It’s been a few days Bernie Sanders (I-VT) has suspended his campaign and forfeited his chance to become President of The United States. You can still see the holdovers, those that dare to imagine that their candidate can overcome the odds to become the nominee. But, it’s nothing more than a pipe dream.
The nominee will be former Vice President Joe Biden and now it’s his job to try to unite the party.
The problem is that Biden and his team are already appearing to be rather weak at doing so. Bernie supporters are now left to be left angry or morose, so it was important for Biden’s first concession to be promising in a show of good faith. However, it was weak and didn’t leave many feeling optimistic.
Medicare For Biden Voters
The first big announcement was lowering the age of Medicare from 65 to 60. This is great for those seniors, who were the people who helped propel Joe Biden to becoming the nominee, but does it help anyone else? The overture felt insulting, especially with COVID-19 wrecking through our country. It doesn’t address the single mothers who are currently working under the label of “essential worker” as she checks out people at her local grocer. It means very little to the gig worker who is dropping off food to those who can afford to stay at home.
It’s a hollow faux-progressive concession. You can be excited if you are nearing 60. However, it feels like a thumb to the nose to those that are under-covered or not covered at all. It’s even more insulting watching Biden surrogates and supporters act like it’s even a big deal.
Student Loan Forgiveness, but But Only Partially
The next concession was relieving those saddled with the crippling student loan debt, but, much like his Medicare proposal, it will do little to help the majority of Americans.
Those making under 25k a year most definitely need relief, not a single progressive will argue with you on that, but the plan looks to be very means-tested. The next problem is that it only covers undergraduate degrees, not those who do the far more expensive post-graduate programs. The reality is that a bachelor’s degree doesn’t have the same marketability to job employers that it once had.
Hold or Fold?
Ask yourself this: do you think these new plans Biden presented were an olive branch, or nothing more than a weak twig?
The Medicare plan will surely entice older votes and maybe even peel away some of Trump’s voters who need health insurance. That could very well be the intent. Biden won older voters and doesn’t need to address his abysmal approval numbers of those under the age of 45, especially when his team thinks they can pluck racists who need health care away from the president.
Joe Biden has the nomination all but secured at the moment and Bernie isn’t there to champion a progressive platform on the debate stage. He’s abandoned the main leverage he had left. Still, Biden should earn progressive votes for November by creating a platform that appeals to Bernie supporters. They shouldn’t be taunted or guilt tripped into voting for Biden, but that seems to be the Democrats’ “winning strategy.”
It’s too early to fold for their limp concessions. If they continue with these weak hands, then Trump’s inevitable victory in November is on them, not the Russians or Bernie supporters.