The Neoliberal Paradox: Understanding Our Political Climate and History In The Age Of Trump Part 1


Note: This is the first post of an in-depth 5-part series. If you’re new to the series, start with the intro postVisit the series home page for the full table of contents..


Let’s agree: Trump is a nightmare and represents all the worst aspects of American society, culture and politics. He’s a racist. He’s a misogynist. He lacks empathy. He’s arrogant. He’s a fascist. He’s trying to start new wars for profit. He blatantly and shamelessly lies. He destroys human lives. He’s beholden to the billionaire class. He supports and promotes racist ideologies, groups and organizations.

But how serious are people REALLY about not just getting rid of Trump himself, but in getting all that he stands for, all that he helps normalize – corruption, racism, mass-inequality, greed – out of politics? To ensure that we never get any more Trumps (or worse) in positions of power in the future? Leading Democrats have no problem telling people that removing Trump is the #1 mission of the next election. And I certainly don’t know anyone on the Left who doesn’t want Trump outta there. Yesterday.

And yet…

Leading Establishment Democrats and “liberal media” (MSNBC, CNN, The Washington Post, The New York Times, etc.) and the corporate, economic interests they represent have used their platforms to actively undermine any candidate, individual or group who openly espouses – in both words and action – the very ideologies that once defined the Democratic Party itself. The dramatic shift to the Right that began in the 1970’s and came to fruition in the 1980’s and 90’s with the introduction of Neoliberalism, propelled the Democratic Party to not only completely abandon its base, but to openly reach out to conservative voters over liberal voters.

As author, D.C. bureau chief and political journalist Ryan Grim explains, “The Democratic Party underwent an ideological transformation in the 1980’s. Battered by the Reagan revolution, a new cadre of operatives rose calling themselves “New Democrats,” arguing that the party needed to distance itself from what they called “special interest groups.” And by “special interest groups” they meant Civil Rights activists, environmentalists, feminists, gay-rights activists, labor unions. What they needed instead was to move to the center and match Republicans dollar for dollar in corporate PAC fundraising and big money.”

That ideological transformation found its way into the White House with the election of Bill Clinton in 1992 and the Democratic Party has been moving increasingly to the Right ever since. Today, the political and social beliefs and actions historically espoused and practiced by not only the Democratic Party of old, but revered political and social activists like Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. are now relegated to being publicly framed as “purists,” “fringe,” “unrealistic,” “extreme,” potential “Russian assets” or, at best, “unelectable.”

The fear, shock and confusion that has come in the wake of a Trump election – instead of forcing us to question our history, our selves, our country, our elected officials, our position and influence in the world, our choices – has instead become the catalyst for exactly the opposite. In lieu of being our nation’s most deafening and urgent wake-up call and setting in motion a national reckoning and re-examination of a massively corrupt and failed political system, we have instead permitted this defining moment to be expropriated into another political opportunity for our most conservative Democratic leaders. They have calculatingly positioned themselves as the alternative, the solution, our allies in this fight against the horrors of Trump and those like him.

Instead of asking ourselves the painful questions we have been avoiding for generations, we have once again allowed our national fears and anxieties to be channeled into the deadly tidal wave of an evil common enemy that is anyone but us. We need to come to terms with the reality that our country – meaning both of our political parties – has become the purveyor of far right-wing ideologies and policies that now define us both domestically and globally.

As obscured by rhetoric and anti-Trump theatrics as it may be, today’s Leading Democrats have far more in common – in policy-making, ideology, and in serving donor needs – with Trump and Republicans than it does with the Left wing of its own party. In fact, the rhetoric and direct actions from the most-beloved Democratic leaders is openly and aggressively anti-Left. Any form of change is dependent on understanding exactly what the leaders of the Democratic Party are for – what they openly support – and what they are against – that which they fight to undermine, silence, impede and caution against. A good place to start in any attempt to decipher this would be with their own words and actions – the very narratives put out there by the party leaders themselves:

Barack Obama warns Democrats not to be ‘deluded’ into accepting radical plans by Elizabeth Warren and Bernie Sanders for healthcare and immigration because ‘average Americans’ won’t vote for them – Daily Mail

Obama says that Americans are seeking “improvement” not “revolutionary” change – VOX

Obama warns Democrats against going too far left: ‘We have to be rooted in reality’ – CNBC

To place this in perspective, it needs to be noted that all of Obama’s comments above are from a speech he gave to the billionaires and millionaires-run Democracy Alliance where tickets cost between $10,000 – $355,000 and a photo with Obama costs $35,000. It is not too much to ask if the reality those folks are rooted in bears any resemblance to the realty most Americans are rooted in.

Nancy Pelosi Warns 2020 Democrats Not To Drift Too Far Left – The Federalist

What Are Chuck Schumer and the Tea Cup Democrats Afraid Of?: Instead of championing issues that voters care about, Democratic leaders are running away, focusing on the enforcement of dated norms – GQ

Democratic campaign arm accused of trying to hinder progressive candidates in key Senate primaries – Los Angeles Times


“HOUSE SPEAKER Nancy Pelosi and Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee Chair Rep. Cheri Bustos, D-Ill., both took aim this week at Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, D-N.Y., an escalation of recent attacks by ensconced elements of the party against newer members of Congress...

“Pelosi mocked the Green New Deal, comprehensive legislation aimed at addressing the threat of climate change, which is Ocasio-Cortez’s signature issue. “It will be one of several or maybe many suggestions that we receive,” Pelosi told Politico. “The green dream, or whatever they call it, nobody knows what it is, but they’re for it, right?”

“Pelosi has clashed with the insurgent faction of the party more than she has with the centrist, business-friendly wing that led an insurrection against her bid for House speaker. The House Problem Solvers Caucus and Blue Dog Democrats worked to try to upend her speakership bid, yet the comment is just her latest dig at Ocasio-Cortez, who officially endorsed her speakership.”


“BEFORE THE Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee endorsed former Colorado Gov. John Hickenlooper in a 2020 Senate race, it pressured consultants from at least five firms not to work with a leading progressive in the race, the candidate told The Intercept.

“Andrew Romanoff, who is one of more than a dozen candidates vying for Republican Sen. Cory Gardner’s seat, told The Intercept that multiple consultants turned down jobs with his campaign citing pressure from the DSCC.

“They’ve made it clear to a number of the firms and individuals we tried to hire that they wouldn’t get any business in Washington or with the DSCC if they worked with me,” Romanoff said. “It’s been a well-orchestrated operation to blackball ragtag grassroots teams.”

“At least five firms and 25 prospective staff turned down working with his campaign, said Romanoff, who has raised more than $1 million in individual contributions so far. “I spoke to the firms, my campaign manager spoke to the staff prospects,” he said. “Pretty much everyone who checked in with the DSCC got the same warning: Helping us would cost them.”


Adam Schiff Is No Friend of Progressives: Schiff’s record on foreign policy, civil liberties, human rights and other key issues has often put him more in line with Republicans than with liberal Democrats – Truthdig

‘Stop Sanders’ Democrats Are Agonizing Over His Momentum: Some members of the Democratic establishment, resentful over 2016 and worried about a divided 2020 primary, are beginning to ask how to thwart Senator Bernie Sanders – The New York Times

Centrist Democrats Are Undermining Progressive CandidatesThe Real News Network:

“According to a major new report, the Democratic Party leadership is undermining progressive candidates and backing wealthier, centrist hopefuls that are following a failed strategy.”

DNC members discuss rules change to stop Sanders at conventionPolitico:

“DES MOINES, Iowa — A small group of Democratic National Committee members has privately begun gauging support for a plan to potentially weaken Bernie Sanders’ presidential campaign and head off a brokered convention.

“In conversations on the sidelines of a DNC executive committee meeting and in telephone calls and texts in recent days, about a half-dozen members have discussed the possibility of a policy reversal to ensure that so-called superdelegates can vote on the first ballot at the party’s national convention. Such a move would increase the influence of DNC members, members of Congress and other top party officials, who now must wait until the second ballot to have their say if the convention is contested.

“A Who’s-Who” of People Against Progressive Agenda: DNC’s Perez Under Fire for Convention Committee PicksCommon Dreams:

“Progressives raised alarm this weekend after Democratic National Committee chair Tom Perez released his picks for the 2020 Democratic National Convention committees. The list of nominees, Sunrise Movement political director Evan Weber said Sunday, looks like “a who’s-who of people explicitly opposed to the progressive agenda.”

Tom Perez Stacks the DNC Deck Against Progressives: A rogues’ gallery of influence-peddlers and insider power brokers will run the party’s powerful convention committees. – The New Republic:

“These nominees, confirmed by the DNC’s executive committee, will serve as the overseers for July’s convention in Milwaukee. Their mandate will include managing the convention’s rulemaking procedures, resolving disputes over delegate credentialing, and codifying the Democratic Party platform. Taken as a whole, these handlers wield tremendous power in shaping both the official party line and the logistics of selecting the Democratic presidential nominee, to say nothing of the way they will influence the course charted by a potential Democratic president.”

‘Accelerate the Endgame’: Obama’s Role in Wrapping Up the Primary – The New York Times:

“With calibrated stealth, Mr. Obama has been considerably more engaged in the campaign’s denouement than has been previously revealed, even before he endorsed Mr. Biden on Tuesday.”

