Head Copy Editor
Neera Tanden — known racist, imperialist, and classist — has been defeated as the nominee for Secretary of the Office of Management and Budget, and she absolutely deserved it.
With a history of vile acts — enough to write a novel — President Biden’s selection of her for the head of the OMB was already a slap in the face to basically every one of the U.S.’s marginalized groups. She has no place serving as a public official, of all things. Neoliberals, however, have cried out that she was more than qualified (she wasn’t), and that opposing her is sexist and racist (it’s not). She has done nothing but try to worsen the lives of the American people and the world at large throughout her career, and President Biden’s threat to appoint her to a position with no confirmation process is a disgrace. It’s up to us to continue to apply pressure to keep her from hurting more people.
Throughout her failed confirmation, mainstream media constantly reported her controversy as coming from insulting or derogatory tweets directed towards politicians in the last several years. Specifically, Republican lawmakers were triggered by her comparison of Sens. Cruz and McConnell to vampires and Voldemort, respectively, as well as her praise of Stacey Abrams for calling McConnell ‘Moscow Mitch.’ She essentially had no conservative support (not that any President Biden nominees did in the first place), and her history of burning bridges and being blunt was deemed the reason for her undoing.
In addition, she was well known for attacking moderate leftist politicians such as Bernie Sanders. Some Republicans also took note of this, as Sen. Kennedy remarked during her confirmation hearing, “you’ve called Senator Sanders everything but an ignorant sl—t,” possibly the funniest quote ever. Her dismissal has caused the conservative base of the Democratic party to immediately claim that any criticism of Tanden is extremely sexist and racist, something neoliberals, traditionally, don’t care about. This is also especially confusing considering her rumored replacement, Shalanda Young, is a woman of color who has received much more support.
As is the mainstream, with its history of promoting right-wing, American propaganda, her actual faults and criticisms were seldom mentioned, if at all. We still need to remember, though, exactly what Tanden’s history is. Some publications have been brave and forward enough to write on her past, but, to summarize, I’d like to go down the laundry list of her evil behavior and point out some of the highlights.
Tanden has been a vocal advocate of cutting Medicaid, Social Security, and economic safety nets at large — programs that not only don’t do enough as is, but were ones her family relied on as a child, and are now apparently benefits she wants no one else to have. This also implies a prejudice towards the people of color who disproportionately rely on these programs. She outed an employee during her time at the Center for American Progress that was sexually harassed and subsequently retaliated against, someone who wanted to stay anonymous. She name-dropped the anonymous employee on multiple occasions and didn’t seem to take the several complaints from multiple employees about the harasser seriously.
She’s also shown support for Israeli leader Benjamin Netanyahu, a known bigot who heads an apartheid regime and is attempting an ethnic cleansing in Israel. She used her position at the CAP to cover up Michael Bloomberg’s racism and targeting of Arabs during his time as Mayor of New York City; also, she smothered attempts to form a union at the CAP. While working as an aide on Hillary Clinton’s presidential campaign in 2008, she punched a reporter who questioned Clinton on her warmongering decision to invade Iraq in 2003. Finally, in leaked emails from a whistleblower, it was discovered that Tanden had been actively encouraging politicians to invade Libya solely to steal their oil, advocating for the western tradition of imperialism — ruthlessly killing minorities for no reason, and taking away their right to self-govern in order to steal natural resources.
If you think Neera Tanden is a good person, you’ve most likely already found a way to be more evil than her. She is the textbook example of psychopathy and cruelty, and has attacked or advocated for violence in some way or another against almost all oppressed and discriminated-against groups. She has made some of the most monstrous decisions in the history of U.S. modern politics. Attempting to make her Secretary of the OMB, one of the most powerful economic positions in the Cabinet, given her specific history of economic injustice, is a heinous attack on the American people. This nightmare of her being at the center of public discourse is not over, though, as, again, Biden has now threatened to appoint her to a position of power without congressional approval. Regardless of what position this might be, any access to power and control in the government spells an economic or social disaster waiting to happen. Her dismissal as a nominee wasn’t only due to unhappy Senators; the public’s outrage over her, regardless of reason, played a major role. This monster needs to be kept out of power, and we, as citizens, need to continue to fight for that.
Featured Image: Sage Amdahl / Quaker Campus