Thomas Gallatin / Nov. 23, 2020

Dems Divided as Biden Picks Establishment Over Hard Left

Leftists complain Biden's administration picks are not extremist enough.

Leftist Democrats aren’t happy with several of Joe Biden’s announced administration staffing picks. In fact, they’re feeling downright betrayed. Biden brought the objections upon himself because his campaign actively courted the party’s radicals. In so doing, hard leftists like Bernie Sanders and Elizabeth Warren, who went to bat for Biden and were expecting some return on their investment, may be left holding the bag with no positions in a Biden cabinet.

Biden is far more beholden to the concerns of the Washington establishment class than he is to the Left’s “woke” revolutionaries. Exemplifying this reality is Biden’s list of individuals he’s tapped for significant roles in his administration, including several with ties to the fossil fuel industry, which runs afoul of the climate alarmists’ demands that those with ties to fossil fuels be excluded from his administration. Climate activist Varshini Prakash says one particular move “feels like a betrayal” — Biden’s pick of Representative Cedric Richmond (D-LA) to head his Office of Public Engagement. Prakash argues that Richmond “has taken more donations from the fossil fuel industry during his Congressional career than nearly any other Democrat.” Is this Biden pumping the brakes on his campaign promise to end America’s dependence on fossil fuels and reach “net zero” carbon emissions by 2050?

Probably not, given that Biden has eclipsed those concerns with his nomination of John Kerry as his “climate czar.”

Among Biden’s staffing choices are also some corporate lobbyists. As The Washington Free Beacon reports, “At least two former lobbyists who will assume top roles in the Biden administration previously served on Biden’s staff during the Obama administration. Steve Ricchetti, who served as then-Vice President Biden’s chief of staff, will join the White House as counselor to the president. Ricchetti founded his own lobbying firm in 2001 and worked on behalf of corporate clients such as AT&T, Eli Lily, and the American Bankers Association.”

There is clearly a divide within the Democrat Party, an identity crisis if you will, as it comes to grips with an election outcome that has not affirmed its radical agenda. Several key Democrats made that clear in their post-election complaints about why they lost ground in the House and other down-ballot offices. Americans have rejected the socialist agenda of the party’s extremists. But the immediate challenge for Biden and center-left Democrats is that the Leftmedia is giving the party’s extremist minority an outsized platform for making their radical demands.

Of course, the expectation of leftists in the House and Senate is that Biden will soon step aside for ultra-leftist Kamala Harris to take over. As long-time political observer Gary Bauer notes, “Let’s be clear about this: There is no serious ideological split in the Democrat Party between the socialists, globalists and the old FDR, JFK party. The whole party is now a globalist, socialist, open borders party. The split we keep hearing about is really just a divide over tactics and strategy.”

(Updated)

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