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Joe Biden: Democrats’ Cretaceous Period Comes to an End

 

Scientists try to reconstruct past climate conditions by looking at fossilized tree rings, lake sediments or stalactites. Political scientists can trace the history of a former mainstream party (the Democrats) by studying the living fossils in their midst.

Soviet apologist and wealthy anti-capitalist, Bernie Sanders represents the communist left that was once largely suppressed and defeated within the Democratic Party. People forget that Eugene McCarthy and Hubert Humphrey were part of the old mainstream Democratic Party that drove out the openly socialist, USSR-loving elements that threatened to take control of the party in Minnesota and elsewhere in the 1940s and 1950s. Or that Harry Truman was the choice of patriotic, free-market, culturally conservative Democrats as the VP nominee in 1944 against the openly leftist (commie stooge?) Henry Wallace. Or that there was once a pro-defense, robust anti-communist wing in the party typified by Sen. Henry “Scoop” Jackson.

Despite Bernie’s rise, the most diagnostic living fossil is Joe Biden. His career is a complete map to the changes in the party over the last half-century. For example, few people know that in the 1980s Biden signed a pledge with the Ad Hoc Committee for Right to Life to support a constitutional amendment to overturn Roe v. Wade. By 1988, when it was clear the party would never again nominate a pro-lifer, Biden declared that he had always been pro-choice.

Biden openly opposed forced busing for school integration and racial quotas in hiring and admissions. For most of his career, Biden called for vigorous enforcement of immigration laws (the position of the AFL-CIO) until very recently.

The “evolution” of Joe Biden tracks the changes in his party almost perfectly. The party used to envision the average American as their target audience and on whose behalf they claimed to act. Now that same average American is the enemy. Media-intensive rich white liberals, program-dependent voters, illegal voters and the sexually non-traditional are the new constituency.

Joe Biden will again try to evolve and adapt his deeply held personal principles to whatever needs to be presented to Democratic voters but the pace of change has accelerated. Biden has changed positions effortlessly over a period of more than four decades but the new pace of ideological change may be too much even for him. Hypocrisy is more obvious the more recent and more frequent the flip-flops become. It is also much harder to convince regular voters that the product is still directed at them in familiar ways and in their interests when connections to the past are so completely severed and with such contempt. AOC and her ilk are not the new mammals replacing the dinosaurs such much as they are the asteroid destroying an old order.

In most years, Democrats could fake a connection to their cultural and policy past (Bill Clinton did so brilliantly) but they have accelerated the drift (rot?) to the point where everybody will notice. It is starting to look like 2020 may be the year that the frog will notice the water temperature rising and simply hop out of the pot before it is too late.

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There are 10 comments.

  1. Member

    Old Bathos: It is starting to look like 2020 may be the year that the frog will notice the water temperature rising and simply hop out of the pot before it is too late. 

    And, of course, into the fire according to the anti-Trumpers and the lefties.

    Still, I wonder if things haven’t changed a lot around all this. A friend (smart, lefty) thinks the reason one earner is no longer enough is that when we had stay at home moms the profits went more to the workers than to the shareholders. Now the reverse. The richest people seem to be the ones who shuffle money and paper, not blueprints. To him, these new layers of management are parasitic, since they do not asdd value to the actual goods and services. And corporatism seems to have grown (though that may be only seems). I notice that the National Review agrees with AOC on the Amazon-Queens deal–too much was offered to win the site war.

     

    • #1
    • March 11, 2019 at 12:04 pm
    • 5 likes
  2. Contributor

    I wonder now if he will sign up. After he felt compelled to apologize to Cynthia Nixon for his kind remarks about Mike Pence, he might just see the writing on the wall. I suspect he may reject the party–unless they reject him first.

    • #2
    • March 11, 2019 at 12:17 pm
    • 3 likes
  3. Coolidge

    Old Bathos: ilk

    How dare you, sir?

    • #3
    • March 11, 2019 at 12:30 pm
    • 1 like
  4. Member

    Was it today or yesterday or last week or five minutes ago, when Alexandria Cortez spouted off about Ronald Reagan, and how he supposedly oppressed people of color because he advocated welfare reform, while elevating a jobs for all program? Sound familiar a.k.a. Trump? No mention of his role in fighting the communists that Bernie has no issue with, along with Thatcher and Pope JPII, and engaging the Russians on their own turf. She is ignorant of history and a mouthpiece for the continuation of O’s pitting people against each other – verbatim – I sense a conspiracy….

