I’ve never been a big fan of the term “corporate Democrat.” In too many instances, it becomes a term of reproach for anyone in the Democratic Party who doesn’t embrace consistently and unapologetically left and progressive politics. Deployed in this manner, it fails to capture the complexity, fluidity, and direction of positions and sentiments among Democratc Party officeholders.
Predictability, it turns allies into enemies, scales down coalition opportunities, weakens struggles electorally and legislatively, and fractures the Demcratic Party and the democratic front at a moment when maximum unity is imperative. If that posture strikes you as wrong headed, counterproductive, and sectarian, then we are on the same page.
That said, I had no problem when Bernie recently labeled Joe Manchin – the Build Back Better killer – as a corporate Democrat. If anyone has earned that title of opprobrium, it is Manchin.
As you would expect, Manchin took issue with Bernie’s type casting of him. In his reply, Manchin said he is a “moderate.” Sorry Joe, you can’t hide behind that claim. Your voting record, public utterances, differences with Biden and Democrats on issues, like BBB, close affinity to everything corporate and, above all, the immense damage you have done over the past two years to the chances of tens of millions of people gaining some relief in these difficult times betrays your claim.
Bernie is right. You are wrong. And no dance or denial on your part can change that fact. Nothing can clean up your betrayal. You’re a corporate man and, objectively, a water carrier for Trump, Fox, and the white nationalist authoritarian right.