Joe Biden’s Nominations Just Keep Getting Worse.
The nomination of Neera Tanden as head of the Office of Management and Budget is a test for the left.
With considerations of people like Representative Cedric Richmond and Rahm Emanuel for top positions, it’s no secret that the Biden administration is already shaping up to be even worse than the left expected before he has even taken office. Frankly, for the sake of my mental health I have refused to give any of these selections the anger they certainly deserve. But it should come as no surprise that few of his picks have been more of a blatant slap in the face than the nomination of Neera Tanden to serve as the head of the Office of Management and Budget.
As award winning journalist and former senior advisor to Bernie Sanders, David Sirota rightfully pointed out, it’s absolutely no coincidence that one of the most aggressive critics of Bernie Sanders is being selected to head the office of Mangement and Budget (with almost no chance of being confirmed by Republicans) at a moment when there’s a possibility that Bernie could become the chair of the budget committee if Democrats take the senate. It is not an accident that they are attempting to force Bernie — as a final act of humiliation after everything that he has swallowed, taken, and brushed aside from the party in order to ensure that Biden gets the Presidency — to dutifully accept and push forward the nomination of a woman who has done more than arguably anyone else among the Democratic establishment to smear his name and intentions.
Even a former employee of Center for American Progress, the neoliberal Think Tank headed by Tanden, was more than willing to admit to Business insider that:
“There are very few people who have been as aggressively critical — I would say sometimes obsessively critical — of the progressive left, and in particular of Bernie Sanders, than Neera,”
Considering that Tanden openly insinuated that she thought Bernie Sanders was Putin’s candidate, “obsessively critical” seems like a bit of an understatement.
As is so often the case, this is about far more than just Bernie Sanders, and the way a certain person in Democratic circles might feel about him and his coalition. Tanden’s selection also serves as a fairly clear indication of what Joe Biden’s spending priorities will look like, and considering the fact that he will be responsible for helping the nation recover from a devastating economic crisis in the wake of a pandemic, naturally we should be concerned about where her priorities lie. But after everything the Biden administration is revealing itself to be, should we even bother pretending to be surprised that he has selected a woman who is on record in 2010 arguing in favor of social security cuts and bragging about Obama’s cuts to Medicare?
Joining in the discussion on Twitter was Journalist Walker Bragman, who astutely observed:
“Biden’s selection of Neera Tanden to head OMB is an early test for progressives in their dealings with the incoming administration. Tanden is vocally anti M4a and UBI and tied to Wall St and theocratic regimes, she backed SS cuts when it counted, and she hates the left. There’s two options: 1) Join Republican senators in blocking her appointment and risk being labeled obstructionist. 2) Confirm her and try to work with a Biden administration that has already, by virtue of her nomination, shown its complete disregard for you.”
Still, with Senator Tom Cotton already explicitly stating that Neera Tanden will not be confirmed, one can’t help wondering what sort of message Biden’s team is trying to send by even nominating her in the first place. Perhaps no one summed it up better than the Majority Report’s Emma Vigeland, who said:
“It may seem self indulgent to label Biden’s Neera Tanden pick as a brazen attempt to signal dominance over the left, but the alternative is that they’re just that oblivious and tied up in incestuous DC think tank groupthink/corruption. I don’t know which is worse.”
In nominating Neera Tanden, once again Biden’s inner circle has proven beyond a shadow of a doubt that there is no such thing as pushing him to the left. There is no persuading or reasoning with politicians who have taken almost every opportunity to show their disdain for the left and their visions. Joe Biden is inarguably — like so many other corporate Democratic politicians — an active barrier to progress, and needs to be treated as such. Nominations of people like Neera Tanden, unfortunately, are just one of the ways that he shows it.