Of the three major cable news channels, Fox News has devoted the most attention to Reade so far.3 Through Friday, May 1, Fox News mentioned Reade in 371 clips collected by the TV News Archive — 344 of them on or after April 24. Many of these mentions were by the channel’s conservative commentators criticizing Democrats and the media for not giving Reade’s allegation more air time.
By contrast, CNN and MSNBC mostly covered the story with on-air interviews of reporters who had investigated the allegation — but these channels also covered Reade much less. Through May 1, CNN had only mentioned Reade in 35 clips, the first of which aired on April 25. And MSNBC barely mentioned her until last Friday, when Biden personally appeared on the network to deny Reade’s claims. (According to what Reade has told The New York Times, neither CNN nor MSNBC has asked to interview her on air, though they have spoken to her off camera.)
But while cable news didn’t mention Reade at all when the sexual assault allegation was first revealed, online news outlets did.
On this week’s FiveThirtyEight Politics podcast, the team takes a look at how elected Democrats and voters are reacting to the sexual assault allegation against former Vice President Joe Biden. They also discuss what a likely third-party run by Rep. Justin Amash could mean for the 2020 election.
2020-05-02 The angst over Joe Biden's assault allegation has an easy resolution But getting mad is not going to get Democrats out of their Biden fix.
2020-05-02 The angst over Joe Biden's assault allegation has an easy resolution But getting mad is not going to get Democrats out of their Biden fix. Only one thing can do that — pressuring Biden out of the race and replacing him with someone else. As I have previously written, Reade's story about Biden is credible. It would never meet the courtroom standard of "beyond a reasonable doubt," but given that Reade is now known to have privately told at least five people what happened at the time or in the years following, it can't be dismissed out of hand. Biden has a track record of behaving creepily around women and has a long history of ridiculous exaggeration and telling bald-faced lies. At bottom, it is quite similar to many other #MeToo stories. The plain fact is that this accusation is going to dog Biden for the rest of the campaign. Trump has already started talking about it. The right-wing media will cover the story for purely political reasons. Fox News does not care about #MeToo, but the story damages Biden, demoralizes Democrats, and makes liberals look like egregious hypocrites. The sight of nearly every Democratic-aligned women's rights group queasily keeping silent about the story is simply delicious for the likes of Sean Hannity (though a few have started speaking out).
When I began researching this piece, I knew that Joe Biden told lies, but my expectation was that I would be able to make a clear distinction between Biden and Trump with respect to the type of liar each is. With the exceptions of the staggering amount of Trump falsehoods, and the fact that Biden has admitted to some of his lies, I can’t find much difference between them. Sorry, Blue Team. Biden’s well-publicized record of lying should be well-known to those who pull the strings of the Democratic National Committee (DNC)—those who have been orchestrating Biden’s nomination. This compels several questions: Is the DNC so stupid so as to not realize what a gift a Biden candidacy is to Trump, who can easily use the facts of Biden’s lying to suppress the Blue Team vote? Is it not obvious that many Blue Team voters will stay home rather than vote to replace one liar with another? Or is the DNC and its masters so evil that they really don’t mind having Trump win again? So evil that opting for an alternative to Biden who could beat Trump but who is slightly less oligarchy-friendly than Biden was out of the question for them?
Throughout the conversation, where Biden positioned himself as a champion of women and an ally to the #MeToo movement, neither Clinton or Biden addressed the multiple women who have accused the former vice-president of inappropriate touching, nor the newest allegations by his former staffer, Tara Reade, who claims he sexually assaulted her in the Capitol Building in 1993. Biden has been adamant that he will select a woman as his running mate and that he will choose someone from the right of the party (even floating the idea of choosing a Republican VP). Yesterday’s event fueled speculation that Clinton is in the running to return to the White House. The former senator from New York famously blew an enormous lead over Donald Trump – enjoying a 15-point advantage over the businessman and TV show host as late as the last week of campaigning. In October, a Morning Consult poll found that continued apathy and ill will towards her meant that a Clinton endorsement would be a net negative for any of the candidates in the running. Thus, some described the latest announcement as a “kiss of death” for the Biden campaign.
