Inquirer letter Dec. 4th —
“Biden’s picks disappointing”
Below is a screenshot of my letter to the editor of the Philadelphia Inquirer, published today, December 4th, 2020.
To support my writing: ko-fi.com/writernate
I received two email responses to this letter. One writer suggested that I was being indignant, or holding a grudge against Biden because he wasn’t Bernie, My blog includes my response.
Here I expound on why I’m disappointed with Biden’s picks. I’ve included links to articles showing why I made the arguments I made above. First, and most notably, the $2,800/plate Comcast campaign kick-off fundraiser.
To clarify my point, the appointees aren’t all bad news. John Kerry as Climate Envoy means that he is putting a very high level Washington potentate in charge of an incredibly important energy transition. Using Kerry means that he is putting a priority on climate action.
Conversely, potential nominee Michele Flournoy, whose revolving door profile can be found on OpenSecrets.org, is a different story. While she would be a normalizing presence, an advocate of multi-lateralism (rather than “America First”), and the first woman to run the Pentagon, Michele Flournoy’s role in developing the Obama Administration’s interventionist Middle East policies, especially in Syria, is troubling. As Democracy Now! points out:
Feminism Not Militarism: Medea Benjamin on the Movement to Oppose Michèle Flournoy as Pentagon…
President-elect Joe Biden has introduced key members of his national security team this week, including his picks for…
President-elect Joe Biden has introduced key members of his national security team this week, including his picks for secretary of state, national intelligence director, national security adviser, homeland security chief and ambassador to the United Nations. Biden has yet to announce his defense secretary, but progressives are already raising alarm over reports that he intends to nominate Michèle Flournoy, a hawkish Pentagon veteran with close ties to the defense industry. If nominated, Flournoy would become the first woman to lead the Department of Defense. “She represents the epitome of what is worst about the Washington blob, the military-industrial complex’s revolving door,” says CodePink co-founder Medea Benjamin. “Her whole history has been one of going in and out of the Pentagon … where she supported every war that the U.S. engaged in, and supported increases in the military budget.”
Other appointments are a mixed bag as well:
President-elect Joe Biden has formally introduced part of his national security team. On Tuesday, Biden spoke in Wilmington, Delaware, alongside secretary of state nominee Tony Blinken, national intelligence director nominee Avril Haines, homeland security secretary nominee Alejandro Mayorkas, national security adviser nominee Jake Sullivan and U.N. ambassador nominee Linda Thomas-Greenfield, who vowed to embrace multilateralism.
Linda Thomas-Greenfield: “My fellow career diplomats and public servants around the world, I want to say to you: America is back. Multilateralism is back. Diplomacy is back.”
Biden’s special envoy for climate, John Kerry, also spoke.
John Kerry: “To end this crisis, the whole world must come together. You’re right to rejoin Paris on day one. And you’re right to recognize that Paris alone is not enough.”
Biden has yet to decide on several key posts in his national security team, including defense secretary and CIA director. We will have more on Biden’s Cabinet picks after headlines.
Several Blackrock appointees raise questions about what kind of economic vision will guide Biden’s planned $2 trillion green transition:
https://www.democracynow.org/2020/12/2/blackrock_ties_to_biden_administration From Democracy Now!:
“For his incoming economic team, President-elect Joe Biden has picked several people associated with the investment giant BlackRock, which has been called “the fourth branch of government.” This includes his choice of Brian Deese, a former adviser to Barack Obama, to be his director of the National Economic Council. Deese was the global head of sustainable investing for BlackRock, which is the world’s largest asset manager, with over $7 trillion in its portfolio. This comes as progressives are demanding a Cabinet free of Wall Street influence. “BlackRock has very smartly cultivated its reputation as a sort of ‘good guy’ on Wall Street” that is contradicted by their conduct, notes Kate Aronoff, staff writer at The New Republic. “Time after time, they have sought to shirk regulation and — in the last year especially, and while Brian Deese has been there — really greenwashed their image.”