The Atlantic - June 10, 2019
"This is perhaps Trump’s most crucial victory yet: successfully persuading Democrats—especially African American voters—not just to lower the bar, but to abandon the idea that inclusion and bold ideas matter more than appeasing the patriarchy."
To former Vice President Joe Biden’s benefit, electability has become the unofficial buzzword of the 2020 presidential campaign.
Although it’s still early, most polls show Biden as the clear front-runner among Democrats. A CNN/Des Moines Register/Mediacom poll was just the latest to give him a solid lead. Among Iowa’s likely Democratic caucus-goers, 24 percent named Biden their first choice for president—a significant lead in a fractured field that has more than 20 candidates.
Biden’s early strength isn’t particularly surprising. He’s an experienced politician. And his service alongside former President Barack Obama has given him a priceless advantage. On Saturday, to celebrate “Best Friends Day,” Biden even tweeted a picture of bracelets entwining his first name and Obama’s—a not-so subtle reminder that the former vice president was a fixture of the good old days.
Nevertheless, Biden’s elevation to front-runner is a testament to how much President Donald Trump has shaken the faith of those who believe the White House could better reflect what America looked like.
This is perhaps Trump’s most crucial victory yet: successfully persuading Democrats—especially African American voters—not just to lower the bar, but to abandon the idea that inclusion and bold ideas matter more than appeasing the patriarchy.
... Even though Biden wrote the 1994 crime bill whose mandatory-minimum sentencing rules sent many black men to prison, the former vice president’s support among African Americans remains significantly stronger than that of both black presidential candidates in the field—Harris and Senator Cory Booker of New Jersey. A poll released by BlackPAC last month showed that 72 percent of African Americans view Biden favorably, compared with 49 percent for Harris and 47 percent for Booker.
Remarkably, the negative energy directed toward Harris for serving as a prosecutor has not been aimed at Biden, who said recently that, although the “three strikes” provisions of the 1994 law were a mistake, the bill “had a lot of other good things.” While the explosion of mass incarceration was already in progress before the crime bill was signed, the legislation was still devastating for black and brown people. According to the U.S. Bureau of Justice Statistics, the black incarceration rate rose from 1,200 per 100,000 in 1985 to 2,450 per 100,000 in 2000. For black men in 2000, the rate was 3,457 per 100,000. ...
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