The Intercept’s Mehdi Hasan speaks with world-renowned political dissident and linguist Noam Chomsky on the 2020 presidential election between Joe Biden and Donald Trump. Now that Bernie Sanders has dropped out and endorsed Biden, does the progressive left have a moral obligation to hold their noses and vote for the former vice president, despite his many sins? Chomsky thinks so!
Joe Biden is repulsive: a racist, capitalist, imperialist. Today, Sanders papered over their many differences to give a full-throated endorsement. What does this mean? Biden saying (and Sanders nodding in agreement) that they “don’t disagree in any substantive ways.” And Joe Biden, a war criminal, a racist, and an accused sexual assaulter, is Bernie Sanders’s “good friend.” Biden made only small concessions to Sanders’s base but he said nothing about Medicare for All — one of Sanders’s main campaign promises. In fact, Sanders didn’t even mention Medicare for All. This endorsement comes as an almost explicit betrayal of everything that Sanders had run on. This betrayal is particularly egregious in the midst of a horrible pandemic that has killed 23 thousand and left well over 16 million people unemployed — and that doesn’t even count undocumented people. Sanders refused in the livestream to even denounce the billion dollar corporate bailout, opting for the it “wasn’t my first priority” approach. Of course, Sanders did vote for this bill a few weeks ago, but he made it clear at the time that he was holding his nose to vote because it didn’t do enough for working class people. Even that fiery rhetoric is entirely gone now, and Sanders espoused the Pelosi-Biden line that the primary issue with the massive corporate bailout is the lack of oversight. To make the endorsement worse, Joe Biden is among the most repulsive candidates in the Democratic Party, if only because he’s had decades in Congress for us to know exactly who he is and what he is about. He wrote the 1994 Crime Bill that helped create mass incarceration, voted for the war in Iraq, pushed for Obama’s drone program, and to this day — even in the midst of a pandemic! — opposes Medicare for All. While the Supreme Court is often cited as a key part of the “lesser evil” argument, it was Biden that helped confirm Clarence Thomas and silenced Anita Hill. He also fought against integration, supported Obama’s immigration policies, and was a proponent of the corporate bailouts. Joe Biden is among the most right-wing figures in the Democratic Party. And Bernie Sanders just endorsed him, with no criticisms of Biden or of the Democratic Party establishment that put their thumbs on the scales to ensure Biden’s victory.
Pundits are panicking about whether the Left will help Joe Biden defeat Trump. The former vice president probably doesn't want it, but here's some advice for him from the author of Yesterday’s Man: The Case Against Joe Biden.
As exit polls attest, and as Biden’s own wife seems to understand, Democrats didn’t vote for Biden because they found his policy ideas or vision particularly compelling, but because they believed he was the most likely candidate to win over non-Democrats and beat Trump. Now that the primary’s over, the party needs to, at least privately, acknowledge that was a myth, given that in nearly every state, Sanders beat Biden among independents, the nation’s largest voting bloc, who also tend to be younger. There are many things about Sanders’s appeal to independents that Biden can’t replicate. But he can adopt some of the policies he championed, first among which should be Medicare for All, which is surging in support as millions lose their employer-based health insurance with every week of lockdown.
“With young people poised to play a critical role deciding the next President, you need to have more young people enthusiastically supporting and campaigning with you to defeat Trump,” reads the letter signed by Alliance for Youth Action, Justice Democrats, March for Our Lives Action Fund, NextGen America, Student Action, Sunrise Movement, and United We Dream Action. “Exclusively anti-Trump messaging won’t be enough to lead any candidate to victory. We need you to champion the bold ideas that have galvanized our generation and given us hope in the political process.”
2020-03-19 ‘Zionist’ Biden in His Own Words: ‘My Name is Joe Biden, and Everybody Knows I Love Israel’
Biden’s pro-Israel legacy began much earlier than his stint as a vice-president. Time only cemented Biden’s pro-Israel’s convictions, leading to his declaration in April 2007 that he is not a mere supporter of Israel – as has become the standard among US politicians – but is a Zionist himself.
“My name is Joe Biden, and everybody knows I love Israel,” Biden began his speech at the 67th Annual Israeli Independence Day Celebration held in Jerusalem in April 2015.
