Tag Archives: Vice President Joe Biden

Attacks on Elizabeth Warren demonstrate her strength

Warren listens to Yellen testify on Capitol Hill in Washington

Reuters news photo

U.S. Sen. Elizabeth Warren of Massachusetts has the stuff of which U.S. presidents are made, which is why she has plenty of detractors. (And she really rocks purple. Just sayin’: I want eight years of a purple-wearing president.)

Reading Yahoo! political commentator Matt Bai’s recent column on why he believes Vice President Joe Biden should run for the 2016 Democratic Party presidential nomination, I was stopped cold by Bai’s casual, cavalier remark that besides Biden, “There’s [Vermont U.S. Sen.] Bernie Sanders, who’s an avowed socialist [as though there were something wrong with that], and Elizabeth Warren, who sounds more like a Jacobin.”

I recalled that the Jacobins were associated with the French Revolution, but I couldn’t recall exactly what they were about, and so I looked them up on Wikipedia. Wikipedia notes of the Jacobins, in part: “At their height in 1793-94, the [Jacobin Club] leaders were the most radical and egalitarian group in the [French] Revolution. Led by Maximilien de Robespierre (1758–1794), they controlled the government from June 1793 to July 1794, passed a great deal of radical legislation, and hunted down and executed their opponents in the Reign of Terror.”

Wow.

For all of the right wing’s bullshit about “class warfare” — which, conveniently, according to the right wing’s playbook always is waged by the poor against the rich and never vice-versa — Elizabeth Warren actually has not called for a violent revolution.* She has called for a return to socioeconomic fairness and justice, which is more than reasonable, especially given what has happened to the American middle class since at least the 1980s, during the reign of Reagan (another reign of terror from history, not entirely metaphorically speaking). But if you can’t win an argument these days, you just accuse your opponent of being a terrorist (not entirely unlike Repugnican Tea Party Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker’s recent comparison of Wisconsinites standing up for their livelihoods to the terrorists who comprise ISIS).

Matt Bai makes only one other brief reference to Warren in his screed about why, in his estimation, Biden should run for president for 2016: “Biden’s a middle-class champion who makes the case for economic fairness with more conviction than [Billary] Clinton and less vitriol than Warren .”

I agree that Billary has little to zero credibility on the issue of socioeconomic justice, but if you Google “vitriol” you will see that it means “cruel and bitter criticism.”

Wow. Warren is passionate, absolutely. She’s one of the relatively few passionate and progressive elected officials in D.C., and passion is a normal response to socioeconomic injustice that is deep and widespread. But when has Warren ever been bitter and/or cruel? WTF, Matt Bai?

I’m not the only one who has recognized this. I was pleased to see soon later that Salon.com writer Elias Isquith wrote a column on Bai’s drive-by bashing of Warren and on the establishment’s fear of Warren — fear of Warren because she actually threatens to upend the status quo in Washington, D.C., the status quo that is toxic for the majority of Americans (and much if not most of the rest of the world) but that is working out just fine for the denizens of the halls of power in D.C. (which would include Bai, whom Isquith refers to as “the star pundit-reporter and longtime communicator of whatever the conventional wisdom of the political elite happens to be at any given time”; I would add that Bai is a mansplainer par excellence as well).

Isquith, too, takes issue with calling Warren a “Jacobin,” and Isquith compares a quotation of an actual Jacobin (the philosophy of whom is that “[the] policy ought to be to lead the people by reason and the people’s enemies by terror. … Terror is nothing other than justice, prompt, severe, inflexible; it is therefore an emanation of virtue; it is not so much a special principle as it is a consequence of the general principle of democracy applied to our country’s most urgent needs”) to a quotation of Warren (one of my favorites):

“I hear all this, you know, ‘Well, this is class warfare, this is whatever.’ No. There is nobody in this country who got rich on his own — nobody. You built a factory out there? Good for you. But I want to be clear. You moved your goods to market on the roads the rest of us paid for. You hired workers the rest of us paid to educate. You were safe in your factory because of police-forces and fire-forces that the rest of us paid for. You didn’t have to worry that marauding bands would come and seize everything at your factory — and hire someone to protect against this — because of the work the rest of us did. Now look, you built a factory and it turned into something terrific, or a great idea. God bless — keep a big hunk of it. But part of the underlying social contract is, you take a hunk of that and pay forward for the next kid who comes along.”

