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Friday, December 25, 2020

Joe Biden And Cabinet Appointees Looking Like America–No Double Dipping! And The Nonsense Of Identity Politics

“No double dipping”, said one of Joe Biden’s senior advisors, seeing too many black women on his list of possible Cabinet appointments.  “It’s all about traction and mileage”, he suggested.  “We need numbers, different strokes for different folks, and there is no need to jam up one box.  LaBette Williams, he advised was black, female, and gay; and outspoken advocate for transgenderism and violent civil disobedience – a queer, black Washington cocktail, a good Cabinet choice on the basis of any one identity, but all three made her a Capitol Hill powerhouse.  The problem, Biden’s advisor went on, is that “our bases will get confused with a potpourri.  We need clarity and definition.  A ball-busting, tough as shit white feminist and a radical black ghetto king separate and equal.  Spread it, don’t crowd it.  Let the candidates sing!”.

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“Let’s make it simple, Joe. Make a list, and check it twice”, he said, and vet and cull rudely and efficiently.  Check one box per nominee.” Easier said than done of course because progressives tend to be all jammed up with causes in the first place – i.e.  in the big tent it was almost impossible to find someone of just one ilk.  The double- and triple-dipped were high in the progressive pantheon.  LaBette Williams was but one highly visible example; but there were many more.  

Bruce Billings, for example, had come out of the closet early and often – shamed by his parents, he went back in, came out when he fell in love with a college classmate, turned coat and had a religious epiphany, and finally settled down in San Francisco with his husband.  There, he found that his struggle reflected the gay community’s desire to energize other causes, and soon became an advocate for the environment. “This is what happens if we all don’t pull together”, he shouted, pointing to a black, charred landscape of frightening devastation and hopelessness on the screen behind him.  “I know all too well”, he said, “about dereliction of social responsibility, a lack of caring and compassion, and a closet mentality”.  He was a two-sport standout.

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White Wolf Patterson, a member of Congress from Oklahoma, was a direct descendant of White Wolf, the great Comanche Chief.  S. C. Gwynne, author of Empire Of The Summer Moon about the Rise and Fall of the Comanche, wrote that no tribe in the history of the Spanish, French, Mexican, Texan, and American occupations  had ever caused so much havoc and death. None was even a close second.  There was a ‘demonic immorality’ of Comanche attacks on white settlers, the way in which torture, killings and gang-rapes were routine. 

The logic of Comanche raids was straightforward.  All the men were killed, and any men who were captured alive were tortured; the captive women were gang raped. Babies were invariably killed. One by one, the children and young women were pegged out naked beside the camp fire. They were skinned, sliced, and mutilated, and finally burned alive by vengeful women determined to wring the last shriek and convulsion from their bodies.  Not only were the Comanche specialists in torture, they were also the most ferocious and successful warriors — indeed, they become known as ‘Lords of the Plains. They were as imperialist and genocidal as the white settlers who eventually vanquished them.

“Now, this guy”, said Biden’s advisor, “is our go-to choice for Secretary of the Interior.  He has impeccable credentials.  Not only will he be a representative of all Native Americans, but of the white-hating minority collective”.  Washington Redskins owner Daniel Snyder had resisted all efforts to change the name of his football team because of ‘Native American pride’, but agreed that some people might think the Redskin name insulting.  He removed the name, and the team is now, temporarily at least, known as The Washington Football Team.  

Snyder has been inundated with new names elegiac of the Capital’s iconic image as the heart of American democracy and expected pull-from lists of black, female, and Latino leaders; but reportedly the name he favors are the Washington White Wolves.  Although the word ‘white’ is a problem, the selection of the heroic Comanche chief to represent the team would be perfect.  It would satisfy those who have advocated Indian rights and cultural rehabilitation, minorities who applaud white racial cleansing, and those who see Westward Expansion as an anti-capitalist, anti-colonialist hegemonic landgrab.

“If our side of the aisle wants an Indian in the Cabinet, let’s give them a real one”.

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The advisor was very successful in his search for nominees of ‘singularity’, influential one-issue candidates.  ‘Real’ feminists, gays, blacks, Latinos, and Asian Americans.   Selection was not hard on the black front because African Americans had for decades poo-pooed esoteric, namby-pamby issues like Saving the Whale; and, still proud of their machismo and street creds, wanted little to do with white feminists.  For all other categories choice was complicated and obfuscated by progressive blending.  Brenda Fein had been an educator and standout of the American Federation of Teachers.  She had been on the frontline of the movement to rid primary school curricula with the Three R’s and replace them with race-gender-ethnicity protocols.  

She was an initiator of the movement to revise American history curricula according to more accurate depictions of American capitalist exploitation, racial injustice, and minority oppression.  While she double- and triple-dipped, she never lost sight of her primary intention – to reform the entire educational system according to proper progressive principles.  As importantly, she had been instrumental in forcing the DC government to accept the labor demands of teachers, and thanks to her efforts no teacher could be censured, penalized, or dismissed because of ‘inadequacies’.  The principle of inclusivity was  based on the assumption that there is no such think as a bald mistake.  Every errancy could be explained by the exploitation of management, political conservatives, and anti-union fascists.

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Barry Popper was a doctor, patient advocate, and irresistible force for a single-payer health system.  He was not only an admirer of the Canadian health system, but in love with it.  The Canadians could do no wrong and had for decades been on the righteous, moral side of public health history.  His race, ethnic origin, and sexual orientation were secondary to his passionate evocation of a truly just social health system.  Besides, given the Biden advisor’s unrelenting stand against double-dipping, the Cabinet would have plenty of gays, blacks, feminists, etc.

A minor worker on the Biden Cabinet search team had the temerity to challenge the advisor on his singularity approach. “Shouldn’t we have a straight, white male on the list?”.  Whoops, hollers, jeers, raspberries, and catcalls. How could he be so stupid, so irrelevant, so clueless?  White men?  “I’m enough”, Biden said, “and I am an example to older Americans as well”, letting the advisor know that he did not have to worry about factoring in ageism.   “All the old white Jews in New York and Miami voted for me”, he said, “  No problemo”.

All of which reminded the advisor that he really should put some Jews on the list just to show no hard feelings; but the whole Israel thing was out there, so better stay away.  An Italian would be a better, safer bet, like one of the Cuomos. A  selection of one of them could serve as a stand in for all the other old-fashioned, old world ethnicities like the Irish, Poles, Slovaks, etc. “Can’t hurt”, said Biden. “See what you can find”.

Only one trick remained – how to match checked boxes with responsibility.  Although it was natural to put an Indian as the head of Interior, it might seem racist, so better put White Wolf Patterson in HHS or Energy.  A woman former teacher as Education Secretary might suggest misogyny and low-level radar positioning.  Women have always been teachers and nurses, so better watch out for that insinuation.

All this will be moot, of course, if the Republican candidates in Georgia win the January Senatorial by-election and the Senate remains solidly Republican and conservative.  GOP senators have already let it be known that identity candidates will be raked over the coals.  No one will be approved on the basis of race, gender, or ethnicity, not if they can help it.  The progressive juggernaut has to stopped someplace, and the Republican-controlled Senate will be the first and last bulwark.

As we speak, the Biden appointment list is being winnowed and the advisor is happy with the President-Elect’s choices.  Finally, the four long years of ignorant bombastic racism are over, and a new world is dawning – or however Biden’s speechwriter is crafting his inauguration speech.

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