We must support Biden

We must do so to prevent Trump from taking not only a second term, but a third term.

Posted by LM on March 18, 2020

I'm not crazy about supporting Joe Biden for president either. He's another corporate Democrat, a shill for the special interests who have taken over our politics. But with continued strong showings last night in Arizona, Florida and Illinois, he brought his delegate count to 1,173, nearly 300 more than Bernie Sanders and only 818 away from securing the nomination by majority. He is virtually guaranteed to be the nominee now and if we want a future opportunity to replace his kind among the Democratic ranks - because we obviously weren't prepared in 2020 - we must look at the bigger picture. There's two parties in this country, and realizing a liberal America means defeating them both. But the Republicans are the greater existential threat.

In presidential politics, they're a greater threat not because of the party as a whole but rather because the party is a wholly owned subsidiary of Donald Trump (with a hapless Democratic party unwilling to take drastic steps to stop him). He escaped prosecution in the Russia investigation and, with unprecedented flexibility, wiggled out from under impeachment. If he cannot be impeached in 2020, it's already proven he'll be unstoppable if he's reelected and then chooses to run for a third term in 2024.

His reelection this November strongly suggests a few things would happen over the next four years.

1. He would replace 87-year old Ruth Bader Ginsburg on the Supreme Court. She simply cannot last another four years. It's also possible he would have the chance to replace the next oldest justice, 81-year old Stephen Breyer. Both are part of the court's liberal wing. If he gets two more picks, it will mean Trump appointees make up nearly half of SCOTUS. Issues dear to liberals, such as Roe v. Wade, are already as close to being killed or overturned as they've been in decades. Against four Trump appointees they wouldn't stand a chance. Losing Roe would just be the beginning. The battle over voting rights, income inequality and more would not only be tougher in such a future, they'd have completely different contexts altogether.

2. Reelection would empower him more than the acquittals. The wheels come off, to some degree, even with real presidents in their second term because they don't face reelection. But Trump's wheels would come off even more, and it wouldn't be because he thinks he has to leave at the end of eight years. He would seize the momentum to push for an indefinite stay in the White House, and spend his time until then prepping for little else.

3. Other world leaders have already greased these wheels. China's Xi Jinping ended that country's two-term limit in 2018, making him president indefinitely. And just recently Russia's Vladimir Putin pushed to change their constitution to allow him at least two more six-year terms, which would keep him in power through 2036. The high court approved of the change and it now goes to the citizens for approval (I might venture a guess as to the "honest" outcome). These developments, of course, only encourage Trump. They don't discourage him.

The 22nd amendment to the U.S. Constitution states, "no person shall be elected to the office of the President more than twice." However the document also states a president shall be removed if impeached and convicted for, "treason, bribery, or other high crimes and misdemeanors." If conviction can be ignored due to inconvenient evidence, can't it also be argued "elected to the office" means without inconvenient partisanship during his term? Like impeachment? Some Republicans have already argued Trump should get a third term for exactly this reason. And guess how SCOTUS would rule on that in 2024 with four Trump appointees?

I know many of us are angry and blameful right now at the Democratic establishment for the rise of Biden and the decline of Sanders. Indeed on this side of the aisle they're very powerful and will require equal or greater power to defeat (Sanders alone can't do it). But in the context of both parties, they're astonishingly weak competitors. In fact Huffington Post just ran a piece on The Bulwark, a conservative Never Trump site, and their video highlight reel calling out his coronavirus lies. I've seen no such aggression from Democrats, despite his pandemic response (and the cratering economy) being another election year gift, like the Merrick Garland debacle in 2016. And they want to unseat him in eight months?

The conclusion is we must support Biden to stop Trump now, while he is stoppable. The majority of Democratic primary voters have voted for Biden out of allegiance, safety or fear of another Trump term. They will in the general election too, but it won't be enough if large numbers sit out on this side. The Dem establishment is corrupt, and because of that corruption is scared they might damage donor class relationships if they upset the apple cart too much. So they do nothing in the face of real challenges, and will simply comply (in the end) if Trump is elected three times. Neither group is prepared to do what it takes to save America from itself, at least not alone. If we really want to see progressive change some day, we - the adults willing to brave the future - must help them now. They need us and we need them.

2020 election
2020 primaries