12/04/2019

No, Biden: An Argument Against Joe Because of Impeachment

(Usual caveat: I'll vote for a leprous toad if it wins the Democratic nomination, so, yeah, if it's Biden, I'm going for him.)

There's a reason to vote for someone other than Joe Biden in the primaries that has nothing to do with his age, although a rational country should be able to talk openly about the very real degenerative effects of aging, especially as five candidates (Biden, Sanders, Warren, Bloomberg, and Trump) are 70 and up. There's a reason to vote for someone other than Biden that has nothing to do with his gaffes and misspeaks and "malarkey." There's a reason to vote for someone other than Biden that has nothing to do with his moderate-to-conservative views on issues like health care, college tuition, and taxation.

It's simple, really: Joe Biden wants to make nice with Republicans. In fact, he totally believes that, if he wins, he can bring out the shiny-toothed charm offensive, work in partnership with Republicans, and get things done once that awful Donald Trump is gone. Here he is at his CNN Town Hall last month: "With Trump out of the way, I predict to you now, my 89 opponents are running for the nomination are going to say something different. But let me just say, I honest to God believe, with Trump out of the way, you're going to find people screwing up a lot more courage than they had before to say, 'OK, OK, I can -- I can move now, I -- I -- I have more leeway.'" Earlier in November, at a fundraiser, he had said, "With Donald Trump out of the way, you’re going to see a number of my Republican colleagues have an epiphany. Mark my words. Mark my words...It’s going to take two things: One is somebody who in fact, knows how to reach across the aisle and get things done."

Now, it is entirely possible that Biden has some inside skinny on Republicans who tell him that they'll be happy once Uncle Joe has safely taken back the Oval Office from the orange menace, but it's pretty unlikely. These are the same Republicans, especially in the Senate, who refused to pass legislation, negotiate over bills, and blocked a Supreme Court pick for the last Democrat, Barack Obama. Maybe he thinks they'll work with a white Democrat?

Biden believes that his capacity to forgive and forget with Republicans is an asset. But it's a fundamental misreading of Democrats right now, just as Obama misread his victory in 2008. If I've said it once, I've said it a million times: Obama screwed up by not punishing Republicans, especially Bush administration officials, for what they did to the nation with the Iraq War and torture, as well as the financial crisis. He thought that looking forward would get him some credit with the GOP, but, instead, it emboldened them to block Obama's plans, demonize him, and destroy Democratic gains in 2006 and 2008 with the 2010 midterms and the miserable Tea Party. And I happen to think that one reason Obama took this path is because Biden advised him to (I don't have evidence of that, but, man, Biden's talking like someone who's believe this, well, malarkey for a while).

What does this have to do with impeachment? Right now, Republicans are stubbornly refusing to believe what the entire intelligence community of the United States and the Justice Department and congressional committees (even ones led by Republicans) have concluded when it comes to the facts about who was involved in hacking our election, who benefited, and who wants to mess with the election in 2020. Republicans ignore the criminality surrounding Donald Trump and his inner circle. They are enabling those crimes, from the emoluments violations to the bribery to the witness intimidation and more. And they won't lift a finger, as a group or even as individuals, to stop Trump.

I've been writing about politics since the heady days of the Reagan era, and these sons of bitches are going down a dangerous road, one that pulls the rug out from not just the legislative branch, but from the actual laws of the nation. And this is just on impeachment. It doesn't even get into the dangerously unqualified but appropriately nutzoid conservative judges that Mitch McConnell and the GOP-led Senate are rubber-stamping faster than they can keep the ink pad wet. That will pervert the legal system even further than allowing Trump to do whatever crimes he wants.

Republicans have decided to shit where everyone eats. And should Democrats win back the presidency and the Senate, as well as keep the House, Republicans will need to be punished for what they have done and what they are currently doing. That doesn't mean rounding them up and spanking them and telling them that you hope they learned their lesson. It means investigating and prosecuting those who need to be prosecuted (looking at you, Barr and Nunes), censuring and expelling those who deserve it, stripping them of power within the Congress, and undoing as much as can possibly be undone. They are traitors and they need to be treated like traitors.

It'll mean not pretending like Republicans are going to all of a sudden discover their consciences or souls or patriotism or what-the-fuck-ever. It's gonna take a president who wants to fuck their shit up, who wants to consign the party of Trump to history's garbage heap, who wants to burn down their side of the aisle, not reach across it.

By his own words, Joe Biden is obviously incapable of being that president. A president who is incapable of seeing who the enemy is will be unable to stop that enemy and will allow that enemy to regroup and flourish again. And that is reason enough to not vote for Biden.

(Note: I don't know that Democrats as a whole have the stones to clean house the way it needs to be cleaned, but, at the very least, let's have a president who will give it a shot.)