The Case for Joe Biden

biden
Hold your nose and vote for Joe?

W.J. Astore

The case for Joe Biden can be summed up quickly: He’s not Donald Trump.

Frankly, for a lot of people, that’s enough.  Biden suggests a return to normalcy, a hint at bipartisanship, Supreme Court selections that won’t be carbon copies of Gorsuch and Kavanaugh, and policies that, for example, accept the reality of climate change and seek solutions to immigration that don’t enable racism or prioritize walls.

But it’s not enough for me.  Biden is a deeply flawed candidate, and his policies (such as they are) haven’t stoked my interest and earned my vote.

Yet friends tell me I must vote for Biden, since a vote for any other candidate represents a vote for Trump.

That’s what a friend told me on Facebook: That I had to put aside my ideals, hold my nose, and vote for Joe, since Trump constitutes an existential threat.  Trump’s been a disaster; indeed, I argued against him, vociferously, as in this piece from March of 2016.  But that doesn’t mean I want to vote for “the lesser of two evils.”

Here’s what I said to my friend on Facebook; I’ve only included my statements, with minor additions for context:

Very frustrating because the fix for Biden has been in since the beginning. And Joe Biden is a horrible candidate. Can’t vote for him or Trump.

I understand the sentiment [of voting for Biden]. But I want to vote for someone, not against someone else. It’s quite possible Biden will be unable to serve due to mental decay/dementia. So my response to the DNC is: How dare you give me Biden as a candidate! How dare you tell me to hold my nose and vote for yet another corrupt politician who’s clearly in decline! How dare you fix the process against progressive ideas! You have not earned my vote.

I respect your choice [for Biden]. But your logic [that a vote for anyone other than Biden is a vote for Trump] is wrong. I write frequently against Trump, and try to persuade others of the dangers he represents. So, I won’t vote for him. Period. I will vote for someone else, but I refuse to allow the corrupt DNC to dictate that my only choice is to vote for a senile corporate tool named Biden.

It’s shameful that the DNC has conspired to give us such a weak candidate to go against Trump. If Biden loses, it’s the fault of the DNC, not those voters who found him unattractive. In politics, you have to be able to earn votes. Nominating a candidate who is so deeply flawed is just plain stupid and cynical. Luckily, I live in a state where my vote really doesn’t matter, i.e. Mass. is not a “battleground” state.

A year ago, I guessed the dream ticket of the DNC would be Biden/Harris. It may be that one prediction that I get right. It’s an uninspiring ticket that’s designed to suppress progressive changes. You have to accept a grim reality: the DNC exists, not to win elections, but to suppress progressive change and candidates like Bernie and Warren. In the eyes of the DNC, they have already won, even if Biden loses in November.

What say you, readers?  Should we vote blue no matter who?

85 thoughts on “The Case for Joe Biden

  1. I will vote “blue,” but it really doesn’t matter. I voted for Warren and Hillary and all the other Democrats except Carter and now I regret not having voted for him. Who voted for Biden anyway? And why?

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  2. I hope against hope that (a) Biden chooses a progressive VP candidate and announces some progressive cabinet secretaries; (b) the Democratic platform is more progressive than ever due to Sanders and desire to woo his supporters; (c) we elect and re-elect progressive members of Congress; (d) Democrats win the Senate. I will vote for Biden, reluctantly (unless something dramatic happens between now and November, which of course it could), because we cannot afford to have four more years of Trump. It would be a total disaster. But Sanders, Warren, AOC, others, are changing the party and the country, and we can’t give up. Yes, the establishment looks out for itself. And parts of the “establishment” are fine–competent, thoughtful, smart administrators and bureaucrats who get things done, day in and day out, the kind of people Trump has tried to drive away. But when power supports power, that’s not good. So I won’t try to convince you to vote for Biden, but honestly, we have no good alternative at this point.

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    1. The election of “The Squad” in 2018 may very well prove to have been an aberration, and the DNC hankers to “correct” the situation by working for their defeat this year. I detect no evidence that the Dem. Party as a whole is moving in a “progressive” direction. Indeed, in the wake of presidencies like those of Reagan and the Bushes, the Dems adopted a policy of moving TO THE RIGHT themselves to try to glom onto some of those “conservative” voters!

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  3. The argument that opens this post is the one that will be bandied about. Bad as Biden appears to be, he indeed isn’t Trump. Biden would be another tool for Big Business–this is the unwritten plank in job description of POTUS, after all–but I don’t picture him intentionally sabotaging what precious few environmental protections will remain on the books in January 2021. But neither will he be a “Climate Warrior” like Jay Inslee. And there’s the nub of what we’ve been talking about for so long in this discussion: the Establishment, which the DNC represents, has NO SOLUTIONS for the world’s gravest problems. Because they are entirely THE PROBLEM themselves!! Right now, pandemic bungling or no, I’m seeing Trump being re-elected in a replay of the Electoral College situation from 2016. At this late time in history it is far too late to try to reform the Corporatist Democratic Party, but I will send them the same message I sent last time: “Go to hell!!” by voting for an indie candidate, or if that option is missing from the ballot, by leaving the Presidential section of the ballot blank. In recent years I have voted largely Democrat in my state and local elections–because really, do we need still more Republicans in these offices?–but even here I’ve drawn lines. The US Congressman for my district is a total toady of the War Industry and the Zionist Lobby and I will continue to withhold my vote from him.

