Skip to main content

Sign up for our newsletter.

Quality journalism. Progressive values. Direct to your inbox.

President Joe Biden speaks

President Joe Biden delivers remarks in the South Court Auditorium in the Eisenhower Executive Office Building on July 15, 2021 in Washington, D.C. (Photo: Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images)

A Message to Democrats Ahead of 2022: Make Corporations Your Enemies

America is in a populist moment. If Democrats won’t harness that then the right-wing will, substituting their bigoted fantasies for the actual forces which make life worse for Americans.

Jeff Hauser

 by Revolving Door Project

Real-world problems don’t just happen. The political economy is never inevitable. Yet as their poll numbers slump, Joe Biden and his administration have mostly whimpered that they are the victims of circumstance. We can expect a similar refusal to accept the buck from Terry McAuliffe should he lose to failed private equity mogul-turned-Trump dog whistler Glenn Youngkin in Virginia tonight.”

Actual politics requires taking action against actual villains to solve problems, not the shrugging and cowering which elites persuade themselves is ‘savvy.’

These immensely powerful men are both pretending to be helpless, primarily because they are afraid of making powerful enemies — most especially, corporations and the ultra-wealthy. But if they and other Democrats refuse to fight for the people, the people will seek fighters elsewhere.” 

Look at McAuliffe. Why is a hysterical, imagined version of ‘critical race theory’ the main villain being discussed in Virginia and elsewhere? Glenn Youngkin’s firm, the Carlyle Group, fired thousands of unionized workers for profit. A non-compromised nominee would have been able to hammer Youngkin on the ways his greed devastated real people.”

Likewise, if the Biden Administration is so worried about supply chain disruptions, why isn’t it tackling the ultimate cause of the problem — corporate greed? Profiteering companies embraced just-in-time logistics and swallowed any redundancies into bloated monopolies. Why isn’t the Biden Administration attacking firms which cared more about their dividends than their actual operations? Why isn’t the Administration dusting off little-used statutory powers to mitigate and resolve these disruptions? Why is there no `Supply Chain Profiteering Task Force’ identifying the obstacles to normalcy in American transportation?” 

And why is the Transportation Secretary claiming that the most important effort to tackle supply chain issues is ‘to put the pandemic behind us’ rather than using federal law to fight for consumers and against profiteers? How can we ‘put the pandemic behind us’ in a world that remains largely unvaccinated thanks to Big Pharma greed? Why hasn’t the administration fought tooth and nail to actually end the intellectual property restrictions which strangle our global vaccine supply for the sake of blood-stained profits?”

That extends to domestic fights against Pharma too. Forget Manchin, Sinema, and narrow Congressional majorities — the executive branch has extraordinary powers to rein in that industry. Why hasn’t Biden used them? It’s great that Big Ag consolidation is an Administration rhetorical target — but has Trump’s holdover in charge of the Antitrust Division actually brought any high-profile criminal cases against anti-competitive behavior? Perhaps more importantly, has the Administration publicly named names of the firms and individuals which broke the law?”

Actual politics requires taking action against actual villains to solve problems, not the shrugging and cowering which elites persuade themselves is ‘savvy.’ America is in a populist moment. If Democrats won’t harness that then the right-wing will, substituting their bigoted fantasies for the actual forces which make life worse for Americans.

There is no direct public policy response to the fantasies that the right-wing media ecosystem pushes, but an active executive branch can generate an interesting counter-narrative surrounding a president’s war on corporate corruption. The story of the midterm elections will be whether Biden does it.”


Jeff Hauser

Jeff Hauser is the founder and director of the Revolving Door Project, which scrutinizes executive branch appointees to ensure they use their office to serve the broad public interest.

We've had enough. The 1% own and operate the corporate media. They are doing everything they can to defend the status quo, squash dissent and protect the wealthy and the powerful. The Common Dreams media model is different. We cover the news that matters to the 99%. Our mission? To inform. To inspire. To ignite change for the common good. How? Nonprofit. Independent. Reader-supported. Free to read. Free to republish. Free to share. With no advertising. No paywalls. No selling of your data. Thousands of small donations fund our newsroom and allow us to continue publishing. Can you chip in? We can't do it without you. Thank you.

In Raid of Trump Home, FBI Was Seeking Classified Nuclear Weapons Documents

"The criminal who stole top secret nuclear documents is the same one who had absolute authority to order a nuclear attack at any time."

Jake Johnson ·


Docs Show DHS Watchdog Delayed Telling Congress About Deleted Secret Service Texts

The Project on Government Oversight says the records reveal a pattern of Inspector General Joseph Cuffari "rejecting proposals to inform Congress about the Secret Service's resistance to oversight."

Jessica Corbett ·


'Dictatorship Never Again': Massive Pro-Democracy Protests Sweep Brazil

"Democracy involves changing the government and eliminating neo-fascism," said one prominent protester, "but above all, ensuring that the working class, the people, have the rights guaranteed in the Constitution."

Brett Wilkins ·


'Door to Real Progress': Jayapal Makes Case for House Passage of the IRA

"It's an achievement we can all feel excited about—especially when we dig into the details," said the chair of the Congressional Progressive Caucus.

Julia Conley ·


Officers Kill Gunman Who Tried to Breach FBI Office in Ohio

Though the suspect's identity and potential motivations are not known, the attack follows fear of far-right retaliation for this week's federal search of former President Donald Trump's home.

Jessica Corbett ·

Common Dreams Logo