Imagine if Democratic leaders devoted as much time and energy to defeating Trump as they do to undermining the left wing of their own party. It’s a hard pill to swallow, but the Democratic Establishment seems as if they would rather risk a Trump re-election than allow someone like Bernie Sanders to get into the White House. Or for Progressives to get a foot in the door. They certainly seem far more concerned with tipping the scales in favor of their own personal agendas and orchestrating the outcome of the Primary Election than with allowing American voters to choose the candidate and policies they most want. It has become increasingly more clear that it is no longer the Democratic Party’s mission to serve the majority of people before all else. It is no longer their mission to fight against systemic racism, to fight against wars-for-profit, to end mass killing or to fight for economic and social equality. Shockingly, it seems to be the people and organizations today on the Left fighting most fervently and candidly to bring about actual democracy (something America has yet to attain in its short history), who are the very people Leading Democrats and mainstream media are, at worst, demonizing, at best, undermining. This distressing reality is one we cannot afford to ignore or forget. History – as it will do – is repeating itself. To fully understand what is happening today, we must understand yesterday.

As this disturbing political climate unfolds, I find myself coming back again to Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.’s warning and frighteningly precise observation in his Letter from A Birmingham Jail:

“First, I must confess that over the last few years I have been gravely disappointed with the white moderate. I have almost reached the regrettable conclusion that the Negro’s great stumbling block in the stride toward freedom is not the White Citizens Councillor or the Ku Klux Klanner but the white moderate who is more devoted to order than to justice; who prefers a negative peace which is the absence of tension to a positive peace which is the presence of justice; who constantly says, “I agree with you in the goal you seek, but I can’t agree with your methods of direct action”; who paternalistically feels that he can set the timetable for another man’s freedom; who lives by the myth of time; and who constantly advises the Negro to wait until a “more convenient season.” Shallow understanding from people of good will is more frustrating than absolute misunderstanding from people of ill will. Lukewarm acceptance is much more bewildering than outright rejection.”


In 1966, 63 percent of Americans held a negative view of the civil rights leader. King’s slide in popularity coincided with his activism taking a turn from what Americans largely know him for — his campaign for civil rights in the American South — to a much more radical one aimed at the war in Vietnam and poverty…. The New York Times editorial board lambasted King for linking the war in Vietnam to the struggles of civil rights and poverty alleviation in the United States, saying it was “too facile a connection” and that he was doing a “disservice” to both causes. It concluded that there “are no simple answers to the war in Vietnam or to racial injustice in this country.” The Washington Post editorial board said King had “diminished his usefulness to his cause, his country and his people.” A political cartoon in the Kansas City Star depicted the civil rights movement as a young black girl crying and begging for her drunk father King, who is consuming the contents of a bottle labeled “Anti-Vietnam….”

This public rejection and demonization of Martin Luther King, Jr. was directly connected to the vast propaganda campaign being pushed by both the FBI and the Leading Democratic Establishment of the time. Today, of course, history sees that picture much more clearly than it did then, which is why it is vitally important to recognize that the Democratic Party has moved – not to the Left – but dramatically to the Right since the days of Dr. King.

Martin Luther King was criticized for inciting “hatred and violence” Vox:

“Back in the 1950s and 1960s, King was repeatedly derided by his opponents for inciting violence. The FBI even investigated him, fearing his potential impact on US society. The White House, meanwhile, seriously feared that the March on Washington would lead to riots and violence — something that seems completely absurd today.”

The U.S. Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) began monitoring Martin Luther King, Jr., in December 1955, during his involvement with the Montgomery bus boycott, and engaged in covert operations against him throughout the 1960s. – Stanford University

The Forgotten Socialist History of Martin Luther King Jr.: King believed that a multiracial working-class movement was required to overcome the failings of capitalism.In These Times

Martin Luther King Was A Democratic SocialistHuffPost:

“In 1964, accepting the Nobel Peace Prize in Oslo, he observed that the United States could learn much from Scandinavian “democratic socialism.” He often talked about the need to confront “class issues,” which he described as “the gulf between the haves and the have-nots.”

Unfortunately, today’s Democratic Establishment – along with the GOP – is re-enacting, almost to the letter, an identical approach to those continuing the same fight and taking the same political and social stance as Dr. King. Today, however, those dissidents are not known as Civil Rights Activists or Anti-War Protestors, but as Progressives, Democratic Socialists, Anti-Imperialists or even “The Activist Wing of the Democratic Party.”

It is only in a political and media landscape that has moved so dramatically and devastatingly to the Right, that these basic tenets of democracy, equality and humanitarianism can be framed as “extremist” or “pie-in-the-sky.”

Barack Obama

“Voters, including Democrats, are not driven by the same views that are reflected on certain left-leaning Twitter feeds, or the activist wing of our party.” Barack Obama to the Democracy Alliance.

Centrist Pundits Assume Voters Agree with Them. Polling Tells a Different Story. – In These Times:

“According to pundit Jonathan Chait, leading Democratic candidates are living in a “fantasy world” about how progressive the electorate is, setting themselves up for defeat. Former Chicago mayor Rahm Emanuel, launching a new career as a left-bashing commentator, thinks Democrats will alienate the suburbs if they push “pie-in-the-sky policy ideas” or a “smorgasbord of new entitlements.” Even House Speaker Nancy Pelosi has joined in on trying to temper the ambition of the presidential field, arguing, “What works in San Francisco does not necessarily work in Michigan.”

“All three—along with countless other politicians and political observers—have been beating the drum that a progressive policy agenda is wildly out of step with the public...

“Given how broadly popular such progressive ideas are, one would think that they would be a part of any concept of a political “center.” But they’re not.

“That’s because the “center” pundits talk about isn’t actually the center of the electorate. It more often refers to the center of the elite class of major donors—upholding a corporate-friendly status quo.”

Terrified by Progressive Enthusiasm Sweeping the Nation, Corporate Democrats Have Begun Planning a ‘Counterrevolution’:  – Common Dreams:

“Ignoring survey after survey showing that progressive priorities like Medicare for All, a living wage, and tuition-free public college are overwhelmingly popular among the American public, Democratic politicians and operatives with the notorious think-tank Third Way used an invite-only event in Columbus, Ohio on Friday to tout an alternative agenda that centers on “opportunity” and access rather than equality—a platform that explicitly avoids alienating the ultra-wealthy.

Democrats Increasingly Vocal in Calling ‘Medicare for All’ a Political Liability – The New York Times:

“Prominent Democratic leaders are sounding increasingly vocal alarms to try to halt political momentum for “Medicare for all,” opting to risk alienating liberals and deepening the divide in the party rather than enter an election year with a sweeping health care proposal…”

In short, the political establishment of both parties – along with mainstream media – appear to be systematically demonizing the very people who actually represent the majority of the country’s wants and needs. This is a serious problem with dire consequences. They continue to paint these people as “selfish and unrealistic purists,” even “dangerous to the election process.”

Malcolm X

“The media is the most powerful entity on earth. Because they control the minds of the masses, they have the power to make the innocent guilty and to make the guilty innocent, and that’s power…If you’re not careful, the newspapers will have you hating the people who are being oppressed, and loving the people who are doing the oppressing.” – Malcolm X

In 1967, the editorial board of the New York Times called Martin Luther King, Jr.’s ideas a “formula for discord.” In 1966, a Harris Poll revealed 54 percent of whites said that they would not march or protest if they “were in the same position as Negroes,” and two months later, in October 1966, that 85 percent of whites insisted that civil rights demonstrations hurt Negroes more than they helped. You will find frighteningly similar rhetoric from today’s Democratic Establishment toward Progressives, Democratic Socialists as well as toward Bernie Sanders and his supporters, those Obama disdainfully calls “the activist wing of our party..”

From today’s McCarthyism 2.0 Red-Scare of Russiagate being vigorously propagated by Democratic leaders and mainstream media, to the bashing of Progressivism and anti-Imperialist sentiment, we are reliving some of the darkest moments in American history. However, today, we have far more resources to both educate and inform ourselves, but this will ONLY happen IF we are brave enough and self-critical enough to see the results of our actions today, instead of decades from now.

It also requires that we take a look at many of the people we have been propping up as the solution and recognizing that they are part of the problem itself.

And perhaps most challenging of all, it means being willing and able to take an honest look at how growing up in the United States – as in any country – has sculpted our beliefs, our self-image, our very notion of who and what we are and the role we play in the world. It is the landscape and narrative we were born into; it has been our self-definition, our self-esteem, our view of the world since our first spark of consciousness. So what does it take to be able to put aside cherished beliefs and life-long narratives to try and see if, perhaps, there is something else there that we actively do not want to see because then we must understand the role we, ourselves, have unwittingly played in the creation and perpetuation of all of this. In mass-suffering, mass-murder, mass-inequality, in Donald Trump himself. Nothing changes or evolves without deep self-reflection and self-criticism. It is the first step. And it’s the absolute hardest step because it can leave us feeling like we’re in total free-fall.

For most of my life, I have vigorously identified as a Democrat. Raised in a Democratic family and vehemently anti-right-wing, anti-conservative, I proudly voted for Bill Clinton twice and even more proudly voted for Barack Obama twice. I believed in Obama’s progressive campaign for change. It felt like something I had been waiting for all my life. I, like many, literally cried with relief when he was inaugurated.

But as the years passed, I found myself struggling with many of the Obama Administration’s actions and policies, oftentimes making excuses to myself and others to justify those choices as righteous or benevolent or difficult but with the best of intentions. Again and again Left-Wing promises morphed directly into an adoption of historically Right-Wing policies and ideologies until they became a virtual, undeniable tidal wave:

The list goes on and on. Millions died. More suffered. There came a point for me personally where I realized I would never be able to square that circle; I could no longer comfort myself into believing these were for the greater good. I now had a deep desire to understand why this was, how it happened, and what it meant moving forward.

It was then I made the choice to more deeply educate myself about our political landscape, its repercussions and the larger world we inhabit. I had always been an avid consumer of news, proud of my consistency and desire to “keep up” with current politics, but now I began to seek out highly-respected and alternative news sources that were not beholden to corporations or moneyed interests. I started to educate myself on political history, both domestic and international. I was no longer looking for just the information that justified my preferred narrative, my personal stance or beliefs, but for something that resembled a greater truth, no matter how bitter the taste.

