If Biden wins, Kamala Harris will be put forward as a kind of “co-president,” as a palliative for the lack of substantive relief from the forces that are plaguing Black lives.
“Harris can be trusted to please Power while advancing her personal ambitions.”
If the Democrats prevail in November, Kamala Harris will likely become the highest profile vice president of the post-Vietnam era – but only partly due to Joe Biden’s obvious infirmities. The new regime can count on a brief period of sheer giddiness as their base finally exhales after four years of overt racist rule, but it will be a short honeymoon. Although Donald Trump’s Covid-19 fiascos surely added some tens of thousands to the U.S. death toll, the pandemic would have plunged the world economy into depression (except for China) and killed in excess of 150,000 disproportionately Black Americans, no matter which of the corporate parties was in the White House – and the people know it. The same super-majorities that supported Medicare for All before the pandemic hit (and who told exit pollsters so, even as they voted for Biden in the pivotal primaries), are now acutely aware that the United States has no healthcare system worthy of the name. Having endured two economic catastrophes in just twelve years, the great bulk of Americans have also come to understand that the corporate consolidation, hi-tech profiteering and general employment insecurity that has so catastrophically accelerated during the Covid depression, is built into the system. They want desperately to call a halt to the 40 year-long Race to the Bottom.
“The United States has no healthcare system worthy of the name.”
The corporate Democrats are no less committed than Republicans to endless austerity and war – the only future the ruling Lords of Capital can envision and, therefore, the common commitment of both halves of the corporate electoral duopoly. Since both parties are wedded to the Race to the Bottom and U.S. imperialism, the major cleavage that separates these political partners in crime, is race – or, in corporate language, “diversity” among the faces in high places. The duopoly electoral configuration requires that the Democrats absorb and smother all popular movements that might threaten the corporate militarist, austerity agenda, while retaining the loyalties of their multi-racial base by posturing as the bastion against Republican racism and reaction. That’s why Hillary Clinton’s campaign instructed its operatives and friendly media to encourage Donald Trump’s bid for the Republican nomination in 2016, as revealed by Wikileaks. Clinton thought Trump’s overt racism made him the easiest Republican to beat. That turned out to be a bad call, but it’s the only formula that allows corporate Democrats to pretend to champion their multi-racial constituency while doing nothing of substance to halt the steady deterioration of working people’s living standards. If Trump is gone in January, then the Democrats must find ways to accentuate the “great victory” that has been won on the racial front, since Biden has promised the donor class that “nothing will fundamentally change” for them under his presidency.
Nothing will change for the vast majority of Black and brown people, either -- which is why Kamala Harris will be put forward as a kind of “co-president” with Biden, as a simulation of Black Power. This is not to say that Harris will wield the influence VP Dick Cheney was said to enjoy under George W. Bush (some believed Cheney was the actual policy formulator in that administration), but hers will be a much higher public profile than Barack Obama permitted his number two, Joe Biden. Harris can be trusted to please Power while advancing her personal ambitions, as she has since her inaugural electoral run as a law and order, police union-endorsed candidate for San Francisco prosecutor. Harris will gladly play the role of Biden’s Black alter ego and as physical evidence that African Americans are getting their reward for turning out in huge numbers for the Democrats. She’d better be convincing, because her presence, along with Black appointees to the cabinet, is all that Black America will get from Biden’s “nothing fundamental will change” administration – unless the power of the street intervenes.
“Hers will be a much higher public profile than Barack Obama permitted his number two, Joe Biden.”
With a race-baiting president and a Covid-driven economic depression as a backdrop, the George Floyd protests put more than 20 million people in motion under Black Lives Matter banners. Although the movement came into existence under a Black president, causing Barack Obama considerable embarrassment, BLM has since become recipient of many millions of corporate philanthropic dollars that are largely administered by movement notables who have chosen to become Democratic Party players and operatives. If the movement fails to separate from these corporate party collaborators, it will join the “controlled opposition” and cease to be a transformational force. That would be an epoch-shaking tragedy, but not without precedent. Devouring social movements is the Party’s specialty. In place of people’s politics, the Democrats present a simulacrum of popular power that poses no threat to the Lords of Capital and their dictatorship. Kamala Harris’ opportunistic career has taken her to center stage of U.S. corporate political theater where, if the polls are right, she will soon share a starring role in the long running production, Saving Racial Capitalism from Its Deserved Demise, the late stage version. We may soon be seeing more of her than even her fans and AKA sisters can stomach.
BAR executive editor Glen Ford cab contacted at [email protected]
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