This statement (from August 2011, when Warren was running for the U.S. Senate) is eminently fair and reasonable — I’d call it “common sense” if the wingnutty fascists hadn’t already bastardized that term for all of their harmful ideas and opinions.

Why the establishmentarian attacks on Warren, whose actual words and actual record have nothing whatsofuckingever to do with what her detractors and critics claim about her? Isquith offers a plausible explanation (links are Isquith’s):

… The first and most obvious reason is that Washington is, to put it gently, a swamp of corruption where many influential people live comfortably — thanks to Wall Street. Maybe they’re lobbyists; maybe they work in free-market think tanks; maybe they’re employed by the defense industry, which benefits greatly from Wall Street’s largesse. Or maybe they’re government bureaucrats who find Warren’s opposition to the “revolving door” to be in profound conflict with their future plans.

My second theory is less political and more prosaic. Another reason Bai and his ilk find Warren discomfiting may be her glaring lack of false modesty and her disinterest in keeping her head down and paying her dues. Because despite being the capital of what is nominally the greatest liberal democracy on Earth, Washington is in truth a deeply conformist and hierarchical milieu, one where new arrivals are expected to be neither seen nor heard until they’ve been deemed to have earned their place. And while Warren may want to be seen as a team player, what she cares most about is reining in Wall Street. If she deems it necessary to accomplish her primary goal, she’s willing to step on some toes and lose a few fair-weather friends. …

I would add that patriarchy, sexism and misogyny certainly play a role, too. It might not be conscious in all cases, but I surmise that because every single one of our 44 U.S. presidents thus far have been men, there is an ingrained cultural, even visceral, belief among many, many Americans — even women — that the U.S. president should be a man. Thus, the likes of Matt Bai is rooting for Joe Biden; Bai’s support of Biden apparently stems, in no tiny part, from the fact that Biden is yet another older white man.

The U.S. president should be, in my book, the candidate who both is the most progressive and the most electable, and right now that candidate is Elizabeth Warren. That she happens to be a woman is great, as we are woefully overdue for our first female president.

Presidential preference polls consistently show both Warren and Biden to be Democrats’ second and third choices after Billary Clinton (who, after E-mailgate, might slide in the polls of Democrats and Democratic-leaners; we’ll see).

Joe Biden probably would be an acceptable-enough president – I’d certainly take him over a President Billary – but given his age (he’s 72 years old today and would be 74 were he to be inaugurated as president in January 2017, making him the oldest president at the time of inauguration in U.S. history [even Ronald Reagan was a spry 69-going-on-70 years old when he took office in early 1981]) and given his reputation as a hothead, I don’t know how electable Biden would be.

And while in fairness the vice president doesn’t get to do very much, what has Biden done over the past six years?

Biden’s age doesn’t bother me — if you can be the job, I don’t much care how old you are — but it would become a campaign “issue.” And while perhaps it’s not fair to Biden as an individual, it’s pathetic and sad and deeply disappointing that in our so-called “representative democracy,” our 45th president would be yet another white man, for a string of 44 out of 45 U.S. presidents being white men.

Elizabeth Warren is a twofer: an actually progressive Democrat who is electable as U.S. president, and thus also potentially our first U.S. president who is a woman.

Attacks on Warren by the shameless, worthless, self-serving defenders of the status quo are to be expected; when the voters hear and read what Warren has to say, versus the bullshit that the establishmentarians spew** about her, they will, I believe, put Warren in the White House, where she belongs.

*For the record, I don’t rule out the use of violence in a revolution. Our plutocratic overlords never rule out the use of violence (state violence, usually) against us commoners. Unilateral disarmament is bullshit.

I’d much prefer a bloodless revolution, of course, but again, when the enemy doesn’t rule out violence, you shouldn’t either.

**Similarly, were most Americans actually informed about what democratic socialism actually is all about, they probably would embrace it, which is why it has been so important to the establishmentarians and the wingnuts (really, “wingnut” is too-cuddly a word for right-wing fascists) to lie about what socialism is all about.