The 2020 primary campaign has taken the elitist class hatred that reigns atop the Democratic Party and its many affiliated media outlets to a new level. I have been following the “liberal” elite’s unmitigated and corporate-funded loathing and ignoring of Bernie Sanders for much of the last year. It’s not a pretty story. The ruling class contempt has come replete with noxious red-baiting and flat-out slander combined with absurdly false claims that the richest country in world history “can’t afford” to make health care a human right or to move off the fossil fuel addiction that is collapsing human civilization.
All of this is as expected, as is the standard claim that the progressive candidate (Sanders) is “unelectable” even though he was the most electable potential Democratic nominee. This is standard operating procedure. What’s different this time is the extent to which the corporate Democratic media-politics machine is willing to make its determination to lose to the Republicans rather than to the progressive wing of its own party grotesquely obvious by advancing a candidate who is clearly losing his marbles.
I’d like to say that Biden is unelectable because he’s a corporatist and imperialist whose record and platform stand well to the right of majority-progressive public opinion on numerous key issues (health care, Social Security, climate change, the minimum wage, bankruptcy protection, financial regulation, the Pentagon budget, war, and more). All of that and more helps damage Biden as a presidential candidate, but the deepest nail in Biden’s electability coffin may be his obvious cognitive decline.
Though awareness of the climate crisis among the public has reached a high, voters have failed to notice the meaningful differences between Biden and Bernie Sanders on climate policy.
Biden’s campaign is trying to paint him as the candidate who could bring about change. But, behind closed doors, Biden has reassured high-dollar donors that “nothing would fundamentally change” if he were elected.
Rejecting change and refusing to listen to the electorate on climate are stances that mainline Democrats have held for years, as shown in recent years by people like Sen. Dianne Feinstein and Pelosi waving away Sunrise activists who were demanding a Green New Deal.
The establishment has delayed action to the point where dire action is needed. If Biden goes on to become the Democratic nominee in this moment of unprecedented and unpredictable climate crisis, environmental activists will face the challenging situation of trying to persuade a moderate to do a revolutionary’s work.
On April 25, Biden attended his first major campaign fundraiser, held at the Philadelphia home of Comcast executive David Cohen. That event was co-hosted by Steve Cozen, the chairman of the large national law firm Cozen O’Connor. That firm’s labor practice works for company management against the interest of unions.
On the website of its Labor Relations and Disputes practice, Cozen O’Connor boasts of its capability to help clients “prepare for and respond to picket lines, strikes, lockouts and other economic campaigns; and work with employers during union election campaigns.” “We also help employers avoid unionization through positive employee relations and regain nonunion status when employees indicate they no longer wish to be union-represented,”
In January, research by the Center for Economic and Policy Research (CEPR) found that Biden had received more money than any candidate from “attorneys at law firms with notable histories of anti-worker actions.” In addition to multiple donors at Cozen O’Connor, Biden had already garnered tens of thousands of dollars in contributions from attorneys at Ballard Spahr, Morgan Lewis, Jackson Lewis and other notoriously anti-union firms. CEPR also found nearly a dozen Biden donors at Winston & Strawn, the law firm that represented plaintiff Mark Janus in the landmark anti-union Janus v. AFSCME case that severely undermined the strength of America’s public unions.
[2020-03-12 Anti-Union Attorneys Love Joe Biden}(https://truthout.org/articles/anti-union-attorneys-love-joe-biden/)
Biden was on the verge of receiving his "last rights" as a corporate politician. These corrupt elitist Democrats were likely scrambling trying to figure out which next plan to fall back upon.
However, like a loyal accessory, congressman Jim Clyburn stepped in to save the day, or at least save South Carolina for the Democrats. Clyburn passionately ushered a great many Black voters into the ballot booths, to cast their votes for a man who could not give a damn about their long term liberation and prosperity. Joe Biden has never given a damn about Black people. Black people are merely useful tools in his political chest. Given this undeniable fact, it is unfortunate that most Black voters do not see the likes of Joe Biden for whom they are---political adversaries to our community's quest for self-determination.
It is saddening to witness so many African Americans throwing their unconditional support behind the likes of Joe Biden, the man who was a primary author of the 1993/94 Crime Bill Act. Biden was also a strong supporter of the openly racist Strom Thurmond and is a rabid imperialist warmonger.
The Democratic Party has done an excellent job of politically domesticating Black voters.
When pressed, their main pitch for Biden is that he’s “decent.” Before the establishment hoists “Gentle Joe” onto a pedestal of decency one might check:
With Anita Hill about his ugly political abuse of her.