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    1. Well, perhaps everyone has forgotten about the election, for the moment. The COVID-19 epidemic has made it even more apparent that neither Biden nor Trump is worth electing and that a conscientious person could not vote for either of them (or indeed for more than the smallest fraction the candidates for Congress). That’s my view, although not everyone agrees, even reasonably honest, scrupulous people (of whom, however, there are sadly all too few—another thing that events have brought to light).

      Recently, a few good articles have been published on what one might expect from Biden and whether there are convincing arguments in favor of voting for him (assuming that he is still alive in November) or for lending any support whatsoever to the Democratic Party, rather than hoping for its evaporation.

      I would like to recommend these:

      On Biden himself—who he really is, and what might possibly be expected of him:

      https://www.counterpunch.org/2020/04/28/biden-the-lout/

      The amazing thing is that this is a re-publication of an article origianlly published in 2008: plus ça change, plus cést la même chose—malheurusement. Contains a few well-deserved digs at the Obama creature as well as revealing Biden for the worthless scoundrel that he is.

      Then there is this:

      https://www.counterpunch.org/2020/04/24/joe-or-no/

      It’s a long, detailed argument against the endless, frenzied nattering of even brilliant and principled people like Noam Chomsky who think that we must—because this is “the most crucial presidential election in human history”, and Trump “the most dangerous president ever” (and this time, we really mean it!), “hold our noses” and vote for anyone but Trump (anyone but Dubya, anyone but Reagan, anyone but Nixon, anyone but Goldwater, anyone but . . .). In other words, we must always accept being forced to vote for the supposed “lesser of two evils”—this is the position in which both parties want the voters to find themselves. Then they can put up whatever hopeless fraudster they want and control the electorate by hyper-demonisation of his or her opponent. It’s an eternal meme, and it has never gotten anyone anywhere, except the corrupt beneficiaries of the system.

      Anyway, this “Joe or No?” article is a well-done pep talk for those who wish to hold onto the courage of their convictions and not vote for either of the two trash bags. OK, you might not agree with it and may feel that you need to continue with your hysterical (if well-meant) nattering; but you should at least read it. That way, there will be no avoiding responsibility for your ultimate choice.

      The third article is quite different. It’s simply a heads-up about what a Joe Biden administration would almost certainly look like. It’ll be a re-cycling of the worst of the failed neo-liberal and neo-con misleaders—the Democratic ones, of course. Trump re-cycled Bolton (although possibly against his will) and other ghouls, and Biden will re-cycle people like Larry Summers (which would NOT be against his will). The give-away about Obama, remember, was when he began putting together his administration from the list that he was sent by Citicorp (this isn’t even denied—doesn’t need to be, because no one pays any attention to it), and Biden’s gang will surely be an even worse collection of warmongers, de-regulators and gangsters: zombies all.

      https://prospect.org/blogs/tap/zombie-invasion-of-team-biden/

      Cheers,
      Mikjall

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      1. Allow me to state the following opinion, decidedly NOT as a supporter of the Democratic Party breed of politician, nor that party as a whole (hole?): I have been alive now through 13 presidencies (including Ford’s brief stint and the present incumbent), and I believe that without a doubt the world is in a bigger mess than it would have been had a Democrat defeated Nixon, Reagan, the two Bushes and Trump. (I guess I’m giving something of “a pass” to Eisenhower!) The shameless depravity of what the Modern Republican Party has come to represent COMPELS me to make this statement. Underscoring the terribly severe shortcomings of the Dems does not change this, this reality as I perceive it.

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  4. All of the above, W.J.! Excellent synopsis of the craven, corrupt, sociopathic and proto-fascist corporate apologists in the dnc and corporate media. How dare anyone tell me who I should vote for when you trot out yet another neoliberal has-been. No way will I vote for bleary Biden, nor for any candidate of the corporate-political propaganda-and-militarism duopoly. I will vote to fill the U.S incarceration gulags with their criminal ilk.

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  5. With all the added chaos in politics now, there is virtually no chance that the 2020 election will be legitimate. Check out the work of Greg Palast, investigative journalist. Neither party wants to talk about election fraud (not voter fraud) because they’re both doing it. It’s just too easy.

