(Oct. 22) Joe Biden is proving it’s possible to be unprincipled and cowardly yet still promote a semi-good idea at the same time.

CBS News on Thursday released a snippet from its upcoming 60 Minutes interview with presidential candidate Biden in which Biden again is asked to say if he, as president, would support a “court-packing” move. (Court-packing, since 1937, has meant expanding the size of the Supreme Court beyond the nine justices it has featured for 151 years.) For weeks, Biden had refused to answer the question, thus leaving open the possibility even though he had strongly opposed it for at least 37 years.

The hypocrisy of his change of heart away from firm opposition to the scheme, and the cowardice of his refusal to answer, would be remarkable if both attributes had not already been such notable parts of Biden’s character for 48 years in public life. Biden has changed position with the Democratic Party’s political winds on abortion, busing, criminal justice, and numerous other issues through the years.

Having sown confusion, Biden obviously knew he would face the question again, and CBS’ Norah O’Donnell did her job. This time, while still ducking the main question — again, showing political cowardice and shiftiness — Biden at least offered a semi-new idea in lieu of a direct answer.

First, let’s not beat around the bush: There is no good reason for Biden not to level with voters. As recently as last year, he utterly rejected court-packing, and back in 1983, he called it a “bonehead idea.” He was right back then. Court-packing would be a blatantly political move against what theoretically and ideally is an apolitical branch of government. The idea has been overwhelmingly rejected by both parties because, as Biden himself said, it would be “a terrible, terrible mistake” that would “put in question … the independence of the most significant… body in this country, the Supreme Court.”

If Biden now wants to be a bonehead, he needs to tell everyone so in clear terms….[The full column is here.]

 

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