When the 2016 election hit, whatever remnants I might have held onto of the Democratic Party possibly being a force for change in this country evaporated as I watched elected officials and Democratic leaders directly undermine everything I believed in. It became all too clear that our two-party system was no longer set up to offer alternatives and opposition but, instead, had become a one-party system with two Right-Wing factions: Conservative and ultra-Conservative, both married to a similar ideology and serving the same donors, despite occasionally offering opposing rhetoric. But rhetoric is just that. It has no meaning beyond the actions it instigates. Since the introduction of Neoliberalism to the Democratic Party, we lost any alternative, any opposition to Conservative Ideology the Democratic Party once – in the years between World War II and Bill Clinton’s presidency – had stood for and worked diligently toward. We abandoned the unions, workers, embraced de-regulation and mass-privatization. We became pro-corporate, the literal antithesis of the Democratic Party mission before this. We spiraled backwards, fueled by greed and opportunism, into the kind of political and social climate that would not only allow, but make inevitable an authoritarian like Donald Trump as president.

My ask is that you spend a moment to consider the source of current social and political rhetoric. To question it. No matter where it comes from. We are a country deeply steeped in propaganda, as are most nations. We just have the money and resources to reach far and wide, being the richest and most powerful nation in the history of the world.

As Americans, we look with disdain and disbelief at other nations whose populations seem to fall for what we deem “obvious and outrageous propaganda” – from Russia to North Korea to China – yet we do not seem to be able to view ourselves under that same microscope or hold ourselves up to that same scrutiny.

CHAPTER 2: Corporate-owned Media

To begin to unpack our political and cultural narratives, we must first understand the various ways in which those narratives are communicated.

Ben Bagdikian

“With the country’s widest disseminators of news, commentary and ideas firmly entrenched among a small number of the world’s wealthiest corporations, it may not be surprising that their news and commentary is limited to an unrepresentative narrow spectrum of politics.” Ben Bagdikian, former dean of the Graduate School of Journalism, UC Berkeley

The trend of media conglomeration has been steady. In 1983, 50 corporations controlled most of the American media, including magazines, books, music, news feeds, newspapers, movies, radio and television. By 1992 that number had dropped by half. By 2000, six corporations had ownership of most media and today dominate the industry: Time Warner, Disney, Murdoch’s News Corporation, Bertelsmann of Germany, Comcast and Viacom. With markets branching rapidly into international territories, these few companies are increasingly responsible for deciding what information is shared around the


These 15 Billionaires Own America’s News Media CompaniesForbes

These 6 Corporations Control 90% Of The Media In AmericaBusiness Insider

Chart: These 6 Companies Control Much of U.S. Media Fortune

As Noam Chomsky and Edward S. Herman point out in their book, MANUFACTURING CONSENT: “The mass media serve as a system for communicating messages and symbols to the general populace. It is their function to amuse, entertain, and inform, and to inculcate individuals with the values, beliefs, and codes of behavior that will integrate them into the institutional structures of the larger society. In a world of concentrated wealth and major conflicts of class interest, to fulfill this role requires systematic propaganda.

“In countries where the levers of power are in the hands of a state bureaucracy, the monopolistic control over the media, often supplemented by official censorship, makes it clear that the media serve the ends of a dominant elite. It is much more difficult to see a propaganda system at work where the media are private and formal censorship is absent. This is especially true where the media actively compete, periodically attack and expose corporate and governmental malfeasance, and aggressively portray themselves as spokesmen for free speech and the general community interest. What is not evident (and remains undiscussed in the media) is the limited nature of such critiques, as well as the huge inequality in command of resources, and its effect both on access to a private media system and on its behavior and performance.”

Noam Chomsky

“Any dictator would admire the uniformity and obedience of the US media”Noam Chomsky

This is the framework of politics, political leaders and the media that assures their messaging reaches millions. It is a subversive business. They turn people of color against people of color. They turn the poor against the poor. They turn the Left against the Left. This is a strategy. One that works. And the results are always horrific, dehumanizing, deadly.

Gore Vidal

“The corporate grip on opinion in the United States is one of the wonders of the Western world. No First World country has ever managed to eliminate so entirely from its media all objectivity – much less dissent.” Gore Vidal

CHAPTER 3: “Liberal” Media Moves Right, Silences Progressive Voices

David Frum, Joe Scarborough, Bill Kristol (Getty/Brendan Smialowski/Frederick M. Brown/AP/Janet Van Ham)

“Liberal” news media like MSNBC and CNN have not only moved dramatically to the Right, they have gone so far as to insure that Progressive commentators [were] forced out as MSNBC moved to include more conservative voices.

Loading up on semi-repentant conservatives and ignoring the activist left, MSNBC is doing the nation a disservice – Salon

MSNBC never wanted Ed Schultz’s working class audience The Hill

MSNBC and the ‘Move Away From Left-Wing TV’The Atlantic

Is MSNBC going conservative? Supposedly liberal news network loves #NeverTrumpers more than leftists – Salon

As Democratic Voters Shift Left, ‘Liberal Media’ Keep Shifting Right –

The reason for this isn’t that conservative, right-wing ideology is more popular with the majority of American people, it’s more popular with the majority of Americans who own the most wealth. And they own the media.

Comcast, for example, owns MSNBC. MSNBC has backed every war, every military action, and actively keeps dissenting voices off the air. Comcast has lobbied vigorously for the TPP. They even went so far as to fire host Ed Schultz, an outspoken opponent of the agreement.

The War on Terror’s Parade of Hawks Continues as Anti-Trump ‘Resistance’ – “When the “War on Terror” was launched in 2001, corporate media—especially cable TV news—started a narrow parade of hawkish retired military and intelligence brass.” –

A Steady Diet of War Hawks, Spies and LiarsTruthdig:

“Just as they did in the lead-up to the Iraq invasion, MSNBC and CNN now serve up a steady parade of war-hawks, spies and liars, presenting them as credible and almost heroic as long as they criticize the despicable man in the White House… DEMOCRATS OFTEN JUSTIFY this union as a mere marriage of convenience: a pragmatic, temporary alliance necessitated by the narrow goal of stopping Trump. But for many reasons, that is an obvious pretext, unpersuasive in the extreme. This Democrat/neocon reunion had been developing long before anyone believed Donald Trump could ascend to power, and this alliance extends to common perspectives, goals, and policies that have little to do with the current president.”

MSNBC‘s Chris Hayes (3/21/18) with Military Commander Barry McCaffrey 15 years after the Iraq invasion–without bringing up the Iraq invasion.

Episode 34: What the Hell is Wrong with MSNBC?Citations Needed podcast:

“MSNBC is by far the most influential mainstream media outlet on the American Left. It sets the tone and defines the boundary for what is acceptable discourse among American liberals. But major issues the Left is generally thought to care about – imperial war, worker strikes, Palestine, climate change – are almost entirely absent from coverage, as the network increasingly looks like a 24-hour Trump-Russia infomercial.”

MSNBC has gone so far as to get rid of any Progressive voices, be they hosts or guests.

Liberal Mainstream Media Continues Blacking Out Progressives, Hires Conservatives Observer

Cenk Uygur

Rejecting Lucrative Offer, Cenk Uygur Leaves MSNBC After Being Told to “Act Like an Insider” – Democracy Now!:

“MSNBC President Phil Griffin offered Uygur a well-paid but lower-profile on-air slot, but Uygur rejected the offer, saying the decision to demote him was politically motivated. Uygur is known for aggressively interrogating leading Washington figures and challenging the political establishment, which he alleges made some MSNBC executives uneasy. He said Griffin had called him into his office in April and told him he had been talking to people in Washington and that they did not like Uygur’s tone.”

Krystal Ball

MSNBC host Krystal Ball “said that journalists are fallible and can fall into groupthink while catering to the establishment (i.e. mainstream media) to preserve media access to establishment party politicians. Ball cited an example of her time at MSNBC when she criticized then-2016 presidential candidate Hillary Clinton for entering the race. The Clinton campaign complained to MSNBC and every subsequent mention of the Clinton campaign had to be approved by the MSNBC president, Ball said.– Accuracy In Media

Krystal Ball was eventually fired from MSNBC for being critical of Hillary Clinton’s presidential campaign.

Ed Schultz: MSNBC Fired Me for Supporting Bernie Sanders, ‘They Were in the Tank for Hillary Clinton.’The Washington Free Beacon

“I find it really ironic that they took this incredibly pro-working-class voice off the air right before the Trump era when obviously you had a lot of working class voters who didn’t feel like they had a home in the Democratic party any more.” Former MSNBC anchor Krystal Ball.

“I think the Clintons were connected to [NBC News chief] Andy Lack, connected at the hip,” Schultz told Weinstein. “I think that they didn’t want anybody in their prime time or anywhere in their lineup supporting Bernie Sanders. I think that they were in the tank for Hillary Clinton, and I think that it was managed, and 45 days later, I was out at MSNBC.” – Ed Schultz

A Media Matters study found that outside of Schultz’s show, the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) was mentioned only twice on MSNBC during an 18-month period.


“MSNBC cut away from a live Bernie Sanders press conference this afternoon as the Democratic presidential candidate was talking about his opposition to the Trans-Pacific Partnership agreement. Watch the cutaway:

“You’ve been listening to Bernie Sanders, less of a press conference, more of a speech. I want to turn back to the Republican side of things,” said Kate Snow, as she pivoted to news of Ted Cruz firing a press spokesperson.

“MSNBC owner Comcast has lobbied for the TPP. Last year, it fired host Ed Schultz, an outspoken opponent of the agreement.

“Last year, MSNBC host Joe Scarborough admitted to The Intercept that his network was “guilty” of ignoring the TPP.”

