Sunday, March 10, 2019

Commentary: 'Joe Biden has been a good Democrat. Joe Biden would make a terrible presidential candidate.' by Michael 'Hunter' Lazzaro

As Barack Obama's vice president, Joe Biden was a much-loved but slightly gaffe-prone national figure. If he runs for the presidency—entirely unnecessary, given the current glut of suitable candidates—he is not going to be asked about those days. He is going to be asked about the rest of his career, from his role in the Anita Hill hearings to his role, as senator from Delaware, in watering down financial reforms that the corporations of his home state would find unpleasant.
Washington Post article reflecting on Biden's furious 1970s opposition to school desegregation efforts gives a taste of what Biden's campaign trail would look like.


“The real problem with busing,” he said [in 1975], was that “you take people who aren’t racist, people who are good citizens, who believe in equal education and opportunity, and you stunt their children’s intellectual growth by busing them to an inferior school . . . and you’re going to fill them with hatred.”
Opposition to forced integration of racially segregated schools via forced busing was indeed widespread at the time, and Biden went on to gain an overall record on civil rights that has been genuinely positive. But Biden was seldom, during his long Senate career, considered a stalwart reformer of the status quo. And it's not clear that's going to fly in 2019, when most of the Democratic base is very angry at the current state of things and in the mood for knocking heads.
This, in particular, is absolute rubbish and anyone selling it is a con man:
Although civil rights leaders may object to Biden’s past statements about busing, his decision to stand by his views on the issue illustrate what some of his supporters think would be his advantage in the 2020 field: his ability to appeal beyond the Democratic base to some working-class white voters who voted for Donald Trump in 2016.
Abso-fecking-lutely not, and the sentiment itself is something between stupid and delusional.
The premise that the Democratic campaign ought to seek out and put forth somebody who can best appeal to Donald Trump's collection of resentful rage-focused racists is the same iteration of too-cute-by-half baby-bisecting that the more conservative wings of the party have long insisted upon as the invisible path to victory. The trick, they insist, is to measure how far right the Republican Party has gone and go about half that far to capture the disaffected, less-frothing remnants. But those disaffected remnants never appear outside of the op-ed pages, and after a dozen or so iterations of the effort, the conservative flank now consists of child prisons, flagrant executive office corruption, renewed efforts to sabotage voting rights of non-white citizens, and flag-humping authoritarian gibberish.
This is not the year of Joe Biden. That may be unfair. It may be hurtful to him, personally, imagining what could have been in different years and in different histories. It may be absolutely bone-chilling to Democratic strategists and fundraisers who have long relied on a "moderate" approach to corporate strip-mining of the populace in order to keep high-dollar donors satisfied. But no path to the nomination seems evident for Biden—not in a Democratic primary already marked by a desperate, furious desire to turn to history's next page.


Editor's note: This article was originally published at the Daily Kos, which specifies that its "content may be used for any purpose without explicit permission unless otherwise specified."