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Joe Biden Will be a Republican President
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Past performance is no guarantee of future returns, but there are few more reliable ways to predict what comes next than to examine the historical record, because, most of the time, history really does repeat itself.

What kind of president would Joe Biden be? His centrist supporters assure progressives that he will be one of them, pushing an aggressive legislative agenda reminiscent of FDR’s New Deal. His Republican opponents portray him as a socialist. But Biden hasn’t actually promised anything ambitious.

The last two Democratic presidencies provide a good indication of what a Biden administration would look like. Like Biden, Bill Clinton and Barack Obama hail from the centrist party establishment. If personnel is policy, the three men hang out with many of the same advisors, businesspeople and elected officials. They’re not identical: Clinton is a charismatic retail politician; Obama is aloof and professorial; and Biden is an Lyndon Johnson-style buttonholer minus Johnson’s secret idealism. But they’re ideologically and temperamentally similar to a remarkable extent.

I remembered Clinton and Obama as deeply disappointing to voters with traditional liberal Democratic values. I remembered that most of their major legislative accomplishments would not have been out of place under a Republican administration.

When I checked the historical record recently, however, it was even worse than I remembered.

Clinton used his political capital to push through free trade deals like NAFTA and the World Trade Organization, which killed manufacturing jobs and drove the final nails into the coffin of big labor. He “ended welfare as we know it,” making it even more difficult for people who lost their jobs to get back on their feet and adding the chronically poor to the ranks of the homeless. Clinton signed Joe Biden’s now-infamous 1994 crime bill into law, codifying a racist judicial system that disproportionately punishes black men for relatively minor offenses.

Clinton repealed the 1930s-era Glass-Steagall Act, banking deregulation set the stage for banks to wallow in the reckless predatory lending practices that tanked the global economy in 2008-09.

His most impressive achievement was balancing the federal budget and paying off the deficit, but he didn’t do it by raising taxes on the rich. He imposed austerity on social programs — just like a Republican would do.

I searched hard for Clintonian achievements that could credibly be called liberal or at least left of center, but aside from a few minor regulations here and there, there aren’t any. “So we liberals and radicals searched the Clinton administration for vast new programs to applaud. But nothing loomed into view,” Paul Berman wrote in The New Republic at the end of Clinton’s presidency in 2000. Clinton was a moderate Republican president.

ORDER IT NOW

In some ways — especially foreign policy — Obama was even worse. Clinton bombed with the bloody relentlessness of a Reagan or a Bush: Bosnia, Sudan, Afghanistan and, forgotten now, Iraq so much and so often that pilots dumped their bombs in the desert to cover for the fact that they were running out of fresh targets. His sanctions stopped everything, including medical supplies, from entering Afghanistan. But he had nothing on Obama.

After Col. Muammar Gaddafi signed a peace deal with Bush that ended Libya’s nuclear program, Obama assassinated him with a drone, plunging that nation into a bloody civil war. Thanks to Obama, Libya, formerly the most literate and prosperous country in Africa, is now a failed state where slavery has been restored. Obama similarly wrecked Syria, where he also funded and armed jihadi extremists against secular socialist leaders. Obama radically expanded Bush’s drone program; kept Gitmo open; effectively pardoned Bush’s torturers; and expanded the USA Patriot Act and National Security Agency spying on your phone calls and emails.

With Democrats like these, you don’t need Republicans!

For liberals, there is one relatively bright spot in these 16 years of Democratic rule: the Affordable Care Act. Obamacare was the first major health-sector reform in decades and brought coverage to tens of millions of patients, most beneficially via Medicaid expansion.

Let’s face it. The last two Democratic presidents didn’t really govern like Democrats. Compare the ACA to the achievements of Republican presidents like Ronald Reagan, George W. Bush and Donald Trump. Republicans push through huge changes when they are in office.

And I’m not even going to point out — well, yes I am — that Obamacare was conceived by the right-wing Heritage Foundation.

As I wrote at the beginning of this essay, what happened under Clinton and Obama won’t necessarily be replicated by Joe Biden. But it almost certainly will be.

 
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  1. The Colonel in Libya was killed by Hillary’s thugs, by hand, not drone.

    • Replies: @Colonel Corn
  2. The Colonel in Libya was killed by Hillary’s thugs, by hand not drone.

    • Replies: @Occasional lurker
  3. He “ended welfare as we know it,” making it even more difficult for people who lost their jobs to get back on their feet and adding the chronically poor to the ranks of the homeless.

    He signed a welfare reform bill that liberal states mostly circumvented. But sure he gets credit for signing it.

    His most impressive achievement was balancing the federal budget and paying off the deficit, but he didn’t do it by raising taxes on the rich.

