When Barack Obama tapped him for the ticket in 2008, Joe Biden told him: “I’m 65 and you’re not going to have to worry about my positioning myself to be president.”
After all, as author Evan Osnos reported, if Obama served two terms and Biden succeeded him, he would be the oldest new president in history.
Now Biden, who turns 78 this month, may be on the verge of winning the White House, which just goes to show that in politics, you never know.
And right now we don’t know exactly how–and whether–Biden will claim the prize that has eluded him for decades, given a fierce legal and political challenge from President Trump.
What we do know is that regardless of who wins, the polarization, resentment and outright hatred that has sadly defined America for the last several years will continue unabated.
BIDEN PREDICTS VICTORY, SAYS HE WILL GOVERN AS AN ‘AMERICAN PRESIDENT’
Whether Trump’s flurry of lawsuits is legitimate or based on unproven allegations of fraud will be sorted out by the courts. But the larger conundrum is whether our deep political wounds can start healing.
You might think that liberals would be feeling pretty good about the prospect of evicting the president they have railed against for four years. Instead, many are furious that Trump was able to make it a competitive race and win 48 percent of the popular vote.
I’ve always had a problem with castigating Trump supporters, as opposed to the president or any politician who chooses to be in the arena. Too many in the media look down on that half of the country with arrogance and condescension, and these people know it, which is why they applaud Trump’s attacks on fake news.
Politico columnist John Harris tries to explain–and partially justify–the attitude toward those Hillary called the deplorables:
“Democratic disdain for Trump is natural; disdain for his voters is more problematic. But there is no logical way to scorn Trump without being somewhat scornful of voters who cheered his ascent to power and were eager for him to keep it.”
He acknowledges that the stronger-than-expected Trump vote was an expression of democracy, confirming that the president was no 2016 fluke. And Trump hardly invented scorched-earth politics. For years, we’ve seen “politicians and media figures on both ends of the ideological spectrum reap lavish rewards of publicity and money for extreme politics, mistrust has been refined into pure contempt. It was this environment that made Trump possible, and in which he prospered.”
Okay, but does that excuse all the folks who rage at each other on Twitter and Facebook? How do liberals, who didn’t like the vitriol, sometimes tainted by racism, aimed at Obama, excuse themselves for being in a permanent state of outrage against his successor? I’m sure Harris is right when he says “Trump-style politics will continue even if Trump is not president,” but that also shows the blame doesn’t rest solely with one wealthy man.
Part of Biden’s core appeal has been that he would lower the temperature and work with Republicans. But that’s not what many of his supporters want.
Jason Johnson, a contributor to MSNBC and the Grio, was on the air the other day saying if Biden wins he’ll be “extremely critical” of any bipartisan style of governing.
CLICK HERE TO GET THE FOX NEWS APP
“You cannot come into this White House with the idea that these people aren’t the enemy. They are,” Johnson said. He ticked off a list, ending with “Mitch McConnell is the enemy.”
This is chilling stuff. If you’re a Democrat, McConnell is a tenacious opponent, but he’s not the enemy. Do people on the left approve when Trump calls the media the “enemy of the people”? If not, why adopt the same wartime terminology?
Sonny Hostin, a co-host of “The View,” also isn’t content with the idea of Trump as a one-term president. He has “shown us that he is a misogynist, that he is homophobic, that he is racist, and that he mismanaged a coronavirus pandemic to the tune of over 250,000 American deaths,” she said. “Yet 50 percent of America saw all of that, and looked the other way…And that is really disheartening because for me, that means that you are selfish.” She also called Trump backers “despicable” and “un-American.”
So now she’s questioning their patriotism, because they don’t share her hatred of Trump? Because they exercised their basic American right to support the candidate of their choice?
I’ve spent years calling out extreme statements on both sides. What’s striking here is that liberals who appear to be on the brink of winning are still enraged. They may want Biden to become president, but they flatly reject his view of a more civil approach to politics.