The Coronavirus crisis struck in the United States just as Democratic voters coalesced around an aging relic of a political establishment under popular backlash since 2015. So many Americans are outraged by reports that U.S. senators allegedly sold off stocks after receiving inside information on the seriousness of the contagion and worried that Capitol Hill cares more for its corporate donors than the average citizen. So are Dems hampered by a 2020 presidential candidate who cannot credibly cloak himself in a populist mantle as the pandemic wreaks havoc with everyday life?
Status Quo in the Swamp
“Senate Intelligence Committee Chairman Richard Burr, Republican of North Carolina, sold as much as $1.7 million in stocks just before the market dropped in February amid fears about the coronavirus outbreak, Senate records show,” read the CBS News headline on a March 20 story that sparked nationwide anger. Sen. Kelly Loeffler (R-GA) was implicated in the burgeoning scandal, too. Rich Republican greed-mongers are up to their old tricks, crusty establishment media types were all set to write. Dems were poised to pounce. Ah, but scroll down to the 27th paragraph (!) of the article. “In addition to Burr and Loeffler, California Democratic Senator Dianne Feinstein sold $1.5 million to $6 million worth of shares in late and mid-February, Senate records show.”
And, just like that, what had appeared to be a major political scandal quickly receded in the minds of big-box media outlets and Dem elected officials. Feinstein is Democrat Swamp Royalty, who enjoys an astonishing amount of protection from the establishment media and her “colleagues” on Capitol Hill despite the fact that she employed a Chinese spy on her personal staff for 20 years. This shocking revelation has never been seriously investigated since the news first broke in the summer of 2018. Feinstein and her husband have made millions investing in China over the years.
Feinstein’s career as a major Democrat power player dates back to her time as San Francisco mayor in the 1970s. She has been entrenched in the U.S. Senate since 1992. As such, she shares the same extended Swamp resume as the man Democratic voters currently rally around as their presumptive presidential nominee. Joe Biden’s days in Washington began in 1973. He is, in every way, a vested executive of the Old Guard brand of Uniparty politics embodied by Feinstein. This is why he will never seriously challenge her highly questionable stock dealings. She has played the game as long as he has, and they both know where all the bodies are buried. Thus, on an issue that stirs the ire of regular Americans of all political stripes facing dire financial distress due to the Coronavirus pandemic, Biden will remain mostly silent. He may spout generic platitudes, but he will not have anything truly meaningful to say.
Liabilities That Won’t Go Away
This is what Dem voters signed up for when they were prodded by party leaders to go with the “safe” pick who offered the “best” opportunity to defeat a hated outsider-turned-incumbent Republican president. Trump was propelled into the White House by voters seething with anger over politics as usual that they believed did not serve them. Now Democrats must hope that none of the standard operating Swamp corruption that may pop up from now through November, such as underhanded senatorial stock dumps in the midst of a national crisis, will throw negative shade on their bona fide establishment candidate.
At a time when the Coronavirus threat has offered Democrats an opportunity, despicable but not unexpected in hardline politics, to dent President Trump’s popularity over his handling of the crisis, Biden has been hamstrung by his party’s Swamp insiders yet again. A bloated, pork-laced emergency relief spending bill proposed by Old Guard icon House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) is the height of political ineptitude if Dems are truly attuned to the needs of the presidential race. But Pelosi’s main focus, of course, is on greasing the wheels of the Swamp, and she knows she will not get blowback from Biden, a man who has spent his entire political life adhering to the same priorities.
So, lost is another chance to appeal to the American people as opposed to the machinery of establishment politics. It is a theme that may be repeated again and again, right up to Election Day. In an era when voters clamor for meaningful change, Biden is fundamentally incapable of confronting the insider politics of Washington. Saddling themselves with such a candidate seems a peculiar way for Dems to pursue the one goal they cherish most: the electoral defeat of Donald Trump.
Read more from Joe Schaeffer.
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