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Joe Biden Is Running As an Anti-Establishment Candidate All of a Sudden

By Dustin Rowles | Politics | July 9, 2024 |

By Dustin Rowles | Politics | July 9, 2024 |


anti-establishment.jpg

What’s been arguably the most fascinating aspect of the Joe Biden campaign since the debate is how Joe Biden has pivoted into a populist-style candidate. We’ve been complaining for years that the Democrats need their own Donald Trump (in style, not in policy). In a weird way, Biden seems to be appealing to the old Democratic base — the first-term Bill Clinton Democrats — by specifically going after his party’s own “big donors” and “the elites.” For instance, listen to Biden’s phone call yesterday morning on Morning Joe, which was reminiscent of the phone calls Trump used to make to Fox News’ morning show.

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I am a lifelong Democrat, and obviously, the party’s position on abortion and social values has been hugely motivating, but the initial appeal to the party for me was less about culture and more about class. It feels like most white Americans from impoverished backgrounds went the other way (see e.g., J.D. Vance), but I stuck with the Democrats because they were the party of the working class, of unions, of the social safety net.

That hasn’t disappeared from the party, but it’s taken a backseat to corporate interests, big donors, and the so-called media elites. I feel like Joe Biden is trying to resurrect those elements of the party, the same elements that rallied behind Bill Clinton after the establishment tried to extinguish his campaign in 1992 and after the GOP tried to impeach him in 1998. This is why Trump’s campaign in 2024 was basically revived by the criminal indictments: People love to rally around maligned candidates, whether they deserve it or not.

Joe Biden, a career politician who has served decades in the Senate, as Vice President for eight years, and as President of the United States for the last three and a half, is vying to become the anti-establishment candidate. And it seems to be working. Joe Biden: Running against the Democrat establishment! Ain’t that a kick in the pants? Every Rob Reiner and Barry Diller who turns off the money spigot only helps him more. More Hollywood folks should come out against him. More establishment figures should tell him to drop out. This is the galvanizing force that the Biden campaign has needed.

It is also why Trump won in 2016. He ran against the establishment. Now, he just looks like a billionaire tycoon who can buy his way out of jail and bully people with his pocketbook. You can’t get more establishment than that, can you? Meanwhile, we might just see Joe Biden in a leather jacket, fist-bumping union workers and challenging billionaires to arm-wrestling matches. Dark Brandon is not only running against Donald Trump. He’s running against The New York Times, and that finally may be a winning strategy.