Bush-era neocons put their weight behind Biden. And that can mean only one thing.

Former US vice president Joe Biden and former US president George W. Bush
Peter Bolton

Earlier this year, former vice president Joe Biden effectively won the Democratic Party primary contest. As The Canary has previously argued, his victory is nothing to celebrate given that his progressive credentials are paper thin. Throughout his political career, Biden has been a prolific supporter of war and cuts to social security. He’s also a friend of some of the most reactionary elements in the US congress.

Now, his campaign has started receiving funding from former officials of a previous Republican Party administration. And this shows decisively what has long been suspected by progressive political analysts and commentators – that the US essentially has two right-wing major parties.

‘43 Alumni for Biden’ is formed…

On 1 July, a new organization backing Biden and calling itself ‘43 Alumni for Biden’ appeared online. The number 43 refers to the US’s 43rd president, George W. Bush, a Republican. Bush’s presidency to this day is overwhelmingly associated with neo-conservativism and the so-called ‘Bush doctrine’ of ‘pre-emptive war’ that emerged in the aftermath of the 11 September, 2001 attacks.

Reuters reported that the group is made up of “hundreds of officials who worked for former Republican President George W. Bush” including “Cabinet secretaries and other senior people [who worked] in the Bush administration”. The fundraising entity is known as a ‘Super PAC’, which in US political parlance means it’s a non-party aligned ‘political action committee’. However, it has none of the limits to contributions of regular PACs, which are directly tied to an active campaign.

…as the new generation of ‘Never Trumpers’

It’s not the first time that Trump has been attacked within his own party. When Trump started surging in the Republican Party primaries in 2016, a group of more traditional Republicans opposing him coalesced into the ‘Never Trump’ movement. Of course, they didn’t succeed in stopping him from winning the nomination or the election against Hillary Clinton later that year.

This latest move on their part comes amid plummeting approval ratings for President Trump. As The Canary has previously reported, Trump is now trailing Biden by double digits in some polls. This is following his poor handling of the coronavirus pandemic and heavy-handed response to protests connected to the police killing of George Floyd.

Time to get real about their motives

It would be wrong, however, to think that the people involved with ‘43 Alumni for Biden’ are motivated by any of these factors. Rather, the formation of the group represents a calculated move by the neoconservative wing of the US ruling class. It’s an attempt to strengthen the US’s hand on the global stage following damage to its manufactured veneer of credibility during Trump’s tenure. In other words, they oppose Trump not because of his racism or his constant lying, but because he is too erratic to properly govern the US’s imperial apparatus. At the same time, his crudeness, buffoonery, and unhinged modus operandi have turned the US into a laughing stock. They’ve also alienated traditional mainstream allies in the process, particularly those in Western Europe.

As a result of these factors, the ‘neocon’ wing of US politics prefers Biden. Because Biden will prove to be a more competent, consistent, and, above all, reliable administrator of the US’s empire. After all, he served as vice president during Barack Obama’s presidency. And as The Canary has already argued on multiple occasions, Obama’s presidency was one of the most reactionary in US history. One that largely continued and even escalated many of the policies of George W Bush – including, or perhaps even especially, in the realm of foreign policy.

Obama’s sordid record

This record includes:

Hillary Clinton played a leading role in some of these policies as Obama’s secretary of state between 2009 and 2013. And it was for this reason that, like Biden now, she was the preferred choice of the traditional Washington foreign policy establishment in the 2016 presidential election. As a matter of fact, she even sought the endorsement of the notorious war criminal Henry Kissinger. As secretary of state and national security advisor under the presidency of Richard Nixon, Kissinger served as the architect of some of the US’s worst foreign atrocities.

Two rival wings of a rogue state

In case there was any remaining doubt following the defeat of Bernie Sanders in the Democratic primary, this latest episode perfectly demonstrates how the Democratic Party is terminally unreformable. In short, the two major US parties now essentially represent rival wings of an imperialist and neoliberal status quo. And they take turns to govern a rogue state that increasingly resembles a fully-fledged terrorist enterprise. With someone like Trump now the major leading figure in the Republican Party, the US now has one right-wing party and one far-right party that borders on the fascistic. Clearly, the US desperately needs a third political force to challenge this wretched hegemony.

Featured image via obamawhitehouse.archives.gov and US State Department Archive

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  • Show Comments
    1. It comes to something when the current US President has the effect of making the last but one appear to possess the wisdom of Socrates; but the trajectory of the major American political parties, as sketched in this article, points to what history has repeatedly demonstrated – democratic episodes are simply antechambers to the palaces of Emperors.

      Or, less poetically, we’re screwed again.

