Permitting student loans to continue as one of covid’s most virulent variants descends upon us in the dead of winter is bad enough. Punting to a dysfunctional Congress on debt forgiveness is tantamount to abandoning it altogether. Delaying further negotiation on Biden’s would-be signature legislative accomplishment is itself an admission of defeat.
This avalanche of self-inflicted wounds coming at a time when Democrats’ midterm prospects are already historically dark and the economy is looking increasingly precarious as inflation soars and coronavirus surges. That a party with control of both chambers of Congress and the White House, elected precisely to provide relief and guidance through the pandemic, would portray this level of indifference about delivering on their most basic of promises, begs the question of whether or not at this point, they even want to remain in power.
After all, it’s been a common refrain on the Left these past five years that the Democratic establishment would rather lose to Republicans than win with progressive candidates. The events of this week are simply a manifestation of this very priority set.
Extending the loan payment freeze and forgiving student debt would certainly be a boon to their electoral prospects in November of next year, as would coming out against the idea that one can appropriately be a public servant and a private investor at the same time.
Of course, the party isn’t willing to do any of these things, because, as we’ve been saying for years now, they would rather lose to Republicans than upset their apple cart in this way. And so instead of seeing Democrats try and right the ship, we’re seeing more a resignation to the fate they’ll soon be the minority party again, which to them is just the price of doing business.
Disgusting as it is, at least Biden’s plan to restart student loan payments in February is being straightforwardly stated and spelled out. When it comes to his broken promise of debt forgiveness, the White House’s betrayal of student borrowers is sleazier and more dishonest.
When Psaki was pressed on the issue this week, she responded by saying, “If Congress sends him a bill, he’s happy to sign it. They haven’t sent him a bill on that yet.”
Three things are made clear by this answer.
First, that the Biden administration would defer on this issue to an obviously and demonstrably dysfunctional Congress shows they have no intention whatsoever to deliver on their promise of debt forgiveness.
Second, they trust that the portion of their base who needs whatever relief they can get, even $10,000, which for many borrowers would barely make a dent in the interest, much less the principal, is too stupid to realize they’re being strung along.
Third, they’ve assessed that the true power base of their party, upper middle class suburbanite Morning Joe junkies drooling over Sean Hannity’s texts to Mark Meadows on January 6th, don’t very much care about student debt or those affected by it. These are the last of the die hard “Blue No Matter Who” faithful, who see the Democratic Party as all that stands between us and a fascist takeover of our government, even as their beloved Democratic administration tortures Julian Assange to death in broad daylight for publishing truthful information about our military crimes.
These MSNBC-addled bimbos are endlessly loyal, and their monthly donations to ActBlue may keep the Democrats’ delusions of viability alive through the summer of next year. But come November 2022, the Democratic Party is in for the rude awakening that their sycophants may have deep pockets, but they can only vote once, and there aren’t enough of them left to save them from political annihilation.
Most of the country aren’t naked partisans, and much of the country stopped giving a shit about January 6th on January 7th, because much of the country understands that the real coup has long been over, and that the true “insurrectionists” are those like Biden, Pelosi, Manchin, and Sinema, who keep the door open for corporate donors to storm the Capitol much like the police let the rioters in.
And so, most of the country sees no reason to vote for these ghouls ever again. Their stab in the back on student loans is the latest, but almost certainly not the last, betrayal between now and Election Day next year. It hasn’t gone unnoticed.
The real fascists have already won. The Democrats’ new base of affluent white cable news addicts are the last ones not to realize this, because they’re the last ones not to have their “rights” trampled upon by America’s true oppressors: banks, credit card companies, insurance companies, and the like.
Dark days ahead for Democrats and their supporters – they deserve every minute.
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From a drunken, jibbering James Carville appearing on CNN to lament the state of the race in Virginia a few days out, to the NBC poll that dropped over the weekend showing Joe Biden with a 42% approval rating, there was bad Juju for the Democrats written all over the first major election night of the Biden Presidency. As the results unfolded, with Youngkin holding a lead from jump that shrank but never disappeared, and Ciatterelli holding a much tighter, but also consistent lead in New Jersey, a state that should have been an easy lay-up, the punditocracy cast around for easy explanations while diligently avoiding the hard ones that get your network barred from sit-down interviews with the President.
