H.L. Mencken’s famous line about democracy is that voters know what they want and deserve to get it—good and hard. Joe Biden’s apparent view is that voters shouldn’t know what they’re getting until after the election.
For a change, the press corps is asking Mr. Biden why he won’t answer a straightforward question on whether he agrees with the demands of his party’s left to add Justices to the nine-member Supreme Court. Mr. Biden and Kamala Harris have been ducking it, and on Thursday Mr. Biden said voters will “know my opinion on Court-packing when the election is over.”
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He added: “Now, look, I know it’s a great question, and y’all—and I don’t blame you for asking it. But you know the moment I answer that question, the headline in every one of your papers will be about that.” Yes, it’s called news.
On Friday Mr. Biden compounded this political gaffe when a reporter in Las Vegas asked “Don’t the voters deserve to know where you stand on” court packing? “No, they don’t deserve,” Mr. Biden snapped. “I’m not going to play his [Donald Trump’s] game.”
It’s not a game. The question is central to American self-government. Democrats on the resurgent left believe the Supreme Court is a de facto second legislature to achieve policies they can’t pass in Congress. And now that judicial conservatives may have a majority on the Court for the first time in decades, Democrats want to add Justices and turn the Court into a de jure House of Lords.
Would Mr. Biden sign that legislation or not? If he won’t tell voters now, they can assume he’ll roll over for Nancy Pelosi and Chuck Schumer on that and so much more.
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Appeared in the October 12, 2020, print edition as ‘Biden on What Voters ‘Deserve’.’