(This article is published in Salon.)
Why are Hillary Clinton’s supporters and other liberal media stars so afraid of democracy?
These past few weeks, as Joe Biden reaches a final decision on whether or not he will run for president, there have been a slew of pieces emanating from the pro-Clinton camp, insisting that Biden running for president would be a bad idea, and even that he shouldn’t do it.
Writing in CNN, Julian Zelizer flatly insisted “Biden should not run.” “The Democratic primary doesn’t need Joe Biden,” The Nation’s Joan Walsh (a former Salon editor) declared. “I don’t, however, know a single person I’m aware of who wants Biden to get in,” The Daily Beast’s Michael Tomasky glibly wrote. “And I’ve been asking. Journalists, activist types, policy wonks, political operatives.”
How about asking the American people themselves? Reuters and Ipsos did exactly that in a recent poll, and found that close to half of Democrats want Biden to run for president. 48 percent of the Democratic constituency is very far from no one, but, no, “the smart play is for Biden to give a big speech saying how painful all this has been for him, how he respects all the candidates but Hillary Clinton in particular has been a great friend and is an amazing lady, and he’s going to sit it out.” So Tomasky pronounces for the American people.
The problem is this is not how democracy works. If the American people want Biden to run for president, and Biden wants to run for president, he should run for president.
Those three pieces are by no means the only ones. Others in the torrent of “He Shouldn’t Run for President Because I Don’t Like Him” hot takes concern troll over Biden’s legacy or disrespect to Sanders. What about considering what Biden and American voters want, for one? It’s so transparently phony, it makes one wonder: Why do pundits seem so fearful of Biden’s entry?
The most sensible answer, one might speculate, is that Clinton’s supporters are terrified that, if Biden enters the presidential race, he would split Clinton’s votes.
In other words, it seems to be about the Hillarybots’ and other Clinton admirers’ fear of Bernie Sanders.