    He did actually raise the top rates. What is never mentioned about Clinton’s budget is that the government was flush with tech bubble cash. But he does get credit for not going on a spending spree.

    I searched hard for Clintonian achievements that could credibly be called liberal or at least left of center, but aside from a few minor regulations here and there, there aren’t any.

    Gun control.

    But yes Biden would overall be corporate a Republican when it comes to economic policy.

    An MSM backed Manchurian candidate with corporate Republican economic policies. Can’t see why people aren’t showing in droves to his rallies.

    • Replies: @Fidelios Automata
  4. IvyMike says:

    The ACA would have been a liberal program if Obama had followed his stated intention of basing it around a public option for pre-existing conditions instead of the personal coverage mandate. Obama and Clinton were much alike, brilliant men and expert politicians who were amazingly ignorant about most everything. Add in a moron(W) and an arrogant orange skinned dumbass and it’s no surprise the mess the world is in.

    • Replies: @Derer
  5. roonaldo says:

    Aw c’mon–Joe will be his true self in the Olfactory Office. After an exhausting pre-recorded daily teleprompter statement he’ll retire to the office couch for a quick pick-me-up from his trusty Veep “Sniffalicious” Harris.

  6. meamjojo says:

    Biden will resign in about one year due to dementia problems. Harris will take over and will have 3 years to build her case to be elected as president formally in 2024. The question you should be asking is what kind of president will Harris be?

    • Replies: @Derer
    , @Occasional lurker
  7. botazefa says:

    Ted, your last few columns have been about how you aren’t going to vote. About how there is no difference between the candidates. Etc.

    Now you are trying to encourage Republicans to vote for Biden because he’s a secret Republican. That’s nonsense and you know it.

    Your efforts are transparently dishonest and the above average consumers of Unz Review won’t be fooled.

  8. tyrone says:

    the great thing about Ted’s columns is you don’t have to read them………just the title tells you how full of shit the guy is.

    • Agree: meamjojo
  9. So Clinton and Obama were following a policy of aggressive, dogmatic, interventionist LIBERALISM.

    This is different than SOCIALISM.

    So why not just say it as it is and hide behind silly party labels? Because people don’t like criticising liberals or liberalism…much easier to hide behind party labels…

  10. “There’s not a dime’s worth of difference between the Democrat and Republican parties.”
    George Wallace circa 1965.

    • Replies: @Wielgus
  11. Derer says:
    @meamjojo

    Your theory will collapse by retaliatory impeachment of Harris or Biden – a new political invention in Washington. Reason?…sleeping with a german shepherd.

  12. Guest2 says:

    All this verbiage about Clinton and Obama and not a word about their new cold war.

  13. Clinton repealed the 1930s-era Glass-Steagall Act, banking deregulation set the stage for banks to wallow in the reckless predatory lending practices that tanked the global economy in 2008-09.

    Deregulation that allowed banks to give mortgages to any black or brown with the ability to fog a mirror. Those blacks and browns then went on to default at rates higher than anything in the past. Of course Baby Bush gets some of the blame with his plan to increase minority home ownership. Sailer covered all of this years ago.

  14. Derer says:
    @IvyMike

    IvyMike: “Obama and Clinton were much alike, brilliant men and expert politicians”

    I guess their thieving ability to become millionaires from the Washington environment and not from the market place could be branded as “brilliant”. This negative fact differentiate them from Bush and Trump.

  15. @John Johnson

    Clinton was one of our worse Presidents because the things he did (e.g., NAFTA, banking deregulation, ignoring al Qaeda) bit the country in the ass during later administrations.

    • Replies: @dimples
  16. @p4nc4k3s Pl34s3

    There was an assasination attempt via drones on his house before that, if I remember rightly.

  17. @meamjojo

    The same kind of president. There’s nothing to suggest otherwise. She wouldn’t have gotten the vice presidential nomination if she was not of malleable neocon / oligarch interests puppet material.

  18. Might as well .. better for the country, and the world ..

    Why can’t we all come out and confess that we simply had the miserable luck of letting a sleaze ball conning the idiocy wing of the populace into making what we have today a reality ? It is like finding out that the quarterback we spent a gold mine to recruit turn out to be a big wacko and a dud .. Move on to get the next franchise star saver ..

    Then, when we have spare time, we can then argue what type of idiocy in us that get us this evil moron in the first place ..

  19. Antiwar7 says:

    Now you are trying to encourage Republicans to vote for Biden because he’s a secret Republican. That’s nonsense and you know it.

    He’s arguing for progressives not to vote for Biden. The Republicans already have a candidate.