Memo to mainstream journalists: Can the phony outrage: Mainstream media is shocked at Sanders’ suggestion that ownership influences coverage. I can tell you it’s true – MSNBC Producer Jeff Cohen for Salon:

Jeff Cohen

“I worked in and around mainstream TV news for years, including at corporate centrist outlets CNN and MSNBC. Unlike at Fox News (where I’d also been a paid contributor), there’s almost never a memo or direct order from top management to cover or not cover certain stories or viewpoints.

“But here’s the sad reality: There doesn’t have to be a memo from the owner to achieve the homogeneity of coverage at “centrist” outlets that media watchdog groups like FAIR (which I founded) have documented in study after study over the decades...

“No memo is needed to achieve the narrowness of perspective — selecting all the usual experts from all the usual think tanks to say all the usual things. Think Tom Friedman. Or Barry McCaffrey. Or Neera Tanden. Or any of the elite club members who’ve been proven to be absurdly wrong time and again about national or global affairs.

“And then ask yourself why someone like Noam Chomsky can be quoted regularly in the biggest mainstream outlets abroad, but almost never in mass media in his own country — even though he mostly analyzes the policies of his own country’s government...

“I said above that there’s “almost never a memo or order from top management” to newsroom journalists. In normal times, the media system works smoothly without top-down directives. But in times of crisis, such as during the run-up to the 2003 invasion of Iraq — when I was a senior producer of MSNBC’s primetime Phil Donahue show — there may well be orders and memos.

“As the invasion neared, top management at MSNBC/NBC News ordered us to bias our panel discussions. If we booked one guest who was antiwar on Iraq, we needed two who were pro-war. If we booked two guests on the left, we needed three on the right. When a producer proposed booking Michael Moore, she was told that three right-wingers would be required for balance. (I thought about proposing Noam Chomsky as a guest, but our stage couldn’t have accommodated the 28 right-wingers we might have needed for balance.)

“When the Donahue show was terminated three weeks before the Iraq invasion, internal memos that had circulated among top NBC News executives actually leaked. (God bless whistleblowers!) One memo said that Phil Donahue represented “a difficult public face for NBC in a time of war. . . . He seems to delight in presenting guests who are antiwar, anti-Bush and skeptical of the administration’s motives.” The memo described a dreaded scenario in which the Donahue show would become “a home for the liberal antiwar agenda at the same time that our competitors are waving the flag at every opportunity.

“NBC’s solution? Pull the plug.

“My point is a simple one: Our corporate-owned media system too often functions as a corporate-friendly propaganda system, and it operates smoothly. It typically operates without orders from the owner or top management, and without firings for blatantly political reasons.

“At MSNBC in those months, we were ordered to bias our content. Memos were written. I don’t know that orders were given in all the other big TV newsrooms. Yet, the content was amazingly homogeneous.

“How else do you explain this finding from FAIR? In the two weeks surrounding Secretary of State Colin Powell’s inaccurate, pro-invasion presentation to the UN in February 2003, there were 393 on-camera sources discussing Iraq on the nightly newscasts of ABC, CBS, NBC and PBS. Only three of them represented the antiwar movement. That’s less than 1 percent of the total.

As mentioned above, media bias and a push toward conservatism – as well as the demonization of progressivism – isn’t just happening at MSNBC, but across most mainstream “Liberal Media” outlets:

“The New York Times recently hired Wall Street Journal columnist Bret Stephens, a move which has sparked criticism due to the fact that in past columns he has claimed that climate change, institutional racism, and campus rape are “imaginary enemies” of liberalism.”

“While The New York Times and MSNBC have shifted toward the center to embrace the demographic of Republicans that voted for Mitt Romney but are anti-Trump, they leave progressives without representation on their platform, despite the overwhelming, nationwide popularity of Sen. Bernie Sanders. The New York Times op-ed section included two staunch defenders of Hillary Clinton during the Democratic primaries, Paul Krugman and Charles Blow, who often defended Clinton by attacking Sanders. MSNBC includes Joy Reid as a host on their network, who elevated critics of Sanders like Al Giordano, a random anti-Sanders Twitter troll. The other leading network hosts, like Rachel Maddow, have propagated disingenuous narratives about Sanders supporters as well. No MSNBC host represents any semblance of progressive ideas. In fact, when MSNBC provided coverage confirming Sanders supporters’ criticisms of former DNC Chair Debbie Wasserman Schultz during the Democratic primaries, MSNBC President Phil Griffin halted the coverage after receiving an angry phone call from Wasserman Schultz.”Michael Sainato, Observer

The Washington Post has been publicly accused on more than one occasion of being both anti-progressive and anti-Bernie Sanders to a staggering degree. During the 2016 campaign, The Washington Post ran 16 negative stories on Sanders in just 16 hours:

Washington Post Ran 16 Negative Stories on Bernie Sanders in 16

“In what has to be some kind of record, the Washington Post ran 16 negative stories on Bernie Sanders in 16 hours, between roughly 10:20 PM EST Sunday, March 6, to 3:54 PM EST Monday, March 7—a window that includes the crucial Democratic debate in Flint, Michigan and the next morning’s spin:

“All of these posts paint his candidacy in a negative light, mainly by advancing the narrative that he’s a clueless white man incapable of winning over people of color or speaking to women. Even the one article about Sanders beating Trump implies this is somehow a surprise—despite the fact that Sanders consistently out-polls Hillary Clinton against the New York businessman.”

Bernie Sanders himself, during the 2020 campaign, publicly called out the Washington Post on their continued bias:

Why Bernie Sanders Is Absolutely Correct About the Washington Post—and Corporate Media Overall: The fact that cable news pundits, anchors, and reporters rushed to vehemently defend corporate media against Sanders’ comments is illustrative of the dynamic. It makes you wonder where career self-interest ends and sincere delusion begins. – Common Dreams:

“Bernie Sanders set off the latest round of outraged denial from elite media this week when he talked to a crowd in New Hampshire about the tax avoidance of Amazon (which did not pay any federal income tax last year). Sanders went on to say: “I wonder why the Washington Post—which is owned by Jeff Bezos, who owns Amazon—doesn’t write particularly good articles about me. I don’t know why. But I guess maybe there’s a connection.”

Why The Washington Post’s Attack On Bernie Sanders Is Bunk Robert Reich:

“The Washington Post just ran an attack on Bernie Sanders that distorts not only what he’s saying and seeking but also the basic choices that lie before the nation. Sanders, writes the Post’s David Fahrenthold, “is not just a big-spending liberal. And his agenda is not just about money. It’s also about control.”

“Apparently Fahrenthold is unaware that three-quarters of college students today attend public universities financed largely by state governments. And even those who attend elite private universities benefit from federal tax subsidies flowing to wealthy donors….”

“Fahrenthold similarly claims Sanders’s plan for a single-payer system would put healthcare under the “control” of government. 

“But health care is already largely financed through government subsidies – only they’re flowing to private for-profit health insurers that are now busily consolidating into corporate laviathans. Anthem purchase of giant insurer Cigna will make it the largest health insurer in America; Aetna is buying Humana, creating the second-largest, with 33 million members. 

“Why should anyone suppose these for-profit corporate giants will be less “controlling” than government?

“The real choice isn’t between government and the “market.” It’s between a system responsive to the needs of most Americans, or one more responsive to the demands of the super-rich, big business, and Wall Street – whose economic and political power have grown dramatically over the last three decades.

“This is why the logic of Sanders’s ideas depends on the political changes he seeks. Fahrenthold says a President Sanders couldn’t get any of his ideas implemented anyway because Congress would reject them. But if Bernie Sanders is elected president, American politics will have been altered, reducing the moneyed interests’ chokehold over the public agenda. 

Krystal Ball: Washington Post “fact check” proves Bernie right: Krystal Ball provides context on the latest controversy over the Washington Post’s coverage of Senator Bernie Sanders. – The Hill

The Washington Post’s Latest Fact Check of Bernie Sanders Is Really Something: Why did the paper’s fact checker call Bernie Sanders’s accurate claim about medical bankruptcies “mostly false”? – Rolling Stone:

“Medical debt is a major driver of personal bankruptcy. This is a fact that Bernie Sanders highlights on the stump in support of his Medicare for All proposal. Sanders, who is more fond of statistics than stories, drives home the point with a big number. “500,000 people go bankrupt every year because they cannot pay their outrageous medical bills,” he said on TV recently, repeating the same point on Twitter

“The Post piece gives the Sanders “Three Pinocchios” for the claim on medical debt, which is the paper’s shorthand for “mostly false.”

“To have earned Three Pinocchios, we must assume Bernie’s claim is a real doozy, one wooden puppet short of a “whopper” per the Post. So what’s the matter with the statistic? As it turns out: Nothing much at all.

“Sanders’s team told the Post that the Vermont Senator was relying on an estimate published in a medical journal that found that 66.5% of bankruptcy filers cited either medical bills or missed work due to illness as a reason they went broke. The journal itself said this was “equivalent to about 530,000 medical bankruptcies annually.” The checker did an admirable thing and reached out to the author of the study, Dr. David Himmelstein, a professor of public health in the CUNY system and a lecturer at Harvard Medical School. “When we asked Himmelstein whether Sanders was quoting his study accurately,” the fact checker reports, “he said yes.” 

“The author spends the rest of the 1,600 word piece splitting hairs and then tying them into knots.”

Even self-described Left-Wing comedian Bill Maher has joined in the chorus of openly mocking and berating Left-Wing positions in favor of right-wing policies, xenophobia and maintaining the status quo no matter who it hurts.

