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The Weekly Bern (3/27/2020): Joe Biden Rape Accusation, Marie Newman’s Primary Win.

Despite the fact that all the normies are going insane at the prospect of not going outside, there is an advantage to this whole virus situation. That advantage is that the elections are getting delayed, and this means Bernie has more time to shift the narrative in his favor. But instead of that, he’s spending all his time trying to combat the virus and help people through a difficult and dangerous situation. Almost like some sort of President or something!

Meanwhile Joe Biden has done absolute shit. He’s been in hiding for multiple days and then had a speech where he stumbles over and slurs his words while reading from a teleprompter. He also conveniently wants to skip out on the next debate so he can hide his cognitive decline and not have to argue that Bernie’s policies are too radical and socialist while at the same time advocating for them to be implemented during the quarantine period.

But the real story this week is that Tara Reade, a former Joe Biden staffer, has come forward with a very serious allegation of sexual assault that goes WAY beyond the inappropriate hair sniffing we’ve all seen. MAJOR CW for Rape and gaslighting!

Tara Reade

I have known more than one person who has been raped or sexually assaulted in their lifetime, my own step brother is an example, and it never gets easier to react to them. For something that is commonly known as an especially heinous crime, it is depressing how common it is for women to say that they’ve been sexually assaulted. That was literally the entire point of the #MeToo movement, to show just how common it truly is. A major reason for this has been because of the tendency for douchey men to brush aside women’s claims of sexual assault and fear monger about “false accusations.”

While there is some progress in seeing figures like Bill Cosby and Harvey Weinstein put behind bars, it’s hard to say like our concerns are alleviated knowing that we have a rapist in the White House AND the Supreme Court while their victims are harassed and shamed into silence. And that’s what’s perhaps the most harrowing about this all, that if Bernie Sanders does not win this primary, then we are going to need to choose between two rapists.

Despite my status as an outspoken Bernie babe, I’ve still considered caving to “Vote blue no matter who” if Biden won the nomination, despite every disgusting thing the establishment has done up to this point. Every single black spot on his record, his support for segregationists, his constant insistence that we “compromise” with fascists, his tough on crime policies that disproportionately put millions of black people behind bars for low level non-violent offenses, him endorsing anti LGBT Republicans, the Anita Hill hearing (although with the hindsight of knowing he’s a rapist, it suddenly makes a fuck ton more sense why he sided with Clarence Thomas) and even suggesting that his own voters risk their lives to vote for him so he can screw them over and give more tax cuts to the rich.

Yes, it’s fucked up that we’ve been conditioned to ignore all of that so we don’t end up with four more years of one of the worst Presidents this country has ever seen, but there would have at least been the satisfaction of that smug piece of shit being dragged out of the white house and seeing all of those idiots on /pol/ losing their mind. But knowing just how much of a sick piece of shit Joe Biden is, I just know that every woman who has ever been raped, threatened with rape, knows someone who has been raped, or has ever feared being raped won’t have any relief to see the highest authority in the country replace one rapist with another.

And let me just say one thing to every apologist in favor of Biden, anyone posting conspiracy theories about how Tara Reade is a Russian asset, take a look at yourself. For four years there have been people agonizing over the fact that many of their friends and family have brushed aside their concerns and feelings to vote for someone as sick and depraved as Donald Trump. Someone whose entire campaign has been based around prejudice and causing pain to others won the Presidency precisely because of the amount of selfish people who only cared what he offered them personally.

These very same people are now dismissing every criticism of Joe Biden as a conspiracy theory no matter how severe. While we already saw this with Michael Bloomberg, we now see how much little difference there is between neoliberals and Republicans. They care about nothing other than seeing the people they don’t like suffer, and are willing to sacrifice anything to see that. It’s why you see people fangirling Warren for not endorsing Bernie even though Biden winning will ensure that millions of people die from lack of healthcare. Oh, but those means snake emojis!

So that begs the question of whether or not this will be enough to sink Biden’s campaign. While there are some who will undoubtedly support Biden just cause “socialism bad” and “mean angry Bernie Bros,” the plus side is that there are many that are easily swayed, and we just need to spread this message far enough. We can’t let them sweep this under the rug. If we don’t spread this message before the primary ends, there will be several conservative outlets ready to spread it during the general.

But given the heavy nature of this piece, I do want to end this on a somewhat lighter note. I only briefly touched upon this in the last piece, so I’d like to elaborate on the fact that we have a new Justice Democrat in congress. Last Tuesday, Marie Newman’s victory over Dan Lipinski has been overshadowed by the fact that Bernie lost pretty badly in all three states, but it does demonstrate something important. Marie Newman won her primary in spite of the DCCC putting out a policy that blacklists firms that work with candidates challenging incumbents.

The blacklist in question was set up after Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez successfully won a primary campaign against one of the most powerful House Democrats, and it was a blatant attempt to step progressives from being elected to congress. Needless to say, it was not enough to stop Marie Newman from getting elected, and considering that Lipinski is one of the most conservative Democrats in congress, this is arguably an even bigger victory than AOC’s.

The downside is that, while Marie Newman’s voice will undoubtedly help the progressive cause, it won’t do much considering all Justice Democrats put together will only make up 8 votes. Granted that is an oversimplification considering the amount of social capital that these eight legislators hold compared to their peers, but it doesn’t change the fact that congress will still be mostly old white neoliberals and Republicans.

There’s also the fact that the more pessimistic among us will look at the Illinois primaries as “ten progressive challengers lost rather” rather than focusing on the one who won. What came as a surprise to me was just how poorly Robert Emmons and Anthony Clark did. I expected them both to be within striking distance of their respective incumbents, but the fact that they were both competing with two other challengers royally screwed them over.

One thing that I’ve noticed when it comes to congressional elections is just how much name recognition matters, and that this is likely why incumbents tend to win re-election more often. House election are also especially difficult in that the incumbents can just flood the airwaves with their corporate wine cave dollars.

The plus side is that Bobby Rush and Danny Davis were among the less shitty incumbent Democrats anyway, perhaps that could be their challengers had a hard time. This seems especially likely when you look at how well Rachel Ventura performed against Robert Foster. Ventura managed 41.3% of the vote to Robert Foster’s 58.7% despite the fact that Foster outraised her almost 20 to 1! This indicates that maybe money doesn’t play as much of a role as we think.

This means that Robert Foster could be vulnerable in 2022 given that Ventura has already built up some of that name recognition, and will likely have more experience with running a campaign. It is also worth mentioning that Ray Lenzi won his primary as well, as did state House candidate Lakesia Collins. You also have Dani Brzozowski and state House candidate Josh Crys who won their primaries by default, and you have CD-4 incumbent Jesús García and State House district 81 incumbent Anne Stava-Murray who are running for re-election and are good progressive allies. So Illinois still has a decent crop of progressives to support when the general election comes around.

Anyway that is it for this week’s installment of The Weekly Bern, keep up the fight everyone!

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