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    1. Some have said we’ve entered a “Post-Truth Age.” I thoroughly reject that notion in general, but when it comes to a national election, who can even access accurate figures? For example: how many potential Democratic voters were disenfranchised in this district or that? (And who can guarantee us these folks would not have voted for Trump?) But I will certainly continue to argue for the demolition of the Electoral College, so that the winner of popular vote nationally assumes the presidency. That doesn’t eliminate vote suppression but it would be a step forward. And the 7/8 of the iceberg that remains under the water is still the QUALITY of the candidates we’re being offered, obviously.

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      1. The finest answer to the idea of the “post-truth” age is the 2005 Nobel Prize speech given by Harold Pinter. This is a speech that everyone should listen to; if you don’t already know the speech (I listen to it sever times a year, and it never fails to have its powerful effect) your life and thoughts are incomplete. Pinter also gives the lie to the success of voting for “the lesser of two evils” as a way of bringing even the slightest vestige of decency to the world. It gives you a realistic idea of what “the lesser of two evils” really amounts to. The speech, given 15 years ago, also reminds us forcefully that very little has changed. There’s nothing new or unique about Donald Trump, other than his insufferable style.
        Find the video at: https://www.nobelprize.org/mediaplayer/?id=620
        The text of the speech can be found here (link from the page above does not work):
        http://www.nobelprize.org/nobel_prizes/literature/laureates/2005/pinter-lecture-e.html
        Pinter says that “What surrounds us . . . is a vast tapestry of lies, upon which we feed.” It’s easy to forget that when we get enmeshed in the rhetorical tropes of the day and fall into the trap of taking them seriously.

        Stay safe and healthy.

        Pax vobiscum,
        Mikjall

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        1. Thanks for providing a link to Pinter’s speech, which I don’t think I heard much about back in the year it was given (how surprising!). I know Pinter is known as a “leftie.” I guess this was around the time the late Christopher Hitchens was publicly defending the assault on Iraq, which totally turned me off to that chap. I’ll pursue the link at a later time and comment if I feel so compelled.

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  6. I hope Bernie can convince Biden to adopt a more progressive platform. I hope his VP choice can move Biden to a more progressive platform.

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  7. This is the old Democratic establishment bait and switch tactic we’ve seen before. Bait the younger and more progressive voter blocs with a few promising candidates to engage them in the political process, then pull the ol’ switcheroo with an establishment insider/corporate shill hoping that those same voters will choose the supposed lesser evil and still vote. Nope! Any new, progressive agenda for this country will only come when those same voters insist on playing the long game and not continually succumb to this short one. Screw the next four years if you have to and then the country will be sufficiently messed up that everyone will happily buy into a whole new agenda. We’ll all survive it. But if the country is still messed up under Biden’s watch (providing he can stay awake), the Republicans are back in four years. If not, the Democratic-corporate establishment may be in control for another four. It will be wash, rinse, repeat for a long time. However, given that Joe has one foot in the assisted care unit, let’s at least see who his Veep choice will be. For me, I’m in reliably blue Illinois, so I’ll be sitting out the presidential vote as I did last time. Give me a Sanders-Gabbard ticket and I’ll volunteer to knock on doors 😉

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  8. So if I don’t vote for Biden it’s a vote for Trump? BS! How about, if I don’t vote for Trump, it’s a vote for Biden. There, you idiot Dems!Satisfied? My husband has been telling me for years that voting for the lesser of 2 evils is like voting for the sink instead of the toilet. I always believed the Progressives could take over the Dem party. How naive I was. I am ashamed to say voted for Hillary in 2016 because I was terrified of Trump. It made me feel dirty to do so. Trump does not hide his corruption from public view, Biden does. I survived Trump and can survive him again. How dare the Dems vote shame me! Yeah, I’m taking it personally. If they want my vote, I’ll sell it to them. THAT they would understand. Let them make me an offer. Otherwise, screw them.

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    1. Why would I try to convince someone that 4 – 1 really is less than 4? I’d rather converse with trees and rocks. The assertion is based on a progressive/liberal/sentient non-simian voter who decides NOT to vote for Biden: that equates to precisely 1 vote for Trump. And I’m sorry that your parents didn’t teach you any manners; there’s always time to learn though.

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      1. I beg to disagree sir and if you are offended by my manners you are welcome to ignore my comments. (And perhaps look into a mirror regarding the criticism)

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    2. Great statement, TEXAS PROGRESSIVE! Unfortunately for everyone, Bernie Sanders (flawed as he is, but at least he is sane) was and is stuck with the idea that it is possible to reform the Democratic Party. He learned nothing from 2016, including about the significance of caving in and talking about “my friend Joe”.

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      1. Imagine a world where the DNC had had the good sense to push Gov. Inslee to the fore as the candidate. (Pardon my brief fantasy interlude!) Whether the Covid-19 outbreak can be directly tied to climate chaos or not, I got news for you, People of Earth: you’re still on the road to self-annihilation because of the crimes you’ve collectively committed against the environment!

