Joe Biden is the “No Hope, No Change” Establishment Candidate
He defeats the point of his own campaign, to get rid of Trump, while ignoring the history of how we got here in the first place.
At first, I didn’t really understand why Joe Biden was running for president. He’s only offering incremental change, and primarily, he is selling his campaign as a return to “normalcy”. He claims that removing Trump from office is the single most important task before us today.
But judging by the way that Amy Klobuchar and Pete Buttigieg quit the race and then quickly endorsed Biden, and how big money is once again flowing to the Biden campaign, it seems like the common denominator among all of them is to “stop Sanders”. Even Elizabeth Warren is still in it to stop Sanders. Mike Bloomberg has made no secret that he’s there to stop Sanders. Neither of them have a clear path to the nomination, but I’m betting that as soon as the dust clears from last night, they will settle down and endorse Biden. It is actually quite interesting to see how synchronized things are.
There are some interesting problems with the way the other candidates and the elites are so focused on stopping Sanders. They seem to have forgotten that reason Sanders is in the race at all is that millions of people support him. The elites are intent on subverting the will of those people because they are desperately afraid of Sanders and what he brings to the debate.
The debate is really about how the national income will be distributed. Serious people claim that Sanders is a socialist and that he will increase the footprint of the government in the market. I’ve also seen people suggest that Sanders Supporters have a “my way or the highway” attitude. I say that the meaning is in the response. The behavior of Sanders’ supporters is a direct and appropriate response to the elite’s “my way or the highway” statements and actions.
When I see powerful people like Joe Biden, Barack Obama, and Mike Bloomberg, all talk in their secret code to “stop Sanders”, I see people who can’t stand the idea that working-class people might actually get to decide who is nominated to run for president for the Democratic Party. I see people who are willing to ignore the will of the people and the history that got us here. Boss Tweed would be proud of them.
Trump won the nomination of the Republican Party because his support was so overwhelming that it could not be ignored. It could not be hidden with “close” victories of his opponents in the primaries. What I’ve seen is that the voter suppression tactics of the GOP work just well for the GOP as for conservatives in the Democratic Party. And as far as Democrats go, Biden is actually pretty conservative. This is what Democratic voter suppression looks like in Texas:
There is an intense focus on “getting Trump out of office”, and it’s so intense that important policy objectives are being washed out. Climate change, health care, and inequality seem to be purposely obscured by a certain need to get Trump out of office. Personally, I don’t mind another 4 years of Trump. I believe that if the Democratic elites are pushing for Biden, they are focused on stopping Sanders more than getting Trump out of office. They may need to learn again from the last time they did that.
This single-minded drive to remove Trump from office detracts from the message that progressives are sharing in the debate. The Green New Deal, Medicare for All and Income Inequality are all pillars of Bernie Sanders’ campaign. What does Joe Biden stand for? “I’m not Trump!” There is no other substance to his campaign. Unless you talk to his elite handlers. Then the message becomes, we have the power, and we intend to keep it.
And that message ignores the history of how we got here. We got here with “Loser Liberalism”. In this story, conservatives paint themselves as champions of the free market. Conservatives pretend that they just want to let the market run its course. But that’s not what they were saying in 2008 and 2009. Back then, they wanted the government to save the banks from their bad bets against millions of people who just wanted to buy a house. Back then, personal responsibility was a problem for the people who got bad loans, not the people who lent the money to people who had little chance of paying them back, and sold the mortgage in packages of unregulated derivatives.
What got us to that point of financial collapse was a series of decisions going all the way back to 1997, at the height of the Clinton administration. Under the leadership and austerity policies of Robert Rubin and the International Monetary Fund, the response of the Asian governments to the financial crisis in Asia was to hoard dollars to decrease the value of their own currencies so that they could run trade surpluses. The American trade deficits meant a huge loss of domestic demand. That loss of demand meant lower or stagnating wages in the face of rising housing costs. Democrats lost power since then because they were unwilling to speak to how conservatives welcomed government intervention in the market at the expense of the American manufacturing worker.
During all that time Joe Biden was in Congress, helping Republicans get what they wanted. More power, more authority, more austerity, free trade to the detriment of American manufacturing workers, and government protection for major professions like doctors, lawyers, and dentists. Hillary lost because of worker frustration with the Democratic party, and she ignored them at her own peril. Joe is going in the exact same direction as Hillary did. Sanders is our escape from a repeat of 2016.
Like Hillary, Joe hasn’t been a very good candidate. I saw a tweet the other day that said that Joe Biden hadn’t campaigned in any of the Super Tuesday states in over a month. Then, like clockwork, two candidates bow out and show up to a rally for Joe, and they endorse Joe. All on the night before the elections in 14 states. It seems like the fix is in for Joe. Somebody is very, very afraid that Sanders might win.
The contests for Super Tuesday yesterday were for 30% of the total delegates. The current delegate count now stands at 453 for Biden and 382 for Sanders. Sanders is still within striking distance, so it’s not over. But I’m actually quite surprised to see Sanders on the defensive despite the previous predictions of FiveThirtyEight. They are now predicting a 3 in 5 chance of a brokered convention, you know, where the rich and powerful Superdelegates get to decide who will win the primary election regardless of who has the most votes. In that event, Biden is almost certain to prevail. I guess the popular vote only matters if your name is Hillary.
If Biden wins the nomination, he doesn’t stand a chance against Trump in a debate as a recovering stutterer and a candidate with mild dementia. And Biden’s message is still, “I’m not Trump!”. How exciting.
There is a long way to go between now and the convention. There are still many more delegates to win over and there is a chance that Sanders could pull off more upsets as he did in 2016. I recall that Sanders went from “nobody” to nearly defeating a very well-financed, and mainstream media supported Hillary Clinton in less than a year. I still see Sanders as the candidate for hope and change.