Now that the Democratic candidate pool is down to two potential national candidates and the mainstream media, including NPR, is openly cheerleading for Joe Biden’s return to frontrunner, centrist liberals are pulling out the old chestnut that all of “us” need to rally around the “presumptive” candidate, and are even calling upon the DNC to intervene and “shut down this puppy” so we can get on with Biden’s coronation in July. We now have the Hillary Syndrome Redux.
Therefore, I think it’s time everyone takes a good, hard look at who this man really is through what he’s revealed repeatedly in the public eye.
His record speaks for itself. In 1991, then Senator Biden, serving on the Senate Judiciary Committee, joined the “blame the victim” bandwagon against Anita Hill’s testimony about Justice Clarence Thomas’ sexual harassment of her while she was his aide. In 2003, he helped orchestrate the Senate pro-vote for the invasion of Iraq and supported the war through two eight-year administrations. Now he is “sorry.”
While serving as Vice President, Biden’s public appearances had to be orchestrated and limited so as not to embarrass the administration due to his rhetorical flubs and consistently failed attempts at humor. He often touches women inappropriately and even told a 10-year-old girl at a town hall meeting last year that she was “good looking” moments after she asked a question.
While in New Hampshire just after the Iowa caucuses, he accused a woman in another town hall audience of “lying like a dog-faced pony soldier” because she said she had attended a caucus before. While recently campaigning in Detroit, Michigan, he challenged a union auto worker to a rumble like a drunken sailor in a port bar for daring to criticize Biden’s supposed views on gun control.
After adding in all his public buffoonery, moments like hesitating to raise his hand in a televised debate until he first saw who else would when asked who supported Medicare-For-All (he then did) followed by an about-face declaration that he would veto any Medicare-For-All bill that came across his Oval Office desk and a recent announcement that he is running for “Senate,” one might conclude that this is a man either playing both sides and/or quickly approaching senility. Are we supposed to seriously accept that Biden would be a real alternative to Donald Trump?
Liberal and progressive voters should seriously consider whether Joe Biden represents their dreams and aspirations or their fears and complacency. If elected as the Democratic candidate, will Biden be able to intelligently debate or even defend himself against Trump’s barrage of lies, insults and interruptions or will he simply challenge the “lying, dog-faced pony soldier” to one of his fist fights for freedom? In addition, he has now declared that his potential cabinet will be staffed with ex-corporate executives, just like in the past half-dozen administrations, and refers to it, quite rightly, as “A Return to Normal” because corporate rule has become so normalized.
Let us not forget what happened to the last Democratic “presumptive” nominee. Why vote for Trump-Lite in New Mexico’s Democratic primary election on June 2 when this nation is so ripe for progressive change and a true liberal democracy free from corporate control of our federal government?
Is Biden the highest bar voters think we Americans can obtain for democracy in this century? Trump’s administration has set the bar lower than anyone thought possible in the modern era. Now is the time to set the bar higher than anyone has thought possible. That won’t happen with Joe Biden.
Scott Shuker is a writer and activist who lives in Santa Fe.