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  9. Biden is progressive…..he’s not radical; he’s not as far left as many Dems would like him to be; but he is without a doubt progressive on the issues we care about. Moreover, he is moving left to try and ensure that Bernie’s people support him enthusiastically. Okay, that should be enough. But when you consider what four more years of Donald Trump would mean, it’s a clear choice.

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    1. I beg to differ Mr. Feldman. Biden is not a progressive on any issues I care about (I take exception to the use of “we”) and Sanders is not radical. Sanders is to the right of FDR. Biden will not move to the left and if he says he is, go back and check his record on truth telling. There is a reason he lost his previous attempts at the presidency.

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  10. It’s good to be reminded how Obama/Biden and Company think of liberals with principles: https://shadowproof.com/2010/01/26/rahm-emanuel-liberals-are-f-king-retarded/

    Also, guess who’s arguing, yet again, that the real enemy of the Democratic Party is liberals like Bernie Sanders? Yes, Rahm Emanuel in 2020: “Rahm Emanuel: Liberals could sink Democrats in 2020” at https://www.washingtonexaminer.com/news/rahm-emanuel-liberals-could-sink-democrats-in-2020

    Tell me again why I should vote blue no matter who, when I’m called “f*cking retarded” and when I’m accused of being the enemy within?

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    1. I think the question is moot unless you are in a swing state due to our bizarre electoral college system.

      I do wish to challenge the implication that one should NEVER support someone who is the lesser evil because that person is still evil. In WWII we allied with Stalin who was probably one of the most evil people on the planet. We did so because he was helping us against someone who was even more evil. Without our alliance with Stalin it is reasonable to question whether Hitler would have been defeated.

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      1. Re: Stalin. Yes, we allied with him against Hitler. But we didn’t elect him to run our country.

        Still, your point is well taken for the situation we were in during WW2. Indeed, we needed Stalin (and his vast army) more than he needed us.

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    2. I don’t care what Rahm Emmanuel thinks. Nor would I shame anyone who can’t bring themselves to support Biden. But I’ve always thought we need to be pragmatic even when fighting for ideals. To call everyone in the DNC proto-fascist etc solves nothing. If we wait for the millennium, we’ll die first. And our principled stands will cost real people in major ways. Vote Democratic and push for progressive change, just as Sanders has been doing. A President will not save us, but Pres Trump might destroy us.

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      1. I understand your position. But, assuming Biden somehow wins with our votes, why would he listen to progressives after we (yet again) rolled over for him and his ilk? He’ll be the corporate whore he’s always been, citing a description Caitlin Johnstone used here:

        “You want Biden’s handlers to lie to you and add some more fake progressive agendas to his platform that have a zero percent chance of ever being enacted if he makes it to the White House? It’s so undignified. It’s undignified for the progressives, and in a sense it’s undignified for the Biden camp as well. Trying to make a lifelong corporate whore do a fake leftist song and dance is like trying to make a cat wear a dress. Stop trying to get Biden’s handlers to write down some lefty talking points for him to struggle to read on camera and just let him campaign honestly as the corporate whore he’s always been.”

        You see the conundrum: Biden isn’t going to change. The DNC won’t change. Unless they have to. If we just do the “pragmatic” thing and vote for their agenda, we’ll never, ever, get ours.

        https://caitlinjohnstone.com/2020/04/19/you-wouldnt-have-to-knock-people-off-their-pedestal-if-you-didnt-put-them-there-in-the-first-place

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        1. I’m getting older and am a long way from home, but I’m hard pressed to remember the last politician who paid much attention to voters once they were in office. Voters are only needed for their votes and contributions. You don’t let them determine policy. I respectfully suggest tracking down a copy of “Clout” by Len O’Connor. The names, faces, and technology change, but the game goes ever on …

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    3. If you examine the language wingnuts use in online posts, it’s clear that to be “a liberal” is tantamount to (maybe worse than?!?) what being “a communist” was back in the good old days of the Soviet Union. I’d wager the average Trump supporter isn’t even aware that Russia and China both took the capitalist road decades ago. China retains vestiges of state control of economic activity, but Putin’s Russia is a Wild, Wild West anything-goes to make a quick ruble (more like billions of them) environment.

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  11. Vote Blue no matter what, up and down the ticket.
    I’m a Vietnam combat (Navy/Marine) Vet, a retired psychiatrist who practiced 40 years as a Medicare/Medicaid physician, a progressive Democrat who worked the last 5 years of my practice at the VA, and saw all the enormous problems and failings of that undernourished,
    understaffed, poorly-led organization; tried to work with some other Vets to address/reform
    some of the worst abuses of employees and leadership ( including Senate/House oversight) in DC–and got nowhere. But I learned a lot, helped some worthy and less-worthy Vets…

    To abstain from voting for a Democratic presidential candidate in November is unwise and
    and avoidant of one’s civic duty if you are a Democrat, even if you don’t like or agree with that candidate–I had similar feelings about Hillary but voted for her–I don’t share your opinion about Biden, just acknowledge and respect our differences–would you reconsider if he picked Warren as his running mate ? (I hope he does–she has been my candidate from day 1)
    ps–I am a long-time reader and supporter of Tom Englehardt and his TomDispatch–
    have you asked him about his view of Biden’s candidacy?