Bill Maher’s Show Has Gone Completely Off the Rails: On Friday night, the host of HBO’s “Real Time” welcomed an anti-vaxxer and a right-wing propagandist onto his show. At times, he sided with both. – The Daily Beast:

Bill Maher

“In February of 2017, Bill Maher, the “politically incorrect” satirist and stand-up comic, welcomed Milo Yiannopoulos onto his popular HBO show Real Time. Maher’s decision to provide a millions-strong cable platform to the alt-right troll prompted journalist Jeremy Scahill, another guest scheduled to appear that week, to drop out. 

“Milo Yiannopoulos is many bridges too far,” wrote Scahill, who co-founded The Intercept. “There is no value in ‘debating’ him. Appearing on Real Time will provide Yiannopoulos with a large, important platform to openly advocate his racist, anti-immigrant campaign. It will be exploited by Yiannopoulos in an attempt to legitimize his hateful agenda.”

“And exploited it was. Maher treated Yiannopoulos with kid gloves, complimenting his brand of “humor,” siding with the Iron Cross-wearing man formerly known as “Milo Wagner” against the liberal college kids protesting his campus talks, and later, during the “Overtime” segment, agreeing with him on the trans bathroom issue, with the host describing it as “weirdos peeing.”

Again, the messages we send out to the mainstream as “Liberal” voices – be they politicians, journalists or entertainers – lands; it finds an audience and many of those narratives stick. But these elite “Liberal” voices are almost always millionaires like Maher who are shielded from both the suffering of most of the country and the effects of policies geared to disproportionately negatively impact the poor and minorities.

Bill Maher Criticizes Syrian Refugees: ‘Their Values Are At Odds with Our Values’: The host of HBO’s ‘Real Time with Bill Maher’ mocked Donald Trump for his anti-refugee rhetoric—only to later criticize the beliefs of Syrian refugees trying to enter America. – Daily Beast

7 times Bill Maher was a straight-up bigot: The HBO host has been on an Islamophobic roll lately, but he has a long history of horrible statements – Salon

Bill Maher has been a public racist for a long time. Here are the receipts. – ThinkProgress

Tlaib calls for boycott of Bill Maher show after he slams BDS: Rashida Tlaib said that she is “tired of folks discrediting a form of speech that is centered on equality and freedom.” – The Jerusalem Post

A Nasty Piece of Work: Bill Maher’s Politics Are Unreal: Bill Maher’s latest repulsive comments – Huffpost

How Bill Maher Lost His Teeth (and Became A Parrot for the U.S. War Machine) – Paste

US liberal Islamophobia is rising – and more insidious than rightwing bigotry: If Trump is the popular mascot of Islamophobia rising from the right, then Maher is his symbolic counterpart on the left. – The Guardian


Comcast-Owned MSNBC in the Tank for Joe Biden’s Presidential Run –

“…Top MSNBC news personalities exist within the same elite circle of Washington insiders that Biden has inhabited for the past 40 years–in just about every one of the aforementioned segments, one host or guest remarked on their personal relationship with Joe Biden. The insider DC cocktail party circuit doesn’t contain very many people who want to attack their corporate benefactors. 

“It’s notable that even before its acquisition by ComcastMSNBC had a history of tacking to the right and a distinct reluctance to challenge entrenched corporate interests. What’s more, the network devotes little interest to economic policy, let alone antitrust, preferring to spend most of its time covering Russiagate.”

There is a real danger having a news network “in the tank” for any candidate. It is especially dangerous when they are in the tank for candidates who represent the very aspects that the majority of American voters rejected in 2016 en masse and that Trump was able to fully take advantage of. Hillary Clinton’s history, voting record and political ideology were the poster-child for everything middle America and blue-collar workers despised. The majority of workers in this country feel completely excluded by the leaders of both parties. Hell, Hillary even refused to campaign in places like Pennsylvania, Michigan and Wisconsin. In Wisconsin, Hillary was the first Democratic nominee to lose to a Republican in 30 years! Democratic leaders discouraged grassroots action amid Wisconsin Governor Scott Walker’s attack on collective bargaining, though protestors defied their orders. They also made “a fundamental political calculation to move rightward and support Republican priorities such as welfare reform and school vouchers,” as author Dan Kaufman wrote in his book, The Fall of Wisconsin: The Conservative Conquest of a Progressive Bastion and the Future of American Politics. In the face of extreme wealth and income disparities between Wisconsin’s black and white residents, state Democrats have taken the black vote for granted.”

Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer

Adding fuel to the fire, Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer shared the Democratic Party’s strategy: 

“For every blue-collar Democrat we lose in western Pennsylvania, we will pick up two moderate Republicans in the suburbs in Philadelphia, and you can repeat that in Ohio and Illinois and Wisconsin.”

You don’t find more blatant disregard than that. American workers aren’t wrong. They have been completely abandoned by both parties. And Donald Trump knew that. He ran as the enemy of the political establishment. He presented himself as the alternative, the outsider, the guy who would end all that. Of course, he was lying through his teeth, but voters ignored repeatedly by their leading politicians were drawn to him like moths to a flame. Lying or not, he was their best chance at change because the alternative was Hillary Clinton who had already expressed both her disdain and disinterest in them.

To add insult to injury, during her campaign, transcripts of Hillary’s paid speeches to Goldman Sachs, Deutsche Bank, Morgan Stanley, and other groups (for which she was paid upwards of $225,000 per speech and earned more than $22 million on the paid speaking circuit after resigning as secretary of state), were leaked and made public. On those speeches, Hillary “dismisses Americans’ concerns about a “rigged” financial system, says bankers are best equipped to be their own regulators, expresses a desire for free trade in the hemisphere, and asserts that it is often necessary for political leaders to take one position in public and another one in private.”

“At a speech for Morgan Stanley on April 18, 2013, Clinton praised the Simpson-Bowles deficit reduction plan — which would reduce corporate tax rates while raising the Social Security age.”

In a leaked email from Tony Carrk, the research director of the Clinton campaign, to John Podesta, the campaign chairman, and other top campaign officials, Carrk “highlighted in the memo the most politically damaging quotes from each paid speech, under headers including “CLINTON ADMITS SHE IS OUT OF TOUCH,” “CLINTON SAYS YOU NEED TO HAVE A PRIVATE AND PUBLIC POSITION ON POLICY,” and “CLINTON REMARKS ARE PRO KEYSTONE AND PRO TRADE.”

Far too many people focused their anger on how the emails were leaked instead of what they revealed about the differences between what Hillary Clinton tells the public and what she tells her private funders behind closed doors. For many, it was affirmation of the deceit, corruption and distrust they already associated with Mrs. Clinton. Many people made excuses for Clinton’s remarks, twisted them into some form of benevolent “logic” that would make her seem “savvy” instead of corrupt. But as Maya Angelou once said, When someone shows you who they are, believe them the first time.”

It’s true that Hillary defended her comments by attributing them to her admiration of Abraham Lincoln: “As I recall, that was something I said about Abraham Lincoln after having seen the wonderful Steven Spielberg movie called “Lincoln.” It was a master class watching President Lincoln get the Congress to approve the 13th Amendment. It was principled, and it was strategic. And I was making the point that it is hard sometimes to get the Congress to do what you want to do and you have to keep working at it. And, yes, President Lincoln was trying to convince some people, he used some arguments; convincing other people, he used other arguments. That was a great — I thought a great display of presidential leadership.”

But, as Aaron Blake points out in the Washington Post: “As the movie “Lincoln” showed, Abraham Lincoln did engage in the kind of backroom dealing that has become easy to attack in today’s political climate. In this case, Lincoln was doing it to secure passage of the 13th Amendment, which outlawed slavery. And Clinton’s speech clearly made reference to all of that before she made the comment about needing “both a public and a private position.” Everything Clinton said at the debate about her speech was true.

“But it’s one thing to use that kind of gamesmanship to pass an amendment outlawing slavery; it’s another to use it when describing policies that affect big business. Clinton has already stood accused of being too cozy with Wall Street — a characterization she disputes — and she’s now on-record telling the business community that, in order to get things done, sometimes you need to have a public position and a private position. It’s easy to see why she invoked Lincoln in the private speech; it’s certainly not an argument she would want to make publicly about Wall Street issues if she wasn’t forced to.

“Also, while Lincoln certainly engaged in backroom dealing, his public position on whether slavery should be outlawed was clear and unmistakable. He used different methods of cajoling members to vote for the 13th Amendment, but it was clear what he was pushing for.

“If Clinton’s comment was more about using different tactics to get individual lawmakers on board, that’s one thing. But she suggested it’s sometimes best for politicians to obscure their true positions. That may be true, but it’s ripe for attack, given who was in the audience that day.”

For the millions of disenfranchised voters who had always voted Democrat but who had long-suffered and continued to suffer under neoliberal policies, presidents and institutions – people who had been lied to repeatedly or outright ignored for decades – this was just another nail in the coffin of a failed institution that was being rejected en masse by the public at large. Hillary’s own words – never intended for public ears – suggested where Hillary Clinton stood and what she would and would not do as president; who she would serve in actions and who she would serve in words only.

Who knows what the outcome of the election would have been if both candidates had been outsiders fighting the system. If it had been Bernie vs Trump. We’ll never know, but voters would have had two choices that offered them hope, instead of one.

The question is, are we going to repeat this strategy again in 2020?

Joe Biden, Hillary Clinton

Joe Biden represents all the worst aspects of conservative neoliberalism. Pushing Joe Biden is the equivalent of pushing Hillary Clinton again, only this time without the added incentive of having a woman president and, instead, offering an older white man with a long history of the exact same disregard for the working class. This would be, in a nutshell, another incredible opportunity for Donald Trump and the most likely scenario for a repeat of the 2016 election. Even worse (yes, it CAN get worse), another conservative neoliberal president would almost unquestionably open up the presidential field for 2024 to a neoconservative even more unstable and extreme than Donald Trump, not to mention that, realistically, little-to-nothing would change from a Trump presidency to a Biden presidency except the rhetoric.

