21 Aug “Once we get Biden in the White House, we can hold his feet to the fire…”
Scorch them tootsies! I like my Biden feet well-done!
Is it possible? Can we do to those metaphorical “feet” what Biden’s Democratic Party, clumsily assisted by the GOP, has been doing to the planet over the last few decades?
Can we slow-roast them until the establishment finally yields and offers meaningful action on: climate change; healthcare; democratic elections; ending the neocons’ modern holocaust of Muslims in the Middle East; restoring some semblance of the rule of law; ending the institutionally racist police/surveillance/carceral state; and giving us hope for a future for our grandchildren that doesn’t so much resemble an apocalyptic hellscape out of Mad Max)?
I understand that such thinking is prevalent, but I’ve been following this discussion intently for most of my adult life, and here’s what I have witnessed: a lot of highly intelligent, exceptionally informed, extremely patient and civil folks making the case that the Democratic Party shares the exact same agenda as the GOP, only they’ve proved significantly more capable when it comes to entrenching into law that neo-fascist agenda, while quashing dissent and manufacturing consent.
Supporting Black Agenda Report Editor in Chief, Glen Ford’s, thesis, that Democrats are not “the lesser” but the “more effective” evil, are hundreds of troublesome facts demonstrating that the Democratic Party is nothing but the oligarchy’s first line of defense against the emergence of any left-wing party — or any remotely democratic movement — in the United States.
Having obsessively followed U.S. and world politics for many, many years (a committed LOTE/Democratic voter, myself, for decades — before wising up in 2009), the last quarter-century has convinced me that the Democratic Party, with its conservative leadership and thoroughly rigged primaries, is not just the all-time best mover of the GOP’s agenda, it’s also where progressive ideas go to die.
(As AOC’s brief arc as a “progressive” has demonstrated! In 2020 Rep. Ocasio-Cortez has surrendered everything but her Twitter account to the party’s neoconservative, neoliberal leadership. She’s caved in record time, too, compared to Bernie, Dennis Kucinich, Tulsi Gabbard, et al — unconditionally surrendering to “Mama Bear” and the U.S. political establishment, as her vote for Trump’s CARES Act and her 97-second DNC convention speech confirm.)
Sadly, there are no modern examples of successfully “holding Democrats’ feet to the fire” and moving official policy in a leftward or progressive direction during Democratic presidencies (not post-JFK, anyway). Quite the opposite: When Democrats occupy the White House, the far-right’s agenda soars to new… depths.
Over the last few decades, Barack Obama and the Clintons have been the greatest movers of the warmongering, white-supremacist, biosphere-collapsing corporatist agenda that we mostly associate with Donald Trump and the GOP.
According to the ultra-conservative Federalist Society’s assessment of his legacy, the case can be made that Bill Clinton (who governed well to Nixon’s right) “signed more consequential conservative legislation than any president” in U.S. history.
That sounds about right to me. From the perspective of the far-right, Bill and Hillary Clinton were conservatism’s most effective agents… until Barack Obama came along.
How can I simply ignore this history?
Because in the real world (not the world of political branding cooked up by high-powered consultants), it is objectively, empirically true: No one has done more to advance fascism in the U.S. than the last two Democratic presidents… ably assisted by “Cuppa Joe” Biden [the gropey/rapey “ex-” segregationist who eulogized Strom Thurmond, wrote “The Crime Bill,” helped gut welfare, silenced harassment victims and shamed Anita Hill (in order to elevate fellow sexual harasser, Clarence Thomas, to the Supreme Court), and, as a founding member of PNAC, helped launch the West’s holocaust against Middle Eastern Muslims].
As Obama’s even-more-conservative VP, Joe Biden called one of the world’s most celebrated, truth-telling journalists, Julian Assange, a “terrorist” and did all he could to advance the Free Press-extinguishing agenda we generally associate with Republicans — all while working to preserve the New Jim Crow system he helped build (a bonus).
In August 2020, in his role as the Democratic Party’s anointed candidate to defeat Trump, Joseph Robinette Biden, Jr., opposes liberalization of drug laws and defunding the police… even as the nation is demanding racial justice and an end to the New Jim Crow (which Trump, ironically, has rolled back).
During the worst pandemic in over a century, with over 160,000 Americans dead, Joe Biden has offered no solutions, urged primary voters to head to their Covid-infected polling stations, and promised to veto “Medicare for All” should such a bill ever reach his desk (unlikely, with Pelosi and Schumer in charge).
Joe Biden has assured our neo-fascist/corporate overlords that “nothing will fundamentally change” under his administration — just as nothing fundamentally changed from Bush/Cheney to Barack Obama… or from Obama/Biden to Trump/Pence (the same oligarchs and corporations dictate national policy, no matter who’s in the White House… and millions of immigrants are deported, and thousands of children caged — it’s the post-9/11 American way).
I believe Joe Biden (not when he says he didn’t sexually assault Tara Reade, but) when he says that “nothing will fundamentally change” if he’s elected president. (Hear that, 1%? You’re safe. Even as you murder the world and normalize fascism, Joe will continue to stand “between you and the pitchforks.”)
His “feet” are fireproof.
(Don’t forget to kiss the planet goodbye after he wins or loses in November.)