How enthusiastic will seniors, low-income families and others be when they realize Biden has spent 30 years (including during his vice presidency) trying to cut spending for the people’s crucial safety, Social Security, Medicare and Medicaid; veterans’ benefits.
How excited will young voters be to find that kindly, old Joe has constantly backed efforts by big bankers to make it harder for students to get out from under the bankers’ price-gouging loan payments?
How thrilled will hard-hit manufacturing workers be that Biden has been a constant cheerleader for NAFTA and other job-killing, wage-busting trade scams?
At a time when big majorities are clearly sick and tired of business-as-usual politics and are demanding bold policies for grassroots progress, why would Democrats put up the poster boy of corporate-purchased, inside-the-beltway status quoism? Biden would be uniquely vulnerable to Trump this fall and lose the political future for Democrats by turning off voter turnout — especially among young people and others who feel abandoned by the establishment.
Cynically, the Democratic Party’s moneyed and political elites have rushed to hug up Joe Biden, not because he’s the best the party’s got but because of what he’s not: He’s not Sen. Bernie Sanders.
Yet, recent polls in key swing states, and in supposedly red states like Texas, confirm that the Vermont anti-establishment populist is the strongest candidate of all Democrats against Trump.
Biden has a history of decades of supporting actual cuts to social security benefits. So he’s very vulnerable for that.
Biden led the effort to give president George W. Bush permission from Congress, authority from Congress, I should say, to invade Iraq. And that’s a big thing that’ll come out also.
But, the trade issues are very big. If you look at… everybody knows Wisconsin, Michigan, Pennsylvania, that’s where the electoral votes that gave Trump the election were won last time. And why did he win them? Well, one reason he won them is you look at those States, those were people hit very hard by the so-called trade agreements, I call them commercial agreements because they’re not really so much about trade, but they cost a lot of jobs.
We lost 5 million manufacturing jobs in the United States after 2000. Those voters, those swing voters, those were the ones that were most hit.
I suppose the politically correct thing is to pretend that corporate-imperialist Joe Biden winning the Black vote isn’t like the late Jeffrey Epstein being hailed as a mentor of teenage girls.
Sorry, I don’t do politically correct.
Biden helped author and worked to pass the racist federal mass incarceration Three Strikes crime bill of 1994. He has boasted of his ability to work with segregationists as a U.S. senator in the 1970s, when he opposed federal desegregation busing orders and worried about sending his children to desegregated schools.
He boasts about his ability to work with racist Republicans today.
He has invoked George Wallace, the former arch-racist Alabama governor and segregationist, to denounce Trump. During Biden’s first White House bid in the 1980s, he bragged about receiving an award from Wallace while campaigning in the South.
Biden says that “poor kids” can do just as well in school “as white kids.”
He weirdly defended his past alliance with the racist Jim Crow Senator James O. Eastland by saying that Eastland “never called me ‘boy.’”
I’ll leave it to others to explain the complex factors behind Biden’s success “winning the Black vote” in the 2020 primaries. I don’t deny the relevance of those factors. Just don’t tell me that the racist and dementia-addled right-wing clown Joe Biden winning the Black vote isn’t a pathetic statement about the state of racial politics in the U.S. today.
And don’t tell me that the coming nomination of Joe Biden isn’t another sick victory for the Inauthentic Opposition Party of Fake Resistance. Sadly, Biden, with his brains coming out of his ears for years now, is slated to become a squealing seal in the jaws of the Great Orange Shark Donald J. Trump
In a January 2020 Washington Post article, researchers demonstrated that Biden also has support from white voters measuring high inracially resentful attitudes. And that racial resentment by white voters is linked to support for Trump. In other words, racist white voters, which includes everyone from your casual racists to your tiki torch toting, hard core racists, also see Biden as their representative.
An examination of Biden’s record explains why he would have such strong appeal to racist white voters. From 1984 to 1988, Joe Biden partnered with segregationist Strom Thurmond on a series of ‘tough on crime’ legislation passing a law which created the disparity in penalties between those caught with crack cocaine (black people) and those caught with powder cocaine (white people).
