There are times when the Democratic party looks like a formidable threat heading into 2020 — and other times, like this weekend, when people are wondering if their political strategists are permanently out to lunch. Initially, former Vice President Joe Biden probably stood out to a lot of people as a legitimate contender in the field of 23. Now, after a Human Rights Campaign dinner keynote, he’s standing out for another reason: his LGBT fanaticism.
Beating Donald Trump wasn’t going to be an easy task — but Joe Biden just made it a whole lot harder for himself. At a Saturday night speech, the man formerly known as the moderate choice in a cramped race, made a startling announcement about his plans as president. If he wins, he told a room of HRC activists, LGBT “rights” will be his number one priority. “In this dangerous moment for our nation,” he said, “the very idea of America is at stake.” Calling the president’s policies “wrong” and “immoral,” Biden vowed, “I promise you if I’m elected… [the Equality Act] will be the first thing I ask to be done. This is our soul, da**it. This is who we have to be…”
While the crowd of activists wildly cheered, the rest of the country’s reaction could probably be summed up in one word: Really? With all of the tension on the world stage, with immigration reaching its boiling point, and people looking to Washington to keep the economic boom going, the front-runner of the Democratic party says putting men in girls’ bathrooms is the most important thing of all?
Sure, the Equality Act will excite a tiny fringe of liberal voters, but even Democratic headquarters knows there are a lot more serious issues facing our nation than putting Drag Queen Story Hours in every library. And the pollsters know it too. If you ask Americans what their biggest concerns are heading into next year’s election, the LGBT agenda doesn’t even make the list! In April, when Fox News ran the numbers, immigration (21 percent) and the economy (10 percent) were the only two that even had double-digit mentions. Gallup’s team got the same response in the lead-up to the midterms. When they asked voters, Biden’s number-one priority wasn’t even on the map. Even climate change, which is usually dead last on Americans’ minds, had more fans.
If Biden wanted to galvanize the Left with his sudden extremist streak, the Equality Act is about the worst piece of legislation he could have chosen. Apart from the out-of-touch party on Capitol Hill, the policy is so unpopular that it’s even difficult to find liberal consensus on the matter. Feminists, parents, and LGBT athletes were outspokenly opposed to H.R. 5. Thanks to Saturday’s speech, we don’t even have to ask how Biden feels about girls’ sports, parental authority, religious liberty, women’s rights, privacy, and the free market. His support of the Equality Act tells us all we need to know about a possible Biden administration. “It will send a message,” Biden told the audience, “around the world, not just at home.” And that message would be this: We’re no longer a nation of common-sense and freedom.
In a party that already has an infanticide problem, a socialism problem, a Green New Deal problem — and so much more — battleground states have to be looking at this crop of D.C. Democrats and thinking: Are you deaf? Didn’t anyone learn the lessons of 2016, when Hillary Clinton lost because “Rust Belt voters thought she cared more about bathrooms than jobs?” Apparently not. Even now, as heartland Democrats raise red flags about the national party’s strategy, no one seems to care that Biden is alienating himself from the very moderates he might have appealed to.
“From the Appalachian regions of Ohio to the Iron Range of Minnesota and the northern reaches of Michigan and Wisconsin, across Iowa and Missouri and through the southern swaths of Indiana and Illinois — areas in which Bill Clinton triumphed and Hillary Clinton tanked — the quotes from the 72 rural Democrats [Politico] interviewed [last year] read like a pent-up primal scream. And [Indiana State Rep.] Terry Goodin’s [D] comments pop out in particular… He says the Democratic Party is ‘lazy,’ ‘out of touch with mainstream America…’ The Democrats in his district, he laments, ‘feel abandoned.'”
They’re about to feel even more so. When the “moderate” in the field is pushing for taxpayer-funded abortions and gender reassignment surgeries, boys in girls’ showers, legal infanticide, religious discrimination, and the end of parental authority and women’s sports, he isn’t just on the wrong side of history, he’s on the wrong side of most Americans. Social extremism can’t win you an election — but it can sure cost you one. Just ask Hillary Clinton.
Tony Perkins’ Washington Update is written with the aid of FRC Action senior writers.
EDITORS NOTE: This FRC column is republished with permission. All rights reserved.