The Democratic Party and its corporate media have already whitewashed Biden, and nothing will be demanded of him except that he not be Trump.
The bad orange man is now back in Florida. Donald Trump, known as “45” by people who refused to speak his name, is history. His accidental presidency is now a bad memory and the sight of him taking his last flight onboard Air Force One was a moment of relief at the very least. Unfortunately, there is too much joy and not enough analysis about his departure and the new Biden administration.
Inauguration day was of course full of pomp and ceremony but this year there was more propaganda than usual. Some of it appeared to be trivial, such as the news that former first ladies wore purple to signify unity between red and blue states. But the pro-Biden narrative is strong, so much so that a New York Times editor deviated from the rules of journalistic ethics and declared, “I have chills,” upon watching his arrival in Washington.
It was especially sad to see black people being entirely too enthusiastic about the occasion. There was excitement at the sight of the Obamas, and Michelle’s lovely outfit and a young black poet reciting her work at the event. Kamala Harris was sworn in as vice president and added a fist bump with Barack Obama to put icing on the cake.
Anyone who dared bring a skunk to the party and point out that the promised $2,000 stimulus was reduced to $1,400 and that no one will see this tiny amount until April, was deemed a sneering killjoy who wanted to rain on others’ parades. The lament ran along the lines of, “Can’t we be happy for one day?” Of course, individuals can be as happy as they would like but that is no reason for anyone else to censor themselves.
Joe Biden is in a position to be a very dangerous president precisely because he follows Trump. The sighs of relief give him an opportunity to get away with just about anything he wants. We have already seen the rehabilitation of George W. Bush, election thief and killer of up to 1 million Iraqis, all because he seemed nicer than Trump. Barack Obama could destroy Libya, bail out banks and claim a right to kill anyone he wanted but he had a formidable marketing team, solid support from corporate media, and the gift of knowing how to play to the crowd.
The Democratic Party and its corporate media have already white-washed Biden, a right-wing senator, mediocre vice presidential sidekick, and architect of mass incarceration. They protected him as soon as it was clear the Democratic Party establishment had chosen him to be their nominee. They covered up when it was clear he was not in good health and invented a story of a stutter that no one had ever heard in his 48 years in public life. Twitter banned anyone from sharing the story of his son Hunter Biden’s lost laptop and evidence that he met with Ukrainians who were paying $50,000 a month for a no-show position at an energy company. Joe Biden has more than the Secret Service giving him protection.
We are told that Joe is a devout Catholic who loves his wife and is a good and decent man and a loving dad. He is honorable, patriotic and even mentioned white supremacy in his inaugural speech. Of course, the United States is foundationally white supremacist but raising that point consigns one to killjoy status.
No one wants to be thought of as the party pooper but no one should want to be a chump either. The man who was supposed to save us from Trump’s COVID-19 ineptitude now says that the disease trajectory is such that he can’t do anything about the death toll which he estimates will rise to 600,000 victims.
The for-profit health care system can’t produce enough hospital beds for the already sick or enough vaccine to prevent further harm. The 50 states have 50 different rules for inoculations. Some have run out of the vaccines while others are throwing away a supply that can no longer be used. Of course, Trump will be blamed forever and the miracle that was supposed to come with a new president is nothing but cheap talk.
Of course, foreign policy hasn’t changed either. Biden will keep the U.S. embassy in Jerusalem, and continue to recognize Trump’s hand-picked fake Venezuelan president Juan Guaido. His nominee for secretary of state spits out the usual attacks on China with phony charges of genocide. While the Syrian government demanded that the United States stop stealing its oil , the U.S. announced that it would increase its deployment levels in that country which wants it to go away.
Biden will be like his old boss Obama, not a lesser evil, but a more effective one. His level of effectiveness is directly tied to the support he receives from the donor class and the corporate media. The stimulus is too little too late and so is any COVID response. That is not how the story will be told, however. The Trump specter will be pulled out of the closet and cheap identity politics along with it. “Do you prefer Trump?” “Can’t you give Biden a chance?” “A black woman is the vice president!”
Let those who want to be happy at this state of affairs enjoy the moment. Although no one else should silence themselves or stop paying attention. Many crises are coming to a head, and Kamala Harris and her wardrobe choices won’t save anyone.
Margaret Kimberley’s Freedom Rider column appears weekly in BAR, and is widely reprinted elsewhere. She maintains a frequently updated blog as well at patreon.com/margaretkimberley and she regularly posts on Twitter @freedomrideblog. Ms. Kimberley lives in New York City, and can be reached via e-Mail at Margaret.Kimberley(at)BlackAgendaReport.com.