Joe Biden to rich donors: “Nothing would fundamentally change” if he’s elected: Biden assures donors “no one’s standard of living will change” – Salon:

“Biden’s assurance to donors in New York came shortly after his appearance at the Poor People’s Campaign Presidential Forum in Washington on Monday. Biden said that poverty was “the one thing that can bring this country down” and listed several new programs to help the poor that he would fund if elected.

“But speaking to wealthy donors in New York, Biden appeared to suggest that his plan would not involve big tax hikes on the rich. Biden went on to say that the rich should not be blamed for income inequality, pleading to the donors, “I need you very badly.”

“I hope if I win this nomination, I won’t let you down. I promise you,” he added.

Biden has always been a politician “for sale” to the highest bidder since his earliest days. By his own account. And he has always supported right wing politicians and donors. Listen here to a young Joe Biden clearly outlining his intentions and goals and his willingness and desire to, as he puts it, “prostitute” himself:

If Joe Biden had changed his tune over the years, moved in a different direction, that would be a very different story. People do change. They grow, evolve, learn. But Biden’s entire political career has been in service of the donors, the elite, the corporations to the literal detriment and livelihoods of millions. He has vigorously served the most conservative factions and institutions in our country. In fact, Biden recently stated that he would be open to choosing a Republican running mate. This statement should not be misinterpreted as “open-mindedness” or “reaching across the aisle.” This is unequivocally reflective of Biden’s political and social preferences as his voting record has proven time and again. Sadly, voting for Biden must be seen as voting directly for a largely Republican agenda. Any other interpretation flies in the face of his own history and words.

Biden says he’s open to a Republican running mate – NBC News

“Former Vice President Joe Biden, one of the leading Democratic presidential contenders, said on Monday that he’s open to picking a Republican running mate if he were to become the party’s nominee.”

Biden’s Republican VP remark is part of what attracts some voters to him – The Washington Post:

“The former lawmaker’s unapologetically moderate worldview in a political climate where being on the extremes seems increasingly common is perhaps why he is doing so well… the fact that Biden would not firmly reject the possibility of sharing a ticket with someone from the right is a reminder of a core piece of the former lawmaker’s political worldview: Biden thinks Republicans are capable of helping him make America great for everyone.”

Again, Biden is famous for defending Republicans and billionaires while showing complete disdain for left-wing voters and the working class within his own party.

Joe Biden Won’t Blame the Republicans for Trump. That Should Disqualify Him. – The Intercept:

“THERE IS A long list of reasons to oppose Joe Biden’s presidential campaign. He has a horribly right-wing record on everything from school desegregation to mass incarceration to the Iraq War. He is an old white man running against the most diverse field of presidential candidates in U.S. history. He has a bad habit of making ridiculous and offensive statements.

“However, the No. 1 reason why Biden would be an utter disaster both as the Democratic nominee and as president is his belief that Donald Trump is the sole cause of the current political and constitutional crisis in the United States. He has shown a shocking inability (refusal?) to see that Trump is a symptom of longstanding Republican nihilism and derangement — not the cause of it.

“In fact, Biden’s obsession with bipartisanship, with wanting to cut deals and make compromises once Trump is out of the way, betrays a dangerous mix of ignorance and naiveté.”

Biden Defends the Ruling ClassC-Span:

“I don’t think 500 billionaires are…why we’re in trouble,” says the ex-VP, who acknowledges the unsustainability of the gap in wealth but adds he would shrink Social Security and Medicare.”

From supporting school segregation to having a 40 year history of trying to cut Social Security, no one is a better poster-child for continued Right-Wing ideologies.

Joe Biden’s record on abortion rights is absolutely horrific. Yes, he’s temporarily changed his tune while on the campaign trail, but for his entire life and career he has been on the wrong side of women’s reproductive rights.

Trump Is a Disaster for Abortion Rights — but Joe Biden Can’t Be Trusted to Fight for Choice The Intercept:

“DURING A FEBRUARY Democratic primary debate, Biden aligned himself with the other candidates on stage by calling for the protection of abortion rights… Up until last summer, Biden supported the Hyde Amendment, which prohibits federal funding for abortion under programs like Medicaid, enforcing a hideous denial of affordable care to poor people.

“One might generously frame Biden’s changing stance on abortion as a righteous journey, navigating his Catholic faith with a willingness to learn and change in the interest of women’s rights. As vice president, Biden actively worked to undermine reproductive rights by trying to cut mandated coverage for contraception from the Affordable Care Act.

“His reversal on the Hyde Amendment last year, meanwhile, smacked of electoral expediency: On June 5, Biden’s campaign said that he continued to support the law. He received immediate censure from activists, other lawmakers, and his opponents for the Democratic nomination. The very next night, at a Democratic National Committee gala in Atlanta, Biden said he no longer supported the ban on federal funding for abortions.

“When he became a senator in 1973, he argued that the Supreme Court had gone “too far” in its Roe v. Wade ruling. Later, he shifted to say that abortion should be legal but the government shouldn’t fund it. That was his position until this month, which brings us to the Hyde Amendment.”

Warren rebukes Biden’s stance on an abortion amendment – Axios:

“Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D-Mass.) positioned herself in opposition to Vice President Joe Biden, disagreeing with his abortion stance and support of the Hyde Amendment at an MSNBC Town Hall on Wednesday evening.

“Under the Hyde Amendment and every effort to try to chip away or push back or get rid of Rowe vs. wade, understand this: Women of means will still have access to abortions. Who won’t … will be poor women. It will be working women and women who can’t afford to take off three days from work and very young women. It will be women who have been raped and women who have been molested by someone in their own family. We do not pass laws that take away that freedom from the women who are most vulnerable.”

“— Sen. Elizabeth Warren during an MSNBC town hall.”


“AS VICE PRESIDENT, Joe Biden repeatedly sought to undermine the Affordable Care Act’s contraception mandate, working in alliance with the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops to push for a broad exemption that would have left millions of women without coverage.

“Biden’s battle over contraception is a window into his approach to the politics of reproductive freedom, a function of an electoral worldview that centers working-class Catholic men over the interests of women.”

Biden infuriates abortion rights groups with Hyde stanceThe Hill:

“Former Vice President Joe Biden infuriated abortion rights advocates Wednesday when his campaign confirmed he supports a policy that blocks Medicaid and other federal health programs from paying for abortions, making him the only Democratic presidential candidate to hold that position…

“Joe Biden has been disappointing on reproductive rights for decades,” said Erin Matson, a reproductive rights activist who has worked with NARAL Pro-Choice Virginia and co-founded Reproaction, an abortion rights group.

“I am disappointed to see that he’s failing to read the room with Democratic primary voters and the general public who are sick and tired of restrictions on abortion and old, out of touch white men trying to put restrictions on women,” she added...

“As a senator from Delaware, Biden once voted to let states overturn Roe v. Wade. He also supported the Mexico City Policy, which bans federal aid to foreign organizations that provide or promote abortions.”

As if Biden’s attack on abortion rights wasn’t horrible enough, both his comments and actions toward women have been as troubling as Donald Trump’s, from wildly inappropriate behavior to sexual assault allegations. To make matters worse, Liberal mainstream media has been all but ignoring these allegations.

Comcast-Owned MSNBC in the Tank for Joe Biden’s Presidential Run –

Comcast, one of the biggest lobbying spenders in Washington, also owns MSNBC, which has showered Biden with favorable coverage both before and since his announcement. 

“In March, Nevada lieutenant gubernatorial candidate Lucy Flores published an article in New York Magazine (3/29/19) that described how Biden inappropriately kissed her at a campaign event. Biden has quite a long history of awkward and inappropriate touching, kissing or groping of women and girls.

“Mika Brzezinski, co-host of MSNBC’s Morning Joe, was one of the first to defend Biden (4/1/19). Brzezinski suggested that Flores’ allegation was politically motivated, citing Flores as a “huge Bernie person,” and asking, “Are we just supposed to take all the words and the fact she said she was violated at face value?” Her guests later that day (4/1/19), former DCCC chief of staff Adrienne Elrod and former CIA and DoD chief of staff Jeremy Bash, seemed to agree that such #MeToo accusations against Biden were “meaningless moments,” and merely baseless finger-pointing from Biden’s political opponents…

“After another woman came forward with allegations of inappropriate behavior (4/2/194/5/19). Brzezinski said that the allegations were “sad,” and that Biden is a “nice guy” and “not a predator…”

“On another Morning Joe panel (4/26/19), MSNBC correspondent Rev. Al Sharpton criticized Biden’s role in drafting and sponsoring the 1984, 1986, 1988 and 1994 crime bills, and his treatment of Anita Hill during the Clarence Thomas confirmation hearings… On the same program, Joe Scarborough castigated Biden detractors, maintaining that they failed to understand the context of Biden’s past support for harsh drug laws, opposition to school integration and support for the Iraq War…

“Yet Biden’s extremely checkered political history, where he was consistently on the wrong sides of issues like women’s rights, racial equality, financial regulation, drugs and criminal justice, surveillance and war, still doesn’t seem to be enough for the media to deem him damaged goods. In fact, outlets like MSNBC still play up Biden as the most viable candidate, despite the fact that there are others with similarly long tenures in politics who didn’t make Biden’s same mistakes…

“Indeed, calling Biden the most “electable” candidate is really just code for the most “moderate” or white candidate. Such a designation for Biden discounts the appeal of candidates who are left-wing, female or people of color. In particular, left-wing candidates like Bernie Sanders (the other frontrunner) and Elizabeth Warren are each frequently dogged in corporate media by accusations that they are somehow not “electable” enough. 

