Jacobin: No, Joe Biden Won’t Give Us Social Democracy

Leave it to Matt Karp to rain on Greg Sargent’s parade.


“The $1.9 trillion American Rescue Plan, passed by the Senate last week, is a landmark act of emergency relief.

The bill’s largest features — $1,400 cash payments, extended unemployment aid, $350 billion for state and local governments — have attracted the most attention, but the package contains many more provisions that will make a material difference for millions in the working class, from union pension holders to childcare providers. Its additional spending on health care, rental housing, food assistance, schools, and families with children make the Rescue Plan, in the words of the New York Times, “the largest antipoverty effort in a generation.” …”

Yeah, what now?

Now that budget reconciliation has been used to pass a bill that has the support of 70% of the public, what is Joe going to do now? Is he going to pass the rest of his agenda now? The Democrats are so culturally radioactive that giving people free money is an FDR-like victory for them.

The Republicans are further along in their transformation than the Democrats. Donald Trump won and Republican voters finally overthrew the hated GOP establishment. Conservatism, Inc. is drowning in a sea of White working class voters. In contrast, Bernie Sanders lost by a greater margin to Joe than to Hillary Clinton because he tried to appeal to Elizabeth Warren wine track voters. The Democratic establishment has grown stronger, not weaker, because the Democrats are now the home of all the elites in America and have been gentrified by the influx of pearl clutching True Cons voters in the suburbs.

Now that Joe is president, the dynamic will be that Republicans will continue to wage their culture war against the Democrats and siphon away more Democrat Leaning Working Class (DLWC) voters. The Democrats will continue to wage their culture war against the Republicans and siphon away more upper middle class, college educated suburbanites with cosmopolitan and modernist values. The Republicans will gradually become even more reliant on populist voters while the Democrats attract more libs. Eventually, they will find out there is no such thing as “Right Populism.” These voters who are being attracted to the GOP by cultural grievance also have populist views on economics.

The real ferment is on the Republican side because of the intellectual and demographic collapse of Reaganism. The Republican establishment vote or the True Cons vote is down to like 10% to 15% of the party. The populist wing is now 70% of the Republican Party. Republicans are internally divided about 60/40 on economics. The Reaganite ideology, institutions and policy agenda of the Republican Party is now wildly out of sync with its voters. Those voters and the politicians who represent them are also much older which means that with each passing year they are losing their grip on the party. The fact that Trump succeeded and defeated all of his rivals was a reflection of this decadence. In fairness to Trump, he can also boast that he delivered an $1,800 stimmy and the $2,000 was his idea in the first place. It was also more revolutionary when Trump did it and put his name on it and more people qualified for it. Isn’t it amazing that he had the flexibility to do that because he knew his base supported the $2,000?

What happens when this process is more advanced than it is today? The GOP has gone from a conservative coalition (2012) to a conservative-populist coalition (2017) to a conservative-populist coalition with a dominant populist wing (2021) to … where will they be in 2025? Trump nearly won the 2020 election in spite of the headwinds of the deadliest pandemic since the Spanish Flu, having an idiot like Jared Kushner in charge of his campaign and flying it blind, a historic economic crash, the opposition of his own party in Congress which hamstrung his agenda, the entire media and the Deep State against him, the censorship of his supporters who were wiped off the internet by Big Tech and in spite of being handicapped by the unpopularity of the Paul Ryan agenda. He won more working class voters across all racial groups and Republicans gained House seats all because libs are just that culturally toxic.

If 70% of Republican voters support $1,400 checks and the True Cons minority either sat out or voted for Joe Biden anyway, how much latitude would Trump or his successor have to depart from GOP economic orthodoxy? How about libs? Do the Democrats have the same latitude to depart from lib orthodoxy on cosmopolitanism, modernism, political correctness/wokeness and antiracism or would the Left lose their shit over the slightest deviation from the prevailing groupthink in the New York Times newsroom? The problem is getting worse as the brats grow more prominent and influential on the Left. The Democrats are being remade in the image of modernism and political correctness and it is alienating “Latinx” voters.

Why couldn’t a future Republican candidate run far to the Left of 2016 Trump on economics among disaffected Independent voters – run like Huey Long or William Jennings Bryan – while hammering away at the same cultural grievances that animate the Right? Is that impossible because doing something like that would alienate corporate donors? Would it alienate suburbanites who are becoming Democrats anyway? Trump raised $255 million dollars from his supporters … AFTER HE LOST. Josh Hawley is raising more money after he alienated billionaires which shows this energy is transferable.

Some of the libs will say that there is no such thing as Trumpism. Donald Trump has a vacuous personality cult and owning the libs is all there is to it. Trump voters don’t care about policy. Granted, millions of White working class voters are satisfied with just stopping those people and also vote for Republicans in House and Senate races in rural states because they really are that culturally toxic, but the polls also show that Trump is less popular than his cause. The CPAC straw poll showed that 95% supported Trump’s policies, 68% or so hopes he runs again and 55% are committed to voting for him. We’ve seen other polls which confirm that “Trumpism” is more popular than Donald Trump. He lost a ton of Independent voters in 2020 who voted for him the first time because he wasn’t populist enough as president.

The lib narrative is that the GOP is a broken party full of Marjorie Taylor Greene conspiracy theorists (evidently, their own conspiracies about Vladimir Putin and Russia don’t count) and that it is collapsing and in total disarray because the 10% to 15% of the party that is the establishment wing is disaffected. Why couldn’t Republicans fix that problem by replacing them with more non-voters and populist voters who are Independents? By fixing that problem and trading the Red Dogs like the Lincoln Project and Bill Kristol to the Democrats, they solve their image problem with people in the middle.

