Lest We Forget: Biden Cannot Be Our Candidate

We really don’t give kids enough credit. They know a lot more than you realize, and they realize a lot more than you know. They may not have a true grasp of the circumstances shaping their personalities and traumas, but give them one lonely day, or a few nights to reminisce, when they’re a little older, and they’ll connect at least a few of the dots that place them where they are, at that current moment. We’re grown now, America, and I’ve had a lot of time to think about why Biden is so popular—and about why you cannot support him.

The Rematch

This blog endorses Pete Buttigieg for president. Though he was polling in third place, sometimes second, behind Bernie, the difference in percentage points were slight. Rather than concern me, I was glad to see him pull ahead this early in the race, even if it could only, always, put him behind Bernie. The theoretical support behind Biden gave me some pause, but honestly, I was really, really hoping he wouldn’t jump in. I was really hoping he would know better.

It turns out that, yes, Biden did dare to jump in. And to my annoyance, the theoretical support behind Biden stuck around after the announcement of his candidacy. While it’s early, his lead is so large that I believe it needs to be chipped away at, now, before it’s too late. And why would it be too late? Isn’t Biden a fine candidate? Doesn’t he bring years of legislative experience, executive experience—isn’t he much adored by the American people, doesn’t he command a level of statesmanship comparable to Hillary Clinton?

Isn’t he as qualified as Hillary Clinton was? Does he not possess the same connections that Hillary Clinton had? Doesn’t he have the same corporate ties, the same examples of poor judgment, the same association to Barack Obama? Isn’t he playing catch-up with the rest of the Democratic candidates, when it comes to policy proposals? Isn’t he, like Hillary, simply chanting the same slogans and pulling back to more centrist positions? Isn’t he running against Bernie Sanders?

Oh yes, Hillary won that battle—not on her own, mind you. Debbie Wasserman Schultz and Democratic National Convention officials repeatedly compromised their integrity when it was revealed that they led a not insignificant effort to damage Bernie Sanders’ candidacy. Since then, the DNC has promised to truly be the neutral party it was always supposed to be, which may spell bad news for Biden. Though Hillary won the battle, it must be acknowledged that Bernie won the war. That war currently fights for aggressive climate change action, consumer and worker protections, a higher minimum wage, paid parental leave, diplomacy on the world stage, medicare-for-all, protecting Medicaid and Social Security, gun reform, abortion rights, aid to support mental health—all sorts of things for which Bernie has been the mouthpiece (Elizabeth Warren’s been more the voice behind regulating tech giants and breaking them up).

Fool Me Twice

Biden is male Hillary. The Sanders camp has learned to attack early and this time Sanders is not alone. Keep in mind, though, that Sanders didn’t need anyone else to leave Hillary with many a mortal wound. Say what you will about Hillary winning the popular vote, but the electoral college is still here, meaning that Democrats will fare no better if they back a carbon copy of last election’s candidate; though this time, rather than simply be wounded, Biden will practically be dismembered. And you know what’s worse? For all the bluster and cataclysm that Trump’s election would supposedly bring, the measure of his presidency’s success is simply America’s continued existence. Yes, I believe the bar to be that low because the prognostications were that bad, so now not only is America still around, like an elderly giant shuffling by the dining hall, it can also boast of an economy that has yet to go sour, of unemployment numbers that look good, and…that’s really all Trump needs. He can take a sentence and turn it into a short story with the way he rambles on and on.

Why anyone thinks Biden will fare better than Hillary against Bernie and Trump is truly beyond me. His cool guy image has already been tarnished by that of Creepy Uncle Joe who recently learned that one can touch people inappropriately. His judgment and handling of Anita Hill’s testimony against then Justice-elect Clarence Thomas will continue to be a sore spot for as long as Brett Kavanaugh sits on the bench (those are lifetime appointments, in case you forgot). And already Trump and Fox News are ramping up nonsense rumors about his dealings with other countries. Mistrust is all you need, didn’t Hillary teach us that? She went up against Trump, the far right candidate, and she went up against Bernie, the far left candidate—both of them won, both of them beat the Centrist Hillary. Both of them will beat Centrist Joe. Turn back now before it’s too late.

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