Pondering the Pundits

Pondering the Pundits” is an Open Thread. It is a selection of editorials and opinions from around the news media and the internet blogs. The intent is to provide a forum for your reactions and opinions, not just to the opinions presented, but to what ever you find important.

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Eugene Robinson: Black lives matter — and so do Black votes

This election was an emergency. Black Americans rescued the nation and its ideals — once again.

It’s fitting that votes from Philadelphia and Pittsburgh, cities with large Black populations and rich traditions of African American history and culture, put Joe Biden and Kamala D. Harris over the top Saturday, making them the president- and vice president-elect. Once again, Black Americans have redeemed the soul of the nation. You’re welcome. [..]

Once again, Black voters proved themselves to be both coldly pragmatic and politically savvy. The urgent task was to prevent the reelection of a president who ignored science and encouraged racial animus, who responded to the killings of George Floyd, Breonna Taylor and Rayshard Brooks by refusing to acknowledge the existence of systemic racism and instead demanded a vision of “law and order” that gave Black communities neither.

Rebecca Solnit: Biden’s victory is only the prelude. What happens now is up to us

We all have a role to play in persuading this administration to have more courage, go further and live up to its promises

Yes, this election victory may be time to pause and sigh with relief, but it’s no finish line. It’s only the starting line for the next round of work. If people who worked so hard to win, go home, and go to sleep, the Biden administration will accomplish little, and the right will have its usual opportunity to get back what it lost. We can’t allow that.

The clear and pressing danger is a repeat of the last few election cycles in which, when Democrats won, too many people who’d been the backbone of the resistance relaxed and assumed the government would do the right thing. They didn’t bother to participate much because they thought power rests in elected officials rather than the electorate. The fierce effort to push Donald Trump out of power, the unprecedented scale of this summer’s Black Lives Matter demonstrations, and the many forms of resistance that took place when Trump won should remind us that it is not so. [..]

We all have a role to play in persuading this administration to have more courage, go farther, live up to its promises, all the while being louder than the corporations and conservatives who want the opposite. If there’s one admirable quality about Biden, it’s his malleability – his positions have grown far more progressive, notably on climate. That malleability puts responsibility on the electorate to lead and shape this administration into what we want it to be. That is our duty now.

Robert Reich: https://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2020/nov/08/joe-biden-donald-trump-election-healing-robert-reich

The nearest thing America has had to a dictator is beaten but unbowed. He will disgrace the national scene for some time yet

It’s over. Donald Trump is history.

For millions of Americans – a majority, by almost 5m popular votes – it’s a time for celebration and relief. Trump’s cruelty, vindictiveness, non-stop lies, corruption, rejection of science, chaotic incompetence and gross narcissism brought out the worst in America. He tested the limits of American decency and democracy. He is the closest we have come to a dictator.

Democracy has had a reprieve, a stay of execution. We have another chance to preserve it, and restore what’s good about America.

It will not be easy. The social fabric is deeply torn. Joe Biden will inherit a pandemic far worse than it would have been had Trump not played it down and refused to take responsibility for containing it, and an economic crisis exacting an unnecessary toll.

The worst legacy of Trump’s term of office is a bitterly divided America.

Karen Tumulty: Joe Biden is already showing he is the right president for the moment

Biden’s long-standing relationships on Capitol Hill could be invaluable when it comes to addressing the urgent problem of the coronavirus pandemic and getting badly needed aid to Americans who are suffering.

As ugly as this election has been, a win is a win: Come Jan. 20, Joe Biden will be our 46th president.

Biden’s victory, which he claimed when Pennsylvania tipped into his column, was a solid one. His popular vote margin will rank somewhere around historic averages. He and his running mate, Sen. Kamala D. Harris (D-Calif.), got more votes than any ticket in history.

But former vice president Biden will enter office with a specific set of challenges: a deeply polarized and intensely passionate electorate; a Senate that appears likely to remain in Republican control, with a majority leader, Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.), who will be as determined to thwart Biden’s agenda as he was Barack Obama’s; a graceless predecessor who is trying to foment unrest by hurling baseless charges that the election was “stolen.”

No one will be surprised if Donald Trump refuses to even show up for Biden’s inauguration. The bigger question is whether his Republican enablers are capable of turning their attention to the interests of the country as it turns the page. [..]

In the way Biden ran his campaign, and in the measured statements he has made since the polls closed, he has shown that he recognizes what he is up against, and just as important, that he understands what the country needs most right now is a healer who is willing to tell it the truth.

Charles M. Blow: Third Term of the Obama Presidency

Joe Biden represents a move back to normalcy, but progressives will push for change.

Barack Obama — his policies and his posture — just won a third term.

Joe Biden will be president because of his close association with Barack Obama, because he espoused many of the same centrist policies and positioning and because of public nostalgia for the normalcy and decency the Obama years provided.

Biden is a restoration president-elect, elected to right the ship and save the system. He is not so much a change agent as a reversion agent. He is elected to Make America Able to Sleep Again.

He doesn’t see his mission as shaking things up, but calming things down.

But, just as was the case with Obama, many of the people who made Biden’s win possible are far to the left of him. As Biden told a Miami television station last month: “I’m the guy that ran against socialists, OK. I’m the guy that’s the moderate. Remember, you guys were all talking, you’d interview me and say, ‘Well, you’re a moderate, how can you win the nomination?’ It’s who I am.” But progressives are not likely to be as silent now as they were during the Obama years.