Before you even read Andy’s latest screed, read Janan Ganesh’s May 1, 2019 essay on Biden at The Financial Times:
Headline: Joe Biden would offer US voters a welcome breather
Sub-headline: Americans tend not to elect several high-drama presidents in a row
Also read Old Socialist’s comments on Ganesh’s wan endorsement of Biden here:
The opening two paragraphs of Andy’s latest essay are revelatory of his own status as outsider to his ‘Leftist colleagues‘
If you’ve been reading the liberal media and Left Twitter the past couple of months, you’d be certain of one thing: Joe Biden is hopelessly out of touch — too old, too white, too male, too handsy, too racist, too misogynist, too unwoke, and far too compromised by his past positions to be the Democratic nominee in 2020. Josh Marshall, while liking Biden, regarded him as “unsuited to the moment in almost every way imaginable.” Jamelle Bouie saw him as a repugnant variant of Trumpism: “For decades Biden gave liberal cover to white backlash.” My colleague Rebecca Traister recently called him “a comforter of patriarchal impulses toward controlling women’s bodies.” Ben Smith declared: “His campaign is stumbling toward launch with all the hallmarks of a Jeb!-level catastrophe — a path that leads straight down … Joe Biden isn’t going to emerge from the 2020 campaign as the nominee. You already knew that.” Michael Tomasky summarized the elite consensus: “Nearly everyone thinks [Biden] can’t win the nomination.”
“Nearly everyone” — i.e., all my friends and acquaintances in the journalistic and political elite — also thought Hillary Clinton was a shoo-in to win the general election. But Biden has had an extremely good start to his third campaign for president. His announcement video was aimed at those on the left who see Trump as the tip of the spear of white nationalism, and to those swingier voters who simply want to return to normalcy, constitutional order, and, well, decency. That’s a message that rallies the base but also appeals to those who may be exhausted by the trauma of Trump. As an opener, perfect. Even, at times, moving.
Those identified as‘Leftists’ by Andy are all mainstream political conformists employed by Corporate Media, or aspiring to such! The ability of Andy to define ‘Left’ is severely hindered by self-conception as political prophet, against the mainstream. Biden is only capable of ‘moving’ those who found in his Crime Bill and his speech about ‘predators’ moving!
Violent Crime Control and Law Enforcement Act
Portions of Biden’s Predators speech here:
Hillary Clinton’s comments on Super-Predators is a valuable part of a record of what the New Democrats actually thought of a part of their political base.
Compare Biden’s ‘predators’ to Andy’s enthusiasm for ‘The Bell Curve’ that was published in 1994, that predicated the bogus notion that black people were inherently of inferior to whites. Naturally inferior blacks and predators offer a kind of propinquity in political terms.
After extensive quoting the polling numbers Andy then segues into the notion that Biden is a Union Man. Not so much a Union Man, than a crony of corrupt Union Leaders. Those leaders still attached to the notion that the New Democrats have any semblance of loyalty to what might be left of The New Deal Tradition. Or just fellow travelers that have no connection to Labor’s radical past.
The reader then reaches the mention of Biden’s other virtues:
Two other points: Biden is a Catholic. Anyone who has ever been saturated in American Catholicism can swiftly recognize the figure: old-school but open, a believer in the innate dignity of every human soul, regularly at Mass, deeply comfortable in the world of white ethnic America, surprisingly liberal. Catholics — shockingly, given the depravity of the Republicans — split their vote last time.
Is the declaration of ‘..old-school but open, a believer in the innate dignity of every human soul…’ consonant with Biden’s view of ‘predators’ and his Crime Bill? The innate dignity of every human soul… is theological kitsch turned to political use: that Andy in his intellectual poverty uses as a marker that demonstrates Biden’s natural superiority over the Carnival Barker Trump. ‘The fact is that both Biden and Andy are steeped in patriarchy and they are white, to state the glaringly obvious. Yet, Andy isn’t quite finished with his adoration of New Democrat Biden.
There is also, dare I say it, a deeper contrast between the two men. One is decent, kind, generous, funny. The other is indecent, cruel, miserly, and has the callous humor of a bully. There would be a moral gulf between any current Democrat and Trump, of course. But with Biden, we’re reminded of the America we thought we knew. Yes, this is partly nostalgia, but no one should underestimate nostalgia in a country as turbulent, afraid, and resentful as America right now. Biden’s moment, in my mind, was 2016, but he was prevented from competing by Clinton and Obama. But history takes strange turns. This already feels to me like a two-man race. That may change. It’s extremely early, but the odds are with Biden. And the tailwinds behind him are intense.
Andy tarts it up in his addiction to cheap political melodrama!