In the twinkle of an eye, the Democratic Establishment rallied behind Joe Biden for Democratic Nominee — and were hugely successful. Joe surged ahead of Bernie Sanders and snatched away the title of “front-runner.” Battle won. All is fair in love and politics, etc. But if beating Donald Trump in the 2020 General Election is the ultimate objective, then the war has been lost.
Biden Is the Weakest of Candidates
Joe Biden has a poor record. He fumbled on the Iraq War, NAFTA, bankruptcy law (which created the present day student debt crisis), and gay marriage. He threatened Social Security, Medicare, Medicaid, and veteran benefits four times, while attempting to freeze government spending, and helped deregulate the banking industry. Joe Biden is, and has always been, a corporate Democrat. He was nicknamed the “Senator from MBNA.” (MBNA was the largest independent Delaware-based credit card company, until acquired by Bank of America in 2006.) Biden’s work for credit card companies aroused Professor Elizabeth Warren’s ire.
Over time, Biden’s exertions on the bankruptcy bill began to shape his national reputation. “His energetic work on behalf of the credit card companies has earned him the affection of the banking industry and protected him from any well-funded challengers for his Senate seat,” Warren wrote in the Harvard Women’s Law Journal. “This important part of Senator Biden’s legislative work also appears to be missing from his Web site and publicity releases.”~ Tim Murphy, Mother Jones
These are the shortcomings with which Donald Trump would crucify Joe Biden’s integrity.
On a lighter note, Joe Biden is plagued by bouts of plagiarism, tall tales, and gaffes. In recent years, there seems to be an impediment between his brain and lips. Does Biden suffer from stuttering or dementia? Is he a liar, frustrated movie script writer, or confabulator (attempting to fill in memory gaps)? Is he too lazy to express ideas in his own words? These are the Biden foibles that would inspire Trump’s cruelly comedic derision.
“Electability” Is a Manufactured Issue
Just before Super Tuesday, the Corporate Democratic Party exerted its considerable clout in order to back Joe Biden, a candidate who is clearly unable to effectively challenge Donald Trump for President. Why, if “electability” is so important?
Obviously, “electability” is not important. What’s important to Democratic leadership is to block Bernie Sanders from the nomination. “Electability” was, all along, a manufactured issue — devised for the purpose of instilling fear in voters. The cry of “electability” was meant to distract voters from values or policies to be won, and to reduce their focus to just one thing: beating Trump. “Electability” is a propaganda technique.
Why do corporate Democrats reject Bernie Sanders? Because Sanders rejects corporate money. Therefore, Sanders cannot be influenced by wealthy special interests. While Sanders is a boon for democracy, he’s an existential threat to an elite Washington power structure.
Still, it is true that some American voters want to quash Medicare for All and the Green New Deal. They don’t want a political revolution. They don’t want big changes. They are safe and comfortable, enough. And because they stoutly disapprove of Donald Trump’s words and actions, they are morally pleased with themselves, enough. After all, “enough is enough.” But don’t such voters deserve at least an Amy Klobuchar to get behind?
The Self-Sacrifices of Bernie Sanders
Bernie Sanders could have run for President completely independent of the Democratic Party. He wouldn’t be dealing with a demoralizing assault on his campaign right now, and could have avoided useless Democratic debates sponsored by the corporate news media. Bernie Sanders does not need the Democratic Party. He has his own volunteer army, a coveted email list, and free-flowing cash bubbling up from the grassroots.
Sanders sacrificed his freedom from the Democratic Party in order to prevent the worse-case scenario: a split vote that would allow Trump to win a second term. Sanders is serious about beating Trump.
Sanders does not need to begin every criticism of a Democratic colleague with she/he “is my friend.” He does so because he’s a realist, not an egomaniac, and recognizes it is possible one of his Democratic opponents could win the nomination, instead of himself. In which case, he doesn’t want his supporters too turned off by the competition — to the extent they wouldn’t support the eventual Democratic nominee, if not Bernie. That’s how serious Sanders is about beating Trump.
Plenty of Sanders supporters criticize him for not aggressively attacking his opponents. However, that isn’t Sanders’ way. His goal is to reform a corrupt and dysfunctional political system, not to humiliate or destroy individuals. Most politicians are ordinary people, yet the incentives and pressures to conform to a corrupt system are extraordinary. Does Bernie’s holding back from attack sometimes weaken his case? Yes, I believe it does. People are impressed by force. But that’s a risk Sanders takes. Because there must always be enough strength left standing to keep fighting a dangerous demagogue, even if Bernie were to fall from the race. That’s how serious Bernie is about beating Trump.
The Wisdom of King Solomon
From the perspective I’ve put forth, Bernie’s way of campaigning may remind us of the story about two women who fought over one baby. (Based on 1 Kings 3:16-28.)
To end their dispute they were having over the baby, they went before King Solomon to be their judge. Each woman pulled the child toward herself, as she defended her own case as the legitimate mother. After a while, the child was being vigorously pulled in both directions at once, in danger of serious injury. Then, one woman released her grip on the baby. The other woman clutched the babe to herself in victory.
But wise King Solomon noticed the woman who sacrificed her own desires, for the sake of the baby. And he knew exactly who the real mother was.
Again, I ask, is Bernie Sanders the only one who seriously wants to beat Trump? Most likely. He’s the only one willing to sacrifice everything in order to get the job done.
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