THE NEUTRAL ZONE
Even as he detailed a complex agenda of fighting racism, climate change, and the coronavirus, Joe Biden put it simply, in a way Star Wars fans would appreciate: He is the light, and President Donald Trump leads what he called our “season of darkness.”
Hollywood and commentators gushed over Biden’s speech, which showed him as energetic and vibrant, the opposite of the dementia-ridden description Trump has tried to paste on him. Biden portrayed himself as someone who was ready to lead the country through a series of complex problems that together have plunged the U.S. into the biggest crises since World War II.
“Here and now, I give you my word: If you entrust me with the presidency, I will draw on the best of us, not the worst,” Biden said. “I will be an ally of the light, not of the darkness.”
In contrast to Trump, Biden pledged to work as hard for those who didn’t support him as those who did, saying the job of the president was to represent “all of us, not just the base of our party…This must be an American moment.” But Trump responded by stating where Democrats see darkness, he sees American greatness.
Other notes from the Democrats’ final day:
• Even with the kudos Biden received, a 13-year-old boy stole the show with his genuine speech of how Biden’s empathy helped him through his stuttering. Brayden Harrington said Biden told him that he, too, stuttered as a child, and that confession gave Brayden the confidence to speak before millions about his problem.
• Sen. Tammy Duckworth, a front-runner for the VP and a veteran who lost her legs in combat, tossed the kind of barb that made her famous by stating, “Biden would never let tyrants manipulate him like a puppet.”
• The Republicans get their turn next week, with the convention starting Monday. Here’s a guide to what it might look like.
Trouble for Trump as Fox News praises ‘enormously effective’ Biden speech – The Guardian – 8/21/2020
Joe Biden “hit a home run” with an “enormously effective” speech that blew “a big hole” in Donald Trump’s efforts to paint him as a mentally faltering captive of his party’s left wing. And that was to hear Fox News hosts Dana Perino and Chris Wallace tell it.
The DNC Was Virtual, but the Protests Were Real as Hell – The Nation – 8/21/2020
The first three days of the 2020 DNC were marked by banner drops and other minor actions, but the last day of the convention saw its biggest direct action. On Thursday, August 20, about 500 protesters gathered in Red Arrow park, the site of the 2014 police killing of Dontre Hamilton, a 31-year-old mentally ill Black man.
Dems 2020: The Good, the Bad and the Gimmicky – Real Clear Politics – 8/21/2020
America’s very first political convention, which preceded the Declaration of Independence by a decade, took place in Connecticut where the “Sons of Liberty” chose an upcoming gubernatorial ticket. If this week’s virtual Democratic National Convention struck you as too progressive, you should have been in Hartford in 1766. Those delegates, white males though they may have been, were true radicals.
I Participated in the DNC Rules Committee. I Don’t Believe the Party Is United. – Truthout – 8/21/2020
Beneath the canned TV relays, there is an ominous edge to the DNC’s unity: The technical setup of the convention has foreclosed most avenues for dissent, and the DNC’s management of key decisions is palpably out of step with the goals behind which the party claims to be unified.
The Democratic Convention’s Big Blind Spot – The Atlantic – 8/21/2020
But while it advanced Biden’s goals, the speech, as well as the convention itself, had a conspicuous blind spot: The event did not deliver a concise critique of Trump’s economic record.