Jim Hightower Norman Solomon Video

Some of the Many Reasons Progressives Don’t Like Joe Biden

There’s truly an enormous amount in the Democrat's record to dislike, but progressives can get much better results fighting Biden than fighting Trump.
Joe Biden. [Phil Roeder / CC BY 2.0]

By Norman Solomon

At a time when long-winded polemics and punditry about the upcoming presidential election are all over the place, a longtime progressive populist author and agitator has just summarized it all in less than a minute.

“Hi, Jim Hightower here,” a just-released video begins, “with a message for progressives who don’t like Joe Biden’s corporate-hugging politics. Neither do I! But — and it’s a very big ‘but’ — Trump is a crackpot, a total plutocratic toady who’s literally destroying the lives of workaday people and killing America’s progressive possibilities.”

Hightower continues: “Trump has to be gone before we the people can move forward with our agenda of fairness and justice for all. So I don’t care if Biden is a 200-pound sack of concrete, we have to carry him into the White House to eject the Orange Menace. I urge all of you, especially in swing states like mine, to suck it up and do this heavy lifting. Let’s dump Trump, then we’ll take on Biden!”

I’m excited that my colleagues on the Vote Trump Out project have teamed up with the writer of the monthly Hightower Lowdown to produce the new video, which concisely hits key points that often get lost in the haunted funhouse of election rhetoric:

**  There’s truly an enormous amount in Biden’s record for progressives not to like. No point in pretending otherwise.

**  The extreme destructiveness of the Trump presidency must not be evaded. Fighting for a progressive agenda must go hand in hand with fighting the forces of white supremacy, nativism, political repression, absolute climate denial and more. Being in denial about Trump’s fascistic momentum is, to put it mildly, unwise.

**  “Dump Trump, then we’ll take on Biden.” With Trump in the White House and his fanatical right-wing underlings running every federal department, progressives haven’t been able to block increasingly horrendous policies, much less advance our agendas. If there’s a President Biden, we’ll need to fight him from day one — and we’ll actually have a chance to move policy.

Franklin Roosevelt won the presidency 88 years ago running as a centrist. Militant grassroots movements propelled his administration to the left, bringing a transformative New Deal. We have a real chance to move Biden-era policy into a Green New Deal, a $15 federal minimum wage, and so much more — if we fight like hell after getting rid of Trump.

Of course, nothing’s guaranteed. The entrenched system is heavily weighted — always has been — against the interests of working people, women, people of color, the poor and others deprived of power by structural inequities. We always have to keep organizing and putting up a fight.

We’ve already hit bottom with Trump, and then some. In reality (unlike some fanciful notions that things must get even worse before they get better), the worse it gets, the worse it gets. The horrific directions that Trump has taken this country must be reversed.

Jim Hightower’s new video underscores that progressives have the opportunity to get much better results fighting President Biden than fighting President Trump. Moving “a 200-pound sack of concrete” is bound to be a heavy lift, but the possibilities would be real. The votes in swing states will determine whether we get the chance.

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27 comments

  1. Wrong. Biden is worse and much harder to fight. We have a chance to break the duopoly and Hightower proposes giving it a pass. Progressives will amount to nothing as long as there’s a Democratic Party.

    Trump is a crackpot and so is Biden. Stop with the hopium that Biden is the lesser evil. Evil is evil and must be fought because it’s evil, as Hedges states. You give the DEMs a platform for conversation, you’ll never be heard and you’l never be rid of the corporate shills. A vote for Trump or for Biden is a vote for corporate control.

    Trump winning and Biden winning amounts to the same thing for workers, for healthcare, for education, for Wall Street, for the military industrial complex, for prison reform, for environmental reform, … no difference, except this: if Biden loses, the DNC is finished and with it half of the control corporations have over us.

    Cowards die a thousand deaths. Be done with DNC, vote for a candidate of YOUR choice, and deal with Trump if he’s elected. That’s the path to success for progressives. Biden wins, we all lose.

