Tuesday, March 31, 2020

Warning: Trump Could Commit Political Suicide, But Unless He Does, Biden Is Unelectable


Two crooked establishment groups-- Biden's own SuperPAC, Unite the Country, and David Brock's notoriously corrupt American Bridge-- have teamed up to push Biden into the Oval Office. Of course; he's exactly their kind of guy. Deval Patrick and Jennifer Granholm will co-chair the partnership. I wonder if anyone has spoken with Granholm-- Patrick could give a shit-- about Tara Reade's very credible sexual assault charges against Biden-- which, in true Trumpian fashion, he refuses to respond to. The establishment media refuses to touch the story, which will pretty much guarantee Biden loses if he's the nominee and Trump uses the story to eviscerate him with.
Rightwing news outlets have gleefully seized upon the accusations against Biden; the story has also been discussed by leftwing commentators. However, the mainstream media has largely ignored the allegations. Instead there have been headlines like The top 10 women Joe Biden might pick as VP (CNN) and Joe Biden’s inner circle: No longer a boy’s club (AP).

It is hugely frustrating to see conservatives, who couldn’t give a damn about the multiple sexual assault allegations against Donald Trump, weaponize the accusations against Biden. However, it’s also frustrating to see so many liberals turning a blind eye. The accusations against the former vice-president are serious; why aren’t they being taken seriously?

...Reade’s story may be impossible to verify, but this is the case with the vast majority of sexual assault allegations. It is nearly always a case of “he said, she said” – and it is nearly always the “he’ that is automatically believed. The #MeToo mantra “Believe Women” doesn’t mean that women never lie; it means that our systems of power are biased towards believing men never lie. It means that it takes decades of allegations and scores of women coming forward for powerful men like Harvey Weinstein, Jeffrey Epstein and Bill Cosby to be brought to justice. All the mantra means is that you shouldn’t automatically disbelieve women.

You know who has talked publicly about the importance of taking women seriously? Biden. During the Brett Kavanaugh hearings, Biden stood up for Dr Christine Blasey Ford, noting: “For a woman to come forward in the glaring lights of focus, nationally, you’ve got to start off with the presumption that at least the essence of what she’s talking about is real.”

Does this presumption not apply when the guy being accused is a Democrat running for president? It would seem that way. In January, according to reporting from the Intercept, Reade asked for help from the Time’s Up Legal Defense Fund, which has supported accusers of high-profile people like Weinstein. Reade was reportedly told by the National Women’s Law Center, the organization within which the Time’s Up fund is housed, that it couldn’t assist with accusations against a presidential candidate because it would jeopardize their non-profit status. The Intercept further notes that “the public relations firm that works on behalf of the Time’s Up Legal Defense Fund is SKDKnickerbocker, whose managing director, Anita Dunn, is the top adviser to Biden’s presidential campaign.”

There are some people who will insist that drawing attention to the new allegations against Biden is playing into the Republicans’ hands. That it will destroy Biden’s campaign and guarantee us four more years of Trump. Not only is that argument hypocritical, it is also hugely unlikely that Reade’s accusations will do any damage whatsoever to Biden’s ambitions. Allegations of sexual assault certainly haven’t posed any hindrance to Trump. The allegations against Kavanaugh didn’t stop him from becoming a supreme court justice. The allegations against Louis CK didn’t kill his career in comedy. And the multiple women who have accused Biden of touching them inappropriately in the past haven’t exactly derailed his career.
Ryan Cooper doesn't need a sex scandal-- and a little digging will find dozens of them in Biden's background-- to dub Biden the worst imaginable challenger to Trump right now. Yes, Trump has botched-- horribly so-- every aspect of the response to the pandemic, but his approval ratings have gone up and he could very well beat Biden in November. "This," wrote Cooper, "is what happens when the Democratic Party, de facto led at this point by its presumptive presidential nominee Joe Biden, refuses to make the case that Trump is in fact responsible for the severity of the disaster. Biden is proving to be about the worst imaginable nominee to take on Trump."
The party rallied around Biden in lockstep right before Super Tuesday, and voters fell in line. Biden won multiple states he has not visited in months and in which he had no campaign offices. And now that he's the probable nominee, Biden is not savaging Trump's response. On the contrary, his campaign says they are hesitant to even criticize him at all. "As much as I dislike Trump and think what a bad job he's doing, there's a danger now that attacking him can backfire on you if you get too far out there. I don't think the public wants to hear criticism of Trump right now," one adviser told Politico.

