The “Senator From MBNA” — Does Joe Biden Have A Corruption Problem?

“Joe Biden has a long history of taking money from big donors and doing them favors as senator.” — Zephyr Teachout

By Mehdi Hasan
Deconstructed / The Intercept (1/30/20)

ON JANUARY 20, The Guardian published an op-ed by New York attorney and law professor Zephyr Teachout titled ‘Middle Class’ Joe Biden has a corruption problem — it makes him a weak candidate.” In it, Teachout argues that Biden’s history of taking big donations from the credit card, health care, and fossil fuel industries and then voting on their behalf makes him a poor choice against Donald Trump in the fall. “A lot of the voters we need,” she writes, “independents and people who might stay home — will look at Biden and Trump and say: ‘They’re all dirty.’”

Teachout is a public supporter of Bernie Sanders and when the Biden camp took umbrage at the piece, Sanders apologized for it. “It is absolutely not my view that Joe is corrupt in any way,” said the Vermont senator. “And I’m sorry that that op-ed appeared.” But was that really the right reply from a candidate who has made the fight against big money in politics one of the cornerstones of his campaign? Zephyr Teachout joins Mehdi Hasan to discuss Joe Biden and the culture of corruption in Washington.

Link To Story, Transcript And 33-Minute Audio

  • ‘Middle Class’ Joe Biden Has A Corruption Problem – It Makes Him A Weak Candidate — Democrats are trying to choose a candidate to beat Donald Trump, the most corrupt president in history. Some think nominating Joe Biden, a moderate white man who calls himself “Middle Class” Joe, makes sense. But Biden has a big corruption problem and it makes him a weak candidate. I know it seems crazy, but a lot of the voters we need – independents and people who might stay home – will look at Biden and Trump and say: “They’re all dirty.” It looks like “Middle Class” Joe has perfected the art of taking big contributions, then representing his corporate donors at the cost of middle- and working-class Americans. Converting campaign contributions into legislative favors and policy positions isn’t being “moderate”. It is the kind of transactional politics Americans have come to loathe. There are three clear examples. … Read The Rest