Will the real Joe Biden please stand up? — and other commentary

From the left: Will the Real Joe Biden Please Stand Up?

Bill Scher at Politico wonders which Joe Biden will run for president: the “bold progressive, equally at home with foreign leaders as with construction workers, who led the fight against domestic violence” and “pushed for gay marriage before his boss did”? Or will it be the “out-of-touch centrist dinosaur, waxing nostalgic about bipartisanship with segregationists, who carried water for the credit-card companies and helped humiliate Anita Hill?” Biden’s problem is that both narratives are “basically true,” which means he’ll “need to square [them] in a single story.” Which he might be able to do by arguing that he’s always “been in the thick of it” and “evolved over time . . . because he has taken political risks, not avoided them.”

2020 watch: Take Early Poll Results With a Grain of Salt

The Democratic presidential race has been going on for over two years, and those trying to follow it are “probably sick of the whole thing by now,” suggests Bloomberg’s Jonathan Bernstein. But for all the cable-news reports and the seemingly nightly CNN town halls, remember this: “Most voters aren’t paying attention to any of it.” And because they aren’t, “we should be very careful about attributing much to their answers to polling questions.” That doesn’t mean the polls don’t matter or are meaningless. Without them, “we wouldn’t know who already is well-known, and we wouldn’t know whether Biden and Bernie Sanders were well-liked among Democrats.” But “we should treat them for what they are: the very early indications of what unengaged voters will tell pollsters when they respond to surveys.”

From the right: How Britain Squandered Brexit

Two years ago, recalls Michael Brendan Dougherty at National Review, he was saying Americans “should envy Brexit,” because few stable democratic governments ever get “the opportunity to hack away at decades of accumulated cruft in the law.” Given that one-sixth of the UK’s laws come from Brussels, Brexit provided an opportunity to “do a proper housecleaning without the bloody mess and costs of revolution.” But as it turns out, “it’s been wasted. Entirely. Utterly.” That’s because the Brexit cause was “a divided house,” and after the public referendum passed, “there was no Brexit party to implement it.” Indeed, “there is no sense of insurgency” by Prime Minister Theresa May, her government or her Tory party, “no energy or drive to do the great thing with which it has been tasked.”

Urban critic: Kamala Harris Is Silicon Valley’s Candidate

As a woman who is part Asian-Indian and part Afro-Caribbean, Sen. Kamala Harris “seems the frontrunner in the intersectionality sweepstakes that currently largely defines Democratic politics,” says Joel Kotkin at City Journal. More important: She’s “also the favored candidate of the tech and media oligarchy now almost uniformly aligned with the Democratic Party.” Unlike other candidates, Harris has “not called for curbs on, let alone for breaking up, the tech giants.” And as state attorney general, “she did little to prevent the agglomeration of economic power that has increasingly turned California into a semi-feudal state dominated by a handful of large tech firms.” If she wins, “the tech oligarchy — titans of today’s Gilded Age — will have achieved commanding influence, not just in the information business and the media, but in the White House as well.”

Conservative: Leftists Whip Themselves Into a Frenzy

Animosity exists on both sides of the political spectrum, but David Limbaugh at Town Hall notes “how personal it has become for many on the left.” Yet this pattern remains “unchecked by their peers and even applauded,” beckoning them “to summon their demons and become part of a mob mentality.” Leftists have “convinced themselves that conservatives’ views are so noxious, they’ve forfeited any expectation to be treated civilly and they deserve to be shunned, muzzled and boycotted — especially members of minority groups who have strayed from the reservation.” And, he adds, “the left’s “sanctimonious hubris, its routine descent into personal ugliness, its relishing of incivility, its willful censorship,” its “dehumanization of conservatives and Trump supporters is growing at an alarming pace.”

— Compiled by Eric Fettmann

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