Saagar Enjeti: Difficult to overstate the miserable state that Obama and Biden left this country in

Opinion: Saagar Enjeti

Former Vice President Joe BidenJoe BidenSenate gears up for battle over witnesses in impeachment trial Conservative group hits White House with billboard ads: 'What is Trump hiding?' Democrat representing Pennsylvania district Trump carried plans to vote to impeach  MORE's handlers, they let him out of his private airplane yesterday to do a rare campaign rally in Fort Dodge, Iowa.

I suffered through most of it so that you wouldn't have to, and I really have to tell you how shocking it is. It’s literally like being transported back to the year 1999. The rhetoric and policy proposals are exactly the same; the only difference is he says something along the lines of how this election is, quote "a battle for the soul of this nation."

The rally just completely lacked the self-awareness and the reflection for any person who wants to hold the oval office in the year 2020. Biden remarked on terrible things in American life, as if he has had no role whatsoever in crafting the policies that lead to these terrible things in the first place. Take this lamentation on the state of the middle class.

Further on, he says quote, "I'm determined to give the middle class a real shot in this country. If we ever lose that, we begin to lose the soul of the country. It’s about who we are.

I mean, who wants to tell him folks?        

How exactly did the middle class get into trouble? It is absolutely stunning that one of the politicians most responsible for our current plight has the gall to express concern for those he took a direct role in hurting. Biden is, of course, behind the 2005 effort to strip bankruptcy protections for millions of Americans. Protections they probably could have used when the bottom fell out of the economy in 2008.

You would really think from Biden's statement that he did not serve and play a central role in an administration that oversaw the greatest wiping out of middle-class wealth in generations.

Under the Obama/Biden administration median household income cratered and then barely recovered to 2007 levels by the end of 2016. That barely scratches the surface of just how bad things got.  In terms of wealth, median total wealth for Americans in 2016 was 34% what it was in 2007. And when Obama left office, the average wealth of the bottom 40% of Americans was minus $8,900. Throughout all this time the everyday costs of life went up, which means in a nutshell, you got epically screwed

It is difficult to overstate the miserable and hollow state that Obama and Biden left this country in. The extremely modest gains made over the course of the Trump administration are a band-aid on the gaping wounds that neoliberals inflicted upon us beginning in the late 90's and 2000's with NAFTA, permanent normal trade relations with Cina, and allowing China to enter to the World Trade Organization

Funny enough, Biden's only mention of China during the stump speech was a social studies textbook- level platitude answer about how the Chinese President Xi Jingping once asked him to define America in a word and he said back, "possibilities." I couldn't help but think that Xi must have turned to his advisors and snickered in Chinese, "yeah, for us to take advantage of them."

The rest of the speech and Q&A was filled with pronouncements about restoring dignity in American politics and our standing in the world. These are empty statements that mean nothing, so we have to assume that when he says them, what it really means is that he'll just continue to do more of what he did the last time he was in office. That would be an abject disaster for the country, and more and more people are waking up to it.