For the corporate and elite Democratic supporters who are desperate to stop a Sanders campaign, Joe Biden’s official entrance has been a godsend. Early polls put Biden ahead of Sanders by as many as 20 points and the same pundits who called the 2016 race prematurely on both sides of the aisle were quick to pronounce the primary all but over.
Biden’s campaign is also the clearest sign yet that the Democratic party elites and donors, who are faced with a restless party base and an insurgent Sanders candidacy that appears popular, will continue to look to anyone they believe might restore a sense of normalcy.
As you, dear reader, might imagine, I’m not happy. I mean, Joe Biden? Joe-freakin-Biden? Jesus! It’s almost like the DNC is trolling us with Biden’s entry into the crowded Democratic presidential primary.
If there’s one person who represents pretty much all that’s wrong with America, it’s Biden, who is a hawkish, corporate sycophant and one of the principal architects of American mass incarceration that’s decimated African-American households. Going further, Biden epitomizes the abject corruption of our elite that set the table for Donald Trump. If we’re honest it’s apparent that a large part of Trump’s appeal was his attack on the sort of business-as usual and corruption that Biden represents.
Biden’s not even shy about it. Recently Biden told supporters at a private fundraising event in Los Angeles that he hails from the “corporate state of Delaware”.
In fact, Biden’s exactly the sort of Democrat that for decades has traded working-class votes for employer-class donations. Biden supported NAFTA, most-favored-nation trading status with China, and the Trans-Pacific-Partnership. Democrats don’t just have a problem with working-class white voters, but a problem with working-class voters of all races and backgrounds — lost to the party over the years due to frustrations with free-trade policies, a 50-year decline in real wages, disillusionment with bipartisan-supported foreign wars and their costs for military families, failure to regulate an increasingly exploitative financial-services sector, exploding incarceration rates, etc.
Biden was there every step of the way as America was transformed from a manufacturing economy where the gains were more equally shared to a financial economy that funnels all the gains to the 1%. In the process, Americans went from largely sharing in the productive economy with rising wages to being shackled with debt.
Biden also represents something deeper and darker in a Democratic Party that’s embraced a neoliberal dispensation that’s left our nation riven by a vast inequality not seen since the robber baron era. Indeed, Biden represents the wholesale capture of Democratic Party politics by the big banks and financial services industry. According to the New York Times, Biden was seen as so close to MBNA, the credit card company that was purchased by Bank of America, that he was referred to as the “senator from MBNA.” Instead of the standard senate designation (D-Delaware), he was (D-MBNA).
Biden is a senator from Delaware, where as he noted, pretty much all of US corporations are incorporated. Delaware, the second smallest of US states, is home to many of the worlds biggest corporations, and is a key cog in the offshore tax haven system. Delaware has long been a refuge for financial capital thanks largely to the du Pont family, who used their tremendous influence in state governance to adopt a new and permissive corporate law that allowed corporate owners and managers enormous powers at the expense of other stakeholders. Biden was first elected to the Senate in 1971 and no doubt has spent more than three decades getting financial support from the banking interests that call Delaware their home.
I believe that one of the key reasons for Biden’s ascendency is precisely because he’s the man from Delaware, where the tiny state is a key node in the financing of US deficits by attracting foreign capital that flows in due to the tax-free treatment and secrecy that afforded.
Ultimately, what Biden and Delaware represent is a world where there are set of rules for the rich and powerful and another set of rules for the rest of us.