Additionally, Biden actually wrote the 1994 Violent Crime Control and Law Enforcement Act, the largest crime bill ever passed. This legislation originated as the “Biden Crime Bill” before it became known as “Bill Clinton’s Crime Bill.” Cumulatively, these black-targeted and black community enforced laws led to the incarceration of a generation of black Americans, devastated black families and laid the groundwork for mass incarceration.
Biden’s record of anti-black legislation explains why he would also be appealing to Trump supporters. Biden’s record demonstrates that his so called electability panders to racist tendencies in white voters - - these are the very reasons not to support his candidacy.
This week, nearly 1,300 IBEW members who support Bernie Sanders sent a letter to union membership asking them to retract that decision.
The letter, from “IBEW Members For Bernie,” blasts the union’s leadership for endorsing Biden without a vote of members. “The leadership of the union had previously provided reassurance to the membership that they would trust the judgement of rank-and-file leaders and members to represent their own interest in the 2020 presidential primary, and we are disappointed that the International has instead thrown their weight behind the Biden campaign without member consultation,”
Recently, a newsletter from the Bernie Sanders campaign laid out Joe Biden’s long record of supporting cuts to Social Security. In a 2018 speech, Biden says, “we need to do something about Social Security and Medicare” and that Social Security “needs adjustments.” Biden did not elaborate on what these “adjustments” were, but a look at his long history on Social Security is telling.
In the 1980s, Biden sponsored a plan to freeze all federal spending, including Social Security. In the 1990s, Biden was a leading supporter of a balanced budget amendment, considered a catastrophe for Social Security by two left-center think tanks. Biden led “grand bargain” negotiations with Republicans as vice president that” would have given Republicans structural, permanent cuts to Social Security in return for tax increases on the wealthy that would be rolled back as soon as a Republican president got elected to office.
When corporate-friendly politicians like Biden use those words “change,” “adjust,” or even “save” , they are trying to signal to elite media and billionaire donors that they are “very serious people” who are open to cutting Social Security benefits, without giving away the game to voters. That’s because cutting Social Security is incredibly unpopular with voters of all political stripes.
As more Republicans are open to calling witnesses, McConnell could demand for the sake of party unity that they go along with the Biden for Bolton deal, as Hawley has suggested. He’d probably prevail. And that would be bad for both Biden and President Trump.
When President George H.W. Bush nominated Clarence Thomas to “replace” my idol, Thurgood Marshall, I was disgusted. To me, Thomas seemed unfit to even carry Thurgood Marshall’s briefcase. Apparently, other lawyers agreed. The American Bar Association rated Clarence Thomas “unqualified,” the first time the ABA had rated any Supreme Court nominee unqualified. And the press quoted women recounting vulgar and persistent harassment they’d endured from Thomas when he’d served as Chair of the U.S. Equal Opportunity Employment Commission – the very agency charged with eliminating workplace discrimination.
I was encouraged when Biden convened the Senate Judiciary Committee’s confirmation hearing of Thomas. I expected Biden would fulfil the promises he’d made in numerous campaigns and speeches and at my high school two decades earlier. The Judiciary Committee seemed to have plenty of ammunition to stop Thomas and force Bush to nominate a more moderate, better-qualified judge who hadn’t abused his power by harassing women. At Biden’s urging, one of the complainants, Anita Hill, agreed to testify.
Well, the rest, as they say, is history. Biden didn’t bother to call witnesses from the ABA to explain their “unqualified” rating or other lawyers who’d worked with Thomas. He didn’t defend Anita Hill from vicious attacks by Republican Senators during the hearing and in the press. And he didn’t bother to call corroborating witnesses to support her. When Thomas (predictably) played the race card, describing the Senate hearing as a “high-tech lynching of an uppity black man,” Biden seemed to fold before the cameras.
The consequences of Biden’s ineptitude are profound and enduring. In case anyone has forgotten, in 2000, Clarence Thomas was one of the five Supreme Court justices who voted to halt the Florida recount. Arguably, if Biden had done his job, Bush might have been forced to nominate a moderate and more qualified judge who didn’t owe quite so much to the Republican Party. And maybe a President Gore would have managed to enact climate legislation.