Everyone’s favorite convert to the Church of Shitlibbery, Nicole Wallace, unbelievably tried to blame the multi-car Democrat electoral pile up on the fact that we pulled out of Afghanistan, as if Americans are sitting around their kitchen tables, sadly lamenting the unfulfilled promise of a woke Kabul.
But the real reason behind these losses and the even more devastating and consequential losses to come is far simpler: no one likes a weenie. If you look up the definition of “weenie” in the dictionary, then plaster the face of pretty much any Democrat you can think of next to it, 9 times out of 10 they’ll go together like outed sex procurers to the powerful and mysterious suicides.
Okay, that may not be the only reason, but running candidates with faces as eminently punchable as Terry McAuliffe’s, may just not be the winning strategy that it appears to be if you only talk to the kinds of people who don’t want to punch Terry McAuliffe: a tiny subset of Washington insiders and donors, along with maybe a few of his closest relatives, and probably not even those if you get them liquored up enough to be honest about it.
For everybody else, he’s just a Clinton-era bag man with the same weird Trump fixation that his old Domme Hillary rode right into embittered obscurity. So, here’s the real deal top 5 takeaways that didn’t make it into Politico:
1. Let’s Go Brandon
Honestly, we could just stop here. Nothing better demonstrates the way the left and the right have switched places than the eruption of this phrase and the desperate attempts of the establishment and its media mouthpieces to do what they always do with dissent in the post-Trump era: define it as dangerous right-wing extremism, if not outright domestic terrorism. It used to be the left that tweaked the nose of the powerful with a mix of subversive humor, vulgarity, and impromptu guerilla theater.
Now it’s the right that challenges the absurd hypocrisy and dishonesty of our institutions by parodying one hapless NBC reporter’s attempt to pretend that “Fuck Joe Biden” wasn’t really being chanted at the NASCAR race she was covering.
Meanwhile, the left has taken on the role of its one-time nemesis, the humorless censor, ruling every challenge to its authority as uncouth, uncivilized, dangerous, and out of bounds. America has always hated a stiff and a scold, and while those types have occasionally held sway, they’ve never held it for long, and have always been regarded with derision and loathing in the end. Welcome to the beginning of the end.
2. $1,400 Doesn’t Buy As Many Votes As It Used To
What exactly has Joe Biden done for you, other than send out a check for $600 less than what he originally promised? Now, here’s an even more salient question: what has Joe Biden done for you that Trump wouldn’t have done? Exactly. You see the problem here.
3. You Can Fuck With People’s Heads, But You Better Not Fuck With Their Kids
For several years now, the identitarian left has been proudly touting its support of ideas about race that are derived from Critical Race Theory. As soon as it became clear how deeply unpopular those ideas are, not only with white people, but with many POC, they began to swing between denying that CRT exists (which would be news to originators like Derrick Bell and Kimberle Crenshaw), claiming with intentional obtuseness that even if it does exist, it’s a theory about outcomes in the legal system that certainly isn’t being taught to children, and finally, asserting that it doesn’t represent anything more than an attempt to teach America’s history of slavery and segregation in schools.
No, CRT itself isn’t being taught to children, and yes, it did begin as a theory of law. But since its inception, it has morphed into a General Unified Theory of race that colors the way the “soft sciences” and humanities are taught at the university level, and the students who have directly or indirectly absorbed these precepts in the course of their academic training then bring that perspective to the way they teach children.
This is what parents are reacting to, because most people aren’t all that keen on the idea of having their children taught that they’re divided between race-based oppressed and oppressor classes, before they’re old enough to reliably tie their shoes. Yes, there is a conversation to be had about the way slavery and Jim Crow are taught in schools (badly, like pretty much every other historical topic), but do we really believe that liberal Northern Virginia parents voted for Youngkin because they don’t want their kids learning about Rosa Parks?
These are separate issues that proponents of CRT desperately want to conflate because most people are not actually against teaching children about slavery, but they are very much against having their children taught to see themselves as victims and victimizers. The more Democrats are tied to these ideas, the better for the GOP.
