Monday, March 9, 2020

For the Record: Team Spirit

"Team of Rivals", 2013, by Mary Bailey/Flickr.

*lies not "lays"

I still can't imagine myself voting for Biden or Sanders in the New York primary, my two last choices among the conceivable (well, maybe not next to Yang; I never thought Williamson or Gabbard was conceivable) since this process began. Assuming what looks increasingly likely, though, I will be compelled to vote for ex–vice president Biden in the general election. I''m not going to complain about it because, in the first place, if the true party, its activist black women, have mobilized around this guy, it's really not my job to gainsay it.

I have this longing for people to stop dwelling so much on the individual drama as if it were a soap opera (people on the radio discussing how Kamala endorsed Joe even though she destroyed him in the debate and how does everybody feel about it) and the politicians' emotional relation to their brand names ("Joe hates government funded public goods that reduce household reliance on bank loans," said some twitterer—hates them?) and start talking about institutions: the party, the presidency, and the Congress.

That turned out to be totally wrong—or
Dimon's in the hospital recovering from heart surgery and the Axios piece, which mentioned a whole bunch of names for a whole bunch of different positions (including Elizabeth Warren for treasury), sourced their information to Biden "confidants". Axios is naughty for allowing itself to be kidnapped by anonymi with agendas, but I'm pretty sure they don't lie about who the sources are. Anyway

I understand why Obama wanted to form a "team of rivals" and pulled so many out of the Senate, to reassure people over his lack of experience, but it was a whole bunch of important senators lost, and that doesn't need to be the rule for cabinet formation. A President Biden should especially not give a cabinet position to Warren as long as there's a Republican governor to name her successor.

What he needs to be asking Warren is, "What kind of programs can I adopt to earn your endorsement?" and "What can you do to get Congress to make me do it?"

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