    • #4
    • March 11, 2019 at 4:59 pm
    • 3 likes
  5. Coolidge

    Old Bathos: Media-intensive rich white liberals, program-dependent voters, illegal voters and the sexually non-traditional are the new constituency.

    This is a great descriptor. 

    • #5
    • March 11, 2019 at 5:42 pm
    • 4 likes
  6. Contributor

    I do not see Biden surviving a primary campaign dominated by the red-green axis ascendant in the Democratic Party, as in the British Labour Party.

    • #6
    • March 11, 2019 at 6:33 pm
    • 2 likes
  7. Member

    Old Bathos: In most years, Democrats could fake a connection to their cultural and policy past (Bill Clinton did so brilliantly) but they have accelerated the drift (rot?) to the point where everybody will notice. It is starting to look like 2020 may be the year that the frog will notice the water temperature rising and simply hop out of the pot before it is too late.

    Great quote. I don’t think Biden wins the election for them. I think they split badly over Biden.

    • #7
    • March 11, 2019 at 6:55 pm
    • 3 likes
  8. Member

    GFHandle (View Comment):

    Old Bathos: It is starting to look like 2020 may be the year that the frog will notice the water temperature rising and simply hop out of the pot before it is too late.

    And, of course, into the fire according to the anti-Trumpers and the lefties.

    Still, I wonder if things haven’t changed a lot around all this. A friend (smart, lefty) thinks the reason one earner is no longer enough is that when we had stay at home moms the profits went more to the workers than to the shareholders. Now the reverse. The richest people seem to be the ones who shuffle money and paper, not blueprints. To him, these new layers of management are parasitic, since they do not asdd value to the actual goods and services. And corporatism seems to have grown (though that may be only seems). I notice that the National Review agrees with AOC on the Amazon-Queens deal–too much was offered to win the site war.

     

    I have a different theory. Back in the 70’s/80’s, a bank would base a mortgage on the payment being no more than 28% of your income. As more women came into the workforce and household income increased, the cost of housing adjusted itself to be 28% payment on dual incomes. And that is why you can’t have a family on one income anymore.

     

     

    • #8
    • March 12, 2019 at 4:51 am
    • 4 likes
  9. Thatcher

    Biden’s best bet (and last chance at public office) is to run as Howard Schultz’ Veep.

    • #9
    • March 12, 2019 at 7:42 am
    • Like
  10. Member

    GFHandle (View Comment):

    Old Bathos: It is starting to look like 2020 may be the year that the frog will notice the water temperature rising and simply hop out of the pot before it is too late.

    And, of course, into the fire according to the anti-Trumpers and the lefties.

    Still, I wonder if things haven’t changed a lot around all this. A friend (smart, lefty) thinks the reason one earner is no longer enough is that when we had stay at home moms the profits went more to the workers than to the shareholders. Now the reverse. The richest people seem to be the ones who shuffle money and paper, not blueprints. To him, these new layers of management are parasitic, since they do not asdd value to the actual goods and services. And corporatism seems to have grown (though that may be only seems). I notice that the National Review agrees with AOC on the Amazon-Queens deal–too much was offered to win the site war.

    Your friend and I have reached a similar diagnosis. Basically, there are three strategies an individual may follow to get what he wants. He can produce a good or service and barter it, he can persuade others to give it to him, or he can work outside the economic system as a lawyer, financier, or criminal. The material and social economy is unbalanced because the latter two categories have changed the system to favor themselves.

    This imbalance can be traced, I think, to the post-WWII government-fed education boom. Most people don’t have a mind that can benefit from formal education beyond literacy and numeracy. The boom therefore resulted in the creation of made-up fields of study. Productive people, however, have been successful enough to keep the society humming despite that people of the third strategy have done well for themselves by shifting resources to those of persuasive natures. That’s how we get layers and layers of useless management, a vapid academy full of frauds, and a rapacious government, all built up like encrusted dingleberries.

    • #10
    • March 12, 2019 at 8:04 am
    • Like