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The Revenge of Bork

The triumph of hope over experience is weirdly present now in two of the three branches of government. Neither Supreme Court justices nor presidents manage to get into office with much experience any more. That Obama’s eight-year vice president has stumbled to a fourth and fifth place finish in the crucial first states can be attributed to, Ira Stoll suggests…Joe Biden.

Biden was the chair of the Judiciary Committee in 1987 who led the initiative alongside Edward Kennedy to defeat Bork for the Supreme Court, 58-42, five years after a unanimous confirmation to the DC Court of Appeals.

The first race after Bork in 1987 was of course Bush v. Dukakis, with a very experienced candidate — the most qualified ever, I remember the campaign slogan being — winning. One liability for Bush was picking the regarded-as-inexperienced two term senator Dan Quayle!

Since 88 the candidate with the less experience has won, and the contrast is growing. Skipping successful re-election races: in 1992 Bill Clinton beat Bush; 2000 W beat Al Gore, 2008 Obama beat McCain. It was most pronounced over course in Hillary Clinton versus Trump in 2016. Someone actively ignorant of even basic mechanics of governance beat a four-decade veteran of the political world.

What does this mean for governance? Stoll:

There is something, though, about the Democratic swoon for Messrs. Obama and Buttigieg that is particularly emblematic. It goes beyond the mere mechanics of campaigning or of opposition research. The short-on-experience candidates are the personification of judging on intentions rather than on results. They are the perfect representations — Bernie Sanders, in a way, too — of a party that prioritizes virtue-signaling over actually getting things done.

Ira Stoll, Biden Gets Borked In Historic Irony He Helped Create, NY Sun February 10, 2020

Published inPolitics

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