I noticed how excited the GOP establishment was after the congressional races started getting called in their favor. They were hooting' and hollerin' because 18 or 19 of their freshmen were women. GOP propaganda agents were all over Twitter boasting about a new day for the Republicans. (They even elected an African American-- Burgess Owens-- and a handful of Hispanics who could be trotted out to show how diverse the party is becoming.) But the 18 women... what a coup! Too bad none of them support anything different from the crusty old reactionary men who rule the GOP. At least two are outright Q-Anon extremists, Marjorie Taylor Greene (GA) and Lauren Boebert (CO), each more delusional and out of her mind that the right-wing make nuts, Tom Graves and Scott Tipton, they'll be replacing. Ditto for Kat Cammack, who's taking over for her old boss, Ted Yoho, in north central Florida. 5 of the women are replacing Democratic men:
CA-39-- Young Kim replaces New Dem Gil Cisneros
CA-48-- Michelle Steel replaces New Dem Harley Rouda
MN-07-- Michelle Fischbach replaces Blue Dog Collin Peterson
NY-11-- Nicole Malliotakis replaces Blue Dog Max Rose
SC-01-- Nancy Mace replaces Blue Dog Joe Cunningham
Somehow women's rights have not been served by these personal victories by anti-Choice, anti-family right-wingers. Ironic? No more ironic than the diverse-for-the-sake-of-diversity administration Biden has been cobbling together. Writing for The Guardian this morning, Bhaskar Sunkara reported that though Biden's team will be diverse, it isn't necessarily built to help struggling people. Short version: "The incoming Biden administration loves to tout its diversity, instead of talking about what it will actually do in power."
Rather than offering the solutions many people who voted against Trump were hoping for, Biden's team and his media sycophants "have," according to Sunkara, "talked up one rather specific aspect of the Biden administration: diversity. Over the past few weeks, Biden has announced the White House team he wants to help lead us out of crisis. Yet instead of touting the skills of those selected or what they’ll do concretely to improve working people’s lives, we’ve been hearing about their 'lived experiences.' Progressives, for example, have long argued that the Department of Homeland Security should never have been created by the George W Bush administration to begin with. But why abolish a department that makes us less safe and violates our civil liberties when you can just put a person of color in charge of it? When the Biden team announced that Alejandro Mayorkas had been picked to do just that, they cut to the chase. Instead of explaining their plans to remedy some of the horrors of American immigration policy, the Biden team reminded us that 'Mayorkas will be the first Latino and immigrant nominated to serve as DHS secretary.' Just one minute later came the breaking news that 'Avril Haines will be nominated to serve as national intelligence director, which would make her the first woman to lead the intelligence community.' Haines was deputy CIA director and one of the primary architects of Obama’s drone program. When out of public service, she found time to defend torture and work for both Palantir and Blinken’s firm. All that and Haines is 'a bookstore owner/community activist.'"
On 30 November, Politico reported that the Congressional Black Caucus (CBC) was putting pressure on the Biden administration. They weren’t pushing him to take stronger action on black unemployment, poverty, or the scourge of mass incarceration-- they wanted a black secretary of defense. The campaign seemed to be working. “At the end of the day I would say that it’s going to be hard for Biden not to pick the first female secretary of defense, but Jeh Johnson would be the first Black secretary of defense and there are a lot of white faces,” a former senior defense official told Politico.
It wasn’t Johnson, but on Tuesday Biden announced that Lloyd Austin was his pick. Lloyd Austin is African American and has served 41 years in the military. His appointment, and those of other former army brass, has alarmed those concerned about the decline of civil control of the military. Also alarming is the fact that last year alone Austin earned more than $350,000 for serving on the board of directors of the military contractor Raytheon.
What the CBC thinks about all of this is not clear. Their sole interest seems to be about Austin’s racial identity.
All the women! An all-female communications team! One giant step for mankind? And then there's the appointment of Neera Tanden to head the OMB-- a two-for: woman and South Asian. "[S]he’s also someone who’s advocated cuts to social security and the looting of Libyan oil to pay for the US bombing of Libya," wrote Sunkara. "The Democrats are continuing their steady rebrand from the party of FDR’s New Deal and economic redistribution to the party of diversity and cultural posturing. Racial minorities, women and LGBT people better like what they see, because that’s all they’ll get. Would any of the establishment figures touting the incoming White House’s composition tell a recently laid-off white person not to worry, because a member of 'their community' will be in the Biden administration? Of course not. That would be ridiculous. Yet the minority base of the Democratic party is expected to subsist off scraps of representation. It’s a PR trick no different than that one we’ve been recently seeing in corporate America, where your boss will ask you read White Fragility and contemplate your privilege before laying you off. Or where a listing like Nasdaq doesn’t care what unethical stuff you have to do to make money, as long as you’re doing it with a diverse board of directors.
This vague touting of backgrounds isn’t just irrelevant to most of our lives, it distracts us from how simple the policy solutions to the crises facing poor and working-class Americans are. If people don’t have healthcare, we can give them comprehensive healthcare through Medicare for All. If they’re struggling financially to raise children, we can provide them with free childcare and universal pre-K. If they’re dealing with housing insecurity, we can expand section 8 vouchers and build affordable housing units. If they don’t have good-paying jobs, we can sturdy up the union movement and create guarantees of public employment.
But instead of Democratic leaders actually nourishing the tired, poor and huddled masses with a robust welfare state, we’re told to eat diversity instead.
How many women do you know who are celebrating the addition to Congress of Marjorie Taylor Green, Lauren Boebert and Kat Cammack? More or less than the ones celebrating Neera Tanden's powerful role in the Biden Regime? Now... which identity-groups will a sub-mediocre governor on the verge of being recalled appoint to the U.S. Senate to replace Kamala?