As recently as February, it seemed impossible that Joe Biden could claim the Democratic presidential nomination in a post-2016 America. It appeared evident that voters left, right and center have had their fill of aged establishment politicians who’ll say whatever it takes to get elected. Those same voters might have expected that Democrats, who have become more stridently progressive at the grassroots in recent years, would demand a 2020 nominee who articulated an authentic belief in something.
Biden’s stunningly rapid victory in his party’s primary process in March seemed a stark refutation of this assumption. The Swamp was still able to pull strings behind the scenes to an astonishing degree. But now things appear in a far different light. Joe Biden, catapulted onto one of the two largest platforms in this nation at the moment, is proving to be a stumbling, bumbling billboard to the abject emptiness of the antiquated Uniparty way of practicing politics.
The Biden campaign is doing all it can to hide the soon-to-turn 78-year-old former vice president and 47-year Swamp veteran from the American people. For almost the entire summer, the candidate faced mockery for only communicating with the outside world from his basement. In response to this criticism, he began September by flying to Pittsburgh to speak to an empty room. In response to the accusation that he has been ducking the media, the former V.P. held a peculiar Q&A session that featured obliging reporters from fawning big-box media outlets such as the Trump-hating Atlantic and CNN. During the event, these reporters lobbed softball queries at the noticeably fatigued candidate.
The campaign further moved to stifle grumblings about this heavily protected packaging by dispatching Biden to a town hall at Kenosha, Wisconsin, where Jacob Blake was shot by police while resisting arrest. The attempt to showcase Biden interacting with real people was torpedoed, however, when one of those pesky regular folks vocally refused to ask a scripted question.
This is the Establishment’s dilemma. It loves orchestrating and manipulating elections as if they were theater pieces. That is how it has kept its iron grip on Washington, D.C., for decades. But the control apparatus must be concealed. The audience cannot see the puppet strings.
Yet this is precisely what is happening now with Joe Biden, and it feeds into every populist, anti-establishment argument ever made against political careerists. Biden is proving to be so fragile that the layers of pre-fab presentation are being blatantly and unavoidably exposed. Powerful and instrumental dominant media entities that may have long been seen as biased yet were still considered independent in many Americans’ eyes are now coming off as actual working partners of the ruling Establishment. Reporters ask questions tailor-made for Biden while social media giants openly censor opposition to him.
Voters are witnessing political machinery in action, and they see it operate in an incredibly clumsy way. The metaphor is nothing short of devastating for the ruling hands behind the curtain. No bold ideas are being put forth, no new ways forward for the nation. Specific individuals are trying to dust off an old relic of electoral days gone by to keep themselves in power. They are doing so by pushing a doddering, gaffe-prone aspirant whose presence conjures antiquated themes such as busing, Cold War politics, Anita Hill, and other assorted tchotchkes of the past.
Boomeranging on the Bosses
Americans are rightly asking: What does this man have to offer to deal with today’s problems? In making Biden their champion, the Swamp potentates who seek to install him in the White House will face the same question.
Suppose Biden continues visibly to decline on the campaign trail – and he puts up a horrific showing in debates with President Trump, and goes down to disastrous defeat on Nov. 3. Democrats will be asking this question about their party chieftains. We have seen it before with Republicans, and the fallout was dramatic.
A shortsighted Republican establishment in 2014 shamelessly deployed the cognitively impaired, aged incumbent Sen. Thad Cochran (R-MS) to beat off a grassroots rebellion and maintain control of a U.S. Senate seat. It worked for the moment. In the long run, populist fires were further fueled within GOP ranks, leading to Donald Trump capturing the GOP nomination and then the White House in 2016.
Establishment Democrats are following the same myopic gameplan on the highest political stage this nation has to offer. In doing so, they are setting themselves up for a party reckoning of even greater magnitude than the Trump Tsunami that swept over the red ranks four years ago.
A tired Old Guard of corrupt politicians ran roughshod over this nation from 1988 to 2016. For the tens of millions of Americans who want to see that conclave destroyed, Biden as Democratic Party nominee may turn out to be much more of a wrecking ball than if he had quietly faded away during his party’s long primary process.
Read more from Joe Schaeffer.