Of College Debts and Real Democrats

Photo by Alice Pasqual

I care less about the pain Joe Biden’s known than the pain he’s gratuitously inflicted. So of all the nothings that would not “fundamentally change” under a Biden administration, the notion that a guy who spent his political lifetime in the service of credit card issuers would actually do something consequential about unindebting students to Wall Street was never for me, as the kids say, a thing.

Call me a cynic, but Biden looking to the courts instead of his pen worked the way it was intended to work, and Democrats are fine with having yet another issue they’ll eventually refuse to articulate. Anyone who thinks otherwise probably believes Marjorie Taylor Greene found a pet-sitting job on Indeed to pay back her PPP loan.

With BIDEN v. NEBRASKA the quo has been statused. Bankruptcy remains a source of terror for the many and moral bankruptcy a source of coin for campaign consultants. And let’s not fail to acknowledge all those wise economists of the Clinton/Obama era who were in the GOP room voicing opposition from day one. Jason “Won’t Someone Think Of The Userers” Furman and Larry “If It Weren’t For A Conflict Of Interest I’d Have No Interest At All” Summers were terrified that a globule of liquidity might splash the undeserving. It won’t.

But at least all the real Democrats who shivved Bernie Sanders with anguished cries of “Why should Barron Trump have free college?!?!” can now rest easy. Barron will have to find a way to make bank. Much as Malia must’ve been up all hours of the night around the kitchen table with Michelle and the Great Sayer of Words scheming a way to scrape by at Harvard.

When Yeats wrote “the centre cannot hold” he wasn’t referring to corporate Democrats. Did you ever wonder how the Democratic Party could design a Medicare plan which is literally toothless? Or why they frame legislation as “a once in a generation chance” to help the powerless, then means-test time-limit phase-in and throw-out everything except fighter jets to Ukraine? It’s not because the Democratic Party has no heart but because every single ventricle leading to and from it is clogged with cash.

So they prefer to mewl about providing the poor with ladders of opportunity into the middle class when what actually separates them is the rickety footstool of chance. From their shaky perch a step ahead, the middle class can clearly see the floor. But for the poor and middle class to even envision the comfort level of the top ten percent they’d need to book their ladder aboard a commercial space flight. That is the real issue and you don’t need to be Eugene Debs to know it.

But according to reports, Biden is so distraught he can barely fundraise. He has vowed to pursue another path, and surely at this very moment he is spelunking through the rubble of paid family and medical leave, free community college, negotiated prescription drug pricing, a permanent ban on new offshore oil and gas leasing, and legal weed to appear to locate one.

And hey! At least Nancy Pelosi gets quoted in SCOTUS rulings on justifications for not doing things! Besides, the perennially most important election of our lifetimes will soon be here and thankfully Bernie Sanders isn’t the candidate because he would’ve never ever been able to get things done!

Yet something truly hopeful did come from BIDEN v. NEBRASKA when Chief Justice Roberts wrote the following: “The secretary’s plan has ‘modified’ the cited provisions, only in the same sense that ‘the French Revolution “modified” the status of the French nobility’ — it has abolished them and supplanted them with a new regime entirely.”

In a country where the powerless are entombed in a potter’s field of financial despair, Roberts’ exhibiting a subconscious fear of guillotines is progress! Perhaps a day may even come when, instead of solely the Republican, there will be a second political party in America. And they will replace the ladders with tumbrils.

Jerry Long is a writer, actor, podcaster and political satirist who, with his brother Joe, has worked with Adam McKay on numerous projects. He can also be reached at jlbeggar@gmail.com