"Biden's long record of poor judgment—on everything from the 1994 crime bill that fueled mass incarceration to his botched handling of Anita Hill's testimony against Clarence Thomas to his defense of Bill Clinton's brutal welfare cuts to his support for the Iraq War to his role as cheerleader for Wall Street deregulation," argues The Nation editorial, make the candidate a uniquely weak opponent to put up against President Donald Trump, "whose reelection poses a clear and present danger to America's survival as a constitutional republic."
"Stumbling through the primaries," the editorial states, "Biden's zombie campaign crowds out worthier challengers, handing Trump a free pass on the very issues that should be his Achilles' heel.
During the late 1970s and early 1980s, Biden sat on the Senate Select Committee on Intelligence, which was established upon recommendation of the 1975/1976 Pike committee to provide “vigilant legislative oversight over the intelligence activities of the United States to assure that such activities are in conformity with the Constitution and laws of the United States.” Biden himself admitted that the Senate Intelligence Committee failed at this latter task.
By the 1980s, Biden was supporting increases in intelligence and counterintelligence funding after Jimmy Carter had tried to cut the CIA’s staff by a third. In 1980, he voted to approve as Director of Central Intelligence (DCI) William Casey, a staunch anticommunist who ramped up covert arms supplies to the Afghan mujahidin, Nicaraguan Contras and Jonas Savimbi’s UNITA forces in Angola.
Biden supported Reagan’s War on Terrorism, whose double-standards were significant, and was a staunch proponent of the War on Drugs, even though he reviewed DEA reports on the illicit drug trade which would have pointed to the corruption of CIA allies.
In 1978, Biden helped to write the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act (FISA), which permitted electronic surveillance by the President to acquire foreign intelligence information for a period of up to one year without a court order and sanctioned secret court proceedings.
Biden should be judged as part of a generation of lawmakers who failed to reign in the “deep state.” Joe’s conversion from an opponent to a protector of the CIA in the 1970s set the groundwork for his Vice Presidency – and would do so for his presidency.
In the 2009 debate over the “surge” in Afghanistan, Biden characteristically wanted a small troop increase and more air strikes and drone attacks – the approach favored by the CIA. Biden also supported the CIA’s operations in Libya, Ukraine, Honduras, Venezuela and Syria, and backed the expansion of the private military industry under Obama, which is heavily dominated by the CIA.
This time for U.S. Imperial Rule After the fall of the Soviet Union in 1991, U.S. and Western oligarchs celebrated the “end of history.” The oligarchs assumed that unfettered imperial rule and capitalist exploitation would permanently dominate the globe. Biden is indeed a favorite among the oligarchs to continue this project, but his very essence represents quite the opposite development.
Large numbers of people in the United States desire policies that are anathema to the Biden-Clinton wing of the Democratic Party. A new “end of history” is emerging, but this time for the empire. Majorities of voters in both parties want Medicare for All . The same goes for the Green New Deal . There is little support among the population for U.S. military expansionism , which is why it’s been cleverly cloaked as “humanitarian ntervention.”
Besides being a grabby old coot who needs to stop joking about complaints over his serially inappropriate touching of females, Joe Biden is a grinning neoliberal sell-out who stands well to the right of majority progressive public opinion.
The media trope that portrays “Lunch-Bucket Joe” Biden as a regular, down-to-earth guy who cares deeply about regular folks is pure, unadulterated bullshit. His real constituents wear pinstripe suits and works on Wall Street and in corporate headquarters. They fly around in fancy private jets. And the supposed “everyman liberal” Joe Biden is their loyal apparatchik. It’s not for nothing that Biden relies on big money backers, not small and working-class donors – and that he is an especially close ally and beneficiary of Washington lobbyists. He has spent decades ripping on progressive “special interests” while joining with Republicans to advance policies harmful to the working-class.
In all likelihood the Democratic establishment will seek a “safe” candidate like Biden, one who would not challenge political conventions like a “democratic socialist” or be an African-American, Hispanic or another woman. Biden is the perfect band-aid candidate, one well-tested in compromise or “bi-partisan” politics.
n 1990, Biden opposed the Gulf War but in 1998 switched positions and supported the Iraq invasion, calling Saddam Hussein a national-security threat. More troubling, he’s been a long-term backer of bank deregulation and – like Clinton and Obama — close to Wall Street financiers.
