Dr. Jill Biden on supporting her husband Joe Biden for US President in 2020
Dr. Jill Biden: Your candidate might be better on, I don’t know, health care, than Joe is, but you’ve got to look at who’s going to win this election. And maybe you have to swallow a little bit and say, ‘OK, I sort of personally like so and so better,’ but your bottom line has to be that we have to beat Trump.
Former Vice President Joe Biden currently has the most delegates backing his campaign and we’re told that is a critical factor in deciding whom the DNC corporation will offer up as their candidate for the 2020 US Presidential race. So, in light of recent developments, let’s look at what endorsing Joe Biden means for the two most allegedly progressive Democratic Party candidates, Rep. Tulsi Gabbard (D-HI) who has endorsed Joe Biden, and Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-VT). Both have previously pledged support for whomever wins that party’s primary.
Rep. Tulsi Gabbard (D-HI)
Gabbard endorsed drone bombing in a 2018 Intercept interview describing the extrajudicial assassination campaign as “surgical strikes” (more on this from Digital Citizen). Despite this hawkish language which attempted to conflate the pinpoint accuracy of a surgeon wielding a scalpel with the extrajudicial and indiscriminate assassination power of a drone bombing, by the time she launched her 2020 US Presidential campaign she was labeled an “anti-war” candidate by supporters and opponents alike. What an unpleasant surprise it must have been then for her to later endorse former Vice President Joe Biden for POTUS despite his repeated support for the US/UK-led 2003 invasion of Iraq authorizing the invasion with his Senate vote and when he doubled down on his support for that war well afterwards despite his claims to the contrary.
Wikipedia’s entry for Joe Biden included
Photographs and videos exist that show Biden in what some consider inappropriate proximity to women and children, including kissing and touching. Biden has described himself as a “tactile politician” and admitted that this behavior has caused trouble for him in the past.
Some of the “trouble” this “tactile politician” faces includes a reiteration of a years-old allegation from Tara Reade, a former staff assistant for then-Senator Joe Biden, who said she was the victim of Sen. Joe Biden holding her against a wall and vaginally penetrating her without her consent. Reade told Democracy Now:
Tara Reade: And then he — it was one, as I described, fluid moment. He was talking to me, and he said some things that I don’t recall. And I was up against the wall. And he — I remember the coldness of the wall. And I remember his hands underneath my blouse and underneath my skirt, and his fingers penetrating me as he was trying to kiss me and I was pulling away. And he pulled back, and he said, “Come on, man. I heard you liked me.” But he was angry. It was like a tight voice. And he tended to smile when he was angry. And he isn’t like the Uncle Joe like everybody talks about now. He was younger. He was my dad’s age at that time and very strong. And he looked insulted and angry. And I remember feeling like I had done something wrong when he said that statement. And then I was standing there when he said — he was still near me. He said — pointed his finger and said, “You’re nothing to me. You’re nothing.” And he walked away.
That allegation was not taken seriously by the Democratic Party years ago or now. This despite the anger Democratic Party supporters displayed against Donald Trump for his own description of working with women in an interview with Access Hollywood with Billy Bush which included saying:
Donald Trump: I don’t even wait. And when you’re a star, they let you do it. You can do anything.
Billy Bush: Whatever you want.
Donald Trump: Grab them by the pussy. [Billy Bush laughs] You can do anything. [Billy Bush laughs]
On March 17, 2020, Joe Biden encouraged people to vote in the DNC corporation representative selection procedure despite widespread calls for everyone to stay home and engage in ‘social distancing’ in order to stop the spread of the highly contagious and remarkably lethal COVID-19. Two days later on March 19, 2020 Gabbard wrote and released a video statement (transcript) which included:
Rep. Tulsi Gabbard: Although I may not agree with the Vice President on every issue, I know that he has a good heart and is motivated by his love for our country and the American people. I’m confident that he will lead our country guided by the spirit of aloha — respect and compassion — and thus help heal the divisiveness that has been tearing our country apart.
So today, I’m suspending my presidential campaign, and offering my full support to Vice President Joe Biden in his quest to bring our country together.
Apparently whatever disagreements Rep. Gabbard had weren’t enough to stop her from endorsing Joe Biden.
Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-VT)
Sanders behaves in a manner that suggests endorsing Joe Biden is a foregone conclusion. Sanders reiterated to the New York Times what he told the public repeatedly throughout his campaign:
He has reiterated his belief that Mr. Biden can beat Mr. Trump and tempered his criticism on the trail, saying that “Joe is a decent guy” and referring to the former vice president as “my friend.”
Prof. Zephyr Teachout: Bernie Sanders is constitutionally incapable of sucking up. He can’t do it. And he especially can’t suck up to the wealthy or the glamorous or the people who run big companies.
By January 2020 things would change between Sen. Sanders and Teachout as Teachout wrote about Sen. Biden and his corrupt dealings involving Joe Biden’s son Hunter Biden and Hunter Biden’s job with Ukrainian energy company Burisma.
In January, he [Sanders] sought to distance himself from Zephyr Teachout, an ally from New York, who published an op-ed during the impeachment proceedings that accused Mr. Biden of contributing to a “transactional, grossly corrupt” political culture at a time when Trump supporters were hitting Mr. Biden for failing to stop Hunter Biden from joining the board of an energy company in Ukraine.
These choices are indistinguishable from stumping for his opponent Joe Biden.
By April 3, 2020 Sen. Sanders sent his “Bold 6-Point Program For Tackling the Coronavirus Crisis” (archived copy) to his supporters which included “Guaranteeing Healthcare to All”. In that section Sanders wrote that “Medicare must be empowered to pay all of the deductibles, co-payments and out-of-pocket healthcare expenses for the uninsured and the underinsured” but Sanders also clarified that this did not include supporting Medicare for All, the chief policy issue his campaign was previously known for supporting:
Let me be clear: I am not proposing that we pass Medicare for All in this moment. That fight continues into the future.
Sen. Sanders reiterated this message of not being able to pass Medicare for All now in a video around 41m44s saying “This is not Medicare for All, we can’t pass that right now.” which means the candidate most known for formerly supporting Medicare for All is now effectively joining Biden in rejecting Medicare for All (Biden has said he’d veto Medicare for All due to cost).
What won’t progressives accept?
Perhaps Joe Biden’s 2020 campaign slogan should be “Swallow It!” Biden 2020.
Update 2020-04-08: Sen. Sanders ended his campaign, called Joe Biden “a very decent man”, and said he wants to “assembl[e] as many delegates as possible at the Democratic convention where we will be able to exert significant influence over the party platform and other functions.”. The party platform is a powerless distraction, it’s not clear how Sanders has any influence to wield because he gave it all away to the neocons & neolibs in that party, and it’s not clear if the Democratic convention will be held in-person (continuing the shameful consistency Biden called for).