Bernie and Biden: The Debate

Bernie Sanders and Joe Biden in 2019

W.J. Astore

In last night’s debate, Joe Biden ran away from his own record.  Suddenly, Biden is against fracking.  He’s for Elizabeth Warren’s education plan.  He’s against subsidies for fossil fuels.  He’s for a $15 minimum wage.  He’s against Super PACs and for public funding of elections.  He’s never tried to cut social security.  Just about the only progressive policy he remains against is Medicare for All, which he says is simply too expensive to countenance.

Biden also wanted to drive the narrative by saying he was picking a woman as vice president and a black female as the next justice to the Supreme Court (Anita Hill, perhaps?).  I’m not sure why Biden thought a female VP-candidate was such a big deal; Walter Mondale picked Geraldine Ferraro in 1984, and of course Hillary Clinton ran for president in 2016.  Months ago, I foresaw Biden/Kamala Harris as the DNC dream ticket.  Older white guy, younger black woman, perfect!  Except that they’re both establishment tools whose views are safely unprogressive.

Joe Biden was so eager to claim he agreed with Bernie Sanders that my wife quipped, “He’s a #MeToo candidate!”  Along with his new “me too” tactic, Biden also likes to say, “I’m the guy,” as in “I’m the guy who supported gay marriage publicly” or “I’m the guy who engineered the Paris Climate Accords.”  To Biden, being present at or near the creation of something means that he created it.

Biden’s new strategy was obvious; it was essentially the same one Hillary adopted in 2016 to neutralize Bernie.  FAKE LEFT, RUN RIGHT.

Biden is now faking that he’s sensitive to progressive concerns.  But like Hillary he’ll run to the right if he wins the nomination.  And, like Hillary, he’ll lose to Trump.

Of course, much of the debate focused on the coronavirus and the government’s response to it, and both men said reasonable things.  Watching as much of the CNN post-debate coverage I could stomach (not much), all the “journalists” on the panel saluted Joe Biden for his fine performance.  Indeed, there wasn’t a single progressive on the panel.  No one took Bernie’s side.

Naturally, there was no discussion in this debate of America’s wars or its colossal military budget.  The military-industrial complex went unnoticed and unchallenged.  Indeed, Biden suggested that the military is somehow going to ride to the rescue by erecting tent cities during the coronavirus crisis.

Biden kept mentioning all the time he’d spent in the White House Situation Room, so much so that “Situation Room Biden” could be his new handle.  All talk of Biden’s “gaffes,” i.e. signs of cognitive decline, was banished, but of course CNN reminded its viewers that Bernie had recently suffered a mild heart attack.  Biden, naturally, asserted he had a clean bill of health.

And so it went.  Overall, by running away from his own record and lying consistently through his blindingly white teeth, Joe Biden probably fooled enough people to vote for him while handing the Democratic establishment the victory they crave most of all: keeping the progressive base powerless and firmly in its place.

19 thoughts on “Bernie and Biden: The Debate

  1. As Jimmy Dore, self-professed ignorant, jack-off night club comedian running a youtube channel from his garage, says “The Democrats would rather lose to Donald Trump than win with a progressive. You see, politics is like professional wrestling — when the cameras are on, everyone pretends to be mortal enemies, but everyone is getting paid by the same people.”

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  2. Yes, “Fake Left, Run Right.” Very concise way of putting it. I managed to get in online for the last of the “debate” and what I did see was frustrating. Like you, I watched as much of the post chatter and turned off with a sour stomach.
    Noam Chomsky has a book titled “Who Runs the World” (think I have that title right). It came out a couple years ago or so and I may order it (I do like paper). I think with this campaign we are seeing the “who” about as naked as we ever see them. I used to think that you could hardly get more obvious, or arrogantly oblivious than when Hillary left the convention in 2016, pretty much before the floor cleaning crews even got to work, to head to a Wall Street meeting of backers, and in total tone-deaf mode announced what she was scurrying off to.
    But, as has been happening, you can’t be too thin, too rich or too cynical. The bottom always seems to go deeper.
    And medicare for all? Biden still thinks Medicare for All is too expensive and not a single one of the so-called journalists (in job-name only) checked him on that (or anything else). Let him ask veterans about the VA. Not perfect but a god send for tons of us. You could start right there and I could cite examples of buddies getting VA treatment.
    I can only think how the Corona virus is the same kind of windfall for pharma and hospitals and so forth as war is for “defense” companies.
    My partner is deeply in debt for her education. Not her fault. Was and is one of the best people I know about money but between deaths (of academic programs, professors in charge of her programs) and caring for her mother until her mother’s death and predatory loans whose terms changed, and still change more than every semester. And Joe Biden has voted against students in those terms since the 1970’s. No student or prospective student or anyone with a college loan should vote for Joe.
    Same for anyone in the carceral system (1994 bill) or ….. on and on. Not one challenge to his narrative from the “journalists.”
    The fix is in. It doesn’t matter to those “run the world” who is the face in charge, as long as their own faces are not overly obvious. Between Trump and Biden the legislative and judicial results are more important than the matter of public style to them. The real “run the world” types will get their intended results.
    In the meantime, on the ground, I had to become the “great hunter” of the wild TP. Stalking my prey though empty grocery-store aisles, until finally, with one incredible, deadly accurate swipe, I bagged a 12-pack, heading with a sense of unparalleled victory to the checkout, daring anyone to take my catch from me. There!
    (ha – gotta have a little fun with it)

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    1. My wife went grocery shopping on Thursday. The TP was already being cleared out. She got a couple of 9-packs so we should be good to go (pun intended) for the immediate future.