Such a dog-whistle word has “socialist” become, indeed, that Matt Bai simply dismisses Bernie Sanders’ entire being in one fell swoop in just one phrase (“an avowed socialist” — gasp!).

Thank you, Matt Bai, for so courageously doing your part to discourage all actual thought in the United States of America!

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Biden’s endorsement of same-sex marriage is not nearly enough

So Vice President Joe Biden today on “Meet the Press” said that he supports same-sex marriage.

When host David Gregory asked Biden, “You’re comfortable with same-sex marriage now?”, Biden replied: “Look, I am vice president of the United States of America. The president sets the policy. I am absolutely comfortable with the fact that men marrying men, women marrying women, and heterosexual [men and women marrying] are entitled to the same exact rights, all the civil rights, all the civil liberties. …”

That to me sure sounds like an endorsement of legalized same-sex marriage — full marriage equality for same-sex couples — in all 50 states, but the White House was quick to back-pedal and say that no, Biden actually still is “evolving” on the issue of same-sex marriage just as President Barack Obama is.

Whether Biden’s nationally televised endorsement of same-sex marriage is just a calculated political game of good cop-bad cop, or whether Biden was, at least in the Obama White House’s opinion, just shooting his mouth off again, I’m not sure, but in either case, I am not moved, perhaps especially in light of this fact:

MSNBC quotes a White House “aide” as having stated: “The vice president was saying what the president has said previously — that committed and loving same-sex couples deserve the same rights and protections enjoyed by all Americans, and that we oppose any effort to roll back those rights. That’s why we stopped defending the constitutionality of Section 3 of the Defense of Marriage Act in legal challenges and support legislation to repeal it.  Beyond that, the vice president was expressing that he too is evolving on the issue, after meeting so many committed couples and families in this country.”

Um, no, Biden did not say that “he too is evolving on the issue” of same-sex marriage. He said, “I am absolutely comfortable with the fact that men marrying men, women marrying women, and heterosexual [men and women marrying] are entitled to the same exact rights, all the civil rights, all the civil liberties.” He said “men marrying men” and “women marrying women.” He did not say, “Committed and loving same-sex couples deserve the same rights and protections enjoyed by all Americans.” He did not use such mealy-mouthed language that public-relations hacks love to employ, believing that they are word-magicians who are bamboozling all of us with their ingenius hocus-pocus. He was not talking about the separate-and-unequal, second-class, unconstitutional substitutions for marriage, such as civil unions and domestic partnerships. He was talking about same-sex marriage.

Obama’s pussy, trying-to-have-it-both-ways public political stance is that each state reserves the right to determine whether or not to institute legalized same-sex marriage, and he very apparently sees no problem with forcing non-heterosexual Americans to drink from different drinking fountains by offering them only cheap imitiations of marriage, such as domestic partnerships or civil unions, which he supports. Publicly, at least, he very apparently thinks that these unconstitutionally separate-and-unequal substitutions for marriage are A-OK. (He used to teach constitutional law, too. He truly must have sucked ass at that as much as he sucks ass at being president of the United States of America.)

This “states’ rights” “argument” is the fucking coward’s way out, and if President Abraham Lincoln had adhered to such cowardice as the “states’ rights” “argument,” slavery probably would have lasted a lot longer than it did. (Funny that Obama’s official kick-off of his 2008 presidential campaign in February 2007 had him mimicking Abraham Lincoln at the Old State Capitol in Springfield, Illinois:

Associated Press photo

Barack Obama is no fucking Abraham Lincoln. Lincoln had balls. Big balls.)

Don’t get me wrong. It’s not nearly enough that Joe Biden supports same-sex marriage. He’s just the vice president. I and millions of other non-heterosexual Americans are to hope for Barack Obama to die or to otherwise become incapacitated, so that President Biden can fight for our equal human and civil rights, since President Obama refuses to do so? Is that it? Is that the kind of change that we are to hope for?

No, fuck Barack Obama.

Nothing short of his full endorsement of same-sex marriage in all 50 states could induce me to give him my vote in November or to give him a fucking penny toward his re-election.

Obama also has been a dismal disappointment as far as labor rights are concerned. Early next month, Wisconsinites will decide in a recall election whether or not to allow Repugnican Tea Party Gov. Scott Walker to keep his job for his decision to try to destroy the state’s labor unions, a project that he apparently started immediately after his election in November 2009 (if not even beforehand).

