I never paid much attention to Joe Biden when he first came into the national spotlight as the chair of the Senate Judiciary Committee. I was too busy fighting the State of New York, trying to keep my family together after my first wife died. I did see the news clips of the way the committee treated Professor Hill, and I was outraged that they would denigrate her and try to make her out a liar. But that was of secondary importance to me at the time.
Then when Biden became Vice President, the biggest thing I recall is that I supported him, but only because he was Barack Obama ‘s choice as running mate. And his penchant for gaffes and humor was appealing in a way that George W. Bush’s was, making him seem like someone I might want as a neighbor or at a cookout. And I loved the comic memes that came out during that period, with him and Obama allegedly commenting of the doings of the political day.
I only began really looking at him when he was being put forth as a potential Presidential candidate, when he was acting so coy that some would wonder if he was seriously considering running. His record, as I saw it, was atrocious. But even then I didn’t take him seriously, because he hadn’t actually announced yet.
Then came Lucy Flores’ op-ed about Biden’s touchie-feelie habits, followed in short order by other women’s accounts of similar occurrences. Troubling indeed, especially in light of Donald Trump’s egregious behavior toward women. I wondered if the Democratic Party would back him as their preferred candidate, or would they eschew him in the age of #MeToo?
We got our answer, more or less, in April, when he announced that he was throwing his hat in the ring. The Democratic establishment ramped up its smear machine against progressive candidates and their supporters. And their media lapdogs worked harder than ever to try to marginalize the progressives who had already announced, even going so far as to try to trap Bernie Sanders into making political gaffes and completely ignore Tulsi Gabbard, Mike Gravel and, to a slightly lesser degree, Andrew Yang.
Oddly enough (or maybe not so odd if one thinks about it), those supporting Biden have been trying ever since to take the focus off his record showing his conservative “values”, in a concerted attempt to make it appear that progressive opposition to him as a candidate is solely predicated on his penchant for being handsy.
While Biden’s proclivity for being hands-on is problematic even in comparison with Trump, that pales in comparison to his legislative record. It’s that record that inspires the progressive antipathy to his candidacy, much more so than the #MeToo narrative.1991
First there was his attack on Hill in 1991. True, he offered a half-assed apology for the way she was treated, stating that he wishes he could have changed it. That, though, is an outright lie, since he indeed could have changed it, because he was the one in charge of that committee.
He helped write the 1994 Clinton crime bill that began in earnest the slide into mass incarceration of mostly minorities and the enabled the rapid expansion of the for-profit prison industry.
He supported the Clinton welfare “reform” that pushed more families into poverty.
In 1995, he wrote the Omnibus Counterterrorism Act that later became the so-called PATRIOT Act, which he voted for in 2001.
In 1996 he voted against gay marriage.
In 1999 he helped repeal the Glass-Steagal Act that protected against bank fraud and largely prevented a second Great Depression.
He voted for the 2002 Iraq invasion.
He voted to end student bankruptcy protection in 2005.
He supports our seemingly endless foreign interventions and regime change wars.
He supported NAFTA, TPP and the disastrous China trade bill that cost far too many American jobs.
He supported the bailout of the banks that caused the Great Recession of 2008, for which nobody was prosecuted.
He supports fracking and the oil and gas pipelines that are and will continue to damage our environment.
He keeps taking big corporate money, including the usurious credit card industry, making him beholden to those organizations.
He’s called THREE TIMES to cut Social Security, called for an increase in the retirement age, and opposes a living wage.
He opposes Medicare For All and the Green New Deal.
He opposed measures to let consumers sue for price-fixing.
And you want me and other progressives to support his candidacy for the highest office in the land? Because…. Trump!
I don’t think so.
© May 21, 2019 by Donald C. Rice Jr.