HomeUncategorized6/10 News Roundup & Open Thread – #Bernie2020 Rally In Dubuque, Tom Perez Says Hosting 2020 Debate on Climate Crisis ‘Not Practical’ & More
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With Barack Obama and Hillary Clinton in retirement, Biden is America’s foremost living proponent of bipartisanship. Why anyone still salutes it is a mystery. The reputation of every big bipartisan “achievement” of the last 30 years is in tatters: NAFTA; the mid-’90s crime and welfare bills; the late-’90s Wall Street deregulation; No Child Left Behind; the bankruptcy bill; the Iraq war. Biden was for every single one of them.

Biden’s fans blame a generation of Democrats for these follies and say that it’s his bad luck to be the only one still around to blame. It isn’t true. A majority of Democrats in Congress voted no on NAFTA, the bankruptcy bill and the war. Only a handful of them voted wrong every time; only Biden shows up so often in critical roles (crime, bankruptcy, Iraq). It’s a unique record. Saying “everybody did it” just won’t wash.

Bipartisanship was Obama’s brand from the moment he stepped on the national stage. It led him to offload the public option and his pledge to raise the minimum wage; to abandon millions of homeowners with underwater mortgages; to dangle Social Security cuts in exchange for phantasmal GOP budget deals; to let Wall Street swindlers he’d sworn to put in jail walk free. Democrats love Obama but have lately begun to question those calls. Sooner or later they’ll have questions for Biden. Where was he when Obama made those decisions? What price did we pay for them?

What Clinton and Biden have most in common is a shared faith in the economic consensus of political elites. It’s a bipartisanship rooted not in civility but in the interests of their donors. It is our most insidious form of corruption; it’s why our government stopped acting in the interests of our people, why our people lost faith in our democracy. It’s the main reason Hillary Clinton lost to Donald Trump.

In 2016, Clinton was the most conspicuous avatar of that consensus and the system that spawned it. Despite clear evidence of an imploding political center and global insurrection against systemic corruption, Democrats went ahead and nominated her. Now Biden fills that role. Employing the same gauzy thematics, he leads the early field, but by less than she did. If he learned anything from her fate, he isn’t tipping his hand.



The more you deny the need to apologize, the more your denials seem off-kilter. Even while you were executing that Hyde flip-flop with a speech in Atlanta days ago, the Times pointed out “Mr. Biden took pains to state explicitly that he was not repudiating his previous stance on abortion funding and would make ‘no apologies’ for it.”

For decades, you helped block federal funding for low-income women to have access to abortions. Then you affirmed the same position on Wednesday last week, only to do a 180 the next day after putting your finger to the political wind — and you make “no apologies”?

What might an apology tour look like? Here are five recommendations for acknowledging key realities and expressing remorse:

** Teaming up with segregationist senators to oppose busing for school desegregation: “I’m sorry I joined forces with bigots.”

** Treatment of Anita Hill in the Clarence Thomas hearings: “I deeply regret that I ended up showing more concern for the sensibilities of Republican colleagues than respecting Ms. Hill’s rights.”

** Leading role — while pandering to racism on the Senate floor — in passage of the 1994 crime bill: “I was wrong, and I wince while watching video of my Senate floor speech.”

** Career-long services to corporate elites with avid mutual support that continued during the launch of this campaign: “I apologize for catering to credit card companies and other huge corporations.”

** Powerfully supporting the 2003 invasion of Iraq: “I hate to think of how many people have suffered and died because of the Iraq war that I helped bring about as the chairman of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee.”

For such aspects of your political record, apologies are long overdue. They won’t bring back the dead, undo suffering, retroactively nourish those who’ve gone hungry or repay the debts that millions of Americans continue to face. But unless you clear the air hovering over your campaign, its messages will be enveloped in an unforgettable stench of evasion.




But this weekend Secretary of State Mike Pompeo went much further. In private remarks recorded by the Washington Post, he insisted that the irresponsibility of the British voters couldn’t be allowed to bring Jeremy Corbyn into office: the issues are just too important. Corbyn’s record of opposition to US militarism as well as his challenge to the power of the wealthiest Brits just aren’t acceptable to Washington.

The Secretary of State didn’t directly reference all that, of course. It’s important to keep up appearances. Instead, Pompeo’s remarks drew on the latest round of spurious complaints that the Labour leader is an antisemite, who apparently risks heading what one Tory minister called the West’s first Jew-hating government since 1945. “It could be that Mr. Corbyn manages to run the gantlet and get elected. It’s possible. You should know, we won’t wait for him to do those things to begin to push back. We will do our level best. It’s too risky and too important and too hard once it’s already happened.”

Nevermind Corbyn’s critics’ failure to produce any evidence that he is antisemitic, the reality that under his watch Labour has waged a consistent campaign to purge its ranks of antisemites, or the fact that both Trump’s right-populist international friends and the European allies of the British Tories include all manner of fascists and Jew-haters.

Nevermind all that. And never mind democracy, either. The issues are too important. Pompeo insists Corbyn shouldn’t even be allowed to reach office. The Secretary of State promised an assortment of self-styled community leaders that the US wouldn’t sit back and wait for the wrong election result.

Faced with these remarks, Labour took a rather measured tone, while also telling Pompeo to go fuck himself. As a spokesman put it “President Trump and his officials’ attempts to decide who will be Britain’s next prime minister are an entirely unacceptable interference in the UK’s democracy.”

This was coupled with a robust rejection of the “antisemitism” smear, insisting the party is “fully committed to the support, defense and celebration of the Jewish community and is implacably opposed to antisemitism in any form.”

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