Friday, August 21, 2020

With Feeling

"But amid the prime-time lineup,"  Christopher Cadelago and Natasha Korecki wrote in Politico Thursday morning

that nodded to the past (the Obamas and the Clintons), or to the moment (Joe and Jill Biden), Harris’ address Wednesday served as the de facto convention keynote and clinched her status as the embodiment of its future establishment wing and the likely inheritor of their coalitions.

If successful in being elected and nudging Joe Biden out of running for a second term, Kamala Harris will indeed be the inheritor of the Clinton/Obama coalition. Moreover, the convention stood as strong evidence of the enduring legacy of Bill Clinton.

It's not only the Clinton who repealed Glass-Steagall with the Graham-Leach-Bliley Act, embodied in nomination by the "liberal" Democratic Party of a ticket of staunch defenders of the Wall Street establishment. Nor is it selection by the Party as its presidential nominee the man who as recently as 2015 referred to as the "Biden Crime Bill" the law signed by President Clinton which allegedly was the root of the mass incarceration which the remarkable protests of spring 2020 supposedly were intended to protest.

It was more the disposition, the spirit, the temperament which the candidate and almost everyone else at the recently-concluded national convention successfully evoked.

Will Bunch writes

More than any political convention in my lifetime, the 2020 virtual DNC hung on a theme that could be summed up in one word: Empathy. The empathy and ability to relate to everyday folks that has defined Biden’s 50 years in the public eye, the empathy that is so lacking in a president unable to acknowledge the enormity of 170,000 coronavirus dead, the empathy that was beamed into your living room Tuesday night from a windswept Montana prairie and a Mississippi HBCU.

Joe Biden is more-  maybe much more- sincere than Bill Clinton, albeit not a high bar to eclipse.Empathy, though, is merely shorthand for "feeling your pain." Demonstrating empathy, especially as compared to explaining policy or defending his political past, is in the nominee's wheelhouse, whether for a Comcast executive or an individual needing support.  That's why we had this:

The convention could have been comprised of various disparate parts but instead clung to its theme, one believable as applied to Biden. Moreover, it contrasts dramatically with the soulless incumbent, who can say only "itis what it is" of 1,000 Americans dying daily from a novel coronavirus.  The elevation of feelings over ideas, and sometimes even over reality, courses through American society and was dramatized over the last few nights.  It may be Joe Biden's ticket to victory- and it began in presidential politics with the hugely successful Bill Clinton.


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