Could be worse

Fellows it may be a little early to give up on the Biden Administration

It’s kind of humorous and also kind of expected that we’ve reached the Joe Biden Is A Fink stage approximately five weeks before he becomes president.

People are looking at Biden’s cabinet picks and going “corporatists and warmongers,” bah! And what about the retired general he wants for SecDef — typical military industrial Dem! We might as well have not even bothered.

And it’s not just Biden getting bitched out. Here’s Liz Bruenig talking on MSNBC about the failure to get a good COVID relief package — which it seems everyone on TV and Twitter thinks is Nancy Pelosi’s fault, as if she had Mitch McConnell in a headlock and then just lost her nerve.

I had to run this part back a few times just to make sure I was hearing it right:

I think there are a lot of Republicans who see a deadlocked Congress as a time to make a point which is look, there are no many things that Americans need, the pandemic has brought into sharp relief how many people are financially precarious, how many people struggle paycheck to paycheck, how many people can barely keep their kids in day care, barely keep their kids fed. We have seen child poverty indicators really, really start to skyrocket during the pandemic and it doesn’t have to be that way. We have the tools at our disposal, we could have passed a $1.8 trillion stimulus package that would have contained quite a bit of assistance. We chose not to do that for political reasons, that’s unfortunate, disgraceful in my view. But I think the progressive wing of the party needs to pick up this mantle...

And I’m thinking wait wait wait — Republicans are looking at “a deadlocked Congress as a time to make a point which is… the pandemic has brought into sharp relief how many people are financially precarious”? The same Republicans who under McConnell have ignored the generous relief bills Democrats sent them and keep lowballing their counterproposals in hopes of forcing the Democrats to swallow their corporate COVID prosecution immunity scam?

I know Republicans like Dan Crenshaw pretend the GOP has been crying to give people checks while “Senate DEMOCRATS blocked COVID relief packages,” but I also know to expect that from them. And I guess I know to expect it from a certain variety of progressive, too. I think the low point has been this hilarity from Glenn Greenwald:

Greenwald’s Substack essay tells how the Deep State Russiagated Sanders out of the lead in the 2020 Democratic primaries with accusations that Putin was supporting him, leaving the once-proud socialist with “no other options beyond sputtering with faux-toughness about how he would show Putin who was boss.” (Greenwald also compares Sanders’ anti-Deep-State cred unfavorably with that of Dwight Eisenhower, whom you may remember as the boss of John Foster Dulles and the overseer of the 1954 Guatemalan coup.)

I, a dummy and a Sanders voter, thought it was remarkable that a socialist like Sanders got as far as he did given the bone-deep and obvious antipathy for socialism among the relatively elderly and conservative American electorate (which gave Biden six million more votes than his competitor!), and did not realize they were actually mad for Bread and Roses but got scared off it by accusations of Russian interference, much like they were scared off Trump by similar accusations of Russian interference except they weren’t wait what am I even talking about that is ridiculous.

The Greenwaldites are really bringing cheer to the selection process of Biden’s Deep State stablemates:

Bernie, you changed, man! Maybe the real threat to our accursed duopoly in 2024 will not be the Greens or the NeverTrumpers, but the Horseshoe Party. Think Pitchfork Pat’s ready to share a ticket with Thomas Chatterton Williams?

This brings me back to the summer, when Noam Chomsky and Angela Davis were saying, yes please for God’s sake vote for Joe Biden, we have to get that lunatic out of office! What do you think was going on there? Do you think they didn’t know who Joe Biden was, nor that he made Bill Clinton look like Henry Wallace? Do you think they were paid off by the Deep State? (Or just cucked by it, as Greenwald suggests of Sanders?)

I think they were, rather, facing an existential dilemma and making a sensible, non-the-worse-the-better choice. They knew Biden would only move even microscopically to the left if he thought that was the way to win — both before and after the election. And they expected progressives to do their part to push him that way. It may well be that leftwing pressure is currently keeping that scumbucket Rahm Emanuel out of the cabinet. Then again, maybe Biden or someone in his brain trust floated Emanuel to draw lefty fire. Politics is tricky!

Like Claude Rains in Casablanca, I will take what comes. I am encouraged that Xavier Becerra, in addition to his great advantage in not being Alex Azar, has a pro-single-payer history. I accept that many if not most of the cabinet picks will be Vilsack-level terrible. I’m not crazy about that but I’m not sweating it either. For one thing they are not overt grifters and nincompoops like we have now, and that is not nothing. For another, Biden’s not stupid; he must know that if he doesn’t dish out some FDR shit he’ll lose 48 states in 2024 to the Trump/Kyle Rittenhouse ticket. If he doesn’t know that, well, tell you what — I’ll contribute to a Kickstarter to built a time machine so we can go back and change the entire character of post-World-War-II America, electing Jasper McLevy and Paul Zeidler instead of Ike and Kennedy and heading off the whole problem. Maybe Greenwald or Bruenig can give us some pointers. In the meantime we gotta do what we can with what we got, and be grateful it ain’t worse — which is can always be.