Biden's record on crime and justice
As the former chair of the Senate Judiciary Committee, Biden's bad record on crime and justice is particularly important, and is not just a matter of the distant past, as most Biden apologists would have it.
In early July, Biden was asked about progressive proposals to rebalance the courts " more than three years after Mitch McConnell's unconstitutional refusal to let the Senate even consider Obama's nomination of Merrick Garland. Biden's "don't hit me!" response was telling: "I'm not prepared to go on and try to pack the court, because we'll live to rue that day."
That's certainly true, if folks like Biden are running the party. Because his record in this regard is atrocious, as I recounted here in September 2015. Four things I focused on back then are worth recalling here:
First, Biden's image as a kinda-sorta progressive is belied by his rightward drift in the Senate. From entering the Senate in 1973 through January 1987, he averaged the 16th most liberal member of the Senate; from then through January 1999, he averaged that 30th most liberal; and from that till he left the Senate in January 2009, he averaged out as the 38th most liberal member. His DW-Nominate score (based on roll-call voting) shifted 10 percent to the right over this time.
Second, Biden played a leading role in building the drug war,