Hunting for Substance in Biden’s Speech, I Didn’t Find Any

By Mike Huckabee Published on August 24, 2020

There’s an aphorism attributed to Abraham Lincoln, that when you see a dog walking on its hind legs, you don’t criticize its posture; the miracle is that the thing is accomplished at all. Joe Biden’s convention acceptance speech had something of that aspect to it. So many people were watching on the edge of their seats just to see if he got all the way through it that when he finally did, there was a collective sigh of relief and from the left, a whoop of celebration, none of which had anything to do with the speech’s contents. In fact, there was so much concentration on Joe’s triumph in talking coherently for 20 whole minutes that hardly anyone has commented on the substance of what he said, or rather, the almost complete lack of any substance.

A Fruitless Hunt for Substance

Charles Lipson at Spectator USA is one of the few who examined Joe’s words rather than his presentation and found them to be as empty as the Christmas gift boxes in a Macy’s holiday window display.

I don’t expect a lot of policy details (one of the biggest time wasters at debates are the arguments over petty details of economic plans that will never be passed by Congress anyway.) But I thought the almost complete lack of any concrete proposals deserved more attention. So I went through a transcript of Biden’s speech, hunting for substance with a microscope (and that’s what it took.) Please note that for this piece, I’m not going to focus on the blatant falsehoods and misrepresentations (the “fine people” lie again), the glaring omissions (nothing about China or all the riots and shootings in Democrat-run cities) or the new charge of even more plagiarism, which at least suggests that Joe really did have a hand in writing his speech…

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I’m not even going to ask how he can say, “I will be an ally of the light not of the darkness” when he plans to kill off fossil fuel energy and leave the whole country in the dark, like California.

Instead, I’m just going to focus on how, as Dorothy Parker said of Los Angeles, there’s no “there” there (see, when I borrow a line, I give credit.) Here are the issues and what Joe promised to do about them…

  1. Social Security and Medicare: They are a “sacred obligation,” and they will be protected from going bankrupt. How? “You have my word.”
  2. Injustice in the world: Joe will stand up for “human rights and dignity. And I will work in common purpose for a more secure, peaceful, and prosperous world.” Which nations will he stand up to (China? Iran? He hasn’t got much of a track record of doing that) and how will this be implemented? No further explanation.
  3. Racism: Joe will lead this generation to “finally wipe the stain of racism from our national character.” How? “As a united America. United in our pursuit of a more perfect Union. United in our dreams of a better future for us and for our children. United in our determination to make the coming years bright. Are we ready? I believe we are.” Well, that should do it.
  4. School shootings: Joe will end “the daily fear of being gunned down in school…” How? He picked a running mate who’s tough on “the gun lobby.”
  5. The pandemic: For this, he offered the most policy details of any issue. Joe will “develop and deploy rapid tests with results available immediately” (we already have those)…“make the medical supplies and protective equipment our country needs” in America (Trump already launched a private-public partnership that prevented predicted shortages of ventilators and other supplies) “so we will never again be at the mercy of China…” (Trump stood up to China, Joe criticized him as a xenophobe and has a long record of kowtowing to China)…“we’ll make sure our schools have the resources they need to be open, safe, and effective” (they already do; they’re not opening because teachers’ unions are blocking it)…“we’ll put the politics aside and take the muzzle off our experts so the public gets the information they need and deserve. The honest, unvarnished truth.” (Dr. Fauci: “The President has listened to what I have said…When I’ve made recommendations he’s taken them. He’s never countered or overridden me.”) And he will impose a “national mandate to wear a mask” (legal experts say the President has no Constitutional power to do that.)
  6. Rampant violence, crime, looting, rioting, arson, shootings and attacks on police in Democrat-run cities where leaders are defunding the police: No mention.
  7. Everything else under the sun: we will rebuild America better, “with modern roads, bridges, highways, broadband, ports and airports…pipes that transport clean water to every community… 5 million new manufacturing and technology jobs…a health care system that lowers premiums, deductibles, and drug prices…an education system that trains our people for the best jobs of the 21st century, where cost doesn’t prevent young people from going to college, and student debt doesn’t crush them when they get out…child care and elder care…and deal with climate change.” How? “…We can pay for these investments by ending loopholes and the president’s $1.3 trillion tax giveaway to the wealthiest 1 percent and the biggest, most profitable corporations…”

Wouldn’t that require a massive, confiscatory tax increase that would drive rich people and their job-creating capital out of the US? “I’m not looking to punish anyone. Far from it. But it’s long past time the wealthiest people and the biggest corporations in this country paid their fair share.” Note: The wealthiest 1% of Americans own 35% of the nation’s wealth and pay 37.3% of all individual income taxes. The bottom 90% pay 30.5% of taxes. How does Joe define “fair share?” No further comment.

It seems suddenly appropriate that Joe Biden’s most talked-about issue is the mandatory wearing of masks, since Joe himself has become the smiling, “empathetic” mask that the Democrats are forced to wear to hide their ruinously leftist, anti-American policies.


Mike Huckabee is the former governor of Arkansas and longtime conservative commentator on issues in culture and current events. A New York Times best-selling author, he hosts the weekly talk show Huckabee on TBN.

Originally published at Reprinted with permission.

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