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Jacobin - September 23, 2020

"Joe Biden’s instinct to crap on progressives, rather than energizing them, is totally counterproductive to the effort to defeat Donald Trump. It not only helps Trump by validating his Red Scare framing of the election, it also tells progressives that Biden may not be the ally he is promising to be." - Jacobin

Polls show Joe Biden faces a troubling voter enthusiasm gap and has not succeeded in bringing over significant support from Republican voters. That means he will need to generate major Democratic voter enthusiasm — and it means he should stop triangulating against the base of his party and publicly dunking on the millions of Democratic voters who supported Sen. Bernie Sanders in the party’s last two presidential primaries.

During an interview with a local Fox affiliate in Wisconsin today, Biden took a shot at Sanders in response to a reporter’s loaded question about “voters that are worried about socialism and you raising taxes.”

There are plenty of ways to answer that question. You can reject the arguments over labels. You can pivot to talking about expanding health care and fighting the pandemic — two issues that are top concerns to Wisconsin voters, according to the latest Ipsos poll.

Instead, Biden used the opportunity to dunk on Bernie Sanders — the third most popular Democrat in America, ahead of Biden, according to YouGov’s national poll.

“I beat the socialist. That’s how I got elected. That’s how I got the nomination,” Biden said. “Do I look like a socialist? Look at my career, my whole career. I’m not a socialist.”

That’s certainly true — Biden has tried to cut Social Security, supported bank deregulation and is opposed to Medicare for All. The only part of Biden’s record that could be called socialist was his vote to bail out Wall Street executives — but that was a form of corporate socialism that enriched the wealthiest and most powerful people in the country after they ruined millions of Americans’ lives.

Read full commentary at Jacobin