    You do not compromise on fundamental rights. You do not “push” Biden once you’ve elected him. Once elected, it’s over. Biden will do corporation’s bidding, just like Trump. Some smoking the hopium. Deal with evil as it must be dealt with, with no compromises,

    1. Exactly, L2E voting is a monkey trap as the Dems can go on ignoring the policies of progressives as well as start to target them politically. So I’m 100% with Chris Hedges on this as well.

      1. Again likewise. What Solomon and Hightower and others who’re taking this line up don’t want to face is the fact that the Democratic Party of today is not the Democratic Party of FDR and the New Deal. It’s not even close. Today the Democratic Party is a conservative Right-wing political party, while the Republican Party is a radical Right-wing political party, and together they are effectively a Republicratic Party; the Democratic Party’s primary function in this bipartisan duopoly is to be a progressive-killing and progress-killing political machine.

    2. If Trump wins, Trumpism could easily come to define the right as well as America for decades… and it could also get much much worse.

      By not supporting Biden, you’re paving the way for a theocratic cult to seize power permanently and rule according to pure dogma.

      Trump and Biden are NOT the same… Biden hasn’t aligned himself with the Christian Fascists or actively promised aggressive environmental destruction or denied the science behind global warming or covid. These last two distinctions alone make Biden a clearly superior choice… even if he moves every last manufacturing job to Vietnam, it’s better to know that the human race has a chance to survive past the year 2100.

      I don’t know how anyone could possibly believe that throwing your vote away and accepting defeat is any kind of strategic move… or that it somehow guarantees the progressives will take over the DNC or that the Greens will win a seat or two or that the DNC won’t end up in the clutches of a Bloomberg type or some mirror universe version of Trump in 2024.

      Things CAN get worse and a Trump win is a guarantee that they will.

      1. To the bottom 80% in the country, it really doesn’t matter who is elected their lives are already miserable and will remain miserable regardless of who seats on the court or in the WH.

    3. I said the same thing in 2016 and I still believe that to be true. At least in 2016 I could vote Green, this year the democrats came to PA and sued to have the Green Party removed from our ballot, so now I’ll vote for Trump since the republicans didn’t suppress my vote twice in the same year.

  2. Biden, like me, has made a few mistakes in his life time. But “Let he who is without sin cast the first stone”. Not only does Joe have a much better chance than Bernie of beating Trump but he also has a much better chance of getting a progressive agenda ratified than either Bernie or AOC ever would have.

    In this respect he’s a lot like LBJ. JFK had all the ideas but it was Lyndon Johnson who got the civil rights legislation thru Congress. More recently, both Bill Clinton and Obama had real trouble getting anything past Gingrich or Mitch. Joe has a better chance. He needs our full support.

    1. Joe Biden is a career-long, Right-wing, corporatist, male chauvinist pig racist bigot war-monger. And evidently slipping into the mental instability of senile dementia. And that’s not even accounting for the corporatist, sadistic authoritarian thug selected to be his VP running mate. Nor the likely crew of DNC-vetted neoliberal and neoconservative greed-heads and war-mongers who will be Biden’s handlers and likely actually running the show from behind the curtain. Your simplistic and nonsensical diminishment of all this illustrates exactly why the premise of this article is absolute folly. Amplified by abject Democratic Party partisans like yourself and officialized and normalized by corporate media, it will render any and all opposition to Biden’s gang of thugs and thieves virtually impossible, any opposition to the bogus, ethically indefensible DNC-maintained Clinton-Obama legacy of neoliberalism and neoconservatism–the servicing of Big Money and the MIC, the unending war-mongering and bloating of Empire at the expense of the American people and the people of this planet–will be declared unpragmatic, unrealistic, impossible, and insane.

      So no thanks. The “yes but” credit line of the the Democratic Party’s Right-wing establishment is overdrawn. It has been for quite some time now.

      So #Demexit.

      And have a nice Empire.

