President Joe Biden speaks outside Independence Hall, Thursday, Sept. 1, 2022, in Philadelphia. ...

Biden’s priority is power and beating Trump, not preserving democracy | Victor Joecks | Opinion

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Democracy is under attack, and President Joe Biden couldn’t be happier.

Last month, officials in Colorado and Maine removed former President Donald Trump from their states’ presidential primary ballots. In Colorado, the state Supreme Court kicked him off in response to a lawsuit. In Maine, Democrat Secretary of State Shenna Bellows unilaterally decided to remove him.

The U.S. Supreme Court could and should overturn these decisions. Set aside the ongoing legal drama. Think about the big picture here.

A Democrat and leftist jurists removed the Republican’s top candidate from the ballot. Talk about election interference. That’s the stuff of banana republics.

Their fig-leaf justification is that Trump is barred by the 14th Amendment, which prohibits those who “engaged in insurrection or rebellion” from various offices. There are numerous problems with this. They include: Trump hasn’t been charged with insurrection, let alone convicted of it. State officials don’t determine eligibility for federal offices. The presidency isn’t included in the listed of barred offices.

Here’s the biggest. This is a threat to American governance. In our democratic republic, voters should decide which candidates win or lose. That can’t happen when one political party gains the power to determine who appears on the ballot.

This isn’t limited to Trump. A similar lawsuit in Pennsylvania is seeking to keep Republican Rep. Scott Perry off the primary ballot.

Think about what happens if “insurrection” becomes a term that partisan officials can define on a whim. Biden, GOP officials could say, has participated in an insurrection by allowing millions of illegal immigrants into the country. Therefore, he’s disqualified. Imagine how Democrats would scream if the Republican secretaries of state in Georgia, Pennsylvania and New Hampshire did that. Or if Texas and Florida used similar logic to boot Democrat House candidates. Once you remove the objective standard, the outcomes get ugly fast.

Biden and Democrats have spent years ranting about how Trump is a threat to the republic. “I will allow no one to place a dagger at the throat of our democracy,” Biden said in a 2022 speech.

But with democracy in danger from his allies, Biden isn’t interested in fighting back. When asked about Colorado’s decision, he said it was “self-evident” that Trump “supported an insurrection.” He added he would let a court decide if the 14th Amendment applied. Biden looks like he’s cheering for the death of democracy.

His reaction is a reminder that the radical left’s primary goal isn’t upholding America’s Constitution or even free and fair elections. It’s obtaining and wielding power. When America’s institutions are useful for that purpose, they’re good and untouchable. Once they stop being useful, they must be destroyed.

It’s how Barack Obama as a U.S. senator could defend the filibuster in 2005 and 15 years later call it a Jim Crow relic. Lefty think tank Data for Progress called the Senate “an irredeemable institution” in 2019. Now, that Democrats run it, that concern has faded from view.

Democrats heaped praise on the U.S. Supreme Court when it was inventing the right to abortion and gay marriage. The court is now an obstacle to the left’s priorities, so it must be razed. Democrats and their allies in the mainstream media have spent months trying to tarnish originalist justices and the court more broadly with fake ethics scandals.

This isn’t sustainable. America’s political institutions won’t last if one side constantly seeks to tear them down for short-term political gain.

If Biden meant what he said about democracy, he would condemn those seeking to keep Trump off the ballot. That he won’t reveals his cynical game. His priority is preserving his power, not defending democracy.

Contact Victor Joecks at vjoecks@reviewjournal.com or 702-383-4698. Follow @victorjoecks on X.





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