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OpEdNews Op Eds    H1'ed 4/24/19

Joe Biden: Puffery vs. Reality

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Message Norman Solomon
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Joe Biden
Joe Biden
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Let's be blunt: As a supposed friend of American workers, Joe Biden is a phony. And now that he's running for president, Biden's huge task is to hide his phoniness.

From the outset, with dim prospects from small donors, the Biden campaign is depending on big checks from the rich and corporate elites who greatly appreciate his services rendered. "He must rely heavily, at least at first, upon an old-fashioned network of money bundlers -- political insiders, former ambassadors and business executives," the New York Times reported on Tuesday.

Biden has a media image that exudes down-to-earth caring and advocacy for regular folks. But his actual record is a very different story.

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During the 1970s, in his first Senate term, Biden spouted white backlash rhetoric, used tropes pandering to racism and teamed up with arch segregationists against measures like busing for school integration. He went on to be a fount of racially charged appeals and "predators on our streets" oratory on the Senate floor as he led the successful effort to pass the now-notorious 1994 crime bill.

A gavel in Biden's hand repeatedly proved to be dangerous. In 1991, as chair of the Judiciary Committee, Biden prevented key witnesses from testifying to corroborate Anita Hill's accusations of sexual harassment during the Clarence Thomas confirmation hearings for the Supreme Court. In 2002, as chair of the Foreign Relations Committee, Biden was the Senate's most crucial supporter of the Iraq invasion.

Meanwhile, for well over four decades -- while corporate media preened his image as "Lunch Bucket Joe" fighting for the middle class -- Biden continued his assist for strengthening oligarchy as a powerful champion of legalizing corporate plunder on a mind-boggling scale.

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Now, Joe Biden has arrived as a presidential candidate to rescue the Democratic Party from Bernie Sanders.

Urgency is in the media air. Last week, the New York Times told readers that "Stop Sanders" Democrats were "agonizing over his momentum." The story was front-page news. At the Washington Post, a two-sentence headline appeared just above a nice photo of Biden: "Far-Left Policies Will Drive a 2020 Defeat, Centrist Democrats Fear. So They're Floating Alternatives."

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Norman Solomon is cofounder and national coordinator of RootsAction.org. He was a Bernie Sanders delegate from California to the 2016 Democratic National Convention and is currently a coordinator of the relaunched Bernie Delegates Network. Solomon (more...)
 
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