With Joe Biden announcing his candidacy for the Democratic nomination for president,
many conservatives have disingenuously came out in favor of the centrist Democrat.
The Right is terrified of the progressive
candidacies of Bernie Sanders, Elizabeth Warren, and Andrew Yang. So they continuously work to undermine the will of the Democratic voters and prop up milquetoast centrists.
Republicans have realized that the only way for Republicans to continue winning
elections is to make sure as few people as possible are allowed to vote. Bernie Sanders, I Vt., has called for the restoration of voting rights to felons—even those in prison. The right has called this “loony” and “dangerous”. Prisons are often in Republican heavy, rural districts—and prisoners are counted in the districts population. This is yet another way the deck is stacked towards rural areas. It is no wonder that Republicans, like George Will, have been attacking Democrats who have been fighting for voting rights.
The Republican Party has been fighting increased educational opportunity for decades, they've realized that an uneducated population is the key to their success. It is far easier to convince a low education individual of the dangers of “The Other”.
The Know Nothing party was an anti-immigrant, anti-education, anti-intellectual political party in the pre- Civil War era. They got their name from the tendency to answer questions about the party with the phrase, “I know nothing”. As recent congressional hearings have shown, modern Republicans are the “Know Nothings” reincarnated. Every Republican brought before a Congressional Committee has refused to answer questions and played dumb.
The have embraced anti-intellectualism and xenophobia. They have recreated the most
embarrassing political party in American history.
The Progressive agenda is far from “loony”. Many countries have a single-payer
healthcare system—and they receive better care for less money than Americans. The
right wing have used misleading statistics when talking about the cost of Medicare for All.
While taxes will be raised, Americans will be saving hundreds of dollars a month on
healthcare premiums. For all intents and purposes, premiums are a tax paid to a private company. Medicare for All will eliminate the profit motive in the American healthcare system.
Free college tuition will allow American citizens an opportunity to contribute in an increasingly automated and technologically advanced world. As it stands, too many Americans are technologically illiterate and stuck in jobs that will be automated in the next decade. Without an investment in our educational system, the United States will fall behind. We will stop being one of the most technologically innovative countries in the world.
Joe Biden is not the candidate to lead the Democrats into the future. He is a dinosaur in an ever changing world. He has had problematic actions in regard to race, gender, and the LGBTQ community. The Democrats need to be the party of inclusivity—they need to stand in stark contrast to the xenophobia of the Republican Party. Joe Biden cannot be that person. His brand of centrism has helped move the Overton Window so far right that the rest of the western world views the Democrats as a right-wing party.
We need candidates who will shift the Overton Window far enough left that even the most basic of social nets cannot be decried as “socialism” and compared to Venezuela.
In a recent campaign event Joe Biden said, “This is not the Republican Party” and he
referred to his “Republican friends in the House and Senate.” This is false. Trump is the Republican Party. It is time to stop giving Republicans a pass for their blind allegiance to the wannabe dictator. It is time to call out the Republican party for running interference for a criminal. The Republican Party must own what they have done to this country, they must own the damage they've caused. Joe Biden is only playing into the Republicans hands by absolving them of their blame in the matter.
Biden's belief that the Republicans will negotiate in good faith shows how out of touch he is with the the reality of politics in 2019. Any semblance of bipartisanship went out the window when the right collectively lost their mind due to having a black president.
Remember, Republicans directly recommended a moderate Supreme Court Justice like Merrick Garland. When Barack Obama nominated the person they recommended, Mitch McConnell threw a temper tantrum that would have ashamed a toddler.
Progressive Americans have called for the next Democratic president to stack the
Supreme Court in response to Mitch McConnell's disgusting display of partisanship. The Constitution does not lay out the number of Supreme Court justices. But it clearly states that the Senate is to advise and consent to a presidential nominee. By refusing to give Merrick Garland a hearing, much less a vote. McConnell abdicated the Senate's constitutional duties and packed the court with illegitimate right wing justices.