(Walker claimed that the labor unions were making the state go broke, but he had had no problem giving the state’s plutocrats tax cuts. In bad economic times, you see, it’s the working class and the middle class who are to suffer even more — not the plutocratic elite, who, like on the Titanic, are the ones who get the lifeboats while the rest of us are to drown in the icy sea.)

In November 2007 at a campaign rally in South Carolina, Barack Obama said this: “And understand this: If American workers are being denied their right to organize and collectively bargain when I’m in the White House, I’ll put on a comfortable pair of shoes myself; I will walk on that picket line with you as president of the United States of America, because workers deserve to know that somebody is standing in their corner.” (Here is video of that promise.)

Yet when Wisconsin became a battleground for the life of its labor unions in early 2010, when national media attention was focused on the state’s capital, where the fuck was President Barack Obama? He couldn’t find a comfortable pair of shoes? Despite his clear promise to stand up for — in person — “American workers [who] are being denied their right to organize and collectively bargain,” Obama showed his face not once in Wisconsin. Not once.

How about the British Petroleum debacle? Obama sat on his hands as BP’s oil well in the Gulf of Mexico filled the gulf with crude oil for months in the summer of 2010, making it the largest marine oil spill ever. Clearly the corporate-ass-kissing Obama White House took a back seat to BP and to Big Oil in the environmental catastrophe.

Yet despite his colossal failures of leadership — and these are just three of them — the sweet-talking Barack Obama, who is as slick as the millions of barrels of crude oil that have filled the Gulf of Mexico, wants, even apparently expects, the money and the votes of gay men and lesbians (and other non-heterosexuals and non-gender-conforming Americans who want equal human and civil rights right now — none of this “evolving” bullshit), the money and the votes of the members of labor unions, and the money and the votes of environmentalists.

Barack Obama does not deserve this money or these votes. He makes promises and he breaks them. He asks you to put him or to keep him in power, yet once you do, he does not deliver for you, but tells you that in the future, in the future, in the future, he will use his public office for the public good.

You have absofuckinglutely no reason to believe that Barack Obama the sweet-talking and self-interested two-faced coward will be any more effective in a second term than he has been thus far. None.

(On a related note, when “Meet the Press'” Gregory asked Biden if the Obama administration would come out for same-sex marriage in a second term, Biden replied, “I don’t know the answer to that,” adding, “This is evolving.”)

You know, at least with Mittens Romney we would know what we were getting. The enemy clearly would be the enemy.

Which is worse:

Someone like Mittens, who at least is fairly up front about the fact that as president he wouldn’t lift a fucking finger to help non-heterosexuals achieve equal human and civil rights, that as president he would help further destroy what’s left of our labor unions and our middle class in order to further enrich the filthy fucking rich, and that as president of course he would side with Big Oil and other corporations over the environment — or — someone like Barack Obama, who explicitly or implicitly promises us progressives that he’s on our side, but then, once we’ve put him in office, fucks us over anyway?

And memo to Joe Biden: You also stated on “Meet the Press” today, “I think ‘Will & Grace’ probably did more to educate the American public than almost anything anybody has ever done so far.”

“Will & Grace,” Joe?

Really?

It’s a fucking sitcom, Joe. A fucking sitcom. One that ended six years ago this month.

That’s the best example that you can come up with to show how gay-friendly and how politically correctly accepting of non-heterosexuals that you are?

That’s like saying to a gay man, “I have a gay cousin in New York City. Maybe you know him!”

As well-intended as it might be, it’s better to say nothing at all than to reveal that you actually have no fucking clue about the historically oppressed minority group that you’re talking about.

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Repugnican Tea Party’s recipe for hell on earth: More babies, more warming

Vice President Joe Biden is under attack again from the Repugnican Tea Party traitors, this time for apparently having voiced his support of China’s one-child policy.

What would the Repugnican Tea Party traitors do without Joe Biden? Biden is known for saying impolitical things, and while former veep Dick Cheney should be executed for his war crimes and his crimes against humanity (as should George W. Bush, Condoleezza Rice, et. al.), the “tea party” traitors’ bullshit line is the President Barack Obama (somehow) is responsible for everything that Biden says and does.