Indeed, Biden has barely been doing anything. As the outbreak became a full-blown crisis, Biden disappeared for almost an entire week. His campaign said it was trying to figure out how to do video livestreams, something any 12-year-old could set up in about 15 minutes. (Hey guys: Any smartphone with Twitter, YouTube, or Twitch installed can become a broadcasting device with the press of a single button.) When Biden did finally appear, he gave some scripted addresses that still had technical foul-ups, and did softball interviews where he still occasionally trailed off mid-sentence.

People crave leadership during times of crisis, as evidence by the sudden surge of positive sentiment towards New York Governor Andrew Cuomo, who seriously mishandled the initial crisis response, and is still trying to cut Medicaid, but has been giving reassuring daily press conferences where he seems like he is on top of the situation. Washington state Governor Jay Inslee did a much, much better job (just compare the numbers in New York to those in Washington state), but has gotten comparatively little attention precisely because there are a lot fewer cases and deaths (and there are many fewer reporters in Seattle than New York City).

Trump, meanwhile, is similarly out there on TV every day boasting about how what he's doing is so smart and good. What he's saying is insanely irresponsible and has already gotten people killed, but absent an effective response from the Democratic leadership, it can appear to casual news consumers as though he has the situation in hand. Democratic backbenchers and various journalists are screaming themselves hoarse, but it plainly isn't working.

Biden's strategy appears to be to coast to the presidency in basically the same way he coasted to the nomination: Keep public appearances and therefore embarrassing verbal flubs to a minimum, and rely on Trump's disastrous governance to do all the work for him. But this is a horribly risky strategy. Biden is already a candidate whose awful record will make it harder to attack Trump on trade, protecting Social Security and Medicare, corruption, mental fitness, and his treatment of women-- indeed, just recently a former Biden staffer came forward with an allegation that he had sexually assaulted her 26 years ago. Hunkering down and refusing to criticize Trump's world-historical bungling risks him successfully arguing that it was an unforeseeable disaster and he did the best anyone could have done.

Contrary to these half-baked notions that the public doesn't want to hear criticism of Trump, we saw during impeachment that once Democrats actually started going through with it, approval jumped-- largely because the liberal rank-and-file took that as a cue it was indeed a good idea. It's just another instance of the Democratic establishment's habit of hiding their desire to avoid conflict and do nothing behind an imagined obstacle of public opinion, when in fact they can change those opinions dramatically by offering a strong and clear alternative.

Moreover, if and when Biden does become president, he will be in charge of a country in ruins. Fixing the place up will require extremely energetic leadership. But both Biden, his campaign, and the Democratic establishment seem to believe that if they just pretend hard enough, everything will go back to normal on its own. It is willful blindness on par with the worst Trump loyalists.
Call me whatever you want but I'm sticking with this guy. It's hard to imagine why anyone who considers himself or herself even remotely progressive isn't.

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At 2:56 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Biden is the man, who is promising that nothing is fundamentally going to change. Wow, now that's powerful.

At 6:59 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Biden could walk on water, convert it to wine, turn seven loaves and two fishes into enough food for 350 million American residents and have them delivered by cherubim, and cure COVID-19 in those killed by it after being restored to life - and STILL remain unelectable.

At 8:57 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

"if and when Biden does become president, he will be in charge of a country in ruins. Fixing the place up will require extremely energetic leadership. But both Biden, his campaign, and the Democratic establishment seem to believe that if they just pretend hard enough, everything will go back to normal on its own. It is willful blindness on par with the worst Trump loyalists."

Fixing the place up means not only energetic leadership but a party willing to do the right things to fix it. I'm thinking here of the Democratic congresses of 1933-1952.

What we got now is the republican party of 2000 -- Pelosi just advocated another tax cut for the rich.

So, while this statement is truth, the continued advocacy of Bernie must be seen in the same light. Bernie, too, is running as a democrap and even if Bernie won, HIS energies would also be thwarted by that same party.

Not that anyone who is going to be voting democrap could possibly realize this.


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