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  12. Very well said!

    What is rarely talked about is that this DINOsaur party has not challenged the orange golem in the last 3 years. They rail about how bad he is and impeach him in the weakest way, assuring failure. They vote with him when they should be adamantly opposed. Hypocrisy reigns.

    Now, they purposefully defeat Bernie who would have beaten the golem, and push this senile, 40 year political horror on us, as if he is a “good guy” who Progressives will be able to manipulate to the left once he is in office. This is pure BS. These DINOsaurs well know Biden will be chewed up by the wrestlemania Trump. And they are fine with losing, it appears. At least all their jobs will continue and for them all will be well.

    There is a caveat in the above. It does not take into account the corona virus effect nor the economic collapse that seems inevatable. Fantasy would say, it just could be this system collapse is the only thing that might defeat the golem. “Its the economy, stupid.” has a lot to say for itself.

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    1. Paul Scott–Well now, hold up here! The GOP majority in the Senate guaranteed Trump’s acquittal, it didn’t matter what specific charges the Dem. leadership ran with for impeachment. I do not join with those who say the Dems totally wasted their time and ours by launching impeachment. I think it was essential that some kind of stance in favor of “the rule of law” (that illusory alleged backbone of American democracy!) be taken. [Note that all Trump’s underlings and pals who got sentenced to a little “prison” time are petitioning for release because of the pandemic!] Further, I think Trump’s base is standing totally firmly behind him, regardless of the level of bungling on Covid-19 that ultimately comes to light. (“It’s China’s fault! It’s the WHO’s fault! It’s Obama’s fault!”) This is why I’m picturing a rerun of the Electoral College stacking of the cards that gave Trump his win in 2016. How I wish I wasn’t compelled to write that!

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  13. One more data point: The mainstream media refuse to ask Joe Biden about a credible allegation of sexual assault from 1993. And Biden refuses to say anything while his campaign issues denials in his name. Is this the behavior of a strong, principled, leader?

    And expect about 100 questions about Hunter Biden and Burisma in the fall.

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  14. Jagger & Richards: You can’t always get what you want, but if you try sometimes you get what you need” Seriously, enjoy the moment– try as you may unless your at the helm ie. in power yourself you will never affect change! Its that simple nowadays the way I see it. We can Protest, and still not get what we want, but in having this, or any platform at least we get what we need… Think about it.

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    1. I sung my song to Mr. Jimmy/
      Yeah, and he said one word to me, and that was “death”

      Mr. Jimmy knew the score …

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  15. Politics Grow Up

    I wished we lived in a world in which politics had evolved to the state where we could afford to have such delicate sensibilities debating the ethics of voting for “the lesser of two evils.”

    People need to grow up. Politics is about making choices, and understanding what the consequences of those choices are likely to be.

    Politics is not about making the choices you would like to be making. It’s about making the choices that are possible at the moment at which you are choosing.

    Do I wish that Democratic primary voters had picked one of the candidates with solid, progressive credentials? Yes, I do. But they didn’t.

    Do I wish the Democratic National Committee wasn’t the captive of neoliberal corporate special interests? Yes, I do, but it isn’t.

    We knew all along that the path to the nomination for anyone with progressive ideas would be steep and difficult. The success that Warren and Sanders had early on at least demonstrated that there was much more substantial support for change than you might have gathered from the mass media’s version of conventional wisdom.

    But in the end, that constituency was not large enough to overcome the obstacles.

    So now we find people whose response to this failure is to throw up their hands and walk away from the arena.

    It’s not difficult to make the argument that the Democrats aren’t really that different from the Republicans. But after three years of Trump’s wrecking-ball presidency, I simply do not understand how anyone could still be clinging to the idea that there would be no difference between a Trump 2nd term and a Biden first term.

    So this fall, we have to make a choice, and understand the implications of that choice. When I go to vote, what’s uppermost in my mind is what effect my choice is likely to have on those who don’t have a voice in the political process, the marginalized, the immigrants, the children, the elderly, the sick.

    With that notion in mind, I have no doubt that the voiceless will fare far worse under a 2nd Trump administration than under any conceivable Biden–or for that matter any other Democratic candidate-administration.

    I am under no illusions about the role of the DNC and big money Democratic donors in influencing the outcome of this election.

    Getting Biden elected is not an end-in-itself. The fact that Biden won the nomination tells me that supporters of a progressive agenda have some serious organizing work to do to build a national movement for change that’s powerful enough to overcome the forces that greased the skids for Biden’s nomination.