    • Replies: @Justvisiting
  20. dimples says:
    @Fidelios Automata

    Ignoring Al Qaeda was the plan. 911 needed a patsy and Al Qaeda was it.

  21. Wielgus says:
    @Curmudgeon

    Malcolm X said much the same before his death. When people apparently so poles apart note the same thing, there is a good chance it is true.

  22. Rahan says:

    Mister Rall is getting better and better in terms of basic prose mechanics on the level of word choice.

    Clinton is a charismatic retail politician; Obama is aloof and professorial; and Biden is an Lyndon Johnson-style buttonholer minus Johnson’s secret idealism.

    Good stuff!
    Also, yes, the corporate left and the corporate right blur into each other. Hence the populist revolts from the right (Brexit, Trump) and the left (Sanders, Corbyn). Only today “populist” means “attempting to go back to democracy as opposed to corporate managerial oligarchy”.

    And now, while the West continues its slide to a corporate Soviet cyberpunk system, let’s again quickly examine the post-Soviet democracies.
    In Lithuania, you have, on the parliamentary level, social democrats; christian conservatives, half a dozen populist versions; a Polish minority party, and not only greens but also agrarians.
    https://infogalactic.com/info/List_of_political_parties_in_Lithuania
    In Latvia, pretty much the same, but the minority party is not Polish but Russian
    https://infogalactic.com/info/List_of_political_parties_in_Latvia
    In Croatia, you have the same, with a Serbian minority party, and a bunch of localist movements.
    https://infogalactic.com/info/List_of_political_parties_in_Croatia
    In Romania the same, but with a Hungarian minority party.
    https://infogalactic.com/info/List_of_political_parties_in_Romania
    Likewise Slovakia https://infogalactic.com/info/List_of_political_parties_in_Slovakia
    Likewise Poland, but without a minority party: https://infogalactic.com/info/List_of_political_parties_in_Poland

    In each of these countries, politics are an actual free market that actually represents the needs and wants of the population. Politics there are “populist” as in “reflecting what the citizens want”, as opposed to “trying to force feed citizens stuff they don’t really want”.
    Eastern Europe discarded the Soviet system precisely in order to not be force fed stuff but have real choice instead–something the West is currently giving up on for reasons unknown.

    Farmers, villagers, and small town pro-nature voters have vibrant agrarian parties. Big city pro-nature voters have green parties. Every branch of the left, the right, and the center, is represented by a specific party. As are minorities. And everyone has a chance of entering Parliament and then working with others in order to create a government. No one is left out, except the most extreme Stalinists and Hitlerists.

    It would be great if in the US and the UK, minorities had their own parties, instead of infiltrating and taking over parties that are supposed to represent the whole nation.

    It would also be great if socialists had their own thing, commies had their own thing, and liberals had their own thing, instead of a vast amorphous allegedly leftwing party that constantly baits and switches. Ditto for the right. It’s one thing to vote for Christian national-conservatives, another to vote for nationalists, and a third to vote for rightwing centrist.

    (Likewise, parties clearly supported by the population should not be boycotted by the rest, as happens in for example France, Holland, and Germany. Not healthy.)

    When there are parties clearly representing blacks and hispanics in the US Congress, and blacks and pakistanis in the UK Parliament, when a Trump and a Bush clearly belong to different parties, and when everyone has to learn to work with others through compromise and give and take, in order to create functional governments, then I think Anglospherical democracy will have a chance again.

    Scotland’s national-socialists in power currently, and England’s Farage in this sense are possibly forces that gradually force the Brit political environment to become more flexible and reflective of actual citizen desires…

  23. @Antiwar7

    These days the “progressives” want to herd us into a new stone age.

    The “conservatives” want to conserve wall to wall bankrupt governments and institutions.

    Everybody else is banned.

  24. vot tak says:

    “I searched hard for Clintonian achievements that could credibly be called liberal or at least left of center,”

    This line implies liberals are leftwing. Liberals are rightwing. A more accurate wording:

    …called left of center or at least liberal.

    “After Col. Muammar Gaddafi signed a peace deal with Bush that ended Libya’s nuclear program, Obama assassinated him with a drone,”

    Gaddafi wasn’t killed by a drone. Though the mercs/terrorists who did kill him were working for the same zionazi-nazi interests obama works for.

    Agree with Rall that democrats act more like republicans now, but then the difference has never been much between them since the latter part of the 19th century. They both represent the same oligarchy.

  25. @p4nc4k3s Pl34s3

    I’ll take Trump thank you very much.

    We need someone in 2024.

  26. Joe Biden Will be a Republican President

    It’s been over thirty years since we’ve had one of those. Mister, we could use a man like Warren Harding again.

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