Saturday, March 21, 2020

That "Centrist", Joe Biden

Nancy LeTourneau makes a point in the Washington Monthly that I've made quite a few times before and which I feel is still widely ignored. Whatever else people feel obliged to call Joe Biden, he is running on a very progressive platform. His positions only seem less so because they are constantly compared to those of Sanders and Warren which are admittedly more "left". .
The fact of the matter is that the country has moved to the left, the Democratic party as a whole has moved to the left and Biden, as a pretty faithful representative of the party, has moved to the left as well. If he does get elected, he will be committed to a whole set of priorities that are plenty progressive; he and the Democrats in Congress will have to work very hard just to get some of them enacted.
LeTourneau lays out the case well:
"[P]rogressives are wrong to suggest that a Biden presidency would be nothing more than a return to the status quo of the Obama years. His platform currently includes the following:
1. Increase taxes on the wealthy. The Tax Policy Center calculated that Biden’s plan would raise $4 trillion over a decade—one of the largest wealth transfers in American history.
2. Subsidies and Medicaid funding, along with a public option, in order to achieve universal health care.
3. A combination of $17 trillion in clean energy investment and tighter regulations to bring emissions to zero by 2050.
4. A combined $2 trillion in new spending on early education, post-secondary education, and housing.
5. A $1.3 trillion infrastructure plan.
6. A $15 minimum wage.
7. Closure of the gun show loophole and a ban on the sale of assault weapons.
8. Comprehensive immigration reform, including a pathway to citizenship for undocumented immigrants.
9. A comprehensive program for criminal justice reform.
10. A constitutional amendment to eliminate private dollars from our federal elections.
Just a few days ago, Biden signed on to support Senator Elizabeth Warren’s bankruptcy plan.
When it comes to foreign policy, Biden would, first of all, restore the Iran Nuclear Agreement and re-engage the United States in the Paris Climate Accord. But I would also remind you that, during his time in the Obama administration, Biden consistently counseled against foreign military intervention. Restoring the relationships with our allies that have been decimated by the current administration is something Biden would tackle on day one.
While none of that reaches the level of change proposed by Senators Sanders and Warren, it hardly qualifies as “centrist” or maintenance of the status quo. It is one of the most progressive platforms we’ve ever seen from a presidential candidate."
Just so. With that in mind--and assuming we get through the next few months--let's make sure we get this guy elected in November. His supposedly centrist ideas would add up to big change in America.
He is running on one of the most progressive platforms we've ever seen from a presidential candidate.

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