    A second Trump administration will make it vastly more difficult to do that organizing work, because we will be so completely preoccupied with fighting Trump’s continuing destruction of every progressive action of the last 100 years.

    I know there are people who like to argue that in order to get the social change we want, we have to make things get worse, until the pain is great enough that people are willing to act. I’ve been hearing this argument since the late 1960s, and all that has ever happened is that things just got worse.

    So if you’re going to be serious about politics, you have to take the long view. It would have been nice if Sanders or Warren had been able to short-circuit the historical process of social change, but that’s asking more than any presidential campaign is ever going to be able to deliver.

    And just so I don’t come off sounding like I’m talking about some pie-in-the-sky approach to political organizing, I suggest you take a look at how the forces behind what we still call the “Republican Party” took power. Trump is where he is because of several decades of well-funded building out of a right-wing infrastructure, the think tanks producing the “fake news” policy proposals, the seduction of evangelical ministers and the integration of the religious right into the Republican electoral apparatus, the creation of FOX News, and so on. None of these changes happened accidentally. A small group of people came up with a strategy, and there were enough donors willing to fund the execution of this strategy. It’s this kind of long-range planning that takes you to power.

    People need to get over their disappointment with Biden. He is what the process we’re working with produced this time around. If we want real social change, we have to do everything we can to defeat Trump. Biden’s election is the only way to keep some meaningful space open to do the political organizing that has to be done to take over and transform the Democratic Party into a force for progressive change, in the same way that the right-wing took over and transformed the Republican Party.

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    1. It’s more than “disappointment” with Biden. His negatives will hobble him. And his mental faculties are declining. He is not up to the job.

      For that matter, neither is Trump. So you could argue we’re voting for a party rather than a person. But I can’t support a party that offers me a candidate who is in decline at a time of great crisis. It makes no sense. None.

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      1. In a hypothetical Biden administration–and I don’t believe we’re going to see such a thing; it’s “The Last Hurrah” for ol’ Joe–at least he would be surrounded by basically competent help (albeit still thoroughly corporate puppets). Trump requires his crew to swear personal loyalty to his Unsurpassable Awesomeness. You either kiss the Godfather’s ass…I mean, ring…or your days are numbered.

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    2. richardbelldc–Your comments are undeniably very sensible and level-headed and…well, pragmatic! Personally, I don’t aim to build a new Democratic Party. This whole wretched System of Profits Before People is light years beyond being reformable. It is hastening the human race toward its demise, to be completely blunt about the matter. I pity the coming generations.

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    3. “But in the end, that constituency [that supported Progressives} was not large enough to overcome the obstacles.”

      You speak as if Progressives candidacies died natural deaths, but they didn’t. It was the relentless opposition by the DNC, and the directing of corporate millions to Biden, that killed the campaigns of Bernie, Elizabeth et. al. In 2016, it was the DNC’s rigging of the primaries; the same may have happened this year as well, although I haven’t seen any reports to that effect.

      You make pragmatic points. However, we Progressives have been holding our noses and compromising for decades. Every time it comes down to a choice between a totally lame Dem and a totally objectionable Rethug, the pragmatic ones tell us to vote blue, and then work on Progressive goals afterward. Here we are, many years later, still hearing the same advice. If we don’t ever reject the corporate shills the Dems put up, we’ll never realize any of those Progressive goals. If not now, when?

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  16. To : Richard Bell DC, and to do anything of consequence in this life you need a “Plan” as you well know, and I’ve told my Kids many times. There is no easy way out. A short term burst of enthusiasm won’t cut it! Its like showing up to Run the Boston Marathon with no prep., or training & plan other than I feel good this morn. so why- not. As you collapse in agony on Heartbreak Hill… Yes, the Republicans had a great well organized Plan!

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  17. “But your logic [that a vote for anyone other than Biden is a vote for Trump] is wrong.” Unfortunately, it is not: the electoral math, like gravity, is inescapable. One less vote for Biden is PRECISELY equal to one more vote for Trump. A third party vote, unless it would have otherwise gone to Trump, has no other effect on the outcome. If you’d like to argue that 4-1 is greater than or equal to 4, then have at it and give it your best shot.

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    1. That’s assuming there are only two candidates. And that I’m compelled to vote for one of the two.

      There are other candidates. There is also a write-in option.

      I know: let’s be serious, right? You must vote for a Republican or Democrat, Trump or Biden, because that’s what a “reasonable” person does.

      And I ask you: How are we ever going to get better candidates and usher in real reforms if we’re content voting for either a sociopathic con man (Trump) or a mentally-fading corporate stooge (Biden)?

      Cast your vote for a person you believe in.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. You’re a free American, you can vote for Mickey Mouse, dead people, characters from historical novels, or yourself for that matter. None of that alters the fundamental math of voting. I’m not judging here, just observing and reporting. Biden is rather daft and belongs on a Florida golf course with his plaid pants pulled up above his belly button, not running for President, but the fact is that I would have my deathbed wheeled into the polling place to vote against Orange Jesus, and a vote for anybody but Biden is a vote FOR Trump.

