The Worst Show on Earth -- 2020 Edition Continued: Trump Judicial Coup or Regressive Blue Dog Rule?
The marked shortfall of the Democrats in 2020 is, again, primarily a product of elite liberal arrogance.
Photo via twitter
By Gabriel Haythornthwaite
As in 2016, the 2020 Presidential vote has been far closer than corporate pollsters wishfully predicted. Biden should have won this farce in a walk with a reported average 8-12 point polling lead going into voting day.
Biden is looking better than he did late last night. As of this moment, Biden appears to have “flipped” Arizona, Michigan and Wisconsin from 2016 and is ahead in Nevada. If all four of these states go Blue Dog Biden, he will have exactly the 270 Electoral College votes he needs to win. Of course, if the US had a nominally democratic one-person-one-vote set-up, Sundown Joe’s victory would be unassailable as he currently leads Trump the Terrible by 3 million votes overall.
This is an unprecedented outcome and is perfect fuel for a fascist backlash. Trump effectively declared victory at a ghoulish press conference late last night (relevant side note: Pence looks very much like a barely younger brother of the White Walker King). The Orange Menace laid out his plans for a judicial coup with his fascist-stacked Supreme Court starting with a stop to the counting of untallied votes in states where he is ahead (e.g., in Pennsylvania). The shifting of fortunes Biden’s way in the Mid-West has made this fascist plan less feasible and now it appears that the Trumpty Dumpty camp is going to have to glue their President back together again through the long-shot of recounts.
If the supposed opposition had one molecule associated with decency, the Blue Dog Democrats would hang their heads in shame for (maybe) barely eking out the narrowest of possible wins against a Man-Toddler who has cheerfully presided over the Twin Disasters of Plague and Ruin. But the Democrat elites also have less-than-no shame in similar measure to the Orange Ogre himself. I am sure the DNC is already cooking up the blame-Bernie-the-Greens-and-the-Russians story book, 2020 edition.
Adding to the incredible under-performance of arrogant elite-liberalism is that the Dem Blue Wave in Congress also crashed short of the beach even more so than in 2018. An expected 5-15 seat gain for the Blue Dogs in the House has manifested into a likely loss of seats, putting their narrow majority in potential peril (since a number of far-Right Dems vote often with their GOP buddies). The expected DNC takeover of the Senate has also failed to materialize. That at least gets Biden off the hook in keeping his promise to Bernie Sanders in making the social democrat-renegade Chair of the Senate Budget Committee. So, it’s not all bad news for Blue Dog legislators.
The marked shortfall of the Blue Dog Democrats in 2020 is, again, primarily a product of elite liberal arrogance. Liberals like to point to the unquestionable ignorance of the American public on many political matters but this explanation ignores how the Democratic record in power and in opposition has been essential in fostering Trumpican proto-fascism.
Liberals do genuinely appear to loathe Trump but far more for his obnoxious style than anything he substantively does. Trump and his predecessor Obama are far more alike in policy than either Obamacrats or Trumpicans would ever admit. The liberal fixation on style and elite-civility and the Trumpican penchant for fascist hysteria (e.g., pretending that hard-Right Democrat rule equals Communism) both provide mountains of cover for the substantive similarities of the two Parties in power. Biden was increasingly clear, as the general circus wore on, that his idea of change was a restoration of the grand state of affairs that existed under Obama-Biden. A tenure that, of course, was almost entirely a continuation of the Good W. Bush regime of corporate welfare, colonial war and mega-deportation.
The Blue Dogs’ 2020 campaigning was overtly pitched towards establishment elites and the endangered species of anti-Trump Republicans. Biden didn't just promise his billionaire backers that nothing would change to lessen their ability to plunder the country and world. Sundown Joe’s dotard campaign ramblings to the public were focused overwhelming on Trump's general unsuitability to lead from an “expert” (read: elite) point of view.
Biden’s conservative campaign was entirely in line with the Democrats' refusal to effectively oppose Trump on anything of substance during his entire reign. The Blue Dogs voted for Trump's war budgets, sanctioned super-spying powers for the Orange Office and funded the Mexican-Hater-in-Chief’s ICE deportation army (helpfully inherited from Obama-Biden). The Dems’ nominal opposition to Trump's early massive rich-pig tax cuts (which benefit the bloated benefactors of both parties) was replaced by silence as early as the 2018 midterms which were contested strictly from a return to Obama, Inc. point of view.
The Democrats have proven since 2016 that they are far more dedicated to maintaining billionaire power and shitting on the expectations of the working majority than in defeating Toddler Trump. The most salient example demonstrating this is Biden’s rabid opposition to the sensible Sanders’ single-payer Medicare-for-all proposal. Fox News released a poll on election day that found 72% of the American public was in favour of scary “government-run healthcare”. Delusional as the American public may be on all sort of questions, they appear to have enough sense to favour basic survival through equitable access to healthcare. Yet Biden was at pains to clarify early in the campaign that, as President, he would veto any Medicare-for-all bill that came to his desk from (a presumably fantasy) Congress. All this during a pandemic which has killed a quarter million and counting.
Creating social expectations of equitable healthcare is obviously a nightmare scenario for Blue Dog liberals attached to the ideologies and funding of healthcare vampire cartels. And the raising of any other working majority expectations that cut against corporate and professional class interests is simply a non-starter for Democrats. They would far rather have Trump.
And Trump may indeed get his way if the Blue Dog inclination to surrender to GOP fraud, most starkly manifested in the stolen election by W Bush in 2000, is still in operation. While Democrat surrender in 2020 is an open question, if Sundown Joe does prevail in this tangled web of an election, it seems certain that the maximally narrow nature of Biden’s win will be deployed as an additional excuse for the Dems to do what they have promised—which is to change nothing of consequence and continue wars, deportations and corporate bail-outs.
Expect a Blue Dog Biden regime to be a near-seamless continuation of the Trumpican tenure...as Trump’s has been of Obama-Biden before him.
Gabriel Haythornthwaite is a PhD Candidate at Western University's Faculty of Education and a long-time political trouble-maker.