Photo: Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti holds a press conference to endorse Joe Biden in the Democratic primary for the 2020 Presidential election
By Audrey Hellenbrecht
In a press conference on January 9, Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti gave his endorsement to former Vice President Joe Biden’s campaign to become the Democratic Party’s nominee for the 2020 Presidential election. Calling Biden “a close personal friend who has been an incredible partner in delivering progress for LA,” Garcetti also announced he will serve as the National Campaign Co-Chairman for the Biden campaign.
“We need Joe Biden to bring our nation and world together during these most divided and dangerous times,” Garcetti claimed. “I know that from day one, he will heal our nation, repair our relationships abroad and get things done — and will be a true partner in solving the national homelessness crisis.”
The working class of Los Angeles understand Garcetti’s endorsement as nothing more than one ruling class politician supporting another. Garcetti was elected mayor in 2013 with a historically low voter turnout, with only 23% of eligible voters turning in ballots.
Garcetti claims he worked closely with Biden to pass the $15 minimum wage increase in LA. This accomplishment means little as the city continues to have one of the highest poverty rates in the country and the largest population of unsheltered homeless people. He has consistently deflected responsibility for many issues the city faces, most recently claiming the California wildfires were an “act of god,” while doing nothing to address the city’s dilapidated infrastructure that caused them.
Garcetti has always placed his political career over the needs of the city he is tasked with governing. Over a 12 month period, from 2016-2017, Garcetti spent 112 days touring the country to many swing states, sparking rumors that Garcetti himself would run for President. He consistently speaks on issues like ‘revitalizing’ the Los Angeles River or providing shelters for the homeless, but never fully delivers on any of his promises.
Garcetti’s endorsement of Biden shows how he places his political ties above the poor, working class, and oppressed groups of the city, as Biden himself has continually supported legislation that brought further ruin to the the people, particularly through the US government’s so-called ‘drug war.’
In 1984, Biden voted in support of the Comprehensive Crime Control Act, which established mandatory minimum sentences for drug offenses and re-established the federal death penalty. Throughout the 1980s and 1990s, Biden voted in lockstep with drug war legislation, which brutalized the working class and sharpened stratification along racial lines.
Congress made penalties for crack cocaine possession harsher than powder cocaine, despite their identical chemistry, because the lower cost of crack made it accessible in poorer, predominantly Black communities. They constantly increased funding for law enforcement in the billions of dollars while treating addiction as a health problem was always off the table. In a 1992 Senate speech, Biden made light of the draconian policies he supported by joking “We do everything but hang people for jaywalking in this bill.”
In 1994, Biden supported a massive crime bill, signed by President Bill Clinton, that created 60 new federal death penalty offenses, disallowed federal inmates from receiving educational Pell grants, funded 100,000 police officers, and enshrined the infamous “three-strike” rule which sentenced tens of thousands of Black, Chicano, and working class people to indefinite prison terms.
Biden not only supports the brutalization of the people residing within the United States, but around the world with his support of US imperialist wars. Biden was chairman of the Senate Foreign Relations committee when the committee authorized the use of military force in Iraq and Afghanistan following the 9/11 attacks in 2001, playing a leading role in initiating the “war on terror.” He also served as Vice President under Barack Obama, during which time their administration ordered ten times the number of airstrikes compared to his predecessor George W. Bush, largely with drones in the Middle East.
When President Trump recently ordered a drone strike assassination of Qasem Soleimani, a general in Iran’s Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps, even as Biden said the intelligence “would have to be pretty overwhelming,” for him to proceed with an assassination, he wouldn’t rule out the idea of going after Soleimani.
US imperialism isn’t unique to any presidential candidate or politician. Even Bernie Sanders, who claims to represent a distorted version of socialism, has supported the initiation of imperialist wars and the development of their war machines. As a member of the Senate, Sanders voted for the Authorization of the use of Military Force following the 9/11 attacks, as Biden did. Sanders has also helped bring the development of the F-35, a $1.2 trillion stealth fighter jet program, to his home state of Vermont.
Incendiary supports the 2020 Election Boycott, and encourages the masses who already abstain from voting and those who see through the sham of bourgeois ‘democracy’ to uphold the boycott as well. No matter who runs for the presidency, politicians will always serve US Imperialism and place the interests of the imperialist state over working class people. The only way to end US Imperialism, the brutalization of oppressed nations worldwide, and bring true freedom to the working class of our cities is to make revolution and overthrow the capitalist state.