Joe Biden and the Oligarchy

Dear Friends,

This will probably be the last time I say this, and some of you wish I wouldn’t, but it needs to be said: If Joe Biden is the Democratic nominee, Donald Trump will win in November.

(That said, if Biden is the nominee I will support him because we have to do everything we can to stop Donald Trump’s assault on the planet and our democracy.)

Joe Biden

It’s not that hard to understand why Biden will lose. In 21st century presidential elections, perceived outsider beats perceived insider. Every. Single. Time.

The principle’s results are consistent. Al Gore. John Kerry. John McCain. Mitt Romney. Hillary Clinton. Perceived (or actual) insider has lost every presidential election since 2000.

Yet, too many voters still believe the Democratic Establishment (or more accurately, the Democratic Oligarchy) actually gives a damn about you. They don’t. Ok, maybe some of them do, a little. But first and foremost, they embrace the status quo that brings them power, prestige, and money.

With status-quo-friendly candidates Pete Buttigieg, Amy Klobuchar, and Mike Bloomberg out of the race, the Democratic Oligarchy has rallied around Joe Biden — a politician so entrenched he makes Hillary Clinton look edgy.

Some in the Oligarchy know Biden will lose. They don’t care. They would rather have four more years of Donald Trump than see their fame and fortune whither under the revolutionary changes Bernie Sanders would usher in.

So, who is the Democratic Oligarchy?

— Wealthy donors and corporate interests who fund the Democratic Party.

— Many current and former Democratic elected officials, who’ve grown cozy with money and power and are terrified of the prospect of a life without privilege.

— Super delegates, lobbyists, and consultants.

— The Mainstream Media.

As a percentage of the population, it’s a small oligarchy. But through money and power, they’re able to maintain control with lies, half-truths, and fear mongering.

Which brings us to Super Tuesday. The votes are still being counted, but this is now a two-way race: Sanders vs. Biden. A week ago, conventional wisdom saw Sanders winning most of the Super Tuesday states and developing perhaps unstoppable momentum. The Oligarchy panicked, dug deep, and pulled out all the stops to attack Sanders from every possible angle.

It worked. Sanders lost states he should have won. He may still have a shot at the nomination, but that prospect just took a big hit.

If you’re not outraged, you should be. Nominations are becoming coronations, with the Oligarchy picking the nominees and buying elections.

(Not wanting to take any chances, the Oligarchy tanked progressives Tulsi Gabbard and Marianne Williamson early on, and I’m certain they would have come after Tom Steyer and Elizabeth Warren — also threats to the status quo — had those campaigns gained traction.)

We saw it happen in Iowa in 2018, when the Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee (DSCC) bankrolled Patty Judge against Rob Hogg, Tom Fiegen, and Bob Krause. Judge won — and then had her clock cleaned by Chuck Grassley.

We see it happening again this year with the DSCC financing Theresa Greenfield’s campaign against candidates challenging the status quo — Eddie Mauro, Cal Woods, and Kimberly Graham. (Full disclosure: I’m friends with all three and am supporting Mauro.)

It’s gotta end. The only force more powerful than the Democratic Oligarchy is you, the voters. We have to stop believing the lie that the status quo is worth defending — and that status quo candidates can win. Incrementalism will not save our democracy or prevail against the climate crisis. We need big change. We need it now.

Bernie Sanders is the lone progressive left standing who can both win in November and deliver the policy changes America desperately needs.

Ed Fallon

4 Replies to “Joe Biden and the Oligarchy”

  1. Sally Peck

    I have to agree. That’s the state of affairs we are in and someone needed to say it. I am tired of the anointment of candidates by the party, with a mild pretense at open elections.

    I hate it when an officeholder decides to retire and then tells who s/he will support as his/her successor, often blocking someone else who could win.

  2. Maggie Henry

    Exactly! Thank you for writing this, it needs said in the worst way! The goal of most of the people voting for him is to get rid of Trump can’t see the forest for the trees!

  3. Thomas C. Gibbons

    I do not agree with this article. For several reasons

    1. Two of your five examples (Kerry, Romney) were running against sitting presidents. There is no way a sitting president is the outsider or perceived outsider. The insider won both of those. Furthermore McCain as an outsider is a real stretch. He always considered himself and was widely perceived as a maverick who would shake up the system.

    2. If Biden is doomed to lose, we are sunk because Sanders could not possibly win. He if very vulnerable to a determined ad campaign about taxes and socialism since his program would require at least a doubling of taxes. It is established that, even though polls sometimes seem to support his positions, the support collapses when someone brings up taxes. Sanders has made himself vulnerable to being tagged a socialist, a word that upsets older voters, the ones who actually vote.

    3. The vote against Sanders on Super Tuesday may have been partly influenced by oligarchs, but it was mostly people who were reasoning as in point 2 above. I am one of them. You may be thinking I must be an oligarch, but I am a retired teacher on IPERS who likes Bernie Sanders and who mostly likes the kind of programs he wants. I wish I could support him, but Trump is the most threatening to democracy of any president I can remember and is doing terrible damage. Believe it or not, we have built some things such as the EPA that are worthwhile, and they are being dismantled. We need to vote him out more than anything, and Sanders can’t do it. As the guy in S Carolina said, “My heart is with Bernie, but my head is with Biden, and I listened to my head.”

    4. When you are reduced to attributing pretty much any opposition and all setbacks to a plot by a mysterious, evil power, stop it. It just isn’t healthy.

    1. Thomas C. Gibbons

      One correction: I meant to say in point 1, Furthermore McCain as an insider
      is a real stretch.