This, to us, is a modern marvel and one of the most exciting days in Paste Politics history.
Roughly one month ago, on May 15, Paste’s Jake Weindling wrote a piece titled “Joe Biden is Running the Most Radical Campaign of Any Democrat.” It was based on Biden’s compromise fetish, and started out like this:
You get the gist: Biden is “radical” in the sense that he believes, idiotically, that compromise with obstructionist Republicans is even possible—a belief that requires total ignorance of recent history, which is inexcusable for anyone but especially for a guy who had a front row seat as Obama’s vice president. To quote Jake again:
There really is no such thing as bipartisanship for the little guy in America, because one party has always believed that the little guy deserved to be in the hardship that they were in. You simply cannot pass “common sense legislation” with someone who has a fundamentally different worldview from you, because the nature of their diametrically opposite worldview destroys even the possibility of middle ground existing.
So yes, Biden is a “radical,” as long as you imagine that word dripping with the thickest, soupiest kind of sarcasm.
Enter Chris Cillizza. We have been delighting in Cillizza’s content since he was at the Washington Post, when we called him “a milquetoast hack and enemy of truth.” We made fun of his Reddit AMA, and we rejoiced at finding a video that so perfectly captures his bizarre, infuriating brand of optics-obsessed moral-slash-political vapidity.
And yet, I think what we’re about to feature today is our favorite piece of Cillizza content ever, just because he’s actually recycling a month-old Paste take, but with a uniquely Cillizza-esque spin.
See, Chris Cillizza didn’t just write that Joe Biden is a radical, and he didn’t just use our same exact rationale. No, he went a step further: Chris Cillizza actually meant it.
Behold the majesty: Why Joe Biden’s 2020 message is so radical
The first three paragraphs say it all:
Speaking to a group of donors and lobbyists in Washington on Monday night, Joe Biden said this of the Republican Party post-Donald Trump:
“With Trump gone you’re going to begin to see things change. Because these folks know better. They know this isn’t what they’re supposed to be doing.”
That is, without any exaggeration, a radical view from the man who polling suggests is the front-runner to be the party’s nominee against Trump in November 2020.
Only Cillizza could encounter these talking points (a month late, but he got there) and conclude that it represents something “radical” just because it’s different from the (correct) viewpoint of every other candidate trying to defeat Trump. It’s “radical” in the sense that it would be “radical” if Biden insisted that the White House is made of hardened foam.
In true Cillizza fashion, he refuses to make a value judgment on what Biden is saying—to do so would risk being useful, which goes directly against the Cillizza brand—and simply concludes with a feckless, open-ended question:
The Point: Biden is marching to the message of a very different drummer here. His pitch is that with Trump gone, things — and Republicans — will return to “normal.” Will that sell in today’s mad-as-hell-and-not-going-to-take-it-anymore Democratic Party?
Chris, for future reference: We here at Paste value you so highly that anytime you make use of our month-old premises, you’re also welcome to our month-old conclusion. Hint: The answer is “no.”
Shane Ryan is the Politics editor at Paste. Follow him on Twitter.