There was a time in America when we could disagree on issues and still respect the fact that we had the right to disagree. While we were free to try to convince others that our point of view was the correct one, we knew it was wrong to force others to bend to our will. We understood that our individual rights ended where the next person’s individual rights began. With that understanding, most of us could agree that taxpayer dollars should not be used to pay for something that most Americans strongly disagreed with, like abortion; enter the Hyde Amendment.
The Hyde Amendment is a legislative provision barring the use of federal funds to pay for abortion except to save the life of the woman, or if the pregnancy arises from incest or rape. It was first passed in the House in 1976 and then in the Senate in 1977 but was held up in court for another year before it could be implemented. It has been reenacted every year since 1976; however, changes have been made regarding exceptions throughout the years. The Hyde Amendment was born of the idea that if there were enough Americans that opposed abortion on moral grounds, it would be unethical of the U.S. government to spend taxpayer dollars to provide abortions.
Thanks to the “intellectual gymnastics” of John Kerry during his Presidential run, the political lexicon had the phrase “I was for it before I was against it” added. The latest “I was for it before I was against it” moment applies to the Joe Biden campaign, and it is in regard to the Hyde Amendment. It seems that touchy-feely, good ole Uncle Joe has changed his mind and now is against it. This change of heart happened rather suddenly as Cedric Richmond, the Biden campaign co-chair, appeared on Chris Cuomo’s show on June 5th to defend Biden’s support for Hyde only for Biden himself to make a public reversal on June 6th now being anti-Hyde. Saying, “I have supported the Hyde Amendment like many, many others have,” Biden continued, “because there were sufficient monies and circumstances where women were able to exercise that right — women of color, poor women, women who were not able to have access — and it was not under attack as it is now. But circumstances have changed . . . I’ve been struggling with the problems that Hyde now represents.” But what really led Biden to make this change? Was it the renewed efforts of conservatives to protect the unborn as he said or does it have more to do with the other Democratic candidates for President constantly trying to move further left than each other?
Joe Biden has been the front-runner of the primary since well before he officially announced he was running. The field was already crowded when he made it official, and until recently it appeared that all he would have to do is sit back, stay out of the fray, and let the others tear each other apart. You had Robert Francis O’Rourke, aka Beto, running around apologizing for being a privileged white man (which only served to remind his “woke” base that he is, in fact, a privileged white man). Mayor Pete arrived on the scene with his South Bend charm and military service but quickly lost momentum as people started to realize that Buttigieg was pushing some far-left ideas while only sounding moderate. The rest of the crowd have been spinning their wheels trying to stand out by saying the same thing as everyone else, just a little bit differently. No reason for Uncle Joe to be concerned, his name recognition was doing just fine.
In recent weeks, however, the Biden campaign has started to worry just a bit due to a couple of reasons. First, the campaign hasn’t been able to get any separation in the polls from Bernie Sanders, in fact, in some polls, Bernie has been gaining on Uncle Joe. Second, recently Elizabeth “Fauxcahontas” Warren has been gaining ground even garnering praise from people like Tucker Carlson for some of her economic policy statements. The result of this being that for the first time in the campaign the Biden camp may be starting to feel a little pressure.
If that pressure is, in fact, the reason for the about-face on the Hyde Amendment, then that signals bad things for the Biden presidential hopes. It would mean that this will not be the last change Biden will make to try to appease the party base. The problem for Joe is the reason he is and has been the front runner is that everybody knows his name and that he is generally thought of (at least by Democrats) as a moderate. The further to the left he moves, the more he begins to look like the rest of the candidate field. The base will not vote for the “Crazy Uncle” if they can get the same result from a younger, cooler, more “woke” contender. In truth, only the critical thinking challenged would entertain the notion that a man who has been in Washington D.C. since 1972 as a Senator and became the Vice President for Barack Obama in 2009 and acted in that capacity for eight years, is the man who now is finally ready to solve the nation’s problems.
The real problem isn’t that Biden is ready to change positions on any topic based on a shift of the political winds. No, the true problem is that the American political left is no longer happy asking for acceptance, equality, or tolerance. The left now demands your participation in all they deem good and right no matter your feelings or religious beliefs. They no longer believe that you have a right to disagree with them. They may claim that they respect freedom of speech and expression, but as soon as someone challenges them, they are all over social media demanding censorship and de-platforming.
The Hyde Amendment is a very American idea. It acknowledges that many taxpaying citizens are strongly opposed to having their money go to pay for something they find to be morally abhorrent. It acknowledges that the role of government is limited and should be constrained by the Constitution and the will of the people. It acknowledges that when the will of the people is not clear, then the proper action is to take no action. That is why the left wants it gone. They can no longer allow Americans to believe that they have a right to disagree.