Heavy on hope, light on details


Whoever wrote Joe Biden’s speech for last night did a competent job, for the most part, hitting the usual notes you would expect from a populist politician. In fact, portions of it could have been mistaken for excerpts from Barack Obama’s speech in November of 2008 with just a few of the words scrambled around. I would also give Biden credit for a fairly smooth and focused delivery despite not having a teleprompter in front of him. (He did have a printed copy on the lectern, but he didn’t appear to glance down at it very often.) He never appeared to lose the thread and did what he needed to do.

With that said, his remarks also seemed to fly in the face of reality right from the beginning. The goals he set for himself were admirable, but he once again provided no details as to how he plans to accomplish them aside from hoping that things will magically improve with him at the helm. I’ll just pick out a few of the key quotes this morning and see if we can wrap our collective heads around whatever Uncle Joe is thinking. (Excerpts from the New York Post)

“The people of this nation have spoken. They delivered us a clear victory — a convincing victory, a victory for the people,”

I’m not trying to nitpick here, but a clear convincing victory probably would have been called before midnight on Tuesday rather than four days later. As in previous election years, Joe Biden may have gotten the most votes of any presidential candidate, but the second-place honors are now held by Donald Trump, surpassing Hillary Clinton four years ago. Most of the critical states that Biden had to carry to squeak out a win were so close that they’re still counting ballots and resolving court challenges. Hardly a landslide. Also, his coattails were nonexistent in many regions and his party lost seats in the House.

Biden vowed to immediately begin working on getting the coronavirus pandemic under control, adding that the nation “cannot repair the economy, restore our economy or relish life’s most precious moments” without doing so.

This was the biggest and essentially only issue that Biden ran on. Donald Trump supposedly fumbled the handling of the Pandemic. Now Joe is promising to “get it under control.” How does he plan to do that? He’s never said. The only plans he’s talked about involve increasing the numbers of tests that are performed. But doing more tests only gives you a more complete picture of how many people have been infected. It doesn’t do anything to slow the spread. He’s waiting for a viable vaccine and/or treatment regimen just like Trump has been. Of course, that won’t stop him from taking credit for it if we manage to come up with one.

To his credit, Biden did attempt to toss out an olive branch to Trump voters.

“For all those of you who voted for President Trump, I understand the disappointment tonight. I’ve lost a couple times myself. But now, let’s give each other a chance.

“It’s time to put away the harsh rhetoric, lower the temperature, see each other again, listen to each other again,” Biden said, adding of political opponents, “They are not our enemies. They are Americans.

Are those the same Americans you called “chumps” and “ugly folks” on the campaign trail, Joe? Thanks for the flowers. We’ll just tip off to find a vase to put them in.

Before closing, I will note that Kamala Harris also addressed the crowd and gave a similar cookie-cutter speech for the most part. But the one moment that really stuck out was her focus on the historic nature of her personal victory.

“Every little girl watching tonight sees that this is a country of possibilities,” she said.

She praised Biden for having “the audacity to break one of the most substantial barriers that exist in our country” by selecting a woman as his running mate.

The message was clear. Rather than unity, we’re still highlighting the gender and racial divides that Democrats feast on in every election. What’s important is that someone with ovaries is the Vice President-elect. She also praised Biden’s “audacity” for picking a woman as his running mate. She’s the umpteenth Democrat to pretend that we didn’t already have a female running mate in the presidential election in 2008.

If anyone on that stage last night had room for a bit more humility it should have been Kamal Harris. The nation votes for the top of the ticket, not the backup. In her own quest for the presidency, the voters of her own party rejected her so resoundingly that she quit the field of battle before the voting even began. Kamala Harris is in her current position not because of a grateful nation, but because of one 77-year-old, straight, white, cisgender male who plucked her from the field of wannabes that he eventually defeated in the primary.

In case you missed it, you can watch the speech below.

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