    2. Unh hunh. The guy who vowed to veto Medicare for All if it ever reaches his desk “has a much better chance of getting a progressive agenda ratified than either Bernie or AOC ever would.” Well … I suppose that might technically be true, if you were to assume that Mr. “Nothing Will Fundamentally Change” — the corporate lickspittle who supercharged the prison-industrial complex and who robbed individuals of the possibility of a “fresh start” in bankruptcy while preserving it for corporations — would ever actually want to ratify a progressive agenda.

      I don’t do drugs — especially not before making important decisions — but whatever you’re on sounds like it must be pretty good. What do they call it? “Third Marriage”? Because it induces the triumph of blind hope over experience?

  3. I didn’t expect to vote for Biden but I finally caved in, because I think it is in the bag for him whatever happens. The DNC has joined up with the CIA/NSA/DHS deep state. If the election is seriously disputed Biden will be installed by a military coup, and in that case we will no longer have the Constitutional right to a free election in the future. If Biden cannot be avoided the best we can do is to make it legal.

  4. The deal DJT made w/Putin was obviously, “If u loan me money that no decent bank will any longer do, I’ll destroy the US for you in return.” We can see the devilish details all around us.

  5. biden is slightly more despicable than trump–whichever empty comatose chair leads matters not in an inverted totalitarian oligarchy

  6. Damnit Jim you evoked FDR before way back in 2008, and I believed you then and I even wish I could believe you now, but I can’t; Biden is so transparently Big Evil in the pipeline that the very idea makes me want to hurl, and as for his running-mate–gawd you’ve got to be kidding? What we got with Barack “Cliff Huxtable” Obama was a conservative Right-wing greed-server and war-monger who happened to be black. There is no longer a plausible lesser evil choice between Trump and Biden.

    The lesser of two evils choice that we might have had folded when Bernie Sanders folded. It’s over.

    #Demexit

    I’m voting for Howie Hawkins–a lesser evil by my standards and ideals–about whom I have grave misgivings–if only in an effort to get the Green Party to the 5% threshold for matching funds, and to get a plausible liberal/progressive/Left-wing alternative to the Republicratic Party stranglehold we’re faced with now on the map. That’s what I think progressives should be focused on accomplishing right now. Let the Clinton-Obama legacy of neoliberal/neoconservative greed-mongering and war-mongering go hang itself.

    1. Hopefully the DNC doesn’t come to your state and sue to have the Green Party removed from the ballot like they did here in PA.

  7. I like mind experiments. I have tried to imagine a reason to cast a ballot with
    Biden’s name indicated. (Note: I find it nauseating to even think of the phrase
    “vote FOR Biden”. I suspect I’m not alone.) Here’s the best I could come up with:

    It is less likely that the cops will shoot down demonstrators in the streets with
    live ammunition if Joe is in the Maison Blanche.

    That’s it.

  8. Lost any hope for dems when an e-mail of them all lined up with the headline; DEMOCRATS FOR ISRAEL was the campaign mantra. They are all war criminals except the tiny fraction that have morals.

  9. I’m glad your here Bob and some of the others, real voices in the wilderness and I missed you all at truth dig. I’m a long time fan of Jim and have read him for years and years, a tireless voice for the the working me and women of the country and Norm I like you and have enjoyed you too. But your wrong this time and I really could, with all the analogy stuff apparently Dems have to spew- I dis like the word progressive, lay it out. But there is one, more than any other reason not to vote Biden and that is Kamala Harris. She’s poison and God forbid as it seems inevitable, she gets the helm. We laughed when McCain picked Palin who in hindsight is more qualified than Harris but no, I’ll not shit on everything I ever believed to see her in the White house.

  10. Funny thing, the Dems for Biden and the GOPs for Trump are running the same ad, both featuring Sanders and AOC. The fear-mongering in the Republican Party ads, depicting Biden as some sort of radical lefty, is so ridiculous it’s funny. The fear-mongering in the Biden ads, depicting Trump as some sort of evil wacko, is just stupid. If you’re sick of Trump, start depicting him for what he is, a sleazeball salesman, whose first act after winning the election was to shell out $25M to settle the Trump U lawsuit and keep his ass out of court.

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