Joe Biden Suddenly Realizes, Again, That Hyde Amendment Is Actually Bad, Again
Well that was quite the quick turnaround. Barely 24 hours after his campaign announced that he still supported the Hyde Amendment, Joe Biden announced that he no longer supports the Hyde Amendment. Good job, everyone!
Well, except for that one guy who was going around claiming that we never cared about it before yesterday, and the other asshole in my mentions trying to tell me that actually, the Hyde Amendment is good because "We should not reward unprotected sex."
The hell does that even mean, really? It's not like Publisher's Clearing House is gonna show up at anyone's house with a giant check with "Congratulations on your broken condom!" written on it. The "prize" is you get an abortion. That's like saying "No one should be allowed to have dental insurance, because we don't want to reward people who are not flossing with a root canal."
But I digress.
Within a few weeks, Biden has gone from telling an ACLU volunteer that he would repeal the Hyde Amendment ...
... to claiming that he misheard the question and actually still loves the Hyde Amendment, to finally (???) that he does not, in fact, support the Hyde Amendment anymore. This magical change of heart occurred last night just as he was giving a speech at a Democratic National Committee fundraiser in Georgia, one of the states where abortion may soon be illegal entirely.
Biden told the crowd Thursday night he had changed his mind because Republican state lawmakers have enacted "extreme laws in clear violation of constitutional rights" protected by the Supreme Court's Roe v. Wade decision, making access to abortions more difficult for women who cannot afford the procedure or travel to obtain it.
He said he makes "no apologies" for his previous support for the Hyde Amendment. "But circumstances have changed. I've been working through the final details of my health care plan like others in this race and I've been struggling with the problems that Hyde now presents," Biden said.
He said he wants to achieve "universal coverage" and "provide for the full range of health services women need" through the continued expansion of Medicaid and offering a "public option" that would allow people to join Medicare.
"I can't justify leaving millions of women without access to the care they need and the ability to ... exercise their constitutionally protected right," he said.
Is that great? EH. He should absolutely apologize for his previous support of the Hyde Amendment, because it has never not been a terrible and cruel idea. It's not just bad because of current circumstances, it has always been hot garbage. But Biden is a baby steps guy, so I guess this is what we're getting.
Some people really hate this kind of flip flopping. I am actually very okay with flip flopping because I would generally just prefer that people stop being wrong about things they are obviously wrong about. I am more than fine with changing my own mind when I'm wrong, so I don't see why anyone else shouldn't be. The weirder thing, I would imagine, would be to just stick to your guns despite being obviously wrong. I suppose an argument could be made that you can't tell if the thing they are flip flopping towards is their actual, authentic opinion, but that also only matters if you actually give a crap about what politicians authentically feel, and I do not. I care what they do. Their feelings, while perhaps very lovely and compelling, do actually not help me or anyone.
In this case, however, dude needs to pick a lane.
The thing I do like here is that he realized he couldn't get the nomination and continue to support it. That, I find absolutely goddamn delightful. I like how scary we are! His campaign trotted that shit out and was met with a swift and terrible "HELL NO" from the public, and that is really wonderful. It is great to see so many people giving a shit about this. And besides, if Biden is "inevitable" or "the chosen one" or whatever, then at least he is now aware that advocating for the Hyde Amendment is not a thing that is going to go over well.
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Robyn Pennacchia is a brilliant, fabulously talented and visually stunning angel of a human being, who shrugged off what she is pretty sure would have been a Tony Award-winning career in musical theater in order to write about stuff on the internet. Previously, she was a Senior Staff Writer at Death & Taxes, and Assistant Editor at The Frisky (RIP). Currently, she writes for Wonkette, Friendly Atheist, Quartz and other sites. Follow her on Twitter at @RobynElyse