        Liked by 1 person

        1. OK. You’re voting for Biden. FOR Biden.

          I’m voting FOR a different candidate and AGAINST Trump and Biden.

          It still eludes me how my vote AGAINST Trump is somehow FOR him. But I suppose we must agree to disagree.

          Liked by 2 people

          1. I respect your position, and I apologize if I was not more clear: I don’t give a rat’s ass about Joe Biden. I was in Warren’s camp from Day 1, and hopefully he will pick her for VP, at which time I would give a shit about Joe. The ONLY thing I care about Joe right now is that his last name is not Trump, and he will probably be the Democratic candidate.
            But I believe that your question is a fair one, and I’ll try to give you a fair answer. I’m basing my assertion on the presumption that the voter in question is left-of-dead-center. Someone who voted 3rd party who might have otherwise voted for the Orangutang now in the Oval Office is clearly a lost vote for Mr. T, and therefore a vote FOR Biden.

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          2. Anyone who voted for Trump last time as some kind of protest against the Establishment–because he “promised” to shake things up, “drain the swamp,” etc.–and would vote for him THIS year, having observed what’s been going on in this country on his watch, must be–in my always extremely humble opinion–A MORON of astounding profundity!! I mean, let’s keep it real here! [For whatever reason, I am not able to employ boldface or italics on this website, so my use of all upper case represents emphasis.]

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      2. Apologies if my initial sentences here appear to drift from the topic. I signed online this afternoon and found that Crude Oil is selling for barely more than A DOLLAR A BARREL (that’s at least 42 gallons, though sometimes 52-gallon containers are used)!!! This should be THE top news story of the day, pandemic or no! The global economy is as good as buried six feet under. So, we are living in extraordinary times, truly. Where is the extraordinary LEADERSHIP we need at this time? We won’t get it from Biden, and we sure as hell won’t get it from the current incumbent. The whole bloody world is in need of drastic changes!

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  18. Biden is terrible but a D in the White House for 4 years means 4 more years of a two party state. The battle will be lost by team D eventually but it’s nice to live a few more days.

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  19. Another sad fact: Joe Biden is against medicare for all, and says he would veto a bill for it, even if it landed on his desk as president. In the middle of a pandemic, with millions losing their health care, how crazy and heartless is that?

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  20. After all the Biden bashing on both sides and this very informative piece about the DNC, I’ve finally made my mind up and am now switching parties after being a life long democrat. I’m going with Trump, McConnell and Graham. Never see me vote democrat again. I wanted Biden but it’s clear he’s corrupt no good Washington insider. Trump 2020 and hopefully 2024! Better red than dead!

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    1. Well, I know sarcasm when I read it.

      Sure, vote for Biden and the Democratic Party. Believe me, I can’t stand Trump or Mitch or Lindsey. But don’t be surprised when the Dems under Biden screw us progressives again.

      I’m a registered Democrat who voted for Obama in 2008 and 2012. I voted 3rd party in 2016 and will do so again in 2020. At least Obama did a good job of faking left before he went right. Hillary and Joe don’t even bother to fake it.

      Liked by 2 people

  21. One reader suggests I’m trying to depress the vote. No. I want every eligible person to vote. And I want us all to vote for the candidate that speaks to our priorities, our beliefs, our values. So I won’t be voting for Trump. Nor Biden. But hey, that’s me. If you think Biden is the lesser of two evils, the better choice, or the “good enough” choice, go for it. I’m not against your decision.

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  22. A few words from Roger Waters:

    “I’m so flabbergasted and gobsmacked by the way the Democratic National Committee has railroaded Bernie [Sanders] again,” Waters told Rolling Stone. “And has put in place a candidate—I can’t imagine Biden beating Trump in an election.

    “Biden is such a f-cking slimeball, he’s so weak, and has no appeal to anybody,” Waters ranted. “Trump, at least, is a snake oil salesman, he does tricks…he does them really badly, but people don’t care.”

    When asked if he could pick one over the other, Waters hedged: “I obviously don’t know where I stand on that lesser of two evils question. I’m not sure the path to a new America that is not ruled by the current ruling class — by money, plutocracy, and a capitalist society — will be made any easier with Biden as president.”

    https://www.weareclassicrockers.com/article/roger-waters-goes-joe-biden-hes-slimeball

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I do believe also that Kamala Harris will be Biden’s VP pick as in he’ll then be appeasing the Woman & Minority Black Vote there for a twofer! Maybe even the Cali. Vote.

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      1. I do believe that this is the woman who declined to prosecute Steve Mnuchin’s OneWest Bank for foreclosure violations in California in 2013. Prosecutors at her CA attorney general’s office said they found over a thousand violations of foreclosure laws, and predicted that further investigation would uncover many thousands more. She has yet to offer an explanation why she did not pursue this case.

