The Democratic “Tea Party” is looking more like a doily-and-macaroon bunfight than an intraparty insurrection.
After four years of protest, toil, and reclamation, Democrats got exactly what they wanted: Donald Trump’s deposition. But the victor’s paradox has taken hold. Like the dog that catches the car bumper or the socialist dictator who creates a workers’ paradise by exterminating the workers, the left now finds itself in an awkward position: how to yield the selfsame corrupting power they claimed was plaguing society.
The solution? Become what they behold. Joe Biden is staffing his administration with America’s unimpeachable best. Meaning: the incestuous bunch of top-feeders who head the country’s largest conglomerates. The collective C.V. reads like a who’s who of those artificial-looking c-suites featured on germy business-interest magazines that pollute airplane seat-back pockets. Executives at Uber, Apple, Microsoft, Amazon, Google, have all been tapped to pull the levers and push the buttons on Starship America, while Biden, in his role as national skipper, naps in the velvet-upholstered captain’s chair. Nobody, including the tentative chief-exec himself, thinks Ol’ Joe is going to be a decisive president, righting the tiller when waves of current events get too choppy. The biggest call President Biden makes on any given day will be the kind of hero sandwich some poor intern has to fetch him for lunch.
The absent-executive factor makes Biden’s Cabinet and West Wing all the more powerful in shaping national policy. So how are left-wing activists responding to the Silicon Valley-Wall Street infiltration of the White House? Their favorite tool of recourse: lots and lots of Twitter caterwauling.
The leading vociferator is the insta-Trotsky queen Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez. At a recent environmentalist rally, Rep. Barmaid tried sparking Biden’s ailing memory about who put him in office. “The movement got us here,” she said, referencing the various black-clad, quadrupled-earringed, pink-mohawked, Foucault-quoting twenty-and-thirtysomethings who ousted Trump. “You all got us a seat at the table.”
Sitting at the table in the room where it happens is one thing; getting to taste the petit four of power is another. And right now, from the outside looking in through the dining-room window, it appears that AOC and her tankie compatriots are seated at the kid’s table, sharing a sparse platter of stale crudités.
The guests Biden is letting feast on the fois gras should make any true-believing progressive blenche. There’s Rahm Emanuel, former West Wing wrangler for President Obama, who, as Chi-Town’s mayor, covered up the slaying of a 17-year-old black teenager by police. There’s also Neera Tandem, the hair-trigger social-media insulter and head of the Center for American Progress, who once made the Trumpian suggestion of expropriating Libyan oil to pay down the national debt. (Republcian hawks like Bill Kristol seem to take to this gumption.) Then there’s Bruce Reed, whom Bernie stans view as a budget-bludgeoning fetishist.
In a rare instance of echt journalism, New York Times reporter Kenneth Vogel draws attention to just how deep-seated the financial capital giants will be in the Biden Administration. Steven Mnuchin looks like George Bailey in comparison.
Some of Biden’s top-level admin. picks have been amenable to the hard-left, including likely climate nagger John Kerry. And he’s checking off the diversity checklist, appointing the first black Defense Secretary, first female Treasury Secretary, and first (likely) Senate-confirmed gay Cabinet member. (Cue ample liberal oooooohing and ahhhhhhing and tears of substance-less joy.)
That this rainbow of human multitudes will assuredly oversee the inflation-driven, war-making imperial cephalopod that keeps its tentacles wrapped tightly around all the world’s affairs is of no concern. The first black Pentagon chief ordering the firebombing of an Afghani wedding will get its rightful place in the diversity hall of fame. That is what democracy looks like, after all.
Do not, Cher Lecteur, be an innocent observer and assume that a maintien du statu quo will discourage the leftist belief in good government. The progressive dream of having “sophisters, economists, and calculators” running the state like an algebraic formula, which can be balanced by just tweaking a few integers, won’t be dashed by a corporatist Biden Administration. “The Squad” won’t be leading a sit-in on the Oval Office rug.
Biden, like his former boss, will be a Democrat found wanting on all the issues dear to progressives. All that is, except for the divers sexual and racial categories that warm the cockles of leftist hearts by virtue of existing solely on Tumblr. But then feeling good has always been the point of liberalism, hasn’t it?
Best to do is holler and sing it with me now: “Meet the new boss/Same as the old boss.”