How quickly the campaigns of Tom Steyer, Pete Buttigieg and Amy Klobuchar — all billed as moderates — have assimilated into the the unwieldy, sputtering Borg of the Democratic establishment. On Super Tuesday, Joe Biden was anointed as the new favorite of this collective, sweeping most of the primaries, scoring majority of the delegates and picking up vital support from many senior Democrats.
After a stumbling start in Iowa and poor performances in New Hampshire and Nevada, Biden’s campaign was mostly written off as the last gasp of a long but fading political career. He’d never won primary. His fortunes enjoyed a remarkable turnaround in South Carolina, where an outpouring of black voter support resuscitated his bid and delivered a decisive victory against Bernie Sanders.
The win instantly consolidated the moderate field to present a strong, unified alternative to the progressive juggernaut of the Sanders campaign. The party machine finally settled on their man, then moved quickly. The results were impressive. ‘Joementum is real,’ his campaign have taken to saying. But is it?
The idea being circulated on the networks today is that Super Tuesday proved something important: Democratic voters have more confidence in Biden’s electability over Sanders’s. But that could be a mirage, especially when compared with other democratic challengers,
Biden is, to any clear-eyed observer, a walking gaffe-machine whose mental faculties appear to be deteriorating before our very eyes. His incoherence is only matched by further political liabilities — too-handsy shampoo-sniffing creepy uncle videos, cringeworthy statements, Ukraine/Burisma skulduggery, and blatant lies. He hasn’t sufficiently been taken to task for saying that he negotiated a climate deal with the long-dead Chinese premier Deng Xiaopeng or for the time he pulled a Brian Williams and falsely claimed that he was arrested in South Africa when he tried to meet with Nelson Mandela in prison. When Fox News’s Chris (or, as Biden calls him, Chuck) Wallace questioned him about it later, Biden disingenuously explained that he had wanted to communicate his ‘strong opposition to apartheid’, a defense so blatantly patronizing that it beggars belief.
In the most recent debates, Joe has taken credit for almost everything good that has passed the halls of the Senate, but both he and the media ignore the resounding unpopularity of some of his past activities such as the attacks on Anita Hill, writing the 1994 Crime Bill that paved the way for mass incarceration, supporting the PATRIOT Act, enabling the credit card industry and voting against gay marriage but for the Iraq war. The part of Biden’s record which received the most pushback in the popular press was on school desegregation busing, thanks to then-candidate and media darling Kamala Harris.
Contrast all of this to the the lengths to which our papers of note have gone to discredit Biden’s opponents. The New York Times published anonymous gossip from Andrew Yang’s former employees from several careers ago to paint him as insufficiently tuned in to the demands of today’s standard of wokeness. The bizarre hit piece alleged that Yang perpetuated a ‘bro culture’ at work (he apparently had names for his pectorals, ‘Lex’ and ‘Rex’) and peer-pressured his staff to participate in karaoke before concluding that he was problematic in ‘his dealings with gender and race’ and expressed ‘antiquated and unnerving views for a presidential candidate seeking the nomination from a Democratic party that has been moving to the left’.
As a latecomer into the race, billionaire Michael Bloomberg has been under an intense microscope from both the fourth and the fifth estate. You could be forgiven for forgetting just how popular he was as mayor of New York because of all the frothy takes on his stop-and-frisk policy, soda ban, attempts to buy his way into the White House, plus his allegedly fraught history with women. Reams of column space have been devoted to painting him as racist and sexist while Biden gets a pass for his involvement in voting for comparable policies while actual video footage of his inappropriate behavior circulates online.
It’s time for the media — not just the Sanders campaign — to start exploring Joe Biden’s glaring flaws. The Borg might think that by building a shield around Biden and ignoring his obvious shortcomings, they have a chance to repel the threat of a Sanders nomination. But the Trumpist GOP will not be so kind.
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