Once again, the accountability concept is eluding Democrats.
Joe Biden is many things, few of them admirable, though he has been bolstered by either gullible or complicit journalism for decades, He is not, however, responsible for the gruesome state of the current Democratic Presidential field, nor is it Joe’s fault that Democrats are facing the prospect another defeat at the hands of Donald Trump, this one worse than the first.
In the wake of the impending collapse of Biden’s campaign, accelerated by his embarrassing showing in New Hampshire, the memo has already gone out, it seems, recruiting pundits and others to blame Joe for the current mess.
Jonathan Chait has always been one of the less impressive progressive mouthpieces in the news media, with “think pieces” that seldom show much quality thought and advocacy skills that would fail a First Year law student moot court competition. Chait was in typical form, which is to say “poor,” with this essay titled “Biden’s Campaign Was a Disaster For Liberalism and the Democratic Party,” which concludes,
Right. It’s Joe’s fault. The fact that the Democrats tossed away all the traditions of minimal cross- party comity and attempted a never-ending coup for President Trump’s entire term: that’s on Joe. The fact that three anti-Jewish, anti-American, far, far Left women prone to saying vulgar, stupid and bigoted things, handicapped by varied ethical problems have become prominent symbols of the Democratic Party: Biden’s fault. That the Dracula-like romance between disaffected members of the Left coalition and government dominance over the economy and personal liberties has once again risen from the dead…it’s that damn Biden again! The contrived impeachment was botched so badly that it made the President more popular rather then less? That’s Joe’s doing too.
Chait’s characteristically lame screed focuses on Biden’s alleged affect on the quality of the democratic field. He writes,
How does that compute? Biden is a 77 year old white man, who is about as much like Barack Obama as Andrew Yang. Booker is a young, supposedly charismatic, black Senator. Booker’s campaign flamed out because he is immediately identifiable as a lightweight and an empty suit, to blacks and whites. “Praised by critics”—that’s a joke. Booker has been praised by slobbering Democratic operatives with media credentials, desperately promoting his dubious talents. Critics, and there have been many on both the Left and Right, have been accurate in lasering in on Booker’s hypocrisy.
“This is classic Booker — stand out front on feel-good social issues, regardless of his past positions, and align with big money everywhere else,” wrote Walter Bragman at Paste Magazine,after Booker’s shock vote against a prescription drug bill. Noted Vox: “Booker has long faced criticism on the left for cultivating the elite financial ties that much of the Bernie Sanders wing despises.”
Truth: Cory Booker’s candidacy never took off because of the screamingly obvious inadequacies of Cory Booker.
Then Chait gives us this fantasy:
Does anyone believe that? Bloomberg didn’t enter the race because he’s as old as Biden, and had the sense to realize that old white guys were not the flavor du jour in Progressiveland. He also knows that he has never won an election outside of the unique demographics of New York City and that he has the personal appeal of roadkill. Biden didn’t keep him out of the race: Biden was still leading in the polls when Bloomberg let his ego eat his brain and finally decided to come in. Nor do they fill “the same ideological niche.” Finally, Bloomberg chose to bypass those “vetting” debates because he knew he would be vetted right out of the race.
Then we get…
In any normal field with strong options, Klobuchar wouldn’t be surging at all. She is the last ditch choice of my more rational progressive friends who are horrified at their options. She is the human “none of the above” vote. She has female body parts, that’s all; without them, Amy would be Michael Bennett, whose candidacy never got off the ground.
This statement by Chait is my favorite, though…
What mytserious mainstream liberal Democrat is that magic leader who would have rescued the party from three years of Adam Schiff, Jerry Nadler, Maxine Waters and Al Green? Who is it, Jonathan? Why do you think the Democrats momentarily got all excited over the prospect of drafting Oprah? Why is voter-repellent John Kerry musing about a late run? Why are some Democrats still hinting the Hillary may come back?
It’s because the party has nobody, Jonathan. If it had strong and compelling leaders, Joe Biden never would have gotten out of the gate. This is one more example of progressives and Democrats avoiding the obvious explanation for their problems, and it isn’t poor Joe Biden. The party and the ideology supporting it has lost its bearings, its values, its dignity, its integrity, and, as a result, its ability to attract competent and inspiring leadership.
Joe Biden may be a symptom, but he is definitely not the cause. Stop blaming him. Democrats need to look in the mirror, be accountable, make an effort to change, and leave poor Joe alone to end his career with its unavoidable whimper.