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.)
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.