5. Personally, I Could Give Two Shits Who Shits Where, But . . .
. . . maybe that’s not the hill we want to die on? Sometimes I just want to ask Democrats, “Do you know any normal people?” Y’know, the kind of people who don’t believe there are seven sexes, or at least don’t believe that extreme outliers are all that relevant to their day-to-day existence, and are also deeply uncomfortable with the idea of sharing a bathroom with someone of the opposite biological sex, no matter how they identify? Set aside what your opinions on the subject are; we’re talking political realities here. If I had to come up with a policy proposal that would piss off parents enough to overwhelmingly flip to the GOP, I couldn’t come up with anything better than imposing gender-neutral bathrooms in public schools, without offering single-sex options. All it took was one sexual assault in such a bathroom to undermine the Democrats’ suburban strategy.
This sort of incident was inevitable, not because of gender neutrality, but because unfortunately, sexual assault is a thing, and it’s a thing that sometimes happens in bathrooms. Thing is, when it happens in a gender-neutral bathroom in a public school, now you’ve realized parents’ worst fears, and they’re going to vote accordingly.
Liberals’ response to this evidence of how deeply out of touch they are with most of their fellow citizens usually boils down to: everyone else is stupid, racist, reactionary, and evil. And they aren’t shy about expressing that opinion, as any casual peruser of pretty much any social media platform will have experienced first-hand. Then, after charming the voting public with this behavior day after day for several years running, they are always somehow shocked that when people get a chance to vote on the matter, they’d sooner elect the reanimated corpse of John Wayne Gacy than a Democrat. The response is never to re-evaluate their beliefs or messaging. It’s always to double down on attacking the voters, as was the case after last week’s latest wipe out.
This is not the behavior of people who can or will win elections, policy battles, or anything else. Flame wars and petty cancel crusades do not a meaningful political movement make and that’s more or less all Democrats have got at this point. The future belongs to the other side. Because nobody likes a weenie.
We discuss the 2021 election results and more on episode 125 of the Due Dissidence podcast. Click the player below to hear our full conversation, and subscribe to our podcast and listen on Apple, Stitcher, Spotify, Castbox,Google Podcasts, or any major podcast player.
Branko Marcetic, staff writer at Jacobin and author of the book Yesterday’s Man: The Case Against Joe Biden, joined the podcast to discuss his thorough and insightful review of the new book Lucky: How Joe Biden Barely Won The Presidency by Amy Parnes and Jonathan Allen.
Listen to our full conversation by clicking the player below, or watch on YouTube.
Progressive candidates swept control of the Nevada Democratic Party on Saturday, March 6th. With the backing of the local DSA chapter, Judith Whitmer was elected chair of the state party, and four other Left candidates also prevailed in their respective races. Immediately following their victories, they received word that the entire staff of the state party was quitting, and terminating their contracts with independent consultants as well. The Intercept also reported that before Saturday’s election, the Nevada Democrats transferred $450,000 out of the party and into the DSCC, which will work to re-elect incumbent Democratic Senator Catherine Cortez Masto in 2022. Whitmer, in her appearance on the Deconstructed podcast, did not confirm or deny that, but she said that she has enlisted an attorney to try and prevent any similar shenanigans.
Ironically, prior to the vote, the Harry Reid machine‘s slate of candidates billed themselves as the “Progressive Unity Slate,” and criticized the socialist-backed roster for being too divisive to unify the party. But for all their talk of party unity, the establishment in Nevada made clear that unless the Democratic party serves the corporate interests that fund it, it’s of no real use to them. They essentially DemExited within 24 hours of realizing that the party would no longer be aligned with their agenda, and are now, according to The Intercept, setting up “an independent shop.”
This is the problem with progressives’ inside-the-party strategy: by the time the Left does “take over” the party, the infrastructure that makes the party so powerful will likely have been sold off, rendering the party an empty shell of its former self. The money, the personnel, the consultant relationships, will all be gone, and we’ll essentially be tasked with creating a new party anyway – because the Democrats, as they demonstrated in Nevada, will bail on the party, and immediately create a proxy party, if it comes to that, on a national level.
Are we not better off just creating a major new party right now? Why waste time wrestling over the name “Democrat,” which is toxic to so much of the country in the first place? Why ask permission from Democrats to control their institution, if they’ll gut the party so it’s of little use to us if and when we do eventually win?
