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Is Joe Biden risking a reckoning for his work fashioning The War on Drugs

2 20 124

This essay first appeared in INSIDENJ

Last week former, Vice-President Joe Biden used an appearance before theInternational Association of Firefighters to stoke media speculation about his entering the 2020 Democratic Primary free for all. “We’re ready to take anybody on,” he declared to the enthusiastic union crowd which includes hard core Biden boosters.

According to the RealClear Politics poll compendium, which includes Monmouth University’s survey, Biden leads the field of a dozen announced Democratic presidential want-to-bes by several points (29 percent). Meanwhile, Senator Cory Booker, New Jersey’s favorite son is in fifth place (5.8 percent) behind Senators Bernie Sanders (22 percent), Kamala Harris (11.3 percent), and Elizabeth Warren (7 percent).

Biden is being pitched as ‘the grown-up moderate in the room’ who knows how to get America back to those long gone halcyon days of beltway bi-partisanship and can prevent the Democratic Party from lurching ‘self-destructively too far to the left’.

Yet, Biden’s name recognition and long tenure in public service that catapulted him to the front of the pack is a two-edged sword. Between his botched Anita Hill hearings he presided over, and his tireless efforts on behalf of the banking and credit card industry, it is Biden’s baggage which weighs heaviest on his presidential prospects.

And while he may indeed be “ready to take anybody on”, the thing his candidacy might not withstand is a deep reflection on the man he sees in the mirror. For millions he remains that avuncular figure who accompanied a dignified President Obama through eight years. Yet, there were his decades in the U.S. Senate before that where as one of just one hundred individuals he helped shaped the contours of our current circumstance in ways that are not readily apparent.

In the throes of our current partisan Trumpian dysfunction, its easy to be seduced into falling for the simplistic idea that all we need is the restoration of that by-gone era of Congressional bi-partisan cooperation that Biden invokes as a time of great social progress. It was not.

The last forty years saw the foreclosure on the American........

© Salon