What I take Biden’s reported statement to mean is that he’s understands that China’s government decided to limit the nation’s population growth. However, China allegedly has “coercive birth limitation policies, including forced abortion and sterilization,” which Biden opposes, according to a statement issued by Biden’s office.

Of course, the Repugnican Tea Party traitors have been all over this, insinuating that Biden endorses everything that the Chinese government does. Reports Yahoo! News:

“China’s one-child policy is gruesome and barbaric,” former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney, a 2012 contender, said Tuesday in a statement. “Instead of condoning the policy, Vice President Biden should have condemned it in the strongest possible terms. There can be no defense of a government that engages in compulsory sterilization and forced abortions in the name of population control.”

“China’s one-child policy has led to the great human tragedy of forced abortions throughout China, and Vice President Biden’s refusal to ‘second-guess’ this horrendous policy demonstrates great moral indifference on the part of the Obama Administration,” presidential candidate Rick Perry, governor of Texas, said in a statement Tuesday. “Americans value life, and we deserve leaders who will stand up against such inhumanity, not cast a blind eye.”

So Joe Biden is a baby killer, you see, and by extension, so is Barack Obama.

Of course, as the American empire continues to collapse, with talk of Social Security and Medicare being wiped out because there are too many Americans to take care of, now would be a great time for the United States of America to seriously begin to consider reining in its own population growth.

Do I advocate forced sterilization or forced abortions? Of course not. And neither does Joe Biden (or Barack Obama or anyone else within the Democratic Party high command), which fucking liars Mitt Romney and Rick Perry — who call themselves “Christians” despite their blatant fucking lies — both fucking know.

Of course, Perry and Romney and their ilk are just pandering to the mouth-breathers’ belief that it’s a swell idea to keep popping out the puppies, whether we are taking care of these puppies or not, and are putting out there the blatant lie that if re-elected, Barack Obama will initiate forced abortions and forced sterilizations! And the Repugnican Tea Party’s base of ignorant, fearful fucktards will believe it — after all, Mitt Romney and Rick Perry said it!

What would be responsible public policy, however, would be for the government to pay for voluntary sterilization. After all, it would be much less expensive for all of us taxpayers to pay for one sterilization procedure than to have to pay for another human being (public school expenses, health care expenses, infrastructure expenses due to population growth, Social Security, etc.).

However, the key is voluntary. Nothing forced.

A sane, responsible population of people that isn’t incredibly stupidly hell-bent on its own fucking destruction keeps itself in check, under control. 

Not only is our economy collapsing, due mostly to the plutocrats’ treasonous greed, of course — we have plenty of wealth in the United States; it’s that our wealth has been stolen from us since the Reagan years through a thousand cuts and has been concentrated in the treasonous hands of the plutocratic few, who enjoy the protection of the treasonous Repugnican Tea Party — but let’s face it, the more individuals we have using our resources, the faster our resources are depleted, and the planet suffers, too, such as with increased global warming from the increased use of fossil fuels from the increase in the number of consumers of fossil fuels.

Of course, Romney and Perry and their ilk not only want Americans to keep popping out babies that we can’t take of, but they “don’t believe” in global warming, as though global warming weren’t science — which it is — but were something like the Tooth Fairy or Santa Claus or the Easter Bunny. Reports The Associated Press:

Bedford, N.H. — GOP presidential candidate Rick Perry told New Hampshire voters [last week] that he does not believe in manmade global warming, calling it a scientific theory that has not been proven.

“I think we’re seeing almost weekly, or even daily, scientists that are coming forward and questioning the original idea that manmade global warming is what is causing the climate to change,” the Texas governor said on the first stop of a two-day trip to the first-in-the-nation primary state.

He said some want billions or trillions of taxpayer dollars spent to address the issue, but he added: “I don’t think from my perspective that I want to be engaged in spending that much money on still a scientific theory that has not been proven and from my perspective is more and more being put into question.” …

It’s entirely untrue that global warming is just a theory that the world’s scientists aren’t agreed upon. There is virtually universal agreement among the world’s scientists that global warming is very real and is a serious problem.*

It’s that Rick Perry is the governor of Texas, Big Oil’s No. 1 state, and his campaign contributors, and his party’s campaign contributors, give Perry and his ilk an awful lot of money not to “believe” in global warming. The science, you see, as Al Gore put it, is inconvenient to those who profit obscenely, at our long-term expense, from continuing to destroy the planet via the use of fossil fuels — just as, as Gore also pointed out, the discovery that tobacco causes cancer sure rained on Big Tobacco’s parade of profiteering. (And, as Gore also pointed out, Big Tobacco tried to lie about the science about the harmful and even lethal effects of its products for as long as it could, just as Big Oil is doing now.) 

