The six primaries that were held yesterday resulted in Joe Biden winning four, Sanders winning one, with the state of Washington still to be called where the two are tied with 67% of the vote tallied. Biden has increased his lead in the delegate count to 856 to 708 for Sanders. It is hard to see how Sanders can regain the lead.
As I have said before, the popularity of Biden is truly surprising. Of all the candidates who started out, I know that many will disagree with me when I say that Sanders was the most inspiring one. But I think I will get a lot more support for my assertion that Biden was the least
uninspiring. Every other candidate who sought the nomination had at least some proposal or characteristic that distinguished them from the rest, even the ghastly Michael Bloomberg. But Biden has nothing. He epitomizes the bland party apparatchik, faithfully subservient to the interests of the corporate interests that dominate the party. His proposals just nodded vaguely at all the progressive goals (such as universal health care, affordable college, student debt relief, living wage, affordable infant and child care) that have now become party orthodoxy thanks to the relentless focus by Sanders on these issues. But whereas Sanders proposed well-defined solutions to all of them (Medicare For All, free college, cancelling student debt, $15 minimum wage, and free universal child care), Biden has only vaguely talked about providing ‘moderate’ versions (which is code for ‘corporate-friendly) of each of those. His main claim to fame is that he was vice-president in the Obama administration.
It seems to me that Biden was successful because of the relentless media focus on the issue of ‘electability’, which is code for saying that Sanders was ‘too extreme’ to be elected, which in turn is code for saying that Sanders was ‘corporate-unfriendly’. In addition, almost all the party establishment quickly coalesced behind Biden after all the other establishment-friendly candidates dropped out and endorsed him. The party establishment fear and detest Sanders because his becoming the nominee would undoubtedly have resulted in them losing their sinecures within the party and with it all the sweet perks they have enjoyed. Along with Sanders’s inability to attract older black voters, that establishment support seemed to be enough to make enough people vote for Biden to make him the leader.
So it seems likely that we are going to see a re-run of the 2016 election with the Democrats fielding a candidate who is more inept and less articulate than their last nominee Hillary Clinton. The only reason for hope is that enough people are disaffected by Donald Trump’s appalling performance in office that some of the people who voted for him last time do not vote for him this time around, and that enough people are so terrified of having him re-elected that those who sat out the last election because they just did not care for Clinton now come out to vote for Biden, even though they may care even less for him than they did for her. That is indeed a slim reed on which to lean but I cannot see any other basis for optimism.
If Biden does end up the nominee, we need to be prepared for an issue-less, insult-ridden, vacuous general election campaign. The corporate media is going to love it because it avoids them having to talk about real issues (which requires work) and can instead focus exclusively on the polls and the horse-race aspects and babble on about the latest scandals and gaffes and speculate on how those will affect the election.
Model and actress Emily Ratajkowski tries to debunk the ‘Bernie bro’ slur against Sanders and talks with Seth Meyers about how inspiring Sanders has been, how his supporters never had any illusions that winning the nomination would be easy, that they are still working to get him elected, and how his ideas will be around even if he does not become the nominee.