We discuss all of this and more on episode 109 of the Due Dissidence podcast. Listen to our full conversation by clicking the player below:
In spite of what you might have heard, Democrats aren’t stupid. Nor are they spineless, cowardly, incapable of messaging, or any of the other things offered as explanations for their decades-long failure to win most elections in most places, or to secure meaningful policy reforms for their voters. In the now famous words of Marco Rubio, spoken during his campaign-ending broken robot moment on the 2016 debate stage, “Lets dispel with this fiction that Barrack Obama doesn’t know what he’s doing. He knows exactly what he’s doing.”
Yes, he does. And so does the rest of the Democratic Party. If you understand the Democrats as a party whose first priority is to win elections and then serve their voters once in office, then you have to look for far-fetched explanations for their actions, which often appear to be completely at odds with those objectives. What party eager to win over the middle of the country would repeatedly vote to make a wealthy San Francisco doyenne like Nancy Pelosi their Speaker? She’s a walking advertisement for the image of Democrats as a party of out of touch elites, more concerned with arcane speech codes than labor laws. But if you understand the Democrats as a party primarily concerned with raking in big bucks from wealthy donors, while drawing enough superficial distinctions with their opponents to maintain their identity as a separate party, then everything they do is pretty frikkin’ brilliant. Like forcing Joe Biden on their voters.
Let’s be absolutely clear: Bernie Sanders would undoubtedly have been the party’s nominee this year without the interference of its leadership. A lot of ink has been spilled about the failings of Bernie 2020, and some of those points are valid, but let’s not forget that Sanders won the first three states in the primary calendar, all while facing unprecedented hostility from the corporate media and party elites, so clearly he did a lot of things right. No other candidate has ever won the first two states without going on to secure the nomination, much less all three.
But no other candidate so universally feared and loathed by the money people and the consultant class has ever gotten so close to the big prize. Close enough that they were willing to drop all pretense of neutrality and fairness to ensure on the eve of Super Tuesday that instead of facing a fractured field of milquetoast moderates, Sanders would be going mano a mano with only Joe Biden, a man who voters had completely rejected in humiliating fashion right up until South Carolina. Remember, this was before we understood exactly how bad the coronavirus was going to be, or how badly Trump and the GOP would botch their response. No modern Democrat has ever won without high youth voter turnout, and there’s no way they didn’t understand that crushing the candidate of young voters was going to suppress their vote. Nor has any modern Democrat ever won without a high share of the Latino vote, and yet they chose to publicly and openly conspire against the candidate who was the clear choice of Latino voters.
All this in order to run a notoriously thin-skinned politician in the obvious throes of cognitive decline against the world’s most infamous bully. Without coronavirus, Biden was a sure loser and there’s no way the party’s decision makers and strategists didn’t understand that. No, they aren’t that stupid. If you consider that the battle they’re fighting is only secondarily against the GOP, and primarily against the left wing of their own party, what they did was actually very smart.
These folks can read a poll as well as anyone, and they understand that in the normal course of things their days are numbered. For years, Democrats have talked up their coalition of the ascendant; the new, young, diverse, and thoroughly blue no matter who electorate that was going to someday hand them majorities as far as the eye could see. But now that it’s on the verge of arriving, it doesn’t look quite like what they were expecting. Turns out that rising electorate wants policies that will actually allow them to rise in more than a symbolic sense and isn’t quite as satisfied by platitudes and kente cloth as the old white liberal coalition was. They want universal health care, they want higher wages, they want student loan forgiveness, they want free college; in other words, they want the people they vote for to do something for them beyond diversifying their office staff. The problem for Democrats is that all the things they want them to do are a direct threat to the grift they’ve been running since the day Bill Clinton formally announced the death of the party’s animating FDR spirit by proudly informing the public that “the days of big government are over.” The Reaganite small government ethos that’s ruled both parties ever since, simply cannot be reconciled with the demands of voters whose first priority is economic justice. So what do you do when your base sees through the hollowness of your politics and demands that you do better? Find a different base. And that’s where Joe Biden comes in.
