“I'm going to do everything I can to see that Biden gets reelected”

Bernie Sanders calls on voters to assume “a maturity” and back Biden following debate debacle

Following the June 27 debate between President Joe Biden and ex-President Donald Trump, nominally independent Senator Bernie Sanders of Vermont has been campaigning in defense of President Joe Biden and the Democratic Party.

President Joe Biden, right, and Sen. Bernie Sanders, I-Vt., walk from Marine One upon arrival on the South Lawn of the White House, Monday, April 22, 2024, in Washington. [AP Photo/Alex Brandon]

On Friday, Biden tried his best to stanch growing calls from donors and fellow Democrats to step aside. In Madison, Wisconsin he held his second public rally since the debate. It was followed by a pre-taped interview with ABC’s George Stephanopoulos.

In contrast to the vast majority of the population, who despise the presumptive nominees of both big business parties, Sanders has not only refused to call on the war criminal Biden to withdraw, the phony “socialist” and hero of the Democratic Socialists of America has instead emerged as one of Biden’s most ardent defenders.

In multiple interviews and campaign stops following the debate, Sanders has adopted the Biden campaign line regarding the president’s senile performance: One “bad night” should not erase a “very strong” record.

“He was not focused,” Sanders told Semafor in an interview while campaigning for Biden in central Wisconsin last week. “He did not defend a very strong record.”

What is this “very strong record?” Was Sanders referring to Biden and the Democrats joining with the Republicans to block railroad workers from striking in November of 2022? Perhaps he was referring to Biden adopting Trump’s anti-immigrant policies, including scrapping asylum laws, separating families and resuming construction of Trump’s border wall?

Or was he referring to the fact that under Biden, billionaire wealth has nearly doubled in the last four years, even as over 1 million people died from COVID-19—the majority under the Biden administration.

At the heart of the “very strong” record touted by Sanders is Biden’s provision of political and military support for the Israeli regime’s genocidal war against the people of Gaza, and his campaign of police attacks and mass arrests of pro-Palestinian protesters, accompanied by slanderous charges of “antisemitism” against them.

That genocidal policy is itself part of the Biden administration’s program of global imperialist war, centered on the US/NATO war against Russia over Ukraine. That conflict has already taken more than 500,000 Ukrainian lives and tens of thousands of Russian lives, and is about to be massively expanded at the NATO summit next week in Washington D.C. It is bringing mankind to the brink of a nuclear holocaust.

Biden “should have been loud and clear in telling the American people that he was the first president in American history ever to walk on a picket line,” Sanders declared. This was a reference to Biden’s carefully crafted and short visit with United Auto Workers officials and Democratic politicians last September in Michigan during the UAW’s backstabbing “standup strike.”

That so-called strike was designed by the UAW bureaucracy, in league with Biden, to keep the vast majority of plants running and minimize the impact of scattered walkouts on the profits of the Big Three auto bosses.

While Sanders promotes Biden’s visit to Michigan last year, including in a recent podcast with UAW President Shawn Fain, as proof of Biden’s affinity for the working class, in reality it is an expression of the complete integration of the union apparatus with the White House and the corporations against the working class. In the aftermath of the “standup strike,” the Big Three auto companies have carried out thousands of job cuts and Fain has emerged as one of Biden’s top campaign surrogates, alongside fake-left blowhards Sanders and New York Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez.

In the same Semafor interview, Sanders declared, “Biden is the candidate,” adding, “I’ll do my best to get him elected.”

As calls for Biden to withdraw grew over the weekend, Biden and Sanders published a joint opinion column in USA Today on July 2. In the column the pair claimed to have “made substantial progress” in lowering drug prices and “standing up to Big Pharma.”

This assertion was undercut further on in the article when the pair admitted “the pharmaceutical industry makes huge profits.” They continued: “In fact, 10 top pharmaceutical companies made over $110 billion in profits last year.”

Sanders followed up his joint column with Biden with an interview with the AP that was published on July 3. In the interview Sanders again declared, “I’m going to do everything I can to see that Biden gets reelected.”

While Sanders admitted he “wasn’t confident” Biden could win before the debate, after the 81-year-old president incoherently rambled and stood with his mouth agape for roughly 90 minutes, Sanders told the AP:

What we need on the part of the American people is a maturity right now—and that is to understand that what is important are the issues. And the difference between Trump and Biden: day and night.

In fact, it is becoming increasingly difficult to parse the differences between the two right-wing capitalist politicians. During the debate itself, both candidates boasted of their support for the Zionist government of Israel and for even more draconian anti-immigrant policies.

Both have spent the better part of the first half of the year crisscrossing the country, cap in hand, to appeal for donations from billionaires and multi-millionaires on the basis that their unearned wealth will not be infringed upon if they are elected.

This is the third presidential election in a row in which Sanders has encouraged his dwindling pool of supporters to back the presumptive Democratic nominee for president. At the height of his popularity during the 2016 presidential primary, Sanders ended his phony “political revolution” and told his followers to vote for former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton. In 2020, and now again in 2024, Sanders is all in for “Genocide Joe.”

Under conditions where workers and young people are outraged over the role of Biden and the Democrats in the genocide in Gaza, the fact that Sanders is adamantly demanding workers and young people exercise “maturity” and support Biden completely exposes him and the dead-end politics of “reforming” the Democratic Party.

Sanders’ repeated efforts to betray workers and trap them in the Democratic Party have produced catastrophic results for the working class. The Democrats have worked with the fascistic Republicans to pass trillion-dollar war budgets while slashing funding for education, Medicaid, housing and other vital social needs.

Workers and youth must draw lessons from the Sanders experience. There is no “reforming” the Democratic Party. The Democratic Party, including its left-face, the Democratic Socialists of America, and allied sections of the trade union bureaucracy epitomized by Fain and the UAW are tools of the American corporate oligarchy and enemies of the working class.