“There is perhaps an underlying logic to these attacks. Warren and Sanders have each called for heightened antitrust regulation… Big tech companies, agricultural conglomerates, food and beverage companies, banks and telecom companies like Comcast would surely come under the antitrust microscope and be targeted for breakups if one of these candidates were to win the Democratic nomination. Comcast in particular stands out as a major target, considering they have interests in both media content production as well as distribution.”

“It Shattered My Life”: Former Joe Biden Staffer Tara Reade Says He Sexually Assaulted Her in 1993 – Democracy Now!:

“Time’s Up Legal Defense Fund, set up to help survivors of rape and sexual assault, refused to fund a #MeToo investigation into allegations against Biden. Reade told journalist Katie Halper in an interview published Tuesday that Biden repeatedly touched her without her consent and sexually assaulted her. Reade approached the Time’s Up Legal Defense Fund in January looking for assistance, but was reportedly told the fund could not help her because Biden is a candidate for federal office, and pursuing a case could jeopardize the fund’s nonprofit status. Reade says she learned from The Intercept report that the public relations firm representing Time’s Up Legal Defense Fund is SKDKnickerbocker, whose managing director, Anita Dunn, is top adviser to Biden’s presidential campaign.

TARA READE: I was approached by my supervisor. She handed me a gym bag and said, “Hurry, Joe wants this, so get it to him. He’ll meet you down towards the Capitol.” And I went down the stairs, and I don’t remember exactly where I was, because there’s connections between the Russell Building and all of that and the corridors, but we were in a semi-private location. It wasn’t a room. It wasn’t, you know, the Russell Office Building — I mean, in his office. It was down in the corridors. And I handed him the gym bag.

“And then he — it was one, as I described, fluid moment. He was talking to me, and he said some things that I don’t recall. And I was up against the wall. And he — I remember the coldness of the wall. And I remember his hands underneath my blouse and underneath my skirt, and his fingers penetrating me as he was trying to kiss me and I was pulling away. And he pulled back, and he said, “Come on, man. I heard you liked me.” But he was angry. It was like a tight voice. And he tended to smile when he was angry. And he isn’t like the Uncle Joe like everybody talks about now. He was younger. He was my dad’s age at that time and very strong. And he looked insulted and angry. And I remember feeling like I had done something wrong when he said that statement. And then I was standing there when he said — he was still near me. He said — pointed his finger and said, “You’re nothing to me. You’re nothing.” And he walked away.

“And I don’t remember exactly where I went after. I think I went to the restroom to clean up, but I don’t remember precisely. The next memory I have is sitting on the cold stairs, on the Russell Building back stairs, where the big windows are. And I remember just my whole body shaking. And I remember knowing that — knowing that I had made him angry and that my career was probably over. And I didn’t comply. And I didn’t comply when I was asked to serve drinks at a cocktail party for donors, because, apparently, Joe Biden said, according to a legislative staffer, that I had pretty legs, and he thought I was pretty, and I should serve the drinks. And my supervisor had encouraged me to do so, and I did not. So, sitting on those stairs, the reality hit me.

“The next thing I remember was that night and talking to my mom, and she was like, “You need to file a police report. It’s a sexual assault.” And I didn’t think of it as sexual assault, and I didn’t really understand. And I was trying to just get over the shock of it, because I looked up to him. He was supposed to be a champion of women. And I was so thrilled to be at that office and so honored, and it shattered my life and changed the trajectory of my whole career and life. And I lost my job after I complained, and I was fired.


“After a Republican wave swept Congress in 1994, Biden’s support for cutting Social Security, and his general advocacy for budget austerity, made him a leading combatant in the centrist-wing battle against the party’s retreating liberals in the 1980s and ’90s.

“When I argued that we should freeze federal spending, I meant Social Security as well,” he told the Senate in 1995. “I meant Medicare and Medicaid. I meant veterans’ benefits. I meant every single solitary thing in the government. And I not only tried it once, I tried it twice, I tried it a third time, and I tried it a fourth time.” (A freeze would have reduced the amount that would be paid out, cutting the program’s benefit.)”

Biden has a long history of supporting brutal Republican policies like the Bush Administration’s illegal war in Iraq. He went so far as to criticize his Democratic colleagues who were vocally suspect of the war or outright against it:

“I voted to go into Iraq, and I’d vote to do it again,” he said at a July 2003 hearing.           

As growing numbers of Democrats, and even members of the general public, turned against the war, Biden rebuked them, implicitly and explicitly.

“In my view, anyone who can’t acknowledge that the world is better off without [Hussein] is out of touch,” he said two days later.

“Contrary to what some in my party might think, Iraq was a problem that had to be dealt with sooner rather than later,” he insisted.

An increasingly lonely voice in a party that would soon make common cause with the growing anti-war movement, Biden continued to back Bush.

“The president made [the case against Saddam] well,” he concluded on July 31. “I commend the president.”

Joe Biden 2002: “Saddam Hussein’s pursuit of weapons of mass destruction, in my view is one, of those clear dangers, even if the right response to his pursuit is not so crystal clear. One thing is clear. These weapons must be dislodged from Saddam Hussein or Saddam Hussein must be dislodged from power. I am of the school that suggests that the President need not — when this, if this amendment, if the underlying amendment passes — have to show there’s an imminent threat. He is enforcing a peace agreement in effect.”

Biden, once again, is shamefully on the wrong side of history – which he seems to be consistently throughout his career, whether supporting wars, mass-killing, Imperialism, corporate interests, anti-abortion measures or systemic racism. Biden may call himself a Democrat, but his views are purely, unapologetically Right-Wing.

Like Trump, Biden also has a history of lying and getting caught at it. Time and again. It’s a rewriting of history that, despite the ease with which it can almost instantly be disproven, has become frighteningly normalized. In the era of Trump wherein there are few if any repercussions for outright falsehoods, Biden is already setting the stage to continue Trump’s agenda of openly lying in the face of facts knowing full well that, if you simply continue to say it, it will eventually be seen as – not a lie – but an “alternate truth.”

Joe Biden falsely claims that he immediately opposed Iraq War – Politifact

“Joe Biden continues to defend his record on the Iraq War as he seeks the Democratic presidential nomination, lately claiming he opposed the war the moment it started.

“In an NPR interview aired Sept. 3, host Asma Khalid asked Biden to respond to criticism about the Iraq War, particularly sending troops into the country.

“I let my record stand. I think my record has been good. I think the vast majority of the foreign policy community thinks it’s been very good. For example, I got a commitment from President Bush he was not going to go to war in Iraq. He looked me in the eye in the Oval Office; he said he needed the vote to be able to get inspectors into Iraq to determine whether or not Saddam Hussein was engaged in dealing with a nuclear program,” Biden said.

“He got them in, and before we know it, we had a shock and awe. Immediately, the moment it started, I came out against the war at that moment,” Biden continued. “Now, the judgment of my trusting the president to keep his word on something like that, that was a mistake. And I apologize for that.”

Is it true that Biden immediately came out against the war the moment it started? No.

“Biden’s recounting of his position doesn’t match the public comments he made right before and after the war started. During that time, Biden acknowledged frustrations with how the United States was heading into war, but said he supported the president. Biden for years stood by his vote for a resolution that paved the way for the war, even though he also criticized the Bush administration’s strategy — saying the United States went to war too soon, without enough troops, and without enough countries supporting the effort.

Joe Biden won’t tell the truth about his Iraq war record — and he hasn’t for years: Biden keeps saying he opposed the 2003 Iraq invasion. That’s a lie. In fact, he was a huge enabler and cheerleader – Salon:

“Biden makes brazen pro-war falsehoods, claiming that Saddam Hussein “violated every commitment that he made. He played cat and mouse with the weapons inspectors. He failed to account for the huge gaps in weapons declarations that were documented by UN weapons inspectors and submitted by them to the UN Security Council in 1998, and every nation in that Council believed he possessed those weapons at that time. He refused to abide by any conditions.”

“That’s a pack of lies. The Iraqi government released a massive amount of information in 2002. It agreed to allow UN weapons inspectors in well before the congressional vote that authorized war — a vote that Biden has claimed was justifiable to give Bush a stronger hand in getting inspectors into Iraq.

“Additionally, the prior weapons inspection regime, UNSCOM, was ended in 1998 not because Saddam Hussein kicked them out, but because then President Bill Clinton ordered them withdrawn on the eve of his scheduled impeachment vote to make way for the Desert Fox bombing campaign… 

“It’s remarkable how little scrutiny Biden has gotten for his role in the Iraq invasion. Sanders has mostly criticized Biden’s vote, but beyond that, Biden was chair of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee. He has been criticized by leading analysts and weapons inspectors for the hearings he presided over that led to war.”

Sam Husseini

I highly recommend Jeremy Scahill’s Intercepted Podcast interview with above author/journalist and Senior Analyst and Director of Communications at the Institute for Public Accuracy, Sam Husseini, that takes place in the second half (00:39:30) of the episode titled BERNIE SANDERS, JOE BIDEN, AND THE REWRITING OF IRAQ WAR HISTORY:

Joe Biden’s Jumbled Iraq War RevisionismRealClear Politics:

“Not only did Biden avowedly support the war before it began, he furnished some of the key pro-war talking points that the Bush administration used to convince the country of the invasion’s legitimacy. The day of Colin Powell’s infamous speech at the United Nations Security Council – on Feb. 5, 2003 – Biden, then the ranking member of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, addressed reporters to praise Powell’s performance. “I think Secretary Powell made a very powerful, and I think irrefutable, case today,” Biden said. “… The evidence he produced confirms what I believe and I have known for some time now: Saddam Hussein continues to – he continues to attempt to maintain and garner additional weapons of mass destruction.”

“The case is overwhelming,” Biden said...

