Joe Biden’s long-awaited presidential announcement finally came on Thursday, in the form of a policy-free video in which the former vice-president castigated Donald Trump for his racism and offered peans to an imagined noble American past (presumably, the past of 2008-16, when Biden served under Barack Obama) instead of a vision for the future.
“America’s coming back like we used to be,” Biden said of his run. “Ethical, straight, tell ’em the truth. Supporting our allies, all those good things.” It was Make America Great Again, delivered from a different old white man, with a slightly more patrician east coast accent – harking back to a past that never was, and ignoring or, perhaps, tacitly embracing the injustices that the real past contained.
Several of those injustices have been perpetrated by Biden himself, or exacerbated by his career in the Senate, in which he worked steadily to push the Democratic party to the right, championed the 1994 crime bill that needlessly and sadistically accelerated mass incarceration, and cultivated a chummy, shoulder-clapping consensus with Republicans. [Continue reading…]