Joe Biden in Fantasy and Reality
Let's start with the WSWS:
Senator Bernie Sanders’ political team has asked some of his delegates to sign an agreement preventing them from criticizing Democratic Party leaders on social media, including the presumptive presidential candidate Joe Biden, or talking to reporters without approval.
The rules for Sanders delegates to this summer’s Democratic convention, which were leaked to the Washington Post, include a social media policy, a nondisclosure agreement and a delegate code of conduct.
In case you thought this was a mere thought of sectarian communists, here it is on Vanity Fair's page as well.
Krystal and Saagar are of course up in arms about this development:
I loved Saagar's characterization of Buttigieg as Alfred E. Newman. And I really do feel obliged, here, to repeat a comment someone made here about Jimmy Dore's reaction to the mess we're in. The Jimmy Dore content is at 51:25:
And then you have Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez being kept busy with an impotent "task force" to discuss climate change with someone I suppose. Climate change, the absolute weakest point of the Sanders platform (c'mon, what's this nonsense about combating climate change through "energy efficiency"?), is being handed over to Ocasio-Cortez so that Joe Biden can look good in his meetings with fossil fuel interests. (For doubters, I have laid out the alternative strategy in my piece "Climate Change Mitigation in Fantasy and Reality." The password is AddletonAP2009.)
All they are doing, Sanders and Ocasio-Cortez, is creating a facade around Joe Biden so that people will be allowed to think they are choosing the fantasy Joe Biden come November. The real Joe Biden can't really help himself -- his one and only chance at being President is if Donald Trump self-destructs and if the winning margin doesn't care much about who the real Joe Biden is. So, in hopes of facilitating mass apathy about the real Joe Biden, Sanders and Ocasio-Cortez have decided to put a lot of effort into cooking up a fantasy Joe Biden, in the hopes that the real Joe Biden will not expose himself or become a legitimate target for Donald Trump. Also, it is hoped, nobody will do any research on the real Joe Biden, either. After all, when you read stuff like this article, "Why The Difference Between Trump and Biden Matters," you'll notice that its author can only say anything in significant detail about who the real Donald Trump is, while saying next to nothing about who the real Joe Biden is and while pouring about 80% of the article's digital codings into denouncing that portion of the Left which refuses to bend the knee for Joe Biden. There's going to be a lot of writing like this between now and November.
Do I really need to discuss here, in any depth or detail, why this strategy is a complete waste of time for anyone who is not being paid, and paid well, to enact it? This set of tactics is not going to persuade swing voters in the swing states to vote for Biden. More ominously, the election is fundamentally out of our hands, since we have nothing of real substance to promote against Trump, who is capable of losing the election on his own power. The Sanders delegates really ought to quit en masse at once, in protest against the Sanders "Me, not us" strategy of muzzling them and creating a fantasy Joe Biden that won't stick. "This is a democracy!" exclaims Krystal Ball. At any rate, when asked why they want to end their participation in the Democratic Party's forthcoming waste of time, they can offer excuses such as "the convention takes place on the week I promised to go water-skiing/ hiking/ practicing my tennis skills with my cousins" or something like that. They should feel comfortable knowing that either Trump will sink in the polls, or he won't, and it's out of their hands too. And has everyone forgotten Medicare for All? College for All? The idea, maybe, of getting something, anything at all, for one's hard-earned tax dollars besides a dozen-or-so wars, a border wall, fighter jets that don't work, tax breaks for the super-rich and so on? There was, not so long ago, a point to politics outside of gossip about pointless candidates and pointless incumbents.
What is left of the Sanders agenda, for Sanders, is his fantasy version of American history. Donald Trump is the "worst President in modern American history," as Sanders repeatedly claimed in his campaign, except of course that, upon examination of the historical record, W. was worse, not to mention that successive Presidents appear hell-bent on building upon W.'s vision of the Presidency. Sure, Joe Biden might be better than Donald Trump as a President, but we don't really have any significant evidence pointing to the notion that his supposed better-ness will amount to anything substantial in a time of multiple and compounding crisis. We do have the powerful notion that it won't, that his opposition to Medicare for All will leave a lot of people dead. We also have no significant evidence that we have any power over the unfolding process at all. (As I've said before, go ahead and vote for Joe Biden if the spirit moves you -- or vote for Howie Hawkins if you want -- anything looks good in a vacuum.)
Real history demands that we fight to create a new world, a humane and humanistic world of caring and love, since this one is committed to creating what Jodi Dean calls "neofeudalism." Sanders, on the other hand, is committed to a fantasy history, which appears as liberating from time to time but is not liberating right now.