How can presidential candidates be so silly?

One cannot unring a bell, and Harris cannot erase the fact that she has repeatedly said she wants to take from 217 million Americans — 80 million more than voted in 2016 — something most of them like. And she is striking at a core function of organized labor, which is to negotiate employer-provided health care as untaxed compensation.

Equally maladroit was her debate decision to wrap herself in an unpopular policy that ended 20 years ago. Nothing did more to fuel the conservative ascendancy in the 1980s than the 1970s enthusiasm of some judges and politicians for the compulsory busing of (other people’s) children away from their neighborhood schools, assigning children to schools on the basis of skin color in order to engineer a desired racial balance. In a 1973 Gallup poll, just 4 percent of whites and 9 percent of blacks chose busing from among a variety of means of achieving integration…

Many Democrats striving to replace Donald Trump are, while execrating him, paying him the sincerest form of flattery: imitation. He prepared to campaign for president by calling America a “hellhole” and he began his presidency with an inaugural address that his would-be replacements are mimicking with their versions of his trope about “American carnage.”

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