“Sixteen years later, Biden’s insistence that he was an early opponent of the war is increasingly absurd. He appears to contend that the tepid procedural complaints he voiced in 2002 and 2003 should be seen in hindsight as full-fledged opposition to the invasion. Asked at the New Hampshire event why he voted to authorize a war that he supposedly opposed, Biden told me: “I’m the guy that when we went in, and I said at the time, that we cannot in fact sustain doing this. We have to protect the troops, but we should get out.”

“But again, the public record shows this to be false. In a speech on July 31, 2003, months after the invasion, Biden lauded “our spectacular military victory in Iraq” and rebuked fellow Democrats calling for a prompt withdrawal. “We can be put in the position where we decide we have to get out and lose Iraq. That’s a very bad option.”

“Contrary to what some in my party might think, Iraq was a problem that had to be dealt with sooner rather than later,” Biden said during the speech. “So I commend the president. He was right to enforce the solemn commitments made by Saddam.”

Joe Biden Is Hillary Clinton 2.0 — Democrats Would Be Mad to Nominate Him The Intercept:

“THE DEFINITION OF INSANITY,” Einstein didn’t say, “is doing the same thing over and over again, but expecting different results.”

“Have the Democrats gone mad? Are they really planning on putting up the same type of candidate against Donald Trump in 2020 that they put up against him in 2016?

Consider… the sheer number of similarities he seems to have with the vanquished Democratic presidential candidate of 2016:

Iraq War supporter? Check: “If he runs, Biden will be the only candidate — out of up to 20 Democrats running for the nomination — to have voted for the Iraq War. As the influential chair of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee in the run-up to the invasion, Biden (falsely) claimed the United States had “no choice but to eliminate the threat” from Saddam Hussein. A former U.N. weapons inspector even accused the then-senator of running a “sham” committee hearing that provided “political cover for a massive military attack on Iraq.”

Friend of Wall Street? Check: “Credit card giant MBNA was his biggest donor when he served in the Senate. In 2005, Biden threw his weight behind a bankruptcy bill, signed into law by President George W. Bush, that shamefully protected credit card companies at the expense of borrowers.

National Review later dubbed Biden “the senator from MBNA”.

Champion of mass incarceration? Check: “I don’t care why someone is a malefactor in society,” Biden said in 1993, as he mocked “wacko Democrats” for trying to understand the causes of crime. “I don’t care why someone is antisocial. I don’t care why they’ve become a sociopath. We have an obligation to cordon them off from the rest of society.”

“My greatest accomplishment is the 1994 Crime Bill,” he told the National Sheriffs’ Association in 2007.

“Millions of black voters refused to turn out for Clinton in 2016. Why wouldn’t they do the same in response to a Biden candidacy in 2020?

“Establishment-friendly? Check. “I don’t think 500 billionaires are the reason we’re in trouble. The folks at the top aren’t bad guys.”

“It does not always pay to highlight differences. But our ambitions go well beyond a restoration of the old order under Barack Obama or Bill Clinton. For one thing, the not unlikely shortcomings of a President Joe Biden could lead us straight back to the current dilemma, perhaps with a younger, smarter version of Trump. Senators Josh Hawley of Missouri and Tom Cotton of Arkansas wait impatiently in the wings, tanned, rested, and ready to wreak havoc anew.” – Max B. Sawicky, Jacobin

Unfortunately, the lying and easy comparisons to some of this country’s worst political players and candidates doesn’t stop there. Joe was forced out of the 1988 presidential election because he got caught plagiarizing speeches and lying about his past. Watch this news report from 1988:

2 truths and 31 lies Joe Biden has told about his work in the Civil Rights Movement: Since the early 1970s, Joe Biden has been a serial liar when it comes to his “work” in the Civil Rights Movement. It’s the equivalent of stolen valor and is fundamentally disqualifying. – Shaun King’s Newsletter:

“In 1987, when Joe Biden was running for President for the very first time, his campaign got swallowed up in a swarm of lies that Joe Biden told about himself all over the country. First, Biden was caught plagiarizing a famous speech from British Labour Party Leader Neil Kinnock – including parts of the speech that came straight from Kinnock’s personal life that simply were not true for Joe Biden. Then, he plagiarized yet another speech from the late Robert Kennedy and another from JFK and another from Hubert Humphrey. You have to understand – this was pre-Internet, pre-social media, and something in Joe Biden’s mind made him think he could get away with it. He didn’t. And it ultimately tanked his campaign.

“Soon, it was discovered that Biden had not just plagiarized those four speeches, but had lied about academic awards, lied about scholarships, lied about his ranking at Syracuse Law School, where he had nearly been kicked out for plagiarizing five entire pages of an essay, and that he also frequently lied about something that he had made a central part not just of his 1988 presidential campaign bid, but of his entire public persona...

“On the backs of people who actually paid an enormous price for being activists and organizers in the Civil Rights Movement, Joe Biden created a completely false narrative of his work and contributions to the movement that persists to this very day. Instead of plagiarized speeches, he was plagiarizing details about his actual life. He not only told these lies in previous generations, they have now fully returned to his current stump speeches in churches and venues around the country as if he never acknowledged and apologized for them in the past. It’s shameful. Below is a full accounting of every lie Joe Biden has told about his work in the Civil Rights Movement.”

You can visit Shaun King’s site to access video after video of Biden continuing to tell the same lies on today’s campaign trail. This is the man the Democratic Establishment is coalescing behind to beat Trump. To beat Trump – a known racist, misogynist, extremely arrogant, compulsive liar and war-profiteer in cognitive decline – the Democratic Party leaders are pushing a known racist, misogynist, extremely arrogant, compulsive liar and war-profiteer in cognitive decline. Why do you think this is? Because he stands the best chance of beating Trump? No, because he doesn’t. In fact, he is – like Hillary Clinton – the most likely candidate to lose to Trump. However, Bernie Sanders is far more frightening to the establishment than Trump could ever be and they have put the full weight of their powers and influence into stopping Sanders. Not stopping Trump. Stopping Sanders. This should be of massive concern to anyone paying attention, anyone who cares about history and what the future of America and the world looks like.

I also highly recommend the Intercepted podcast titled WE NEED TO TALK ABOUT JOE. The facts and history discussed here are essential to understanding where we are, what we’re heading into and who Joe Biden is and what he represents and supports as well as the very real dangers of running a candidate in cognitive decline.

For those who genuinely want to get rid of Trump, supporting Joe Biden would very likely be among the single worst things you could do toward that goal.

This sense of entitlement has become the cornerstone of leading Democrats campaigning strategy. And people wonder why voters stay away from the polls by the millions or turn to anti-establishment alternatives.


With New D.C. Policy Group, Dems Continue to Rehabilitate and Unify With Bush-Era NeoconsThe Intercept:

“One of the most under-discussed yet consequential changes in the American political landscape is the reunion between the Democratic Party and the country’s most extreme and discredited neocons. While the rise of Donald Trump, whom neocons loathe, has accelerated this realignment, it began long before the ascension of Trump and is driven by far more common beliefs than contempt for the current president.

Are Democrats turning to an alliance between neocons and neoliberals? If so, it’s a terrible strategy: An alliance with Bush-era neocons on the Russia scandal is pushing Democrats hard right on foreign policy. Sad!Salon

The Unholy Neocon–Liberal Alliance: They may be united in their opposition to Trump, but the coalition may backfire. The Nation:

“In a way, the alliance between neocons and mainstream liberals is, in this, the Age of Trump, less surprising than it first might appear. It actually began to manifest itself during the course of the 2016 election, when longtime neocons such as the Brookings Institution’s Robert Kagan and Max Boot publicly abandoned the GOP in favor of Mrs. Clinton. As I warned in The Nation at the time, “The danger in Kagan and Boot’s professed support for Hillary Clinton is this: Should even a few influential neocons return to their party of origin, the marginalization of progressive-realist foreign-policy voices within the Democratic Party would continue apace.”

“What some might excuse or justify as a “popular front” between liberal Democrats and neocons in the age of Trump is clearly problematic.”

“For one thing: We’ve seen this kind of so-called popular front before. During the run-up to the Iraq War, liberals like Paul Berman, Kenneth Pollack, David Remnick, Nicholas Kristof, Richard Cohen, and Jacob Weisberg lent their voices in the service of the Bush administration’s crusade to remake the Greater Middle East. At the time, the historian Tony Judt observed that George W. Bush’s liberal supporters, “long nostalgic for the comforting verities of a simpler time,” have “at last discovered a sense of purpose: they are at war with ‘Islamo-fascism.’”

“Today, however, that “sense of purpose” seems to have found its object in Russia. The crusade against Putin has taken the place of the crusade against Saddam. Jonathan Chait is a representative case. Once a prominent liberal cheerleader for the wars in Iraq and Libya, he now takes to the pages of New York magazine to spin conspiracy theories regarding Trump and Russia.”

“But by linking arms with the neocons in their opposition to Trump, liberal Democrats are effectively laundering the reputations of unapologetic war enthusiasts such as Kristol and Frum, and assisting them in whitewashing their records. Painfully learned and expensive lessons from the United States’ ill-starred military adventures over the last decade and a half are now all but ignored by too many US political and media elites.”

“Still worse, the neocon-Democratic alliance crowds out space for the few remaining progressive, ethical realists in a party still dominated by the liberal hawks.”

“That the liberal flirtation with (if not outright admiration for) folks like Frum, Boot, and Kristol has gone too far; and to recognize that neocon influence will undercut efforts within the party by members (and future members) of Congress like Ro Khanna, Mark Pocan, Barbara Lee, and Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, to fashion a sensible alternative to the unrestrained militarism that passes for American foreign policy today.”

“Democrats be warned: Embracing the neocons is not the way to oppose Mr. Trump. Doing so may instead pave the way for his reelection.”

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