The Biden campaign is a Trojan horse in the truest sense: it’s an empty vessel through which the Dems are attempting to substitute a portion of the GOP’s base for a portion of their own. The Democrats gearing their message towards white, professional class suburban voters is nothing new. They’ve been doing it for at least 30 years, first winning over the socially liberal/economically conservative “Rockefeller Republicans” in order to make up for their losses with union voters in the wake of NAFTA. Now they’re attempting with this election to win over the even more conservative “moderate Republicans” of this generation by running the kind of candidate who would promise in the midst of a pandemic and an ongoing populist uprising to veto Medicare for All, and not raise taxes on anyone making less than $400K a year. They’re not worried about handing over control of the party to Republicans in the process, because a Democratic Party dominated by moderate Republicans doesn’t look very different from what we have now – there’s hardly a shade of difference between your average liberal and your average “Never Trumper” ideologically.
The rising left, however, is an existential threat to the party’s modern make-up, ideology, and standard operating procedures. If they lose to Trump while trying to make the shift, something that was almost guaranteed at the time they decided to force Biden down the country’s collective throat, that’s really not a problem. Trump is great for fundraising and his sheer awfulness takes the onus off the Dems to be much better. Just being a little better than Trump is all they really need to be for as long as he’s in office. Seen from that perspective, Biden is a win-win. They either crush the left by assembling a new, even more conservative coalition, or they once again scapegoat the left for their losses and spend another four years pretending the country didn’t go to shit until 1/20/17. So if you’re a deeply corrupt member of the fake-left half of the country’s ruling elite, where’s the downside? It’s nothing but upside for everyone except the voters.
There’s only one flaw in this plan. It doesn’t take into account the dangers of breaking the social contract so severely that the population becomes ungovernable. Only a fool would believe that we can continue on our current course of spiraling wealth inequality combined with a collapsing quality of life, now severely exacerbated by a global pandemic, without a reckoning. Unfortunately, in keeping with their French, Chinese and Russian predecessors, our leaders are those fools. History shows us that those most in danger of getting on the wrong end of a People’s Tribunal, are always the last to see it coming. With Trump we get there a little faster, with Biden a little slower (maybe), but the American economic and political system as currently constituted is clearly unsustainable.
Vote your conscience in November in light of these realities (personally, I’m writing in Dave Chapelle), but know that the real battle is going to start the day after the voting ends.
In the pre-Covid world, Trump was consistently favored across numerous betting markets and forecasting models to win reelection, and the Republicans maintaining control of the Senate was a virtual lock. Alas, however, times have changed. As the coronavirus rages out of control throughout the country, Donald Trump’s poll numbers continue to plummet, and his chances of victory dwindle by the day. Suddenly, it seems the Republican Party is in danger of losing not only the Presidency, but their Senate majority as well, a prospect thought to be unthinkable just a few months ago.
While most Republicans seem willing to go down with the Trump ship, we are also seeing a number of Bush-era neoconservative politicos aggressively attacking the Trump administration in the run-up to November. The most prominent of these groups is The Lincoln Project, a PAC started by Bush and McCain campaign alumni which has run a number of hard-hitting ads against Donald Trump, and is committed to ousting him from office this Fall.
Democrats, desperate to remove Trump, are welcoming this effort with open arms. Liberals’ hearts have always been warmed by the idea of Republicans putting “country before party” and supporting Democratic candidates. MSNBC’s coverage is rife with “Never Trump” conservatives like Joe Scarborough, Nicolle Wallace, and Steve Schmidt (himself a Lincoln Project member) who, on a daily basis, can be seen imploring their party’s representatives to break from Trump in the name of decency, mercy, patriotism, etc.
But is The Lincoln Project actually committed to creating the kind of America that liberals, never mind progressives, ostensibly want to live in? Of course not. These are establishment Republicans looking to curry favor with the Democratic Party leadership, and, just as important, the Democratic electorate, in order to maximize their leverage over a potential Biden administration. By helping the Democrats achieve their paramount short-term goal of defeating Trump, these neocon Republicans are buying themselves influence within the party they’ve spent their lives demonizing, in order to pull it even further to the right.
And so for all this talk of Bernie-Biden “task forces,” and “concessions” to the more progressive wing of the party, there is an ongoing effort to counteract these developments being waged by lifelong Republican operatives, who now see the Democratic Party as a more viable vehicle for their agenda than the ill-fated Trumpian GOP.
What does all of this mean for progressives’ place in the Democratic coalition? Why is Trump failing so miserably? How did the “Never Trumpers” infiltrate the Democratic Party, and why are mainstream liberals rolling out the red carpet for them? We discuss all of this and more on our latest podcast episode.
Have a listen to our full conversation by clicking the player below: