Anthony Dimaggio in Counterpunch:
Trump may be out of office, but American politics seem more crisis laden than ever between the caretaker neoliberalism of the Democrats and the creeping totalitarianism of the Republicans. On the Democratic front, although the progressive Sanders-Warren-AOC wing of the party continues to push for liberal reforms, we’ve seen “more of the same” establishment-friendly politics from the neoliberal Biden wing that’s dominated the party for decades. This will come as no shock to those of us who have lamented the plutocratic biases of the Democrats during the Obama years and before.
Disappointing Their Base: Neoliberal Democrats Rise Again
It shouldn’t come as a surprise that the Biden wing of the party has disappointed liberals. They campaigned on politically empowering the poor and people of color, on implementing a $15 minimum wage, on expanding access to health care through a public option, on providing relief on the student loan front, and combating the steadily intensifying climate crisis. Thus far, there has been little by way of delivery. The “For the People Act,” which is meant to combat Republican efforts to suppress voting among the poor and poor people of color, has passed the House by 220-210 votes, but remains stalled in the Senate by a few conservative Democratic holdouts – Senators Joe Manchin and Krysten Sinema. The party hasn’t acted on passing a $15 minimum wage due to resistance from these senators and a few others who have also blocked action. Biden has refused to prioritize action on student loan debt relief, claiming he doesn’t have executive authority to grant it, and only calling for $10,000 in forgiveness for each federal borrower. On health care, Biden has proposed $200 billion to expand the Affordable Care Act’s subsidies, but failed to put forward as promised a proposal for a “public option,” and his opposition to Medicare for All is well known.
On foreign policy, the Biden administration delivered more of the same on Israel Palestine, granting continued military support for a settler colonial government that’s been conducting an illegal occupation for more than a half century, which is responsible for ethnic cleansing, maintaining an apartheid state, and pursues massive violence that has produced asymmetrical deaths in the latest round of the “conflict” (May 2021), with 12 Israeli civilians killed compared to 212 Palestinians – or an imbalance of more than 17:1. The U.S. has continued its support for Israel’s settler colonialism over the decades, despite this asymmetry, with 87 percent of the deaths falling on the Palestinian side in the 2000s and 2010s. None of this seemed to matter much to the Democrats – Obama or Biden – who have continued to enable the bloodshed.