He helped secure the passage of the “new Jim Crow” legislation, Personal Responsibility and Work Opportunity Reconciliation Act of 1996, that Clinton signed. And in 2001 he backed the USA PATRIOT Act – i.e., Uniting and Strengthening America by Providing Appropriate Tools Required to Intercept and Obstruct Terrorism Act – that institutionalized the national security state. Biden is an old-hand playing the political hand he’s dealt.
Perhaps most important, Biden’s run – and possible victory — can help the Democratic Party establishment contain the grassroots insurgency that spouted in the mid-term 2018 elections.
The U.S. is in the midst of a great restructuring, with globalization superseding the American Century, inequality replacing the American Dream. One of the lessons of the 2018 midterm election was that Trump’s false policies of 2016 are not working, and more and more people, including among his supports, know it.
Unfortunately, Biden and the establishment Democrats are unlikely to admit to the fundamental structural changes remaking the country – or propose meaningful policies to address them. Sadly, Biden, like Hillary Clinton before him, will offer only band-aids to stop the bleeding of the symptoms and not deal with the deeper causes sickening the nation.
The “Biden Plan” for Central America treats refugee children as a national security threat. Tucked into the administration’s 2016 budget requestthe plan has been christened “Biden’s Billion” for its major promoter and the amount he expects U.S. taxpayers to put up to support it. It divides aid into three “lines of action”: security, economic development, and governance.
Yet in every one of these areas, the response repeats errors of the past. Rather than focusing on a response to the humanitarian crisis of child refugees, it serves as a vehicle for deepening the drug war and “free-trade” agendas that have contributed to the crisis.
The plan requests $300 million for security assistance, a considerable increase over previous regional collaborations like the Merida Initiative and the Central American Regional Security Initiative. The increase goes mainly to the region’s police forces. This essentially rewards known human rights violators.
The United Nations concluded that 58 percent of the child refugees it interviewed had international protection needs, including a staggering 72 percent of Salvadoran children.
Yet for all its fanfare, the Biden plan makes no attempt to respond to this urgent need to keep children safe. In fact, through its border security measures and the likelihood of increased deportations from the United States and Mexico, it exacerbates their plight. The plan actually transfers millions of dollars out of child and maternal health to fund the new security measures.
The policies to deport migrants from Mexico are creating greater perils for them en route and back home. Father Alejandro Solalinde, who runs a migrant shelter in southern Mexico, worries that “They’re sending them right into the arms of the cartels.” That’s just what the plan does.
Biden is a would-be working-man-of-the-people was re-elected US senator from the Moneybags Corporate State of Delaware for over 36 years, a period known for the inexorable slow demise of labor unions.
While Biden may scrap with Republicans, he is a classic Cold War Liberal in the Hubert Humphrey mode, pushing moderately progressive legislation while reinforcing the pillars of imperial militarism and the burgeoning police-state that is post-9/11 America.
I submit that that hell is what we’re living through today: Unquestioned, bi-partisan, fiscally irresponsible, mostly-secret militarism accompanied by a highly partisan struggle in congress for the left-over domestic scraps. Another aspect of that partisan struggle is over what is the cause of the nation’s grotesque deficit: Militarism or domestic so-called Entitlements?
The point is, anyone who says there is no bi-partisanship in Congress is wearing blinders. When it comes to military, intelligence, surveillance and police expenditures, bi-partisanship is impregnable. Consider how the recent FISA national surveillance legislation — ie., spying on the citizenry, something that should be controversial — breezed through Congress and the White House two weeks ago.
Biden had been on the famous Church Committee in the late ‘70s that investigated intelligence excesses. “The experience convinced him that crime should be viewed as a form of domestic security,” writes Ted Gest inCrime & Politics: Big Government’s Erratic Campaign for Law and Order. Biden’s first effort in this vein was developing the National Security and Violent Crime Control Act. It was an “attempt to put crime in a defense context — getting the armed forces involved in drug interdiction, for example.”
Making laws is not always a pretty business. But that doesn’t mean our laws have to be nasty-smelling things forged out of corrupt back-room deals designed to bamboozle tax payers. The only reason the current struggles are so vile is that there is so much secrecy and dishonesty focused on sustaining an American imperial militarism around the world. This militarism, as happens in all cases of declining empire, eats resources that might maintain the nation’s crumbling infrastructure, provide for the social needs of American citizens and the general welfare of the homeland. It’s that simple.