        Liked by 2 people

  23. I’ll vote Biden, even though he is a disappointment for progressives. But I think (hope) he will appoint cabinet heads who are competent in their positions. And we’ll get a Sec of Education who doesn’t think the purpose of education is to “promote god’s kingdom on earth”, an energy secretary who knows what the department does, a HUD secretary who doesn’t think “poverty is just a state of mind”. EPA and Interior heads who understand science and environmental issues, an AG and Sec of State who are not batshit crazy religious loons, etc.

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    1. And all those cabinet members will promote legislation that favors the corporate agenda in all those areas — education, energy, housing, environment, etc. Sometimes being competent makes little difference. Look at all the things that Obama did policy-wise to harm to the working class. It’s a long list. I’m staying home until someone gives me anything worth voting for.

      Liked by 1 person

    2. Yes, those would be welcome changes to be sure. Revolting as Trump appeared on the campaign trail in 2016, I did not grasp fully the danger he would intentionally pose to environmental “regulation.” (That’s in quot. marks because it was never adequate from founding of the EPA, since that was on Nixon’s watch.) Folks who show concern for the environment, you see, must be “liberals,” so the EPA must be pistol-whipped. This is simply another slab of raw meat tossed to Trump’s hardcore followers. And do they ever gobble it down!

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  24. A couple of comments: The two candidates I found most attractive were Bernie Sanders and Tulsi Gabbard. Both were red-baited and dismissed by the DNC and the mainstream media. I won’t forget this. It makes me more than hesitant to embrace the DNC’s chosen one, Joe Biden.

    Also, I continue to believe Joe Biden can’t win in November due to all his negatives. What’s the point of nominating him if he has little chance of winning against Trump? Your vote means nothing if you’re voting for a sure loser.

    I don’t need to list all of Biden’s negatives, but here are a few: He was for the Iraq war. He’s against Medicare for all. He’s a corporate tool. His mental faculties are in decline. The baggage of Hunter Biden. A credible accusation of sexual assault. A history of lies, plagiarism, and wild story-telling, e.g. he didn’t march with MLK and in the civil rights movement; he wasn’t arrested in South Africa; etc. He’s in favor of cuts to social security. And on and on.

    Again, Trump’s a disaster, and his cronies are largely incompetent. (The scariest ones have some competence.) Things under Biden may be slightly better, I suppose, in the sense that they can’t get worse. Or can they?

    Liked by 1 person

  25. Biden or Trump? Flip a coin.
    The only important thing is to follow Gandhi’s dictum:
    “You must be the change you want to see in the world.”

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    1. Yes, and “Think globally, act locally.” And I do my best to live up to these philosophies, but the power wielded by “our” incredibly under-equipped in realm of enlightenment rulers definitely outweighs our collective power to do the right thing. That situation (it doesn’t even qualify as a “balance” at this point in history!) would only shift in the wake of a genuinely mass uprising, a general strike that would force bizness as usual to a shuddering halt. Are your friends, neighbors, co-workers ready for that? Trump just approved of the dumping of more mercury and other poisons into the environment. One of his favorite areas of doing harm, harm that affects all of us. Where are the mass protests? Where are the puny public protests (Covid-19 effects notwithstanding)??

      Liked by 1 person

  26. I know — this ad focuses on Nancy Pelosi — but it is devastating against the Democratic establishment.

    With befuddled and out-of-touch Joe Biden headlining the ticket, prepare for four more years of Trump.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I skimmed a long article by Jeremy Scahill (elsewhere on internet) today on the dilemma of having to choose between Terrible Trump and Broken Biden. The author suggested Biden’s relative absence from public view of late may be an intentional tactic to minimize his chances to embarrass himself. His campaign advertising would ramp up as November gets closer, to remind voters that “Hey, I exist!” Sounds logical to me.

      Liked by 1 person

  27. Here’s that essay by Jeremy Scahill that Greg Laxer mentioned. It’s well worth reading.

    Basically, Scahill argues Trump and his cronies will do more damage than Biden and the technocrats, therefore you should strongly consider voting for Biden, despite his own bad record and mental decline. But Scahill also strongly argues that Biden & Co. should seek to earn the Progressive vote through concrete actions. So far, I’ve seen nothing concrete from Biden here.

    https://theintercept.com/2020/04/20/donald-trump-joe-biden-2020-presidential-election-voting

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    1. And i say that voting for any candidate that represents the oligarchy, like Biden, just encourages the DNC to continue to give us candidates who think that way and don’t represent the people. We need a third party desperately, because the Democrats have deserted the working class.

      Liked by 2 people

    2. He could pick Bernie as his running mate, but he won’t. The DNC would rather shame progressives into voting for them than give them something to vote for.

      Liked by 2 people

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