His is the vaguest and most centrist of battle cries: let’s go back to, you know, “all those good things”.
By Arwa Mahdawi
The Guardian (4/26/19)
Joe Biden wants to make America straight again. “America’s coming back like we used to be,” the former vice-president told reporters in Delaware on Thursday, shortly after he released a video officially announcing his 2020 campaign. “Ethical, straight, telling the truth … All those good things.”
It was unfortunate phrasing, but what else would you expect from a man whose foot always seems to be hovering somewhere near his mouth? Gaffes are part of Biden’s brand and, we will, no doubt see a lot more of them in the coming months.
Even though he is another version of Clinton, and seems to be getting set to run a carbon copy of Clinton’s campaign, we’re going to be told ad nauseum that he’s our best bet at beating Trump.
We can also expect to see a lot more lofty promises about turning the clock back on Trumpism, and returning America to the (entirely mythical) days when the country was a bastion of morality. While it’s still early in the 2020 race, Biden has focused his campaign directly around Trump’s character, or lack thereof, in a way no other Democratic candidate has. His announcement video centered on the 2017 white supremacist rally in Charlottesville, where Trump infamously claimed that there “were very fine people of both sides”. For Biden, that was a defining point in Trump’s presidency. “[I]n that moment, I knew the threat to this nation was unlike any I’d ever seen in my lifetime,” Biden says. “If we give Donald Trump eight years in the White House I believe he will forever and fundamentally alter the character of this nation.”
Is Trump a morally bankrupt racist? Yes, obviously. However, there is a reason that the other Democratic candidates didn’t launch their campaigns with attacks on Trump’s character: that strategy was tried, tested and proved an abysmal failure by Hillary Clinton. You don’t get Trump supporters to see the error of their ways by calling them “a basket of deplorables”; you simply fuel a culture war. …
(Commoner Call cartoon by Mark L. Taylor, 2019. Open source and free for non-derivative use with link to www.thecommonercall.org )
Joe Biden Is Stuck In The Past When It Comes To Climate Change
On the biggest issue our civilization’s ever faced, we need him thinking like it’s 2030, not 2010.
The Guardian UK (5/11/19)
A Reuters story Friday morning said that Biden’s energy policy team was looking for what the reporter called a “middle ground” on climate change, and in particular that it planned to rely on expanding the use of fracked natural gas as a way to reduce emissions. This is, to put it plainly, a return to the all-of-the-above energy strategy that marked the Obama years, and a terrible idea.
As is now entirely clear, increasing fracking increases the flow of methane to the atmosphere, and since methane is a potent greenhouse gas it drives up the rate of global warming. In the early days of the Obama years, when we knew far less about the chemistry of methane, it was a perhaps-defensible plan; in 2019 it’s embarrassing, the equivalent of idling your muscle car outside the Earth Day picnic. There is no “middle ground” on climate change—there’s only meeting the demands of physics and chemistry (and justice), or watching the temperature soar.
Why would we stay in the “middle of the road” when the left lane promises solutions that will not only help the climate, but also our economy, public health, and national security?
A few hours after the story, as environmental activists (and primary opponents) tweeted their dismay, the Biden team seemed to blush. Biden’s energy advisor Heather Zichal said that the Reuters reports were wrong, and that instead he planned to “enact a bold policy to tackle climate change in a meaningful and lasting way.” But the fact that it was Zichal making the statement essentially confirmed the accuracy of the original story: in the early Obama years, she’d headed up an interagency working group to promote the development of domestic natural gas.
The working group had been formed after pressure from the American Petroleum Institute, the chief fossil-fuel lobbying group, and Zichal, in a talk to an API gathering, said: “It’s hard to overstate how natural gas—and our ability to access more of it than ever—has become a game changer.” Zichal left her White House job in 2013; one year later, she took a gig on the board of Cheniere Energy, a leading exporter of fracked gas, which has earned her over a million dollars.
And Zichal said Biden was also turning for advice to former energy secretary Ernest Moniz, who oversaw the rise of the United States to its position as the biggest oil and gas producer on the planet and continues to recommend natural gas development, and …