It was only last week that Obama briefly emerged from his luxe retirement to once again chide the serfs who refuse to suffer the American system of neo-feudalism gladly, who call their lords and masters nasty names on Twitter rather than reaching across the class divide to find common cause with the very people who are making their lives nasty, brutish and short. Contrary to Biden's oafish attack on Warren, however, Obama's sermonizing about the dangers of "cancel culture" was almost universally praised by the mainstream media as being a "breath of fresh air" in this divisive Age of Trump.
Headlining the Obama Foundation Summit in Chicago, where plans for his presidential center and golf course on public parkland have run into legal challenges from neighborhood activists who are crying foul because of gentrification and rising rents and the damage to the environment that his project is already causing, the former president expressed his displeasure with a gaslighting attack upon citizen activism in general:
“This idea of purity and you’re never compromised and you’re always politically ‘woke’ and all that stuff. You should get over that quickly.”As Obama had previously admonished those protesting the location of his Center, occasional appearances by Chance the Rapper should alleviate all their concerns about his refusal to sign a community benefits agreement to offset the rising rents of gentrification and the destruction of their public park. After all, if the former president could once be generous enough to call misanthropic former House Speaker, sadistic Ayn Rand fanboy and less refined victim-blamer Paul Ryan "a good man, a family man," why can't the lesser people also put away their "wokeness" and stop making so many unreasonable demands for a better, more equitable life for themselves and their communities?
“The world is messy; there are ambiguities. People who do really good stuff have flaws. People who you are fighting may love their kids, and share certain things with you.”
Why be an independent activist when the Obamas are touting their planned shrine as "a catalyst for activism and social change" without offering any information about how this would actually happen?
Enter Joe Biden, who is now being eclipsed by Elizabeth Warren in many polls. He's also being eclipsed by Bernie Sanders. But, thanks to the relentless media blackout of Sanders, Biden can keep on pretending with the rest of them that Bernie doesn't even exist. He therefore limits his umbrage to Warren, who has rightly accused him running in "the wrong primary" because of his opposition to Medicare For All and soaking the rich to help the less well-off.
Biden therefore summoned up his inner deflective Obama:
But at another level these kinds of attacks are a serious problem. They reflect an angry unyielding viewpoint that has crept into our politics. If someone doesn’t agree with you — it’s not just that you disagree — that person must be a coward or corrupt or a small thinker.Some call it the “my way or the highway” approach to politics. But it’s worse than that. It’s condescending to the millions of Democrats who have a different view.It’s representative of an elitism that working and middle class people do not share: “We know best; you know nothing”. “If you were only as smart as I am you would agree with me.”Accusing the victims of your own cruel, nasty policies of being nasty and scary is a common tactic of right-wing authoritarian leaders.
Joe Biden hurling the "elitist" epithet at Warren not only ignores his own life-long service to, and enrichment by, the Elite, it allows him to portray himself as just a regular working-class guy. Not only has he ripped a smarmy page right out of the scolding Obama playbook, he's going one step further. He is essentially plagiarizing Donald Trump, stealing the successful fascistic technique of reversing the dichotomy between perpetrator and victim.
Just as Biden, the elitist in anti-intellectual blue collar clothing, uses Warren as proxy for the estimated 84 million uninsured and underinsured Americans and their advocates, selfish and unreasonable extremists for demanding single payer health insurance as a basic human right, Trump, the phony populist, for his own part scapegoats the victims of racism as being the direct causes of racism. When, for example, he was confronted last year by a Black reporter about his white nationalist rhetoric, he retorted: "That is such a racist question!"
Just as Trump brags about his nonexistent high poll numbers among African-Americans, Biden brags that "millions of Democrats" are, just like him, dead-set against their fellow human beings being afforded a healthy, secure life. Both Biden and Trump deploy the ultra-right weapon of transforming groups of people who have traditionally been the targets of oppression into oppressors themselves. They play divide and conquer with a vengeance.
A series of debates between these two senile servants of the oligarchy would constitute a gruesome mind meld of epic proportions. Obama will rue the day that he ever kvetched about "cancel culture" if he ever gets to witness Trump and Biden canceling each other out on live corporate TV.