'Moving rightward' won't help Biden 'win over' voters in 2024: socialist

'Moving rightward' won't help Biden 'win over' voters in 2024: socialist

Centrist President Joe Biden, now 80, has long had a liberal streak and a conservative streak — first during his decades in the U.S. Senate, then during his eight years as vice president under President Barack Obama. A lot of conservative opponents of former President Donald Trump endorsed Biden in 2020, including Republican activist Cindy McCain (Sen. John McCain’s widow), former Sen. Jeff Flake (R-Arizona), former Hewlett-Packard CEO Carly Fiorina, MSNBC's Joe Scarborough (a former GOP congressman) and attorney George Conway.

And yet, MSNBC's Mehdi Hasan — a progressive firebrand — has described Biden's presidency as a pleasant surprise. During a late February interview with The Guardian, the 43-year-old Hasan exalted Biden as "the most impressive president of my lifetime."

Biden hasn't said whether or not he will be seeking reelection in 2024, but he appears to be leaning in the direction of "yes." And he seems to be reaching out to a combination of liberals, progressives, centrists and Never Trump conservatives.

READ MORE:'I was a big critic': Mehdi Hasan praises Joe Biden as the 'most impressive president of my lifetime'

But journalist Branko Marcetic, in an article published by the democratic socialist Jacobin on March 28, argues that Biden isn't doing himself a favor by trying to appeal to parts of the right.

"After two years of touting his presidency as progressive and transformational, Joe Biden appears to be returning to form and moving rightward," Marcetic writes. "It's not only the wrong thing to do — according to the latest polls, it also isn't winning voters over to him."

Marcetic goes on to cite specific things Biden has done recently.

The writer observes, "At the start of the year, Biden replaced outgoing, progressive-curious Chief of Staff Ron Klain…. with former private equity maven Jeff Zients…. Biden abruptly reversed his pledge to oppose a GOP bill aimed at the District of Columbia's recently passed rewriting of its criminal code, in the kind of classic tough-on-crime posturing that Biden himself helped pioneer several decades ago…. The (Biden) Administration announced new, harsher immigration rules."

READ MORE:'I don't blame people for being down': President Joe Biden says he understands Americans' frustrations

Marcetic points out that Biden has only 38 percent approval in a recent AP-NORC poll (down from 45 percent before).

"It's not hard to see the logic, since it's the same one Democrats like Biden have stuck to their entire careers: when you're under attack from the right, move to the center and adopt right-wing policies, giving yourself political cover while at the same time peeling off conservative voters," Marcetic argues. "How has this worked out? The answer comes in a recent…. AP-NORC poll…. Nevertheless, Democrats are continuing to stick with Biden as their 'best bet' to win reelection in 2024. Any opposition has been completely neutralized."

READ MORE:'The history is very clear': James Clyburn warns Democrats against primarying Joe Biden in 2024

Read the Jacobin's full article at this link.

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