Smirking Chimp - September 24, 2019

Joe Biden is a throwback to an earlier time. Much of it could be called “the Clintonite era”— when Democratic presidential contenders openly cozied up to the wealthy by appearing at one high-dollar fundraising event after another. A time when they served up (consultant-approved) language about “feeling the pain” of “working families” . . . without identifying any corporate villains or transformative policies to fix the rigged system.

Donald Trump’s victory seemed to put a catastrophic end to that era in November 2016. Unfortunately, Biden and the Democratic establishment still haven’t gotten the memo.

Party leaders continue to believe that a Democrat can win the White House by catering to corporate donors and eagerly cashing their fat checks. Leading Democrats keep throwing their endorsements at Biden—as he spends day and night glad-handing the 1 percent at top-dollar fundraisers.

Wake-up alert to Democrats: Donald Trump may well be the most effective faux-populist in our country’s history. He was that in 2016, when he won “Rust Belt” swing states. And he remains that today for millions of voters—despite his barrage of policies favoring the rich and powerful.

Like Hillary Clinton in 2016 (with her Wall Street connections and well-paid speeches), Biden would be a perfect target in 2020 for Trump’s pretend-populism. Steve Bannon is gone, but Trump’s campaign team will make sure every swing state-voter knows about Biden’s record in the Senate serving big banks and credit card companies, as well as his 1993 vote to approve the disastrous NAFTA trade deal.

If there’s a single word that explains why Clinton lost Michigan, Wisconsin, and Pennsylvania in 2016, it’s not “Russia” or “Comey.” It’s probably not “misogyny.” Most likely, that word is “NAFTA.” Biden supported NAFTA, alongside most Republicans and a minority of Democrats in Congress.

In recent months, when I’ve publicly discussed Biden’s long record of corporatism, some Democrats have complained that I’m “helping the Trump campaign”—as if that campaign has not already catalogued every Biden vote and quote that a populist charlatan like Trump can exploit. ...
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