      1. In every US Presidential Election campaign I can remember from 1960 onwards, so-called ‘radicals’ have inevitably labelled the Democratic candidate as being no better or actually worse than the Republican and that therefore people should not vote for that candidate. Usually, they instruct people to vote for some third party candidate, who has been unable to make the ballot in many states or to abstain. It is a form of voter suppression which has been a feature of US elections since George Washington was a boy. And, suppression tends to help the Republican candidate, especially with the Electoral College system which can be ‘gamed’ to swing a few votes in a few states.

        The fact is that only the Republican or Democratic candidate is going to be elected. So, the choice is often of the least worst of the candidates, whose policies/’platforms’ inevitably, are put together to attract various interest groups, which are sometimes opposed to each other.

        The only two Presidents in the past century who were able to implement genuinely redistributive politics were Franklin D Roosevelt and Lyndon B Johnson. They were formidable wheeler dealers who often had to swallow principles, but kept their eyes on the prize. Johnson in particular was loathed by the self-proclaimed progressives, yet it is his legacy of things like the Civil Rights Legislation, Medicare, Sure Start, etc that successive Republicans have spent the last 50+ years trying to repeal of dilute.

        Since most of the ‘radical’ spokespersons turn out to have been funded by the CIA or powerful people, then these weasel words should be ignored. Were I an American, I would hold my nose, but I would vote for Biden.

    2. It’s amazing how quickly it’s been forgotten that for the second time in the last two presidential elections the Democrat nomination for Sanders was stolen. Rigged. So whyever these war criminals are supporting Biden it’s not in a free and fair election, otherwise not only would Sanders be running as the Democrat nominee, it’s quite possible he would be the incumbent President.

      America’s claim it’s a democracy is pure unadulterated shit.

    3. There is a thrid political force ,and its called protests in the streets where a sense of democracy, and clear thinking is alive, and well. Its volunteer work, and the Official Opposition to these Death Culture Empires.
      It takes a different mind to work together through a questioning debate, and it looks to be a rare bird anywhere.
      Meanwhile we evolve in spite of the politic.
      The Political Office ought to be well less paid, accountable for gross negligence and wearing a new set of rules. We’d be better off by far to have a guarenteed income for all so a democratic voice can be heard.
      I’d say anyone will agree that politics isn’t working out well to serve our needs and shows a advanced Dementia, Well financed too.
      How to curb the War Machine is the problem with Empires for us ordinary, socially insignificant people.
      The USA just voted to spend $740 billion this year to carry on a everlasting war into eternity.
      Drugged on Empire Juice using England as an ally to the Party.

    4. I have feared a Biden Presidency almost as much as the imbecile Trump. Biden has always been a pawn in the hands of the wealthy donors. Since Bill Clinton the Democrats have been nothing more than a GOP Lite party. Our politicians are bought and paid for by the wealthy individuals and corporations. Biden is just another bought and paid for candidate for POTUS. he will do as little as he can to aid the working people of America.

      The same situation exists in Britain. Jeremy Corbyn was defeated at the last General Election by concerted programs implemented by the wealthy and security services. His successor has since then revised all the policies published in the Labour Party manifesto. Kier Starmer is now turning the Labour Party into another Tory Party Lite just as Tony B’Liar did post Thatcher.

      Democracy is being destroyed by the influence of the wealthy. That is what a Fascist government is. One controlled by the vested interests of the wealthy war hawks and the military. Biden will serve them well given the chance. This is why the person that becomes Vice President is so important.

      Slow Joe is in it for the dough. Trump is an egotistical imbecile. Joe is a senile pawn of the wealthy.

    5. I will stipulate that most readers here would find my political views horrifying, as I am what formerly would have been considered a moderate conservative (strong defense posture -but not “offense unless attacked; fiscal and personal responsibility; socially laissez fare). That said, we have common cause here.

      I voted against “Her” precisely for the reasons listed here. Hillary was/is a NeoCon, as was Biden, back when he remembered how to use a fork. Hillary, and now those who are using Biden as a hand puppet, are of the same mind. Trump is nowhere near perfect – but he has kept his promise of no new, useless wars; and has worked to disengage from existing wars. Trump underestimated how difficult it would be to get his government – and the generals who work directly for him – to give up on the wars they’ve now spent 2 decades losing.

      That said, with all of his warts, I’m telling you that Trump is a better choice if you are anti war. As someone above made the point, it’s a binary choice. If Biden becomes the figurehead President, guaranteed that the Neocons will be back in business. They are supporting Biden (as they supported “Her!”) Because at this moment in time, the Democrat Party provides them the best means of prosecuting the “forever war” they all got rich from. Please, if you have to hold your nose and vote, surprise the world and make it a Trump vote. The Dem Congress will keep his domestic policies in check, but Presidents run Foriegn Policy. You cannot possibly trust the Neocons.

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