On April 25, after prolonged deliberation, OR prolonged procrastination, OR prolonged strategic calculation, OR whatever, Good Ol’ Joe has openly declared his interest in taking a lease on the Oval Office. Although nobody ever expects to hear the phrase, “Good Ol’ Hillary” Joe is seen by many Democrats as the man destined to inherit the Clinton wing of their party. He has almost the same level of name recognition. His supporters also celebrate his vast experience. He has the “regular guy” image which appeals to lots of voters, especially the dimmer ones who know of no other way to judge candidates. As against tha,t he is famous as a gaffe-master. Hillary was always careful to avoid inadvertent gaffes. As against that, her guarded ways increased her reputation for robotic artificiality.

The Democratic Party’s Ultras clearly see Joe as Hillary’s true heir. They believe that he is acceptable to the corporate rascals, if not their actual tool. They see Bernie Sanders as the heir of … well, the Bernie Sanders whose challenge from the left shook up Hillary in the primary. He has a long and consistent record for corporation-bashing. He thrives on small contributions. He has nothing good to say about Goldman-Sachs or any other bank. A self-declared Democratic Socialist, he’s a quasi-Democrat at best and so escapes the party’s long history of rejecting socialism. We understand that the Ultras yearn for a national transformation and that this requires a break from the party’s past attachments to an America they have come to despise.

So we see the Sanders campaign immediately attacking Joe for raising money at the home of a “corporate lobbyist” shortly after launching his campaign. Justice Democrats, a group launched by former Sanders campaign aides, immediately attacked Biden as a corporate shill unfit for Democratic presidential nomination.

Faithful to my duty to inform the public, I long ago entered my name on the email lists of all the most important Left-lurching organizations. So I’m able to pass an urgent fund-raising appeal from the Justice Democrats. I quote exactly: “We are having a breakout moment. CNN and Van Jones just made it crystal clear that Justice Democrats is leading the major center of gravity shift in the Democratic Party. We’re not a very big organization, but what we do with the resources we have makes a big impact. We are changing the national conversation, and the media is just starting to understand it.” The message included an inspirational quote from Van Jones (President Obama’s nominee for a “Green Jobs Czar” position, until it was discovered that he had at one time boasted of being a “revolutionary communist”). Read Van’s words and rejoice, or not, your choice: “People talked about the Tea Party every day they were on the scene. The Justice Democrats are as strong or stronger than the Tea Party. They are a major center of gravity in our party that doesn’t get talked about enough.”

We will have to wait and see whether the Justice Dems have truly shifted the party’s center of gravity. Their vehement hostility to Joe Biden will provide a useful test. Their struggle will, in time, affect Maine’s political life. Gov. Mills supported Hillary, while the majority of Maine’s activist Democrats have been enthusiastic for Bernie. She has given the Ultras other reasons for hostility, e.g., our governor’s support for the CMP “corridor,” her opposition to Question 1, her testimony against the carbon tax. Worst of all, the woman shows signs of having a sense of humor. The Maine People’s Alliance (Bernie-Boosters to a man and woman) don’t care for that sort of thing. If they did, you’d hear them laugh at Alexandria Ocasio Cortez. I’ve seen no sign of it.

Janet’s best course of action at present is to say nothing and hope that Biden’s bid totally overshadows Bernie and his socialist fantasy.

John Frary, of Farmington, is a former candidate for U.S. Congress, a retired history professor, an emeritus board member of Maine Taxpayers United, a Maine Citizens Coalition board member, and publisher of FraryHomeCompanion.com. He can be reached at jfrary8070.

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