If there is going to be a class revolution, it stands a greater chance of happening on the Right than the Left. The Left is becoming more insufferably middle class which is why working class voters are leaving in droves. It is becoming humorless and top heavy. It is being gentrified by White professionals like Washington, DC. There are far less structural obstacles on the post-Trump Right which is ideologically in flux. Sure, Mitch McConnell and his ilk are still physically in power, but the ground underneath them is gone now. The Republican policy agenda is still the same as it has ever been even though the voters have long moved on. 85% of White working class voters supported the Biden child tax credit.

Who are all these people? They are former working class Democrats and Independents who supported Trump. They don’t care for conservative orthodoxy and would leave the GOP to join a Trump party. The libs say it is impossible to work with them because of “fascism” and “white supremacy” even though most of them voted for Barack Obama in 2012 before they soured on him in his second term. 1 out of 10 “Latinx” voters who voted for Hillary in 2016 voted for Trump in 2020. These people were Democrat Leaning Working Class (DLWC) voters who left because of their conservative cultural values. They were alienated and driven out of the Democratic Party by libs. They just couldn’t take their shit anymore.

I know socialists who have told me that they have seen it manifest in their own organizing. They also know how libs operate. You have these White middle class anarchist brats who join socialist organizations. They are thrill seekers who go out and engage in violence and vandalism in working class communities. They are the most insufferably self-righteous, politically correct, impractical and intolerant people you will ever meet in your life. In a country of 328 million people, libs believe that everyone has to share their cultural values and think exactly like they do and look down on those who don’t share their values. These people are weirdly obsessed with identity and surveilling others and policing things like thoughts, attitudes and words and scolding the hell out of people who don’t understand why there are a thousand different genders and pronouns now. They are obsessed with internal psychological things and -isms and -phobias. They are less interested in changing material living conditions than in transforming consciousness. In that respect, they are budding totalitarians and if you point out that the way they operate is profoundly counterproductive to achieving socialist goals they will accuse you of “class reductionism.”



The funny thing is, we give socialists less of a hard time than these people because we honestly don’t really care what they think. Traditionalists distinguish between morality, opinion and politics. We practice the lost art of not being hypersensitive and offended by everything in the entire world. The reason that the brats are like that is because of modernism. It has made them obsessed with internal psychological things, not external material reality. Sigmund Freud and the Frankfurt School mindf***ed them a century ago and they never recovered. They are far more concerned with thoughts and words and the “trauma” caused by words than living conditions. They will scour through your entire life history on the internet and invade your privacy in order to catch you making the wrong joke like twenty years ago. It would never occur to us – supposedly, the intolerant bigots – to neuter Mr. Potato Head or to destroy Mumford and Sons!

In sum, libs will never deliver social democracy because they are too culturally toxic with White working class voters in rural states and show no signs of changing. They will fight to the death over marginal issues like “trans women” in women’s sports. They will give back everything they gain from the stimulus by alienating working class voters over countless issues like immigration or toppling statues or unleashing a crime wave or explicitly attacking White voters on the basis of race by inflating the definitions of “racism” and “white supremacy” to ludicrous extremes. Trump’s call for the $2,000 stimmy shows that Republicans are more flexible on economics than Democrats are on culture even if a bunch of aging politicians and their out of touch institutions haven’t caught up yet with their working class base.

How long will it take the GOP to catch up with reality? Why does the economic policy agenda suit the interests of the 15% disaffected rump that voted for Joe Biden? Why continue to appease people who alienate a larger group of people? I have no idea. I will be monitoring the situation though.

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  1. > Democrats will continue to wage their culture war against the Republicans and siphon away more upper middle class, college educated suburbanites with cosmopolitan and modernist values.

    But this is a very small group indeed. They matter in Brooklyn – that how AOC won, all the white and white-adjacent SJW’s that gentrified Brooklyn and drove the Blacks and Browns out. SJW matters in certain urban areas, but the Democrats voted for Joe Biden, not Bernie Sanders – and the Blacks and Browns gloated to the White SJW’s and call them “racists” trying to take over a “Black and Brown” party. Which was hilarious.

    SJW’s just make a lot of noise – their own party hates them. In fact they are hated everywhere by everybody except for the HR Department of the Fortune 500 companies and the anti-union law firms.

    If the GOP gets 60% of the white vote, they win pretty much everything, everywhere. It is that small of a margin. Any Republican that doesn’t want to leave money on the table?

    “No more immigration because of Covid-19 and jobs. Colorblind conservatism without the obsequious pandering like last time.”

    They only need 60% of the white population of America to hate them a tiny bit less than they hate Democrats.

    Whites are the swing vote.

  2. No one can monitor a situation like HW can!

    Unless I’m mistaken it looks as if the Republican party is going through a fitful transformation from the party of Big Business and Wall Street into a party of conservative populists and nativists?

    Those gents in the header photo look as if they stepped off the cover of the Saturday Evening Post, for crying out loud!

    • Hopefully.

      We will continue to monitor the situation. Right now, it is voters who have changed. The elite consensus is also changing. What hasn’t changed are elderly politicians, conservative institutions and the True Cons policy agenda

      • Sean Hannity’s new job assignment is instigate a war between Jew-Controlled Ukraine and Christian Russian….

        Sean Hannity’s allegiance is to Israel….

        • Yeah, those TV and radio entertainers…and people “think” they are “conservative” and “on my side”. Right now, no one is on our side.
          The people who think the Republicans are worried about “the white vote” need to wake up.

  3. I dunno Brad, is this Jacobin cat trying to say that Trump won the election. That seems to be the take-away. LOL.

  4. You can’t downplay that student loan debt forgiveness promise. That really did boost Biden’s vote.

    Lots of humanities students highly educated poorly pay and drowned in debts. Frankly these are the people you need to convince as it turns out. They could be turned into an iron guard as Biden flails around and sinks.

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