As Joe Biden begins selecting his cabinet in preparation for taking over the White House, the progressive contingent of the Democrat party is flexing its muscle.
Progressives bit their tongue when the establishment snubbed Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-VT) twice in a row, swallowed their pride in November, and pulled the handle for Biden. Now, they want their reward — Sanders, along with fellow extreme leftists, Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D-MA) has ordered Biden to choose progressives to staff his potential administration.
The Biden campaign already took a major gamble by placing one of the furthest-left Senators — Kamala Harris — on the ticket. Now, Biden’s handlers, who likely have an eye on 2024, appear to be balking at the prospect of further alienating moderate Democrats by allowing progressives to have much more control.
This has infuriated Sanders, who recently told the Associated Press that it would be “enormously insulting” if Biden chose moderate Democrats and Republicans as part of his team.
“It seems to me pretty clear that progressive views need to be expressed within a Biden administration,” Sanders told The Associated Press. “It would be, for example, enormously insulting if Biden put together a ‘team of rivals’ — and there’s some discussion that that’s what he intends to do — which might include Republicans and conservative Democrats — but which ignored the progressive community.
“I think that would be very, very unfortunate,” Sanders ominously warned.
Both Sanders and Warren were pushed out of the Democratic primary earlier this year in favor of the 77-year-old Biden, and likely hoped they would achieve high-level positions in his potential administration. However, since the November election, Biden has not indicated any desire to bring either progressive hero into his cabinet in any meaningful capacity.
Progressive group Justice Democrats, which stumped for Bernie in the primary, admitted that Biden isn’t especially likely to cave to their wishes for an exclusively leftist cabinet.
Waleed Shahid, a spokesman for the group, acknowledged that “not every single member of the administration is going to be progressive — that’s not who Joe Biden is, and explained that progressives simply want “adequate representation” in Biden’s administration. “We are advocating for them to be included, but we also have backup choices,” Shahid concluded.
Despite their complaints about adequate representation in Democrat administrations, progressive leaders like Warren and Sanders bowed down to Biden in early 2019, so it’s somewhat inexplicable why they believe the establishment will cater to their demands this time around.