If it Hadn’t Been Bernie Up Against Biden.

When it comes to the sexual assault allegations, Biden would have been treated very differently if Bernie wasn’t the alternative.

Image for post
Image for post
Democratic presidential candidates, Sen. Bernie Sanders, former Vice President Joe Biden, talks before a Democratic presidential primary debate, Feb. 25, 2020, in Charleston, S.C.

Conveniently after Bernie Sanders made the decision to drop out of the race the mainstream media suddenly began to cover the allegations of sexual assault against the presumptive democratic nominee Joe Biden, that were brought forth by his former Senate aide in regards to an incident that took place in 1993. Whether it was her neighbor coming forward to back up her claim, the fact that her mother was so disturbed by the story that she called in to Larry King Live after it happened to ask for advice, or the court documents confirming that she told of harassment at the time, clearly at the very least Tara’s story deserves to be treated as credible. As more and more information comes to light as the story develops, I can’t help wondering how different the race would currently be if it hadn’t been Bernie Sanders as Biden’s top competition in the end.

The allegations, as we all know, surfaced before Bernie exited the race. There is not a single doubt in my mind that if Bernie wasn’t the only one left standing against him, and it had been Kamala Harris or Pete Buttigieg instead, Biden would have been feeling immense pressure not just from the media and the DNC, but from inside his own campaign to drop out of the Presidential race on these credible allegations came to light. As soon as the very same reporter who broke the story about Christine Blasey Ford broke the story about Tara Reade, the powers that be within his party would have demanded he concede. Similar to the phone calls Obama made urging Buttigieg and Klobuchar to drop out before Super Tuesday, Biden would have undoubtedly gotten a phone call of his own if Bernie hadn’t been next in line.

For the democratic party, crushing Bernie Sanders has always been far more important than defeating Donald Trump. Joe Biden would not be where he is today if the democrats were able to tolerate the thought of Bernie as their nominee. The democratic party is more than willing to fall on the sword and die for Joe Biden, losing any last shred of credibility that they had. Destroying the #MeToo movement in the process as well, all instead of accepting that the candidate anointed by President Obama in the twilight hour was arguably the worst they could have picked if they actually want to win (second only to perhaps Bloomberg). Bernie Sanders represented change. Change that ultimately forced the democratic party to hear critiques from the left, and challenged the Obama legacy. In choosing Joe Biden, the democrats have made clear in no uncertain terms that they would rather have Donald Trump get another four years and continue to fundraise off of his dangerous ineptitude at the expense of the American public. Better that than to allow real, people driven change to take place.

Of course I’m not at all under the impression that Joe Biden is going to willingly drop out, and perhaps even less likely than that is the idea that the DNC would allow Bernie with the second most delegates to have the nomination if he did. The allegations surrounding Joe Biden have only reinforced the idea that the democrats were never, ever going to allow Bernie Sanders to become the nominee, and the fact that the presumptive nominee allegedly sexually assaulted someone isn’t going to change that. More than anything else, this surreal 2020 primary has highlighted just how fundamentally undemocratic and morally bankrupt our political system has become over the years. To watch what happens in the aftermath of what feels like the inevitable collapse of the two party system will be fascinating.

Lauren is a writer & leftist with analysis on topics related to politics & policy. She can be reached at LaurenMartinchek@gmail.com or Twitter @xlauren_mx

Get the Medium app

A button that says 'Download on the App Store', and if clicked it will lead you to the iOS App store
A button that says 'Get it on, Google Play', and if clicked it will lead you to the Google Play store