Now, the whole Texas secession thing aside, I view taking money from Big Oil in order to allow Big Oil to continue to harm us, the people, to amount to treason. A public servant is supposed to serve the people, not harm the people for selfish personal gain. Yet here is traitor Perry calling others traitors. That’s typical of the hypocrisy of the right wing, though, of course.

Not to be outdone by Perry, a week after Perry announced that he “doesn’t believe” in global warming, Romney pretty much did the same thing, saying, also in New Hampshire, “Do I think the world’s getting hotter? Yeah, I don’t know that but I think that it is. I don’t know if it’s mostly caused by humans. What I’m not willing to do is spend trillions of dollars on something I don’t know the answer to.”

Of course, the problem isn’t really the spending of trillions of dollars — after all, we blow that much money on bogus wars for the war profiteers. The problem is not allowing Big Oil to continue to profiteer from our demise because of our planet’s demise. Big Oil doesn’t want its big profits jeopardized, and its cronies within the treasonous Repugnican Tea Party care more about Big Oil’s continued obscene profits than they care about the welfare of the rest of us or our planet.

Only one of the Repugnican contenders, former Utah Gov. Jon Huntsman, who doesn’t have a snowball’s chance in hell of winning the 2012 Repugnican Tea Party presidential nomination because he is the sanest of the bunch of contenders, recently declared, “To be clear: I believe in evolution and trust scientists on global warming. Call me crazy.”** Oh, those of his ill-chosen party do.

But while one is entitled to his or her opinions, one is not entitled to his or her facts — whether one falsely claims that global warming is not a reality or falsely claims that Joe Biden (and other Dems) support forced abortions and/or forced sterilizations.

And the claim of the majority of the Repugnican Tea Party traitors that reality indeed is whatever they deem reality to be — all of that inconvenient science be damned — is the dictionary definition of the word “insanity,” which is a break from reality.

And the insanity of the likes of Mitt Romney and Rick Perry isn’t just their cute quirkiness. Their insanity threatens all of us and the entire planet, because in the most powerful political office of the United States of America, their insanity would be gargantuanly amplified.

A responsible leader leads us where we need to go, even if many or even most of us are are not thrilled about having to make the journey.

We need to keep our population in check. We clearly can’t take care of those who already are here in the United States, so why contribute to our national misery by popping out even more puppies?

We sure love our fossil fuels, but they’re killing us, as surely as a person with terminal lung cancer who still loves his or her cigarettes is only hastening his or her own demise.

Perry, Romney & Co. claim to care about life, but short-sighted policies that in the long run threaten all life on the planet aren’t what I’d call pro-life.

To support policies that guarantee continued runaway profiteering and personal political gain in the short term but that cause long-term damage to the nation and to the world isn’t just short-sighted, irresponsible and insane. It’s treasonous.

Based upon just the two critically important issues of population control and global warming alone, the choice for president in November 2012 should be pretty fucking crystal clear to those of us who are not absofuckinglutely insane.

*The Associated Press notes that “Perry’s opinion runs counter to the view held by an overwhelming majority of scientists that pollution released from the burning of fossil fuels is heating up the planet. Perry’s home state of Texas releases more heat-trapping pollution carbon dioxide — the chief greenhouse gas — than any other state in the country, according to government data.” (Emphasis mine.)

**Huntsman also recently stated: “The minute that the Republican Party becomes the … anti-science party, we have a huge problem…. When we take a position that isn’t willing to embrace evolution, when we take a position that basically runs counter to what 98 or 100 climate scientists have said … I think we find ourselves on the wrong side of science and, therefore, in a losing position.”

The only thing there I disagree with is that the Repugnican Tea Paty already is the anti-science party. It isn’t becoming the anti-science party.

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