- Victor C. Bolles
Joe Biden’s election as president has not been certified by the states and President Trump refuses to concede, but progressives are already staking their claims for important positions and policy actions in the upcoming Biden Administration.
The political website Politico reported even before the election that Senator Elizabeth Warren wanted the post of Treasury Secretary. Bernie Sanders has been on television demanding that Biden implement the Unity platform that he helped to develop with the ideas of Thomas Piketty, Gabriel Zucman and Emmanuel Saez (all educated in France as hard-core socialists). In addition, Sanders admitted that he would accept the position as labor secretary if offered (of course, he is not being passive in this quest as he is reportedly lobbying union leaders to promote his candidacy). And Black Lives Matter co-founder Patrisse Cullors has sent a message to President-elect Biden stating, “we want something for our vote” and demanding a meeting to discuss BLM’s agenda and their expectations of a Biden presidency.
But Senator Warren would make a terrible Treasury Secretary. She hates banks (especially Wall Street banks) and they hate her back. She has long favored consumers over the banks, but consumer advocacy is not the job of the Treasury Secretary. The Treasury Secretary raises funds for the government through debt issuance and collecting taxes and pays the government bills. The Treasury relies on the banks to buy the government’s bonds and notes and to make a market in them for the other investors. Historically debt issuance at the Treasury has been very successful. How successful would Treasury operations be if a Secretary Warren was at war with the banks?
And a socialist that does not believe in the free market economic system would not make a good labor secretary. A good Labor Secretary should try and balance the needs of business and labor for the benefit of the entire country. But socialism believes that all profit is illegitimate because it comes from the exploitation of the workers. There is no balance in this position.
And while Patrisse Cullors can tell President-elect Biden that “black people won this election” that does not mean the Black Lives Matter organization actually helped Biden get elected. Black Lives Matter protests combined with antifa rioting unnerved and even frightened many people and caused great harm within minority neighborhoods. President Trump’s economy saw record gains in minority employment and record low unemployment for blacks. In 2020, Trump saw an increase in the percent and number of black voters from 2016 (especially among black men).
The truth of the matter is that the progressive wing of the Democratic Party almost cost Joe Biden the election. Joe Biden made getting rid of President Trump the hallmark of his campaign. By extension, Joe portrayed himself as a nice guy who would try to unify the country after four years of division. In this effort he was largely successful. President Trump tried to portray Joe Biden as mentally deficient or senile, but Joe performed okay in the second debate when he could actually speak and be heard (Trump had come across as a bully and an asshole in the first debate). So Joe Biden won the election as a nice guy centrist Democrat, not as a red flag waving socialist revolutionary.
The proof of this lies in the down ballot results. The Republicans appear likely to retain control of the Senate if they can win one of the two Georgia Senate seats that must be decided by run-off elections in January. Although run-off elections are hard to predict, the Republicans had the lead in the general election. In the House of Representatives, Republicans have gained 8 seats while there are still 7 to call at this time. Meanwhile Republicans gained one governorship (in Montana) and gained both legislative chambers in New Hampshire. Not much a blue wave.
So the progressive wing of the Democratic Party (along with the Black Lives Matter organization) has no right to claim a significant role in a new Biden administration. If anything, they almost cost Joe Biden the election with their far-left socialist agenda. It was only President Trump’s very high negatives that gave Biden a narrow win.
But socialists are renowned for getting a toehold in government and then never giving it up. The first thing they do in power is to change the structure of government in order to maintain their grip on power and to make sure that future elections can only go their way. That’s how the Soviet Union was created, the Bolsheviks were only a small party in the interim Kerensky government before the October Revolution. That’s also how Hugo Chavez and Daniel Ortega converted fledgling democracies into socialist dictatorships. It’s also what the progressives state that they want to do in the United States.
If Joe Biden sheds his centrist persona and veers to the left in the first years of his administration (much as President Obama did in his) he will likely find that the long-expected blue wave has turned into a blue ebb tide in 2022.
You may have noted in this commentary that I have been assuming that President-elect Biden will actually be elected by the electors of the Electoral College as President. This despite a flurry of lawsuits and innumerable tweets about fraud and cheating from President Trump and his campaign team.
And while President Trump and his team continue to claim that the Democrats cheated and that there was massive fraud, most experts that I have seen on TV and in the news have said that the elections were fairly clean and that there were only a few irregularities. I know some of my readers are in apoplectic fits at these words, but the truth of the matter is that the massive fraud needed to change the outcome of the election could not have occurred. Joe Biden won the popular vote by over five million votes. A fraud to create that volume of vote manipulation can only occur in countries like Russia or Venezuela.
The proof of the relative honesty of the 2020 election is the down ballot results. Down ballot Republicans did relatively well, gaining in the House of Representatives, governorships and state legislatures. Eric Holder’s grand and expensive plan for a blue wave to sweep Democrats into the state houses before the reapportionment battles based on the 2020 census, was an abysmal failure. If the Democrats had been cheating to deny President Trump the reelection he so much desired, they would have also cheated on these down ballot races. But they didn’t flip a single legislature (in fact they lost two and a governorship).
So there was no massive fraud. And Joe Biden will be the next President of the United States. The Republicans will have to live with that. They cannot spend the next four years saying that Biden is an illegitimate president like the Democrats have been saying about Trump for the last four years. People are tired of that.
What the Republicans must do is put this election behind them and begin planning for the future. The good news is that the American people have rejected the Democrat’s flirtation with socialism and that there is a large sector of the electorate that wants the non-divisive politics and bipartisan governance that is there for the taking. It is just that Donald Trump is not the man that can deliver that. The next two years will be interesting.