh Salam – Besky
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