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  3. Thanks to CNN’s generosity, I was able to stream the entire show (to hell with the “post-game analysis”). Here are some observations no one has yet commented on here: Biden is getting ovations for avoiding any really bad mental fumbles. He held up pretty well over the two hours, while Bernie had the sniffles. End of any “praise” for Joey! Unwittingly, Biden came out for Medicare for All, but just for the duration of the virus emergency. Yes, he said if he was POTUS right now, the tab for all medical treatment, medication, etc. would be picked up the government! No concern expressed for what this would cost! And indeed, unless I was misinformed by CBS News Radio a couple days ago, members of the Trump admin. have made noises to this effect, PLUS that the Feds will make good the lost wages of EVERYONE losing work during this crisis! Instant “socialism”?!? Are they kidding? Do you know what the National Debt is going to look like when this whole thing winds down?? This situation needs very close watching. How many working-class Americans are really going to get bailed out? Restaurants, bars and cinemas here in Connecticut have been ordered to shutter at end of business today (March 16). The US economy, the global economy, is going to be in tatters. If there’s a silver lining in this giant, ugly cloud, it’s that, barring a spectacular economic comeback by Election Day, the incumbent will be blamed for this mess.

    “Never happened!” claimed Biden about his having sided, while a US Senator, with GOP plans to cut Social Security benefits. I haven’t seen the YouTube footage Bernie urged I look at, proving Biden’s dishonesty on this, but I believe Bernie. Joe put on his best crooked smile when Bernie spoke the inconvenient truth about who controls– who owns, basically–the USA. None of that crazy “socialist talk” for Joey Biden, no sir! And, naturally, out came the red-baiting. Courtesy of the woman representing Univision. Oh, those Evil Castro Brothers!! The only thing I felt Biden successfully “dinged” Sanders on was gun control. Bernie didn’t even try to defend his record. But probably every home in rural Vermont owns at least one rifle and/or shotgun. If not to hunt Bambi, then to blow away the “varmints” nibbling on their garden carrots or baby lettuce plants. I don’t know what the homicide-by-firearm rate is in Vermont, but I’m sure it’s not considered alarming. Geez, Joe, at least you could’ve given Sanders credit for consistency in his defense of gun ownership! And so, we await the next round of primaries, which may or may not be delayed due to contagion concerns.

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      1. Joe Biden is now officially in the DNC’s “Candidate Protection Program.” The same one they used for Hillary last time. We know how that turned out. They don’t want their voters to decide on a candidate, just insiders. I wonder how many corporate news outlets are running these clips of Joe Biden lying repeatedly? Few, i’d guess. They’ll just wait for the Republicans to do it after they make the nomination official.

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        1. BTW, independent youtube news programs that speak the truth like the one you linked to are being targeted by the corporate media and Google as “fake news” and/or buried in the search findings to make them harder for people to find.

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  4. In the wake of Biden’s announcement he would have a female VP, I have read of five (5) apparently “acceptable” options, one of whom “would make the US a real democracy for the first time.” None of the options have the initials “T.G.”


  5. It’s depressing that the leading Democratic candidate, Joe Biden, has a long record of lies, together with plagiarized speeches from earlier campaigns. Donald Trump is an epic liar as well. Yet we’re currently experiencing a pandemic that puts a premium on telling the truth to the American people — on being trustworthy.

    Bernie Sanders is trustworthy. He tells the truth, even when it hurts him. You’d think this character trait would be essential, but the media is much more focused on which woman Biden will select as his running mate.

    If it’s Trump and Biden debating in the fall, no one will be able to track all the lies they spout.


  6. As of late Tue. night, 17 March, Biden has kicked Bernie’s butt in those primaries held. And in conservative Ohio, which postponed its vote, it woulda been Biden by a big gap, too. Abandon all hope, progressives! But, some of us have been predicting this all along, haven’t we? Between Lying Donald and Lying Joe, we can still discern one who would at least “be presidential” whereas the other is beyond category, so to speak. But the “best” we would hope to see from Biden is a “return to normalcy”–normal imperialist aggression abroad and normal raking over the coals of the working class here at home. And we would not see a program remotely close to what’s needed to address the Climate Catastrophe, even if Dems took back the Senate. Because such a program would be at odds with Hillary/Joey Business As Usual Protocol. Pardon me if I don’t see cause for skipping down the sidewalk joyously at this prospect. Oh, and Biden has been offered a Secret Service detail. As the most recent former VP, I would think he’d’ve had that luxury anyway.

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    1. America has a strange affection for blowhard liars.

      I never thought Biden would recover after plagiarism and blatant lies during the 1988 campaign, but here I am, wrong again.

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      1. I’m not sure it’s gullibility. In some cases, I think it’s resignation. We’re beaten down. Cowed. With little faith or hope in the system. When what we need to be is seriously pissed off and united. But how can we be united when group gatherings are forbidden and social distancing is in place?


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