News & Politics

As Joe Biden Selects Staff the Democrats' Left Gets Louder and Angrier

AP Photo/Carolyn Kaster

The Democrat Party’s left think they did a lot to get Joe Biden elected. And they demand their preferred policies be pursued by the new administration. After all, they protested, rioted, destroyed cities, and harassed their political opponents. It was a lot of work done with a lot of cover from the corporate media for their “mostly peaceful protests” in places like Kenosha, Wisconsin.

But moderates, several of whom ran in very competitive races, take the opposite view, saying the radical policies that the left-wing members push do not play outside of the Squad’s safe urban districts. This group asserts policies such as “defund the police” either made their races more difficult or cost them their seat.

The Justice Democrats, who gave us the radical Squad largely by running them against incumbent Democrats in low turnout primaries, have different ideas. On their website, their stated mission is:

We need a Democratic Party that fights for its voters, not big corporate donors. Our goal is to build a mission-driven caucus in Congress by electing more leaders like Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez and Jamaal Bowman, who will represent our communities in Congress and fight for bold, progressive solutions to our current crises.

The emerging Biden administration does not seem to share their view. Corporate America will find many of its former consultants and lawyers among the picks. This morning, it was announced that Rep. Cedric Richmond (D-La.) would be moving to a Biden White House position. His record on environmental issues is not exactly what the Green New Deal caucus wants:

Despite representing a low-lying Louisiana district that could be one of the areas in the U.S. most immediately impacted by climate change, Richmond has voted reliably in favor of expanding production and exports of natural gas and oil. His voting record is one of the most fossil fuel industry-friendly of all Democrats in Congress.

Campaign Manager Jen O’Malley Dillon is listed as Deputy Chief of Staff designate. Her marketing firm served clients such as General Electric, Planned Parenthood, Humana, IBM, YouTube, Bank of America, and the National Football League. Her future boss, Ron Klain, worked as a lobbyist before joining the Obama administration. His career lobbying for big corporate interests raised eyebrows at the time. Even Biden’s General Counsel, Dana Remus, clerked for Justice Samuel Alito, ostensibly one of the more conservative justices on the Court.

The remaining named appointments all have some link to big business, Wall Street, and the party’s establishment wing. This is not what the left expected, and they fully expect to influence policy and appointments. In fact, the Justice Democrats and the Sunrise Movement have put out their list of acceptable cabinet members for a “Climate Mandate.” Their criteria are:

  • No ties to fossil fuel companies or corporate lobbyists.
  • Collectively, the Cabinet should be representative of America.
  • Fights with the urgency that the climate crisis demands.

Of course, it includes members the Justice Democrats have supported, such as Rep. Rashida Tlaib (D-Mich.)  and Rep. Pramila Jayapal (D-Wash.). Collectively they have about five minutes of experience in Congress. Not sure this qualifies them to run Housing and Urban Development or Health and Human Services, respectively, but Justice Democrats have no doubts.

It is also rumored that Biden will not be adding progressive darlings Senators Bernie Sanders and Elizabeth Warren to his key cabinet positions. The left-wing coalition envisions them as the secretary of labor and secretary of the treasury. Biden is more likely to select politicians like Senator Chris Coons (D-Del.), who is viewed as a moderate.

This summer taught us that the left can throw one heck of a nationwide tantrum. If Team Biden thinks those talents won’t be used against a Biden administration, they are mistaken. The Justice Democrats are already saying they disapprove of Biden’s current list of staffers and say they threaten the goodwill built with progressives during the election.

To advance the establishment candidate, politicians such as Sanders and Warren could be bought. The younger activists are not as likely to go along when they’re told to take a backseat. This should be a full-fledged fracture by 2022. If the GOP can’t capitalize on it, they don’t deserve to lead either.

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