Democrats need to take a page from game theory and begin going “tit for tat”. The Republicans have showed they are not working in good faith, and the centrist Democrats have continued to act as though the Republicans have any interest in governing this country. The entire
party has adopted Grover Norquist's idea, “I don't want to abolish government. I simply want to reduce it to the size where I can drag it into the bathroom and drown it in the bathtub.”
It's time Democrats recognize that fact and start fighting fire with fire.
Joe Biden has a complicated and problematic history with women. His handling of the Clarence Thomas hearings and his treatment of Anita Hill was despicable.
The #MeToo movement has shown that victims of sexual assault/harassment are to be believed, they shouldn't be attacked because they came forward. Anita Hill recently said that she believes #MeToo could have started in the early 90's had Joe Biden handled her testimony correctly.
But Biden's attack and dismissal of her very real experiences delayed the movement by decades. Instead of siding with the victims, Biden decided to defend the Old Boys Club.
Jill Biden has said that it is “time to move on” from the Anita Hill controversy.
That is easy to say when you haven't faced the fall out from Congressional hearings in
which you are attacked, defamed, and accused of lying. Joe Biden did not do enough to protect a victim of sexual harassment.
Joe Biden did not do enough to keep a serial sexual harasser from a lifetime appointment to the highest court in the land. Joe Biden holds at least some responsibility for all of the anti-women Supreme Court decisions enabled by the confirmation of Clarence Thomas.
It is no wonder that Joe Biden defended sexual harassers. He has a history of
touching women without their consent. While all of his accusers have said they did not
believe the touching was in any way sexual, they have said it made the uncomfortable.
And whether or not his touching was sexual in nature, it stems from a kind of toxic
masculinity. His paternalistic shoulder rubbing is, at best, patronizing. If we, as a society, allow this behavior—it is not a large leap to allowing men to “grab them by the pussy.”
Joe Biden holds wide support among black Americans, due primarily to his association
with Barack Obama. But we cannot forget his problematic history with race. We must
remember that he fought against school bussing for years. He began his career being in favor of bussing, but once he realized his constituents didn't want bussing in their
community he rapidly changed his tune. He began saying that the south needs bussing,
but segregation in the north was simply due to a preference of white and black people to
live in their own communities. He simply sidestepped the very real redlining that went on in cities across the country.
In 1974 Biden wrote an amendment to the Civil Rights Act that prohibited federal funds from going to help integrate schools by bussing. Ed Brooke, the Senate's lone black member decried it as “the greatest symbolic defeat for civil rights since 1964.” He continued to defend his actions in his 2007 memoir.
He was also a major proponent of mass incarceration for the entirety of the 1980s and 1990s. Biden was instrumental in passing bills that established mandatory minimum sentencing and the crack and powder cocaine sentencing disparity. As late as 2015 he was touting the success of the 1995 “Biden Crime Bill”. This bill increased the number of federal capital crimes by 60 and it gutted prison educational programs. Prison educational programs are one of the major drivers of lower recidivism rates.
We must also not forget that he once described Barack Obama as, “ the first sort of mainstream African American who is articulate and bright and clean .“ Those aren't exactly the words of a woke individual. Biden has always paid lip service to the trials and tribulations of black Americans, but his actions have consistently been detrimental to black America.
The Democrats lost the 2016 election by 77,000 votes over 3 states while nominating a centrist Democrat—is it any wonder that George Will would prefer them to nominate
someone even further right than Hillary?
Milquetoast centrists do not excite the
Democratic base. It leads to apathy among young people. It leads to disillusionment—why should we vote for someone who will only continue to advance the policies that have made millennials the first generation in American history to have a worse economic outlook than their parents? There is the old adage, “Democrats fall in love; Republicans fall in line.”
The Democratic Party cannot afford to nominate a candidate that does not inspire people; they need someone who can bring the party together through a shared sense of optimism about the future. They need someone who is empathetic. Someone who cares.